Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stem Cells - the nonsense continues

Nearly three years ago I wrote this post about stem cells and the utter nonsense of brands claiming that plant stem cells can 'reactivate stem cells'.

I don't usually repeat posts of this nature - but these claims are getting more and more outrageous and when I am offered a £100 spray - a spray - that says 'phyto-stem cell extract protects and activates dermal stem cells', frankly I call bullshit. In their defence, at least this particular brand says 'dermal', unlike a lot of others, who randomly throw the words 'stem cells', 'repair', 'reactivate' and 'regenerate' around like it's nothing.

This is my friend Lorraine.


Lorraine was my much-talked about favourite Clarins consultant who got me my first interview in the beauty industry for Aveda. I got the job. The rest is history and one of the reasons you are reading this.

Eleven years ago, when we were both working on the shop floor in Fenwick, Lorraine was paralysed when a man jumped off a balcony in a nightclub and landed directly on top of her.

The words 'stem cell' and 'regenerate' and 'repair' matter a lot to Lorraine and her family and friends.


So I hope you'll forgive me for losing my patience when I see the words banded about so freely by brands to sell skincare, when nothing, nothing - so far - repairs human stem cells in that way. Certainly not some cells extracted from your hydrangea bush.

If you have £100 to spend on a 'stem cell' spray, perhaps you might consider donating it to Spinal Research instead. At least there, we may, eventually, get a result.

More information on Lorraine, the Cure Girls and spinal research can be found here:





In the meantime, if you're using the cells taken from a plant stem in skincare, please make it exceedingly clear to your consumer that you in no way expect those products to actually affect human stem cells. It's a nonsense.

Sorry for the rant. 

52 comments:

  1. I love your honesty and that you never sugarcoat anything. And I can also say since I follow your advice on skin care and - through it - delevoped my own skin care routine after 22 yours of not doing anything. I never had a better complexion (Iam oily/ acne prone). Thanks so much. Love from Germany

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    1. Thank you. So pleased it's working for you.

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    2. Dear Caroline, I am really want to ask you about Liquid gold,which I am using at the moment. I know you liked this product as well. But I do have at the back of mind one question all the time about Amount of Alcohol in it. How it works out to be so beneficial for skin with this amount of Alcohol? Could you, please, explain this to me.
      Kind regards.

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  2. Fabulous ....simply fabulous x

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  3. Fabulous.....simply fabulous x

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  4. I never bought into the whole stem cell thing and on the whole ignore products that make such claims, however after reading this it certainly puts things into perspective. Words do mean something. Once again we're faced with brands making unnecessary outrageous claims. Stem cell spray? I've heard it all now.

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  5. As a biologist, I completely agree.

    For me, if a company promotes the use of plant stem cells in skincare products with the claim to stimulate human stem cells, it seriously undermines the credibility of the company as a whole as there is no scientific basis for such claims. The same goes for claims about "changing" or "affecting" the DNA of cells via skincare products. That's called a mutagenic, and thankfully the claims are bogus as otherwise the product would promote cancer formation.

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    1. The DNA one always makes me wince slightly. Just STOP it people!

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    2. the scientists that are in development of these products should be ashamed of themselves! That, or need to work on translating it to the advertising / marketing guys so they dont get it so wrong!

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  6. You rant away. It really makes me angry too. Stem cells are also what leukaemia patients need, sometimes their own but sometimes they need a donor. A person who altruistically donates for a person they don't know and will never meet.
    I was told that plants don't have stem cells as we understand them and what these companies are actually referring to are cells from plant stems. Not sure if that's true or not.

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    1. That's exactly it. They are cells from the stem of the plant. They have nothing to do with human stem cells.

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    2. Thank YOU for this post. Rubbing some dead cells on your face doesn't stimulate anything. It's ridiculous!!!

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    3. So they are actually talking about rubbing a bit of bark on your face (can be great - aspirin was originally derived from willow bark) and not about the cells that differentiate into other kinds of cells? That is egregiously misleading!

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  7. You and Lorraine are amazing!

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  8. My understanding is the well formulated plant stem cells can be beneficial to the skin, though research is _just_ beginning to show this may be the case. I can't understand how one could make the leap to be affecting human stem cells but there's immoral marketing for you.

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    1. I love plant ingredients. They're probably my favourite thing to use. The stem of a plant has zero to do with human stem cells though. Zero. Nada. Nil. LOL xx

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  9. Brava, Lafy Hirons!! I love it when you call company's out for bullshit. Keep it up! The world needs more like you...

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  10. Excellent post! So glad you have highlighted the ridiculous BS claims.

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  11. Couldn't agree more, well said Ms Hirons!

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  12. I am a stem cell researcher at the university of cambridge (boob stem cells though!), and this angers me SO much also. I hate how exploitative it is firstly and also how it does nothing to help the public's knowledge of stem cells, which are often misinterpreted in the media. Secondly, and maybe most importantly, I dont think anyone wants to "reactivate" their stem cells - this would most likely result in massive tumours - melanoma and other skin cancers is often due to the skin stem cells becoming re-programmed and becoming overactivated (because of sun damage etc).

    Thank you for flagging this up Caroline! Love your posts / videos / instagrams / everything you do as always! :)

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  13. There is so much shadey business in advertising. Thank you for cutting through the bullshit. Don't apologize for it. :)

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  14. Looks as if Lorraine's beauty & spirit are both unbroken x

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  15. Please-if it was that simple the nhs could save a lot of money buying this spray and fixing all sorts of medical issues with it but instead no we'll just use it for skin care!

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  16. Thankyou for this post. I completely agree with you and these sort of claims make me very very cross. On a different subject, I'd be interested in your views on the Vampire Facial procedure which claims skin rejuvenation by injecting clients own blood/plasma into the face. If nothing else, It terrifies me that this procedure is being carried out by "aesthetic therapists" with no medical qualifications...or maybe I'm just old fashioned ....

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  17. So sorry about your friend. She looks stunning and looks like a beautiful, kind person. Another one I've seen come out of Asia recently is EPG (epidermal growth factor). I've seen the terms around in medical research projects (but not for skincare purposes and wonder how effective this really is). Have you ever tried these types of products?

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  18. I must be with the fairies this morning - sorry I meant EGF not EPG!!

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  19. Bravo! I am so sick and tired of reading all of these crazy claims about stem cells. Total bullcrap. People need to educate themselves so that they won't fall for every jar or bottle of snake oil that hits the shelves. There is no such thing as a miracle in a bottle.
    Thank you for your amazing post.

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  20. Pleeeeease keep on ranting, Caroline!!!

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  21. No need to apologise. A rant needs to be ranted, the truth remains the truth. There are so many infuriating examples this could be applied to, I wouldn't even know where to start. We could be playing bullshit bingo all day long.

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  22. Hello Caroline - QUICK QUESTION: Have you ever tried SK-II? Can SK-II Cleansing Oil be a good second cleanser?

    Thanks in advance, lots of love from Croatia! :)

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  23. Hello Caroline - QUICK QUESTION: Have you ever tried SK-II? Can SK-II Cleansing Oil be a good second cleanser?

    Thanks in advance, lots of love from Croatia! :)

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  24. All I can say to this article is Thank You Caroline! I can tell from your articles how passionate and caring you are about the work you do. If it wasn't for you and your honest opinion I would be wasting a fortune on products. A big thank you to you!

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  25. That is what I like the most about you, you are never afraid to tell it like it really is. We need more people like you in this world.

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  26. I love this post! Keep being you, Caroline.


    Emily x
    www.emandthem.co.uk

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  27. Brava, Caroline! I have had it up to here with pseudo science and idiotic product claims. Enough, already!

    Your friend Lorraine is absolutely gorgeous. I so hope that ACTUAL science will one day find a way to help her. In the meantime, sending love and positive energy to you both.

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  28. So much yes! I saw this being lauded on another blog recently and it made me feel a bit sick and really sad. Ugh.

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  29. This is why i read you all the time and share your words with all my girlfriends and family.
    Good luck w your friend.
    Kiss from Portugal
    xx

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  30. I so agree with you! I have a son with cerebral palsy and know how much crap they are trying to sell to us, parents, that can "repair the child's brain cells"...

    http://againstandforward.blogspot.com

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  31. You're sorry?!? Sorry but not sorry!
    Skincare affecting stem cells is a completely different level of non-sense. I'd burst laughing if I heard anyone saying that. C'mon people, you all have a brain! Use it!

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  32. Great post, Caroline! The only thing I wish you would add are the names of these companies/products so we can give them a proper rant!

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  33. Caroline is too polite to say it, but the company is Carol Joy London: "phyto-stem cell extract protects and activates the dermal stem cells for increased cell renewal and longevity". Quite.

    http://www.caroljoylondon.com/blog-latest-news/55-carol-joy-london-launches-world-first-pure-collagen-spray

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  34. Hooray for rants! You're quite right and it's great to hear it from an industry insider.

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  35. People do absolutely buy into all sorts... There is so much misleading information out there that people need to learn to take with a pinch of salt. I am so pleased when I read things like this that someone trying to educate the nation!

    Laura x | Life and Lipstick

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  36. 100 pounds for a 50ml sprayer too, talk about robbing you blind as well as being misleading

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  37. Amen. It's daylight robbery.

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  38. i just read an interview with Victoria Beckham in the Stylist magazine and she claimed to love stem-cell skincare..so i thought i'd see what Caroline's views were... :)

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