Everything You Need To Know About Stem Cells
I recently received an incredible stem cell facial by the equally amazing – and stunning – Mia Belle of Mia Belle Skin. She has the most beautiful, youthful skin — I swear she looks to be in her early thirties. When she told me her actual age – 10 years older than I had guessed – my mouth dropped. Sign me up for whatever it is that she’s doing.
According to Mia, with the correct care, we can all look 10 years younger than our age…but how? For starters, stem cells (a.k.a. growth factors) play a vital role in our skin’s overall health.
Here’s everything you need to know about stem cells for your skin, from my fascinating chat with Mia, skincare guru extraordinaire.
BEAUTY BANTER: What exactly are stem cells?
MIA BELLE: A stem cell has potential to develop into multiple types of cells when introduced into our bodies.This is why stem cells can be advantageous to skin health. They’re primarily introduced into a specific area because of their reparative abilities. When a stem cell divides, each new cell can possibly remain a stem cell or become another type of cell, for example, a brain cell, epidermal cell, or a muscle cell. In skincare, the fat transfer was the first reference to a “stem cell” treatment. Our fat has an amazing ability to help repair our skin.
BB: Are there different kinds? If so, what are the good kinds for the skin?
MB: What are referred to as stem cells in skincare are usually better explained as “growth factors.” The term “stem cell” in aesthetics has been misused a bit for branding purposes. Growth factors can be derived from many sources, including fruit, umbilical cord from a sheep, and human tissue.
I absolutely see the best results when using bio-identical human fibroblasts. It’s a powerful and results-producing material, but has a very low risk of any type of undesirable reactions. It’s my go-to choice because it can target multiple issues, including pigment and fine lines.
What do stem cells/ growth factors do for our complexion?
MB: A growth factor is a substance used for the stimulation of growth in a living cell. When I’m using the human fibroblasts, I’m helping to strengthen the overall “climate” of the skin. This is what gives us an amazing complexion. When your skin is living in an energized and healthy environment – it can function at its most optimal and you can have your best skin. This means optimal texture, pigment, tone, hydration, etc.
BB: What is the best way to get stem cells/ growth factors onto the skin?
MB: The best way to introduce these into our system is via injections. More and more research is coming out that we need to introduce a substantial amount of most types of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and growth factors. Unfortunately, topical products, pills, and powders are being proven to be minimally beneficial. Giving ourselves daily injections under the care of a physician is not an option for everyone. I’m working on finding a way to take skincare to the next level, and I’m working with a group to try and make better home care options available here in America. I truly believe that in just a few years, how we take care of our skin at home will be very different! This will be important not just for aesthetic reasons, but it could also be life-saving due to the fact that our cells will be woking better so we can help to prevent skin cancer and the overall breakdown of our skin’s ability to protect ourselves from the many external and internal stresses it has to deal with.
BB: Your stem cell facial is unique and amazing. How do you do it, and what does it target?
MB: I’m a big fan of professional micro-needling – or CIT. As you know, I’m not a huge fan of lasers! I find so many of the “noninvasive” treatments to be beyond counterintuitive and counterproductive. They target the symptom vs. the cause, and they mostly produce a great amount of inflammation – exactly what we don’t want. Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of “aging” or disruption to the skin.
The way I’ve curated my technique of performing micro-needling, it will not cause unnecessary inflammation and has very little downtime. I use a beautiful unit that utilizes disposable needles from Germany. They’re the best! I also have some customized needles that have only one single needle so I can better address stretch marks and post-traumatic scars.
BB: Why combine micro-needling with the stem cell serum?
MB: Like I mentioned earlier, the delivery system of these materials is essential! To reap the benefits you have to properly apply these products. The needles are programmed to penetrate at different depths. I choose certain depth and certain products to target specific concerns. This is needed to create true results.
BB: How often should one get these treatment?
MB: I individualize a program for every patient. It depends on the health of your skin, genetics, lifestyle, and what we are targeting. That being said, I have patients that come for a treatment anywhere from once a month to once every three months.
BB: How long do results last?
MB: The results are accumulative. You have to understand though, that having great skin is not a singular venture. I encourage more of a holistic, multidimensional outlook on skin health. The easiest way to explain it is to compare it to how we think of staying in shape. Many people understand that to stay strong and fit they have to individualize their workouts, food intake, self-care, mental and spiritual practices, and all the other ways we allow ourselves to feel our best. Our skin is effected by what is influencing our emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies- internally and externally.
I feel creating beautiful skin is an art form and a constant act of self-love. You have to witness, honor, and listen to your skin; it can tell you a lot more about yourself than you may think!
*For additional info on Mia Belle, visit her website here.
(pictures courtesy of Mia Belle)