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Peptides, Stem Cells & Growth Factors: What’s All the Buzz About?

By November 16, 2012 No Comments

Peptides, Stem Cells & Growth Factors-They are the biggest buzz words in the skin care world today- but are they actually benefiting you?

On the subject, Dr John Layke had this to say, “Specific peptides and growth factors will be the next generation of improving the aesthetic appearance. There is positive data now that backs this up, but it is still only in it’s infant stages.”

Sounds promising…First, let’s get clear about what we’re talking about. What are Peptides, Stem Cells and Growth Factors?

Stem Cells: are biological cells that can divide and have the unique ability to differentiate into specialized cells, can self-renew and produce more stem cells. They are abundant and healthy at birth, but as we age–you guessed it– they decline.  Due to many factors including environmental free radical damage, stress, inflammation and poor diet/lifestyle choices, our numbers of stem cells dramatically decrease which reduces the body’s ability to heal and protect itself.

Growth Factors: are cultured in a laboratory setting from stem cells that assign specific functions to stem cells in the body. There are many different growth factors that assign different functions. For example, some growth factors activate  white blood cells, while others direct cells to generate collagen and elastin (these are the fibers responsible for keeping our skin plump and tight).

Peptides: are naturally occurring chemical messengers made up of amino acids. There are many different types of peptides used in skin care formulations which have the ability to communicate messages to the skin to produce more collagen and elastin or even ease the intensity of muscle contractions.

“Because growth factors assign specific functions to the cells, they are preferred over stem cells because they assign specific functions to the cells. If we apply, or even inject undifferentiated stem cells (regardless of their potency) into the skin, there is no way to know what type of cells they will become. That’s not to say that they wouldn’t benefit the skin; they would break down into proteins and amino acids which would provide nourishment and a slight improvement to the condition of the skin; but the growth factors have demonstrated greater improvement. Furthermore, human-derived growth factors are safer than human-derived stem cells because there is no risk of infection or rejection associated with them.”

How do these ingredients benefit the skin?

  • Reduces acne- by improving skin’s function they aid in better repair and healing which will reduce scarring. Increasing the health of skin the body will better be able to fight off acne causing bacteria.
  • Reduces signs of aging skin- by helping to create new cells and stimulate fibroblasts (collagen and elastin) skin will be able to replenish what’s lost on the cellular level. Microcirculation is improved, aiding in the repair process and increasing the absorption of nutrients.
  • Evens skin tone- by increasing the cell turnover rate which helps skin act “young” again. Melanocytes, cells that carry pigment, are repaired and their function is normalized. These ingredients can also reverse sun damage.
  • Rosacea is improved- by strengthening the skin and its ability to protect itself.
Our skin care specialist, Rebecca Casper had this to say, “Just like you would add oil to your car to keep it running smoothly, you need to replenish your skin with the things it needs to keep running (and looking) smooth. I’ve seen incredible results in people who have incorporated peptides into their skin care regimes along with other key ingredients like Vitamin A, C and DermaRolling (collagen induction therapy), you’d be amazed at how your skin can repair itself. And that’s what it’s meant to do- think about when you get a minor cut or scrape, you don’t have to do much (especially when you’re young) to get your skin to heal itself. When skin has what it needs to function at its highest level, it will improve.”

 

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