Face rejuvenation or facial rejuvenation is a cosmetic procedure with the primary aim of reversing facial signs of aging. Face rejuvenation can be achieved either through surgical and/or non-surgical methods.
Stem cell therapy is becoming increasingly popular for face rejuvenation as it can help to regenerate damaged skin and reverse the signs of aging.
In this article we are going to discuss what stem cell facial rejuvenation is, how much it costs, the science behind how stem cells affect the skin, and lastly, how long stem cell therapy lasts.
What Is Stem Cell Facial Rejuvenation?
Stem cells are cells which can turn into any type of human cell. Stem cell facial rejuvenation essentially involves harvesting, preparing and injecting stem cells into a patient’s face, thereby using their own body tissue to replenish and rejuvenate their skin. The result of this therapy is improved skin quality through repairing damage to the skin and increasing the skin’s elasticity.
What Causes Signs Of Aging In The Face?
Aging is a natural and inevitable process which causes wear and tear on the body, and particularly the face.
As we age, the production of collagen naturally decreases. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found throughout various connective tissues. The natural decrease in collagen as we age is one of the primary causes of visible signs of aging on the face, such as wrinkles.
There are a number of environmental factors which also speeds up the aging process, such as excessive sun exposure. As environmental factors take their toll on facial skin, the skin begins to deflate, and the natural volume in the jawline, cheeks and under the eyes become more saggy. Depressions and wrinkles become more apparent, which ads years of aging to the face.
Traditional ‘facelift’ methods require extensive surgeries, discomfort, as well as a long recovery times. These methods can be effective, but they are also invasive and generally quite painful.
Stem cell facial rejuvenation is challenging traditional methods as it’s less invasive, painless and is quickly evolving into becoming one of the most cutting-edge methods in face rejuvenation.
How Much Is Stem Cell Rejuvenation?
The cost of stem cell therapy is no easy question to answer. Pricing of stem cell rejuvenation will differ based on a number of factors. For example, the amount of areas of the face (e.g forehead, nose, cheeks, eyes, lips, chin, etc…) being treated in one session will largely determine price. Other factors such as where the procedure (e.g state, city or clinic) will also affect pricing.
In general, patients can expect to pay between $4,000 – $8,000 for an average stem cell facial procedure. This pricing can also be slightly lower or much higher – upwards of $30,000, again, depending on the factors previously mentioned.
Does Stem Cell Therapy Work For Face Rejuvenation?
The short answer is yes. Adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies are potent anti-aging agents for the face. Research has shown promise for these stem cell therapies as alternatives to conventional treatments.
One study examined six patients between the ages of 45-65 who were candidates for a face lift. Injections of fat and stromal vascular fraction or mesenchymal stem cells were administered into the skin of the patients. Fragments of their skin were removed prior to the treatment and 3 months after. Researchers analyzed these skin fragments using optical and electron microscopy.
Researchers found that the skin fragments had developed new oxytalan elastic fibers in the papillary dermis. The researchers concluded that “treatment with either fat and stromal vascular fraction or expanded mesenchymal stem cells modifies the pattern of the dermis, representing a skin rejuvenation effect”.
What Do Stem Cells Do To The Skin?
Stem cells are able to turn into cells which produce collagen. Multiple studies looking into stem cell therapy and wound healing have shown the potential of mesenchymal stem cell therapy to increase collagen content and wound strength. An increase in collagen production is beneficial for face rejuvenation as a natural decrease of collagen in the skin is one of the primary causes of the visible signs of aging.
Stem cell treatments benefit the skin by…
- Decreasing the appearance of facial acne scars
- Slowing signs of aging through inhibiting the production of melanin
- Promoting faster healing of damaged skin cells
- Increasing collagen production
- Decreasing the appearance of marionette lines (long vertical wrinkles on the chin)
- Improving skin color quality
- Decreasing the appearance of wrinkles in areas such as the cheeks, under the eyes, smile wrinkles and crow’s feet (wrinkles found on the corner of a person’s eye)
How Long Do Stem Cell Treatments Last?
How long stem cell treatments last is subjective to each person. Factors such as genetics, age, and activity levels will all influence how long stem cell treatments last. According to research, stem cell therapy is now being considered a long-term treatment by some experts.
A 2016 study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy found that human stem cells that were injected into a rat joint remained active for 10 weeks. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean that stem cell treatment lasts for 10 weeks. What this study shows (and it’s important to remember it was done on a rat joint) is that stem cells were able to consistently promote healing over a 10 week period, meaning that stem cells continue to work after the initial injection/application of the stem cells.
Research specifically looking at how long facial rejuvenation stem cell treatments last are scarce, but we do have research looking at stem cell treatment in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
One study published in the Journal of Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine found that in comparison to the patients’ pretreatment condition, stem cell treatment promoted continual efficacy for 24 months. Interestingly, the researchers found that the effectiveness of the stem cell treatment improved at 12 months and then improved again by 24 months in comparison to 3 and 6 months.
The researchers concluded that stem cell application relieved the outcomes of patients, helping with pain relief and overall functional improvements. 5 years later doctors found in a follow up study that the knees treated with stem cells were still better than prior to the treatment.
How would these results apply to stem cell face rejuvenation?
The jury is still out, but based on these results, it’s certainly promising to see that stem cell treatment seems to be associated with long-term continual improvements, which could very well be similar for stem cell face rejuvenation. Whether or not this applies to the aesthetic factor of facial rejuvenation rather than pain relief is currently unknown.
The Bottom Line
Stem cell for face rejuvenation seems to have a lot of promise in comparison to conventional methods.
More research and clinical trials are needed to gain a deeper understanding of how effective stem cell therapy is for fighting signs of facial aging, as well as how long it lasts.
Overall so far, the research is promising, with plenty of supporting evidence supporting the safety of stem cell therapy and its efficacy for decreasing signs of aging in the skin by increasing collagen production and skin elasticity.
As stem cell therapy technologies develop, pricing will most likely decrease, and stem cell face rejuvenation will become more accessible.