What’s New? Plant Stem Cells 2014

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Plant Stem Cell News

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Plant stem cells are one of the hottest ingredients in the anti-aging tool kit, with good reason: they work! Extracted from a part of the plant called the meristem, plant stem cells repair and replace lost and damaged cells in our skin. Compatible with human skin cells, they increase collagen production, stimulate human stem cell growth, soften wrinkles and restore elasticity to aging skin.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the efficacy of stem cells extracted from grapes, echinacea, edelweiss, and apples grown on the Uttwiler spatlauber tree, native to Switzerland, where the initial research took place. But with the launch of Pevonia Stem Cells Phyto-Elite Collection, Pevonia is bringing us something new and cutting-edge: stem cell extracts from the argan tree.

“Argan is a tree found to contain important components that are very similar to the ones found in human skin,” says Dr. Christian Jurist, director of education for Pevonia International. “When you use apple, you get action at the epidermal level closer to the surface. If you cultivate stem cells from the argan tree you can actually stimulate stem cells found in the dermis of the skin to produce collagen and elastin.” As we age, the skin starts to loosen. Collagen provides the support structure for the skin and elastin gives skin its firmness.

You will see changes immediately when you use the Collection—Stem Cells Phyto-Elite Multi-Active Foaming Cleanser, Stem Cells Phyto-Elite Intensive Serum and Stem Cells Phyto-Elite Intensive Cream—but for maximum results you need to continue using the products for two months, especially if your skin is deeply dehydrated or sun damaged, according to Dr. Jurist. It takes time for the cells to become activated, and start repairing the skin. Additional ingredients include European comfrey root, retinol and vitamin C.

Here’s what you can expect, according to Dr. Jurist: “Skin texture will be smoother, look better and feel fresher, with reduced wrinkles, improved tone, plumper more hydrated skin that glows.” Now who wouldn’t want that? pevonia.com

—Lily Nikolai 

A Fine Mist

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Soothing Hydrosols and Botanical Skin Refreshers

In the summer, I keep a wardrobe of hydrosols and face misters in the fridge.

When I head outdoors, I carry a small mister bottle with me, and spritz my face while I stand on the overheated subway platform, walk in the park, work in the air conditioned office, or head to a meeting across town.

Known as hydrosols, skin refreshers, toning mists, tonics and floral waters, they all do the same thing: refresh and rehydrate overheated skin.

TRY: Napa Organics Rose Geranium Hydrosol. Napa Organics is a lovely brand, with a great provenance: the certified organic  and certified biodynamic ingredients are grown in California’s Napa Valley. Rose geranium is one of my personal favorites, and this has a gorgeous natural scent and a calming effect on the skin—and the spirit. $28; napaorganics.com

—Rona Berg


Photo by Robin Jolin / roblinjolin.com

Photo by Robin Jolin / robinjolin.com

We’ve seen lots of luscious beauty products extracted from fruits and flowers, but veggies—not so much! So when the new Éminence Citrus + Kale Potent C and E Collection launched recently, we asked Boldijarre Koronczay, president of Éminence Organic Skin Care, to tell us just why we should apply the ingredients from our green drink on our skin.

skincare14_whats new face_04Why greens? Do you eat a lot of greens yourself?

Greens have a very high bioflavonoid content. Bioflavonoids are super antioxidants and help to increase the potency of other antioxidants when applied or consumed together. Most green plants also contain a high level of chlorophyll which is famous for helping to reduce free radical damage in the body.

I own a Vitamix, which I use every morning to make myself a green smoothie consisting of kale, spinach, beets, spirulina and green apples. Wheatgrass is also a favorite green drink of mine!

Kale, avocado and spinach are known as super foods in our smoothies and on our plates. Can you explain how they feed the skin?

The lutein in the leafy greens (kale + spinach) is particularly a powerful skin care ingredient as it improves skin’s photo-protection capabilities—as a carotenoid, it protects against UV-induced free radicals; it also improves skin hydration and elasticity. Specifically in our Potent C+E collection, due to the volatile and delicate nature of Vitamin C—kale acts as a “decoy” antioxidant—competing for reaction with free radicals and helping to retain the purity of the vitamin C in the product and preventing this ingredient from oxidizing. When combined with Vitamin E sourced from avocado, lutein in the kale protects the lipid portions of skin cells (i.e. the membranes) from oxidative damage.

What other active ingredients in the products are beneficial for the skin and how?

Other key active ingredients that benefit the skin are stabilized Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), a potent antioxidant that protects the skin and improves elasticity and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a unique form of Vitamin C salt fully protected from oxidation until absorbed into the skin for maximum results. As well, Vitamin E, which is rich in antioxidants, prevents free radical damage, protects from UV damage, and has anti-inflammatory healing benefits; lemon and grapefruit to tone and refresh the skin, and protect against further free radical damage. 

Age-Defying Skin Care

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Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Instant Eye Lift Juice Beauty worked with Dr. Carolyn Chang, a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon and vice chair of Plastic Surgery at California Pacific Medical Center, to develop this product. In an independent clinical study, it has shown, after one application, 80 percent plumping and smoothing and 70 percent visible wrinkle reduction around the eye area. juicebeauty.com

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm This beautiful cleansing balm, with a base of 100 percent natural oils, will gently cleanse and moisturize the skin, remove makeup and daily build-up. The ingredients include starflower, elderberry, and omega-rich oils to keep skin nourished, hydrated and glowing. And it smells amazing! timetospa.com

Plantogen Royal Facelift Mask Dr. Oz recommended it, and said the next generation of anti-aging ingredients will come from the beehive.

“Bee venom tricks the skin into thinking it’s been stung, and the skin fights off the sting by generating more collagen and elastin,” says Elda Argenti, founder and owner, Plantogen.

Scientists in New Zealand discovered a way of extracting the venom from the same bees that produce the Manuka Honey, without harming the bees. Try this mask for a month and your skin will be tauter, tighter, smoother. It’s the bees’ knees! plantogen.com 

HOT Ingredients

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Kenza Pure Fusion Oil A blend of organic argan oil and prickly pear oil from Morocco, this gentle but effective oil is loaded with omega-3 and -6, and nourishing vitamin E. $67; kenza-puremoroccanbeautyoils.com


Acure Day Cream: Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% Chlorella Growth Factor Chlorella (green algae grown in fresh water) can protect human skin cells against signs of aging caused by free radicals. This pure and potent cream contains chlorella growth factor (CGF), extracted from certified organic chlorella, to help promote healthy skin growth. $18.99; acureorganics.com


Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel Kombucha tea is a fizzy fermented yeasty drink, with potent antioxidant and antimicrobial powers; it makes good sense that we are now seeing it in skincare. $12.99; wholefoods.com


Yum Gourmet Skincare Inca Inchi Moisture Quench Inca Inchi oil, indigenous to the Peruvian Amazon, is extremely high in omega 3s, which make it an incredibly rich moisturizing ingredient. This buttery cream also helps firm and tighten the skin. yumskincare.com

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