Adipose Derived Stem Cells vs. Fibroblasts

Adipose Derived Stem Cells vs. Fibroblasts

Now that you know what growth factors are, you may be wondering: what about other kinds of growth factors?

One of the most common sources of growth factors is a cell from the skin called a fibroblast. Fibroblasts are not stem cells. They are an important member of the skin cell family and have been used as a source for growth factors in skincare since 2001. Public support for fibroblasts in skincare has waxed and waned for years.

One of the main areas of public unease pertains to the source from which skincare companies get their fibroblast cell stock. Various groups have taken ethical stances against the use of foreskin tissue from infants and the areas of concern have resulted in several class action lawsuits.

Fibroblasts enjoyed a rebound in popularity in 2013 when Oprah Winfrey endorsed a fibroblast-derived skincare product. And while the popularity of fibroblast products has ebbed since that time, FACTORFIVE scientists do believe that fibroblasts are a good source of some types of protein signals. They just aren’t the best source.


Adult human stem cells (ASCs) are without a doubt the best source of skin remodeling protein signals. ASCs express about 5 times the portfolio of proteins as compared to a fibroblast. As an analogy, if all the protein signals were letters in the alphabet, a fibroblast could give you A through G. An ASC could give you A-Z.

This is an important difference in skin health because many of the most important signals for things like the creation of elastin, antioxidants, immune responsiveness, and tissue remodeling are not found in fibroblast signals. For that reason, FACTORFIVE scientists have looked to ASCs as their tissue source for safe, ethical, and human derived proteins.