Q. How are the new personalized facial moisturizers created?
Sophisticated technology has entered the cosmeceutical moisturizer market to yield a new generation of personalized cosmetics. The idea of making a facial moisturizer that works “uniquely with your skin, using your own body’s regenerative capabilities” is quite enticing. This customization is based on the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP), which has been recently popularized for many different purposes.
PRP is obtained by drawing 50cc of blood into a syringe containing 5cc of an anticoagulant. The blood is then centrifuged to separate the red blood cells that are subsequently discarded. The serum is drawn off and recentrifuged to obtain the PRP, which is found at the bottom of the tube. The PRP is drawn up into a syringe and used for many different purposes. It can be injected into different body areas including the knee joint to improve osteoarthritis or into orthopedic injuries to enhance healing; however, there are few well-controlled studies and little other data to support benefits.
In dermatology, PRP has been injected into the scalp to increase hair growth and enhance the success of hair transplantation. It has been used for skin rejuvenation purposes by injecting into facial skin, but it can also be applied topically by mixing PRP into a moisturizer base. This then allows the development of patient customized moisturizers that build on interest in the rejuvenating properties of PRP. The moisturizer must be refrigerated and has a limited
shelf life. These products are made and dispensed in physician’s offices with numerous PRP clinics advertising on the Internet. More research and controlled studies are needed to develop good science behind the use of PRP in dermatology.
Q. What comprises human stem cell moisturizers and how do they work?
Another high-tech moisturizer formulation contains human stem cells designed to “restore skin youth.” These products disclose they contain stem cell peptides from unfertilized donated human eggs. The eggs are obtained from donor banks that are left over from infertility treatments, where the proteins are broken down to obtain peptides. Peptides are the building blocks of all proteins, whether the source is cow skin or human eggs, and the source becomes less important once proteins are denatured to the peptide level. Once denatured, human stem cells do function as progenitor cells.