Human skin consists of 3 main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis.
In the epidermal layer, cells born at the basal layer continually change form as they rise to the skin surface and are ultimately shed. This natural cycle is called cell turnover.
In the dermal layer, fibroblast cells produce substances that help naturally maintain skin hydration and firmness, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin.
However, this function can gradually decline as a result of skin aging, inflammation, and UV damage.
The epidermis consists of 4 layers: the stratum corneum, granular layer, spinous layer, and basal layer. Together these layers are about 0.2mm thick, functioning as a barrier to protect the body from harmful external stimuli and UV radiation.
Turnover is a continuous process by which new cells are generated at the basal layer and rise up to the stratum corneum. The pattern of this cycle is unique to each individual. Aging can weaken skin metabolism (turnover).
In the facial cheek area, this cycle averages 28 days, increasing to about 45 days for those in their 30s and 40s. This is why injuries take longer to heal with age. The slower the turnover, the greater the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface, resulting in thin-looking skin with a dull or rough appearance.
While the epidermis functions as a barrier and hosts cell turnover, the dermis functions to maintain skin's firmness and elasticity. Although the epidermis is only 0.2mm thick, the dermis is about 2mm comprising 90% of skin's thickness.
Approximately 70% of the dermis is composed of collagen to maintain skin firmness, elastin to provide elasticity, and hyaluronic acid to maintain hydration, each of which support healthy skin. These components are generated by fibroblastic function.
The dermis exerts a greater influence on skin firmness and elasticity than the epidermis. Moreover, once damaged, the dermis is prone to wrinkles and sagging, which may be very difficult to reverse.
Various factors cause skin deterioration, the main causes being aging, inflammation, and UV exposure. With age, metabolism potency weakens, turnover decelerates, and fibroblastic cell division also slows. Over the years, this results in a decline in the amount of natural agents such as collagen that support skin firmness and hydration.
When exposed to UV rays, melanocytes generate melanin in order to protect the epidermal cell cores from damage. While excess melanin can cause hyperpigmentation, healthy skin can shed these cells via normal turnover. However, when turnover cycles are unregulated, melanin can remain in the skin for long periods of time, resulting in excessive pigmentation that leads to freckles and dark spots on the skin.
Stem cells are a hot commodity in the beauty industry today. The human body is made up of many cells, each with a different function: muscle cells propagate muscle cells, while nerves propagate nerve cells, and so forth. However, one kind of cell has the potential to become any type of cell. This is the stem cell.
Stem cells possess the unique ability to transform into numerous other types of cells (known as multilineage potential) as well as to replicate themselves by splitting into multiple cells identical to the original stem cell (self-renewal).
These remarkable properties are the basis of regeneration therapy in skin care — not a treatment to replace what's missing, but rather a way to assist the natural replication of your own skin cells, which can then radically restore and repair distressed skin.
The epidermis contains epidermal stem cells, and the dermis contains dermal stem cells.
Epidermal stem cells in the basal layer generate new keratinized cells in the epidermis. That is, when epidermal function is active, the basal layer constantly generates new cells to maintain stable turnover activity.
Dermal stem cells can generate fibroblastic cells that are responsible for collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production to support skin firmness and hydration. As with skin turnover, the regenerative ability of fibroblasts also slows with age. However, maintaining a higher number of stem cells in the dermis can help prevent premature wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
Stem cells have virtually unlimited potential, but without intervention, their numbers will naturally decline with the gradual drop in cell division activity that accompanies aging and skin damage. For this reason, we've focused on identifying the regenerative properties that certain plants have adapted to survive in harsh conditions, to develop a miraculous skin care formula using plant stem cells.
When stem cells are cultured, they secrete stem cell culture fluid, an ingredient in stem cell cosmetics. This substance contains more than 500 different types of proteins as well as an abundance of cytokines, the key signaling material for cell activity.
This extraordinary fluid even revives its own weakened stem cells, allowing skin to be radically rejuvenated and regain firmness and hydration.