Dead babies in my skin cream?

Heather has a hunch…My neighbor asked me about this, and I didn’t really know much except what a quick google search gave me. She said her dermatologist gave her Neocutis that uses PSP. Her concern was spreading dead babies on her face and I was also interested on research regarding PSP’s effect on anti-aging or wrinkle reduction. I was hoping you’ve already looked at this and would have a quick answer. Let me know what you think!

The Beauty Brains respond:

Thanks for a provocative question Heather. To start with we’ll explain what PSP is.

Does PSP really come from dead babies?

PSP (or Processed Skin Proteins) is a registered trademark of Neocutis S.A. The ingredient’s origins can be traced back to research conducted at University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland which showed that cultured fetal skin cells could speed wound healing. The cells used in the original research came from a “small biopsy of fetal skin…donated following a one-time medical termination.” These original skin cells were then duplicated by culturing them in the lab and have been used to create a cosmetic version that is known as PSP. Hopefully the fact that PSP does not come directly from dead babies will help your neighbor rest a little bit easier. This is not a new issue and, not surprisingly, there has been quite a buzz in the media over using fetal-sourced material. This whole discussion will disturb some people and intrigue others but you can click here to read more about Neocutis’ responsible use of fetal skin tissue.

Does PSP do anything for skin?

We know from the Neocutis patent that the PSP cell lysate consists of a soup of proteins and hormone-like ingredients such as “cytokines, enzymes, hormones, extracellular matrix structural proteins, neuropeptides or neuropeptide antagonists.” We also know from published research by Goldwell, another company who works with these materials, that cytokines and human growth factors CAN improve signs of aging on skin. By about 10% to be exact. However, don’t take this as conclusive evidence since it’s only a single study – there’s not a ton of research in this regard.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Neocutis is not murdering babies to make their skin lotions but that hasn’t prevented them from getting a lot of bad press. And there does to be at least some basis in scientific fact for believing that their fetal cell lystate can reduce the signs of aging. But it doesn’t make very much of a difference. If your neighbor can spare the cash and she doesn’t mind potentially being called “dead baby face,” then maybe she should give it a try. Then again she could just use a good retinol product that’s been proven to work.


J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Oct;6(10):1018-23. Human growth factor and cytokine skin cream for facial skin rejuvenation as assessed by 3D in vivo optical skin imaging. Gold MH, Goldman MP, Biron J.
Neocutis patent: