Skincare can be a tricky endeavor. With endless commercials, claims and ‘research’, all presenting and promoting new products that work to anti-age and rejuvenate the skin.
However, if you’re into skincare, chances are you’re also in a state of confusion. As hundreds of new products arrive on shelves, with new developments in anti-aging formulas, finding what truly works and doesn’t, can be a gamble.
Dr Marko Lens, an internationally renowned authority in the field of skin aging and skin cancer, a practising plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and a Harvard and Oxford University graduate in the field of skin science; became interested in the use of stem cells in skincare when it was first introduced a few years ago, claiming to regenerate the skin, and leaving behind a significant anti-ageing effect.
The excitement many felt over this new development, led Dr Lens to figure out the ‘real low-down on stem cells in skincare’ and whether ‘is it as controversial as it sounds?’; here’s what he found, and had to say:
Stem cell technology used in medicine is completely different from the stem cell technology used in cosmetics. The fact is it’s not as controversial as some of us may think, and it’s also not quite as dramatic as some beauty companies like to promote.
Stem cells in human physiology, are pluripotent cells with high self-renewal capacity and multi-lineage differentiation ability. This means that stem cells can be developed in any kind of cell of the body.
In the epidermis of the skin specifically, there are so-called epidermal stem cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, sebaceous gland, and hair follicle bulge region.
- These cells are not pluripotent (embryo stem cells) and are not related to humans whatsoever. They in fact originate from plants.
- These cells are taken from the stem of the plant, which is the part of the plant, and therefore the word stem in plant cells is not the same as the word stem cells in the human body.
- We are not talking about real cells but about extracts from the cells, which are obtained after extraction of the plant cells using high-pressure homogenization and thus these ‘plant stem cells’ are dead cells. From a scientific point of view, the use of plant stem cells is not superior to the use of simple plant extracts. “It is, in fact, misleading for consumer,” Lens points out. His advice, if you really want to change and improve the behaviour of your skin, is to use peptides.
“From our mid-thirties, onwards we should look for peptides in skincare, not plant stem cells,” he says
Peptides are hi-tech ingredients that can mimic various functions of the molecules naturally present in our skin, explains Lens. They are blocks or chains of proteins made up of a variety of amino acids.
Many peptides work to boost collagen, while some even work to block the release of neurotransmitters necessary for muscle contraction and wrinkle formation.
Peptides stimulate our own epidermal stem cells and thus boost skin repair and regeneration. However, we must be careful with our expectations. We can only encourage the self-renewal capacity of our skin and thus promote an anti-ageing effect (thicker skin and skin with less visible wrinkles) but we cannot expect to replace our stem cells to achieve arrest of the skin ageing process.
As we age and pass-through puberty our bodies produce lesser amounts of natural chemicals required to build protective protein blocks especially our master antioxidant glutathione. The body starts to show signs of deterioration some believe it is now when the ageing process commences.
“I still tell everyone, if you want real skin stem cell boosting, look for peptides. For me they are the first word in anti-ageing, not ‘stem cell’,” says Lens.
Taking this research conducted by Dr Lens and a series of major scientific breakthroughs regarding synthetic peptides over the past decade; former President of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemist Cosmetic and the formulator of Kore Complex, Ray Townsend has created unique formulations for Kore Skincare with six major peptides and bovine colostrum.
Firstly, colostrum is a form of thick sticky liquid produced by the mammary glands in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth a rich natural source of nutrients, antibodies, and growth factors for the newborn.
The bovine colostrum in Kore Skincare is safe and compatible for human consumption classified as a food. However bovine colostrum is at least four times more bioactivity potent than human colostrum being supported scientifically when used in a cosmetic formula as a skin cell rejuvenator.
In addition to that and as a result of enforced research of peptides, Kore Skincare contains six synthetic peptides:
- Tetrapeptide-7 – Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (Matrixyl 3000)
- Works by stimulating the deeper matrix layers of the skin and increasing the production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid. This has proven to be most effective against wrinkles, without causing skin irritation.
- Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline)
- Relaxes certain types of facial wrinkles by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 (Rigin)
- An anti-inflammatory agent that helps speed tissue regeneration, resulting in the normalization of damaged skin.
- Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl-Ester (Calmosensine)
- Stimulates the release of pro-endorphins providing an exhilarating effect on the skin. It also inhibits the muscle contractions responsible for the appearance of expression lines.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-5, (Glycerine Syn-coll)
- A penetrative and bioactive ingredient that helps to remove wrinkles and repair stretch marks.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
- Increases strength to protect the skin against the ageing effects of the environment, such as sun damage. After continuous use this peptide makes the skin look more youthful.
The combination of years of research and execution of skincare with rejuvenating peptides, plant extracts along all known naturally produced amino acids only found in colostrum has come to create Kore Complex.