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Are You Wasting Your Money on Skin Care?

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You think it’s never too early to start wrinkle treatment (you can prevent fine lines, right?), but just like Botox for teens, some anti-aging treatments are a waste of time if you’re not ready for them yet. So Beautylish chatted with an expert in the field, Jim Wilmott, chief scientific offer of Leading Innovations, and former Executive Director of Global Skin Care for Chanel about how stem cells work­—and who should try the treatments.

WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?

Just what are stem cells? Molecular building blocks that renew bones, organs, and blood vessels. In humans these important cells also exist in the lowest level of skin, working to repair damaged or diseased tissue. “Stem cells are critical to the quality of tissue in the outer layer of skin,” says Jim. “When you’re younger, your stem cells reproduce rapidly, causing skin to turn over naturally about every 26 days. However, as you get older this reproduction slows and skin slough-off occurs approximately every 32 days. As a result, the surface can look duller and thinner."

DO PRODUCTS ACTUALLY WORK?

The key to rejuvenating your skin’s appearance is to stimulate these stem cells’ reproduction.  But don’t go splurging on a pricey stem-cell facial just yet. Jim insists no treatments have been proven to fully achieve this key process. So what’s your best option? Jim suggests using Kate Somerville CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment. “It contains a peptide that has been clinically shown to stimulate stem cells. Also, classic ingredients like natural lactic acid, glycolic acid, retinol, and vitamin C all have proven, positive effects on helping with skin cell turnover,” he says.

And what about products that claim they can fight the signs of aging via stem cells found in plants or fruits? “Plant or fruit DNA is not the same as human DNA,” explains Jim. “Therefore, these products have no real benefit to stem cells other than acting as an antioxidant shield on the skin’s surface.”

WHEN TO START USING STEM CELLS

So why shouldn’t you start using stem cells immediately? Jim advises not trying stem cell treatments if you’re under 30. “A stem cell is capable of reproducing only so many times before it dies.” Thus, overactivating stem cells while they are still reproducing steadily can cut their life spans short. This can result in your skin aging very rapidly later on. Jim insists the right treatment for younger skin is to protect it from environmental damage (think: sun, free radicals, and dehydration). This can help extend the life of the stem cells.

Beautylish recommends: Radical Skin Care Youth Infusion Age Defying Serum