|Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream. Note the vast diversity in skin types that this brand caters to. Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/demystifying-cc-cream|
|How could I possibly do yoga without fruit stem cells on my face? Source: the Juice Beauty website.|
First, I want to deal briefly with “reseveratrol”. Juice Beauty spelled the name of their supposed active ingredient incorrectly. What they mean to say is resveratrol, which is a phenylpropanoid that is found in the skins of grapes.
If you are a yeast cell, congratulations on your literacy. Maybe check out this resveratrol thing. If you are a human, though, you should know that at the present time, there are NO peer reviewed journal articles that suggest that resveratrol has any effect on people. In addition, all of the previous studies have used resveratrol in the organism’s diet. Juice Beauty’s CC Cream is topical. That’s the difference between eating some kale and rubbing kale on your face. Obviously the latter is not going to do very much. Even more fundamentally, all of this research is being done to examine the effects the organism’s overall lifespan, NOT on visual anti-aging effects. If you are buying this product, it’s because you want your skin to look nice and youthful. But that’s just not what these studies are about.
|You would be shocked at the efficacy of a google search for "kale face". Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pocketmonsterd/4719899136/sizes/m/in/photostream/|
When you look at the research, you can kind of see Juice Beauty’s train of thought. Something like, “Resveratrol extends the lifespan of yeast... yeast are cells... your skin is made up of cells... If yeast aren’t dying they also are probably not getting little yeasty wrinkles... magic... something... anti-aging! Somehow!”
Fruit Stem Cells
The next concerning claim is that “fruit stem cells” are somehow able to repair damaged skin.
The name of the product is the ‘Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream’, which already does not make a lot of sense. I am pretty sure that they want you to think the product causes cellular repair via stem cells, but the name makes it sound like the product is repairing your stem cells.
Before we move any further, what are stem cells? Stem cells are a real thing and they are, in fact, science-y. Basically, before an animal cell is a muscle cell or a red blood cell or anything like that, it is sort of a generic cell that can differentiate into various other things. Embryonic stem cells, which are taken from the inside of a structure early in development when the embryo is between 50 and 150 cells, are pluripotent, meaning they they can differentiate into any of the three germ layers. Basically, these cells can become anything, as long as they are put in the right environment. This is really exciting for medical research because it unlocks new doors for treating chronic illnesses (although it is highly probable that you have heard overstated claims about the power of stem cell research). There are also adult stem cells in your bone marrow, fat, and blood. These are multipotent, meaning they can’t be any kind of cell, but their cell fate is not determined yet. For instance, a Mesenchymal Stem Cell can become bone, cartilage, or fat. It could not, for example, become a blood cell.
|An apical meristem. Source: http://www.bio.miami.edu/dana/pix/meristem.jpg|
With poorly-researched newspaper articles referring to stem cells as a “fountain of youth”, it is unsurprising that skin care companies would jump on this idea for anti-aging products. However, again, this claim does not hold any water.
Overall, both of these claims are based on only tenuous connections to actual research. Juice Beauty is depending on science-illiteracy as a scheme to sell their product.
I have contacted the company to hear their side of the science, but haven’t received a response (to be fair, it is the holidays). If they respond to my emails or phone calls, I will give you an update.
If you have any beauty claims you want researched in future Beauty Bullshit blogs, feel free to leave them in the comments below.