Brett asks…I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the safety/effectiveness of the combination of products for hair thinning by DS Laboratories. They mention the use of several ingredients such as spin traps and stem cells which I’ve never heard of being used in consumer products before. Are these safe? Is it even legal to use stem cells in this manner?
The Beauty Brains respond:
I took a look at the DS Laboratories website for and found information on their Revita COR treatment which uses the ingredients you mentioned. There appears to be two key points to the central premise of this “breakthrough” product: First, the product contains stem cells to stimulate hair growth (along with other “protective, nutritional and advanced conditioning compounds.”) Second, the ingredients are delivered via bioadhesive capsules which makes them more effective.
Stem cells and other ingredients
Revita.COR claims to “stimulate human hair follicle development and growth by incorporating cutting-edge plant-based stem cells.” They start with a legitimate scientific explanation that human stem cells in the epidermis differentiate to form hair follicles (and other skin structures.) Then, they make the unscientific leap that adding PLANT stem cells to your skin will somehow affect their follicles. They say “in experiments conducted on hair follicles, plant-based stem-cell extracts rejuvenate follicular cells and delay their senescence” yet they provide no reference or link to any such studies. Even if they have done such studies I suspect they were in vitro tests done on cultured cells in the lab rather than testing the effect of their finished on real people.
What about “spin traps” and all the other ingredients?
DS laboratories certainly make the product look impressive by adding ingredients like antioxidants, free radical scavengers, and anti-inflammatories that have been shown to have an effect in lab studies when tested on cell cultures. That kind of testing doesn’t mean these ingredients will provide any benefit from a rinse off conditioner.
If this product is really such a breakthrough then the company should be able to produce the results of a peer reviewed, double blind, placebo controlled study demonstrating the product really works when applied to real people. Without this kind of evidence I’m highly skeptical that it does anything special. Having said that, if DS Labs would care to share such study results that shows the product really works, I’d gladly reverse my position and help to promote their product.
So what’s up with these bio-adhesive microspheres? Supposedly they do a better job of delivering active ingredients (either by delivering the ingredients deeper inside the hair or skin or by anchoring it better to the surface of hair and skin.) But this is not a new or exclusive technology because a number of suppliers offer different encapsulating technologies. The website cites studies that make it sound like they were done for this product but I suspect they’re just citing studies done by other companies with other materials. Why do I say that? Because, regarding the first clinical trial, they say they analyzed hair samples using “gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, measurement of fragrance in the headspace, and subjective evaluation by a panel of olfactory experts.” In other words, they were just measuring fragrance deposition which has nothing to do with hair growth ingredients.
The second clinical study showed that a biocapsule-based lotion, which was left on skin, did a better job of delivering ingredients. But since the product in question is a rinse off treatment what does this study really prove?
Is is safe or legal?
I see no reason to suspect the product isn’t safe. (And by law, it’s illegal to market products which are NOT safe.) And, there’s certainly nothing illegal about selling a cosmetic product with plant stem cells. (There are several others on the market.)
The Beauty Brains bottom line
It appears to me that they’re taking a real technology (bioadhesive capsules) and applying it to their hair growth product but they don’t present ANY evidence that it delivers their specific, active ingredients. Furthermore, there’s no direct evidence that these stem cells actually grow hair.