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Stem Cells and You: Post Resurfacing Rejuvenation

Skin resurfacing can be done in a multitude of different ways, including using laser surgery techniques, fractional laser photothermolysis, intense pulsed light, and photodynamic therapy. While these techniques can reduce facial wrinkles, scars, and blemishes, they have different methods of action; some use lasers, others use visible light, and some use chemicals. However, they do have one thing in common: they wound your skin to promote beneficial healing. You’re probably thinking: why would I want to wound myself? The answer has a lot to do with the specialized organ that surrounds all of us called the skin.


Stem Cell Skin Layers

The skin is composed of three major layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The outermost layer of the epidermis is composed of squamous cells, which are constantly being shed. Below that are basal cells and melanocytes, which give your skin color. The epidermis is separated from the deeper layer of the dermis by a basement membrane that is made up of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins that are essential for normal skin biology. Importantly, essential proteins and growth factors are tethered in this membrane that are important for how keratinocytes function (Pozzi et al., 2017; Randles et al., 2017). Below the epidermis lies the dermis, which is composed of blood vessels, lymphatics, hair follicles, sweat glands, nerves, and fibroblasts. Surrounding all of these cells is an ECM component known as collagen, which gives the skin flexibility and strength. Finally, below the dermis, lies the hypodermis. This layer is mostly composed of subcutaneous fat and a network of collagen.

Ok, so how is all of this affected during skin resurfacing? Well, basically skin resurfacing causes wounds. And while the methods vary, in general, the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) is destroyed and the dermis underneath is heated up. This heating causes the cells in the dermis to make more collagen. Some procedures can even penetrate into the dermis. These procedures lead to new and remodeled collagen formation by the surrounding fibroblasts and the tightening of existing collagen. This fills fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin tone. All of this production and deposition of collagen results in better-looking, healthy skin post-treatment. 

But how can we improve on that wound-healing process? 

Normally, stem cells help repair skin wounds by secreting essential proteins and growth factors to aid healing. However, as we age, our stem cells' ability to secrete these important growth factors and cytokines decreases (Keyes and Fuchs, 2017). These special cells are known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are adult stem cells that have the capacity to differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat. MSCs can be isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), placenta, and umbilical cord. Numerous studies over the past 30 years have shown the therapeutic benefit of treating clinical conditions with MSCs (Pittenger et al., 2019; Rangatchew et al., 2020).


woman applying aftercare on at home

As mentioned previously, MSCs reside in several body tissues; the most easily collected and widely studied are from fat, which is usually discarded after medical procedures. Scientific evidence has determined that adipose-derived MSCs (ADMSCs) have broad anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, and their main beneficial effects are mediated by the proteins they secrete (Sagaradze et al., 2019). Thus, collecting the media after MSCs are cultured in the laboratory, known as conditioned media (CM), is a method of capturing the multitude of these secreted growth factors and cytokines. Cosmetics containing human stem cell CM improve skin health, accelerate skin regeneration, and delay aging (Kim et al., 2020). These secreted growth factors and cytokines can also be collected and incorporated into topical products for post-treatment healing. The damaged skin can use these exogenous growth factors to accelerate collagen deposition and re-epithelization. In other words, the CM from stem cells should improve skin repairing, giving you a shorter healing time and better overall cosmetic outcome.

The future of aftercare is here.

The demand for professional skincare treatments is continuing to grow and has even made its way into homes. Popular treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion can now be completed in the comfort of home. Face peel products have grown 150% in just a year, and as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed, people are getting back into dermatologist and esthetician offices to return to regular skincare routines. But whether it’s done at home or with a professional, the recovery time for many of these treatments can leave skin red, swollen, and dry for weeks, and now FACTORFIVE has created a solution.

FACTORFIVE’s new Nourishing Silk is ideal for after professional, or at-home skin treatments such as laser, microneedling, plasma, chemical peels, and more. Nourishing Silk combines human stem cell conditioned media that helps the skin repair itself, with beneficial skin ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and others that work to visibly soothe, plump, and soften skin. It delivers a soothing layer of hydration while calming and protecting sensitive skin. Nourishing Silk is proven to speed up recovery time after skin treatments.

Unlike similar products that have a waterless base formulated from silicones, Nourishing Silk has a base consisting of

woman applying aftercare at home

water and triheptanoin, a skin-softening emollient. Silicones can prevent the skin’s natural expulsion of debris, oils, dead cells, and dirt which can increase the likelihood of acne breakouts and glandular occlusion. Nourishing Silk contains many of the same positive properties of silicones, however the base washes off easily and is not characterized by acne breakouts, pore clogging, or other negative side effects.

FACTORFIVE Nourishing Silk contains no harsh ingredients such as parabens, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA, and is never tested on animals. Nourishing Silk is fragrance and silicone-free, and is safe and effective for all skin types, including mature.



Keyes BE, Fuchs E. Stem cells: Aging and transcriptional fingerprints. J Cell Biol. 2018 Jan 2;217(1):79-92.

Kim, H.J., Jung, M.S., Hur, Y.K. et al. A study on clinical effectiveness of cosmetics containing human stem cell conditioned media. biomed dermatol 4, 9 (2020).

Pittenger MF, Discher DE, Peault BM, Phinney DG, Hare JM, Caplan AI. Mesenchymal stem cell perspective: cell biology to clinical progress. npj Regenerative Medicine (2019) 4:22.

Pozzi A, Yurchenco PD, Iozzo RV. The nature and biology of basement membranes. Matrix Biol. 2017; 57–58: 1-11

Randles MJ, Humphries MJ, Lennon R. Proteomic definitions of basement membrane composition in health and disease. Matrix Biol. 2017; 57–58: 12-28

Rangatchew F, Vester-Glowinski P, Rasmussen BS, Haastrup E, Munthe-Fog L, Talman ML, Bonde C, Drzewiecki KT, Fischer-Nielsen A, Holmgaard R. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy of acute thermal burns: A systematic review of the effect on inflammation and wound healing. Burns 2020.

Sagaradze G, Grigorieva O, Nimiritsky P, Basalova N, Kalinina N, Akopyan Z, Efimenko A. Conditioned Medium from Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Towards the Clinical Translation. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Apr; 20(7): 1656.


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