Adding growth factors to skincare products is a concept that has been hampered by roadblocks, including high cost. But a novel approach, using a patient’s own platelets as the key antiaging ingredient and delivering the products at the point of care, could change the skincare landscape, according to Farhan Taghizadeh, MD, a Phoenix, Ariz., based facial plastic surgeon who presented on the next generation of antiaging skincare yesterday at The Aesthetic Show in Las Vegas.
Skincare products with plant-derived growth factors do little, if anything, for human skin. Human-derived growth factors as an active ingredient in antiaging skincare products is another story. There is great public interest in having human growth factors in skincare products, and many companies and skincare lines, including Allergan’s SkinMedica, are featuring products with human growth factors, Dr. Taghizadeh says.
“The most popular way of getting these growth factors has been to culture the fibroblasts in a medium; then, extract the medium with the growth factors and put that into products,” he says. “While these products are somewhat more expensive, there is a modicum of demand for using these growth factors because people are seeing better results.”
That’s not new. What is new, according to Dr. Taghizadeh, is individualization and personalization in skincare.
Dr. Taghizadeh founded the AmnioAesthetics company, which will be launching its ME serum product at The Aesthetics Show. ME, according to the facial plastic surgeon, represents the new wave of personalized skincare products, which uses patients’ own platelets and growth factors.
Using autologous growth factors will lower product costs and increase accessibility in the long run, he says.
“You cannot sustain on the skincare side with products that the majority of the population may not be able to access or afford. Using cultured media is one pathway, but using your own platelets presents something new for the future,” he says. “You can get a lot of platelets very inexpensively, and you can make products that have high concentrations of these platelets.”
The question, according to Dr. Taghizadeh, is will these platelets will fit into various bases and preparations for the future?
Using a patient’s own platelets overcomes another barrier.
“Now it’s not someone else’s cells going in a petri dish that goes into a product. Rather, the physician draws blood from the patient’s arm; takes the platelets, which have a lot of growth factors; puts them into a serum; and gives it to the patient at the point of care,” he says.
AmnioAesthetics’ ME serum is the tip of the iceberg in skincare personalization. Future products might take a patient’s cells from other sources, like one’s own liposuction fat or even one’s own skin cells.
While large studies are lacking, which compare the effectiveness of personalized platelets to other human growth factors, Dr. Taghizadeh says he thinks the ME product is comparable in its effect to other human-derived growth factor skincare products on the market
“What I think the public will love is the idea that it’s their own serum,” he says.
The first iteration of the ME serum is prescription based. So, physicians would write a prescription for the base, mixing in a patient’s platelets.
“Beyond that, you can see it going many different directions, where the base becomes more standardized. Maybe, in the future, at the cosmetic counter, there’s a phlebotomist…,” he says. “The push for personalization is a critical factor in what’s driving interest in this space. What I think makes this more exciting for practitioners is that you can actually use someone’s own platelets, which gives you huge leverage to say you should come to me as opposed to going somewhere else to get these high-end products.”
The other potential advantage from the consumers’ point of view is personalized skincare offers 100% concentration of the active ingredient, without the all the fillers, preservatives and additives that many of today’s consumers are trying to avoid in the products they use on their skin, hair and nails, he says.
“For the Pond’s Cold Cream [Unilever] generation, going to the cosmetic counter might just be what they do, but the millennials and the next generation don’t want toxicity. Using one’s own platelets is pretty attractive because there’s nothing in it but your own growth factors,” according to Dr. Taghizadeh.