Are all stem cells the same? Where are they in the skin?
Each individual organ of the body has its own specific adult stem cells. The skin, for example, is not one unit as many people think but rather is comprised of two different layers, the outer Epidermis and the inner Dermis. Therefore, it has two distinct populations of stem cells: epidermal stem cells and dermal stem cells.
Although the dermis is the important layer of the skin where all the collagen & elastin are manufactured, the exact location in the skin of the dermal stem cells’ reservoir was very hard to find and was only recently discovered in December 2009.
What do stem cells do?
Stem cells, which can also be called “mother cells”, regenerate and repair organs and tissues, and are fundamental in keeping each organ young. They are the time machines of each organ and tissue; this is why researchers and Doctors view them as the holy grail of medicine for the next decades (at least!). Importantly, each organ and tissue has its own unique stem cell population. So it is important to know and understand the specific stem cell in order to leverage this incredible cell. In the skin, epidermal stem cells regenerate the outer epidermis layer while dermal stem cells regenerate the skin’s fibroblasts, those ‘factory-cells’ which produce the collagen & elastin, two of the most important natural wrinkle-fighters in the skin !
As we get older, what is the influence of age on the skin’s stem cells?
It is proven that the activity and “quality” of skin stem cells deteriorate with time and that stem cells become ‘tired and worn-out’. This is considered one of the most important causes of ageing skin and of the appearance of wrinkles.
Whether the number of skin stem cells decreases with age or not is not certain. However, the decreasing activity of skin stem cells is universally recognized as a major source of skin losing its youthful appearance and therefore boosting our skin stem cells’ activity is believed necessary to both stopping as well as reversing skin ageing.
When does the activity of stem cells start to decrease?
There is still no exact answer to this question. Yet, since the ageing process starts at approximately 20 years-old, one can postulate that stem cells also start to age at around 20 years old.
Some dermatologists claim that we can reverse the skin cells aging process. Is this true?
Research on this topic is relatively recent and still ongoing, yet the data strongly points to a clear yes. Whether in the skin, the heart or other organs, scientists have recently proved that stem cells have an extraordinary capacity to repair damage, regenerate tissue and that stem cells can themselves be rejuvenated. They can be seen as the organ’s own time machine. So the idea is that if we can successfully and safely revitalize the stem cells’ activity, we might achieve extraordinary anti-ageing results. And data seems indeed to point in this direction: as recently as November 2011, French scientists were able, in vitro, to make 101 year-old skin cells indistinguishable from those of newborns!
What products or treatments can help to activate dermal stem cells in my skin?
Scientifically speaking, to properly demonstrate activation of the skin’s stem cells, different ingredients would have to be rigorously tested in laboratory against a pool of human dermal stem cells (harvested simply by miniscule biopsies). This sophisticated and complicated laboratory process has only been available since December 2009, and precisely, Dr. LEVY Switzerland®’s Intense Stem Cell treatments are the world’s first cosmeceuticals proven to activate & vitalize human dermis stem cells in vitro. This is why our formula was granted an international patent.
Why has it taken so long to find a dermal stem cell activator like ArganCDVTM?
Because the stem cells’ reservoir’s exact location in the dermis was only formally proven in late 2009 by Canadian researchers (Cell Stem Cell, Dec. 2009). In fact, you can test an ingredient to see if it activates dermal stem cells only if you have previously isolated these target cells. In partnership with laboratories in Switzerland, we were able to do just that by isolating and then multiplying human dermal stem cells using the sophisticated techniques described by the Canadian university researchers. We then tested a battery of plant-derived ingredients against them and discovered that the stem cell extracts from the roots of the Argan tree (not Argan oil) was the best activator & vitalizer of human dermal stem cells. From there, we developed an exclusive molecule, ArganCDVTM, whose technology concentrates and encapsulates that powerful extract – for maximum penetration and effect.
As an important side note, I believe that animal & human derived stem cells are potentially dangerous as purveyors of germs, viruses, immune-reactive proteins, etc. and that they should be, in my opinion, avoided in cosmetics.
Other cosmetic brands have already launched creams that they claim can activate and protect stem cells in skin. What is so special, new and revolutionary about your products?
The secret lies in the dermis: our exclusive formula, ArganCellActiv®, not only stimulates the outer epidermal stem cells, as other cosmetics do, but most importantly it contains the exclusive ArganCDVTM molecule, which was proven to powerfully activate the dermal stem cells in vitro.
This is why our formula was granted an international patent, which recognizes the unique, proven and revolutionary breakthrough it represents.
Aside from the dermis & epidermis stem cells activators, what does your exclusive ArganCellActiv® complex consist of? How does it work?
ArganCellActiv® is the whole patented formula.
On top of our exclusive dermal stem cell activation* technology, we have added a dozen ultra-concentrated anti-ageing ingredients to further amplify, protect and nourish the skin’s regeneration “youth” process. Thanks to these supercharged vitamins, hyaluronic acids, peptides and other omegas, we not only aim to stimulate the skin’s youthful regeneration, but also to optimize its environment and natural shield – so the visible results are truly extraordinary.
>> Click HERE for more information on our patented formula
Does ArganCDVTM penetrate the skin?
Yes. In order for ArganCDV™ to penetrate deeper, its size and delivery technology have been carefully designed to optimize its penetration potential.
Can Dr. Levy’s Intense Stem Cell skin cosmeceuticals replace botulinum toxin or filler injections?
We get this question a lot, and the answer is no. Simply because injections and skincare do not target the same organs or symptoms. We see our cosmeceuticals as complementary to botulinum toxin or fillers.
Why? Because the cosmeceuticals influence and affect the skin itself: its radiance, elasticity, density, or wrinkle depth.
However, ageing is complex, and facial ageing for instance is also triggered or worsened by muscle activity, fat losses below the skin, etc. Hence, some concerns might be addressed by the skin cosmeceutical treatments alone, but some would require, to be truly complete, some injections too.
Recent research has shown that the quality of the skin is the first impression someone makes, even before the eyes, posture, or any other body language. A healthy- and youthful-looking skin will make the most lasting and impactful impression. This is why Dr. Levy worked for years to complement the extraordinary results he has achieved with his clinical procedures with skin treatments that make a real, visible difference.
Are your cosmeceuticals preventative or corrective?
This is a good question, as it is both grounded in our everyday reality and in much marketing we have been hearing for decades. The magic behind our patented treatments is that they are both preventative and corrective. In fact, as our stem cells were working very well at some point in our life (usually in our youth), it means that they are capable of reaching this optimal rejuvenating potential. So by helping reboost their activity, we aim at making them gain their proven regenerating capital.
As for prevention, if you stimulate the health and youth of already strong cells and organs, you are helping them keep these qualities for younger. I usually compare this to going to the gym. When you are younger and you regularly do cardio, you are investing in the long-term health of your heart and metabolism, so you can hopefully stay (and look) healthier, longer. You could use the same analogy here for the skin and our cosmeceuticals.
What is the optimal age for using a cream like yours? Will it be too late if I start at 50?
Ageing already starts at around 20 years-old and theoretically one should start the creams at 20. In reality, fine lines and wrinkles start becoming more visible at around 30 years-old, especially around the crow’s feet area. It is also at this time that we start seeing patients seriously considering “preventative” investments, such as botulinum toxin injections or more high-tech skin therapies and care.
Now, would starting at 50 years old be too late?
Patients at 50 years-old regularly using our skincare treatments have been amazed at the significant improvement of the texture and smoothness of their skin. As well, independent clinical studies performed on women aged 39-61, have shown that skin density can be increased by +12% and wrinkle depth decreased by -26% after 8 weeks of treatment.
>> Click HERE for more results before and after treatments
Do your treatments include parabens?
Are your cosmeceuticals tested on animals or contain animal-derived ingredients?
Absolutely NOT to both questions. Our products are neither tested on animals, nor do they contain any animal-derived ingredient.
Are your cosmeceuticals vegan?
Our cosmeceuticals are vegan – we have learnt that a significant portion of our clients are vegan and have made their research before starting to use our products religiously.
Are there any allergy risks?
Dr. LEVY Switzerland® skin treatments have all been rigorously allergy tested, and the formula has been carefully developed not to include any ingredient with any known important allergy risks. Additionally, they have all been dermatologically and, for those targeting the eye contour area, ophthalmologically.
Our skin care regimen includes highly active ingredients within the ArganCellActiv® formula and the skin might appear slightly pinkish (a manifestation of the high activity of the products) at the beginning of the treatment. Not only is this not painful at all, but patients tend to like the glow this initial phase gives them.
This has been, however, a very rare occurrence, and it disappears most often very rapidly (within 3 to 5 days).
Is ArganCDVTM different from Argan oil?
Absolutely. They actually have nothing in common.
ArganCDVTM is a powerful extract from the stem cells of the root of the Argan tree. Argan oil is simply a vitamin-E rich oil made from the nuts and kernels.
As an important side note: the process to produce ArganCDVTM respects sustainability, as only a fragment of the roots needs to be taken from the Argan tree. Then, from this small fragment, all required extracts can grow in the laboratory, not requiring any additional sample from the tree itself.
Why is ArganCDVTM plant-derived, and not an animal- or human-derived? Aren’t the latter stronger?
Dr. Levy firmly believes, from his experience and research, that animal- & human-derived stem cells are potentially dangerous as purveyors of germs, viruses, immune-reactive proteins, etc. and that they should be avoided in cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. Furthermore, the risk of overstimulation with animal- or human-derived stem cells is a real risk. In Dr. Levy’s opinion, such molecules should hence require very close medical supervision and should not , in his professional opinion, be used in cosmetics or OTC products.
Why did Dr. Levy not include any growth factors in his cosmeceutical treatments?
The most famous growth factors used in cosmetics are the Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF). There are at least 11 known EGFs as well as several Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs).
After in-depth research, Dr. Levy decided not to include growth factors in his cosmeticeuticals for two principal reasons:
First, growth factors work as “signals” between skin cells. The most interesting ones, in Dr. Levy’s view, were the ones that could directly influence stem cell activities. However, as his patented formula was proven in vitro to stimulate dermal stem cells directly, there was no scientific need to stimulate the “communicator” instead of the cell itself.
Additionally, some Growth Factors, have been reported to be potentially tumor-promoting. These worrisome findings have been documented for both EGFs and FGFs.
(Sources: Crit. Rev Brochem 1983 ; 14(2) : 93-11 // Bull Cancer 2007 ; 94(7 suppl) : 137-145)
Are your cosmeceuticals natural?
This is a vague concept unfortunately, so we don’t want to commit to such a broad statement. However, we can confirm that all our products are free from mineral oils.
Why don’t any of your cosmeceuticals contain SPF?
This is an essential question. There are two main reasons:
First, sunblock is supposed to stay on the most superficial layers of the skin to prevent UVA and UVA rays from penetrating and damaging the skin. Our products, on the other hand, are formulated to penetrate the skin. So if we would have added a sunblock into our formulas, one of these two objectives would have not been met.
Second, effective anti-UVA and –UVB filters contain many active chemicals. And these bear a high risk of interacting with our active ingredients. The best is to apply your anti-ageing regimen, and then only your sunblock.
Therefore we highly recommend to apply every day, and ideally several times a day, very strong anti-UV sunblocks. Not only with a high SPF (ie: anti UVB) factors, but also strong anti-UVA protection. Both in summer and winter.
And please do not forget the décolleté and the hands.
Who should avoid using Dr. LEVY Switzerland® skin treatments?
Although all our lines have been rigorously tested dermatologically or ophthalmologically, they are still Medi-Luxe®, supercharged cosmeceuticals.
As such, we do not recommend our products to be used by patients suffering from rosacea, recent or active eczema, recent or open wounds or generally with hyper-sensitive skin.
For those who have sensitive (but not hyper-sensitive) skin, we have designed a special phased protocol to slowly and comfortably start your Intense Stem Cell treatments.
What is the difference between the Enriched Booster Cream and the normal Booster Cream?
Both creams contain the same ultra-concentrated ArganCellActiv® formula. The only difference is that the Enriched Booster cream is a richer, more hydrating version.
Importantly, the Enriched Booster Cream was specifically developed:
The normal Booster Cream has been seen as more adapted to :
Do all your products contain your exclusive stem cell formula?
All our INTENSE STEM CELL line cosmeceuticals include our patented formula: the Eye Booster Concentrate, the Booster Serum, the Booster Cream, the Enriched Booster Cream and the Décolletage Regenerating Silk. This formula and its key ingredients is what we have tested in our various independent clinical tests.
Our other treatments, such as the 3DeepTM Cleanser>>>FastMaskTM ,the R3 Cell Matrix Mask and the Radical3 Reboot Pro Peel , contain their own unique formulas, designed to amplify the effects of our INTENSE STEM CELL products, as well as to deliver their own additional benefits. Even when used alone, the immediate visible results they deliver are outstanding.
How long do your products last?
Quite a long time ! With only one pressure of our Booster Serum or Booster Creams, you can cover the full face, and the neck. A second pressure allows you to cover the full décolletage area. These products should last up to 4 months if used everyday.
The Eye Booster Concentrate should last at least 4 to 6 months – as only a pearl the size of a grain of rice is enough to cover both eye contour areas.
This is why we can confidently say that using any of our cosmeceuticals will cost you less than your usual morning coffee.
Can I use your products during pregnancy?
Our products all respect the European Directive EC 1223/2009, and our formulations avoid substances or concentration above the recommendation from medical authorities for pregnant women. However, as we would for any other cosmetic, we recommend pregnant women to consult with their physician before using any of our cosmeceuticals.
Selected further reading on stem cells
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