ASCP Skin Deep

AUTUMN 2022

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44 ASCP Skin Deep Autumn 2022 INGREDIENT DECK Plant Stem Cells Where efficacy meets environmentalism by Ella Cressman THERE IS NO DENYING the huge shift in demand for products that contain natural (yet effective) ingredients. This movement is rooted in a growing consciousness of toxic substances and a desire to use "safe" skin care. However, the connection between "natural" and "harmless" is not always direct. For example, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are all natural, but they're harmful to human skin. Another consideration is the sourcing and exploitation of natural resources in cultivating and harvesting these natural ingredients. How does this new awakening and market demand contribute to our carbon footprint? Will our desire for facial serums with extract from the rarest fruit grown in a faraway land contribute to environmental degradation? Enter plant stem cells. They debuted in the skin care market in 2008, but they were met with much criticism due to a growing buzz around human (embryonic) stem cells and their influence on genetic expression and aging. Unfortunately, many tried to compare human stem cells to plant stem cells with an "apples-to-apples" approach, but the two behave very differently with the skin. Now that we are armed with a better understanding of exactly how plant stem cells communicate with the skin, they are making a comeback, and the timing couldn't be better. What began with one plant stem cell (malus domestica or Swiss apple) has grown into a large selection of different plant stem cells with unique histological influences. From antioxidant supplementation to skin immunity support and melanin transfer disruption, there seems to be a plant stem cell for every skin concern. PLANT STEM CELLS AND SUSTAINABILITY Beyond histological influence in properly formulated products, there are great environmental benefits to using plant stem cells in skin care. They Protect Biodiversity Biodiversity is the collection of life that can be found in one area. It is the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and

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