The Oxford Dictionary defines a botanical as “relating to plants.” This open-ended definition describes one of the main problems with understanding and defining the botanical landscape in skincare products. After all, using Oxford’s definition, a “botanical” can range from opium poppies to aloe vera. This ambiguity adds extra layers of difficulty when trying to understand botanical infused skincare products and their possible benefits or side effects.
Recently, with the organic and all-natural movement, botanicals have enjoyed a surge of popularity and attention. Consumers are moving away from the chemicals, parabens, alcohols, and aldehydes that largely characterized skincare of the 90’s and early 2000’s.
In general, we at FACTORFIVE believe this to be a good thing for everyone. While many botanical ingredients are extremely limited in their capacity to do good for skin, they are largely far less dangerous than their chemical counterparts of skincare’s past.
At FACTORFIVE, we take botanical ingredients on a case by case basis. We believe some of them are great additions to our skin care formulations.
For example, we use green tea extract, aloe vera, and plant-derived caffeine in some of our products. Each adds value to the respective formulation. However, when we refer to the “active ingredients” in our products, we generally do not reference the botanicals. That’s because the positive changes expected from our stem cell conditioned media outpace the impact of any botanical. Frankly, the comparison is unfair.
What about plant stem cells?
We see this question often because of the rise in popularity of skincare companies using plant stem cells in their formulations. Without knowing much about how stem cells work, this may seem like a good option, but unfortunately the restorative effects of stem cells is limited to its own species. Simply put–you are not a plant. Human derived growth factors work best on human skin.
Human growth factors work like a lock and key with the receptors on your skin cells, promoting an increase in collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin, and other beneficial skin proteins. Using plant stem cells in skincare is like using a key that doesn’t go to that lock–it just doesn’t work.
We love plants and will continue to include the scientifically validated ingredients derived from them, but for human cells, like those in your skin, human derived proteins are the best and most active ingredient you can find.