Do your products contain stem cells?

While stem cells are used to create the stem cell conditioned media that ends up in our serums, there aren’t any left in the final product. Stem cells aren’t stable in cosmetics and haven’t been studied topically.

We instead work closely with a US based biotech company that uses stem cells from healthy, adult volunteers to produce a cocktail of growth factors perfect for skin rejuvenation.

What is stem cell conditioned media?

The simple answer is that it contains growth factors and lots of them. The cells in our body can secrete growth factors and these are what you want in your skincare, not stem cells.

When stem cells are cultured in a growth medium, they secrete factors referred to as “secretome.” This includes all the substances the stem cells secrete, including growth factors as well as exosomes and microvesicles. The end result is the stem cell conditioned media (SC-CM).

Because SC-CM is free of cells, it’s very safe and you don’t have to be a match to the stem cell donor.

What are growth factors?

Growth factors are chemical messengers secreted by cells that can communicate with cells by attaching to their surface receptors. This allows them to influence the signaling pathways that control important processes like cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation - the same pathways involved in skin aging.

If that has you feeling even more confused, think of growth factors as tiny messengers that go around and tell your skin cells what to do. You can apply stem cells, hyaluronic acid, or collagen to your face but that doesn’t mean they’ll become part of your skin. But applying growth factors can tell your skin to produce more of these things.

Is stem cell conditioned media the same as EGF?

Not quite. EGF is a type of growth factor and you’ll see it show up in cosmetics either as sh-oligopeptide-1 or rh-oligopeptide-1 (the prefix indicates whether it’s synthetic or recombinant EGF).

Topical EGF by itself hasn’t been extensively studied for skin rejuvenation but it may exert anti aging effects by stimulating collagen formation and cell turnover via fibroblasts and keratinocytes

The problem is, growth factors are team players. They all work together to maintain the skin, with each GF having its own position in the area it’s been secreted. So rather than having just your star player against an entire opposing team, Bradceuticals gives you an entire team of players that work together to deliver skin rejuvenation.

Are growth factors in skincare safe?

Before stem cell conditioned media became popular in cosmetics and aesthetic treatments, they were used in the medical field. There is decades worth of research behind their efficacy and safety for a wide range of applications.

Growth factors are also not cancer causing per the current research. The evidence shows that while growth factors can stimulate cell proliferation, they’re not mutagenic.

However, we do stress to our customers that the research continues on this topic and safety should always come before skincare. If you’re someone with a history of skin cancer or at higher risk of getting it, please consult with your doctor before using our products.

Can your serums be used with microneedling?

Our serums have been formulated for topical use, not for treatments like mesotherapy or microneedling that work via transdermal injection. This means we’ve added additional beneficial ingredients as well as preservatives that will maintain the integrity of a product that is being opened and used regularly.

For this reason, we suggest using Bradceuticals serums as a recovery product after treatments like microneedling, mesotherapy, laser, and chemical peels instead. Studies show that using stem cell conditioned media after skin treatments can enhance results and aid in healing.

Is it true that you need a delivery system for growth factors to work?

While some brands formulate their growth factors with penetration enhancers or encapsulate them in carriers like phospholipids, the evidence hasn’t established that this is necessary.

At present, we know topical studies without delivery systems have been effective. It’s been hypothesized that the growth factors can still communicate with cells even applied to the skin surface and that they may also be using other routes like hair follicles to get into the skin as well.

As we do know that growth factors enhance treatment outcomes when used with microneedling, we suggest using our products post microneedling for best results. But the evidence indicates that they work topically regardless.

Where are your products made?

We are proud to be a small brand that not only manufactures but also sources all ingredients here in the United States.

Do your products contain stem cells from embryos or umbilical cords?

As mentioned in our FAQs, none of our serums contain stem cells. The stem cell conditioned media from all our lines is cultured from stem cells taken from adult donors only.

Can I use my Bradceuticals serums with Vitamin C?

Our Mesenchymal and Adipose lines contain Matrixyl 3000 and we advise not applying them immediately after using ascorbic acid.

This is because Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a copper binding peptide and there is some concern that copper peptides may cause oxidation of ascorbic acid as it’s a mild chelating agent and fairly unstable.

This suggestion doesn’t apply to Vitamin C derivatives like the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate we use.

What about exfoliating acids and retinoids?

Not enough is known yet when it comes to the stability of both growth factors and peptides in combination with exfoliating acids. This is because chemical exfoliants are buffered and the products are only being combined for a very short period of time on the skin. It may be advisable to avoid using them close together until we know more.

You can use our serums with retinoids like tretinoin. They work together well and our serums may help reduce irritation from the more potent retinoids.

What other ingredients are in your products?

We include several ingredients in our own facial serums with the purpose of enhancing results.

Matrixyl 3000, for example, can be found in our Adipose and Mesenchymal lines and is made up of two matrikines. Matrikines are fragmented matrix peptides that may regulate cell activity, similar to growth factors.Matrixyl 3000, for example, can be found in our Adipose and Mesenchymal lines and is made up of two matrikines. Matrikines are fragmented matrix peptides that may regulate cell activity, similar to growth factors.

We also include DMAE and panthenol. The former is a precursor for acetylcholine while the other is necessary for its synthesis. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter but continuing research shows that it can act similar to a cytokine, regulating cell processes related to growth

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a non-irritating Vitamin C derivative that both protects skin and supports collagen synthesis. And we’ve also added several humectants to help hydrate the skin and eliminate extra skincare steps.

What other products and treatments work well with Bradceuticals?

We always recommend that our customers include proven skincare categories like sunscreen, antioxidants, and a retinoid.

While not necessary for results, if you’re using copper peptides already then they can pair nicely with our serums. Copper Tripeptide-1 is another example of a matrikine.

Treatments like microneedling and laser - which work via micro injury - can benefit from growth factors as a recovery product. Research indicates that stem cell conditioned media can aid in wound healing and skin remodeling.

You’re also welcome to use your Bradceuticals facial serums with tools and devices like microcurrent that aid penetration. While our hair serums pair well with Minoxidil and red light therapy