Aesthetics examines the science and the uses of a new skincare range that is formulated using the stem cells from the umbilical cord lining of New Zealand red deer
It is without a doubt that stem cells are an exciting innovation that is showing promise across the field of medicine.1 Due to their regeneration properties, the use of stem cells has become more common in the skincare arena. Calecim Professional is the latest stem cell innovation to hit the UK skincare market.
Recently launched at the Aesthetics Conference and Exhibition (ACE) 2018, the three products within the range are formulated using stem cells that have been ethically and harmlessly harvested from the umbilical cord lining of New Zealand red deer. The Singapore-based biotech company behind the brand, CellResearch Corporation, claims that this is the first time that umbilical cord lining stem cells have been used in topical skincare to promote skin health.2
Calecim Professional was developed after scientists from CellResearch Corporation isolated two types of stem cell strains, epithelial and mesenchymal, from the umbilical cord lining membrane. Both stem cell strains actively produce proteins when they are grown in culture media. This protein mix in culture media is called Cord Lining Conditioned Media (CLCM), which, according to New York dermatologist Dr Doris Day, who has no affiliation with the company and started using the products after a recommendation from a colleague, can be used to direct skin cells to behave in a ‘youthful’ manner.2 She explains, “The cord lining stem cells secrete a mix of proteins, growth factors and cytokines and this helps skin repair, rejuvenate and behave in a more youthful way. It helps increase glycoproteins like hyaluronic acid (HA) in the skin, it encourages cell mobility in a specific direction, for example towards a wound for wound healing, it activates cells to help them divide or even self-destruct and that helps restore and work on epidermal cell turnover.”3,4
According to Dr Day, as well as the type of stem cells, their origin is also important. “These are infant stem cells, which gives greater longevity and there is also a very high yield. We are looking at six billion epithelial and six billion mesenchymal stem cells that are harvested from a single umbilical cord in one growth generation and you can get 30 generations of growth on top of that; so, the immense number of cells that you can harvest is incredible.”4 She adds that the next highest source is bone marrow at two million stem cells and the yield continues to decrease for other sources of stem cells such as fat and those that are plant-derived.5
There are three products within the Calecim Professional range: Serum, with 80% CLCM, Multi-Action Cream, with 50% CLCM and Restorative Hydration Cream, with 40% CLCM. Each contains a different concentration of hyaluronic acid, consolidated peptides or glycoproteins, fibronectin, albumin and soluble collagen.2 Studies As Dr Day points out, CLCM was first developed and used for wound healing and other medical applications before aesthetics. “I think it’s the proper way to do things, to see if you can improve burns, chronic wounds, scars and other conditions and then see if there are aesthetic applications as well,” she states.
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials for wound healing are currently underway and plans are for Phase 1 to take place in the second half of 2018. Calecim Professional has been used in several clinical studies for aesthetic indications.6,7,8 One single-blinded split-face trial followed the recovery of 14 patients who underwent a full face carbon dioxide fractional laser resurfacing treatment. Immediately after the procedure the right side of the patients’ face was treated with 5cc of basal media, while the left was treated with 5cc of Calecim Serum; patients continued treatment at home for 30 days. Patients (14%) reported more warmth on the non-Calecim treated side at day one, at day seven (50%), and at day 30 (64%). They also reported more pain on the non-Calecim treated side at day one (21%), day seven (43%) and day 30 (71%). Redness reduction was also assessed, with perceived redness greater by 50% on day one, 57% on day seven and 65% on day 30 for the basal media treated side.7
Another study of 15 healthy subjects who applied Calecim Multi-Action Cream over their full face twice a day for four weeks showed positive results, with all patients reporting improvements in complexion with better-quality facial skin tone and definition. Assessment by a blinded plastic surgeon meanwhile noted an improvement in the appearance of eyebrow elevation with greater exposure of the eyelid folds, improved jawline contour, improved tone of nasolabial folds, decreased eye bag puffiness, lifted cheeks, and decreased jowling.8
According to Dr Day, Calecim can be used both as an in-clinic application after aesthetic procedures and at home. “I use this routinely after both ablative and non-ablative laser treatments. I use the Serum immediately after the treatment and then I give patients the remaining product to use at home. Then I give them one of the Calecim creams to take home as part of their treatment regime,” she explains.
Dr Day states that she has had especially good patient feedback after ablative treatments, she says, “Patients have told me that it feels soothing because it takes away the heat and the burning sensation and gives them instant relief.” As well as this, Dr Day also uses Calecim in other areas within her clinic. “I use the Serum for microneedling because it contains HA. In my hands, I find that this works as well as platelet rich plasma so can therefore save a lot of money for patients,” she explains.
Dr Day has not noted any reactions to the products after using it for more than six months in her clinic, however says that as the Restorative Hydration Cream contains fragrance, reactions could be possible. Because of this, she states, “I use the Serum and then the Multi-Action Cream without the fragrance immediately after treatment for a week.” For maintenance, she notes that patients can choose to use the Hydration Cream which has fragrance in it. “The Serum and Multi-Action Cream have a little bit of a protein smell because they are so highly protein derived and not everyone likes that smell, so you have to take that into account,” she explains.
Dr Day concludes that Calecim Professional has been a welcome addition to her clinic. She says, “I think that having scientifically-driven, well-tested products that are well produced, which have consistent quality control and substance behind them, is a priority for me. These stem cells are powerful, reliable and this range is a great asset to use along with other products in my practice.”
Explore Stem Cells, ‘Uses for Stem Cells, <http://www. explorestemcells.co.uk/UsesForStemCellsCategory.html>
Calecim Professional, <https://calecimprofessional.com/ calecims-technology.html>
Rivka C. Stone, Irena Pastar, Nkemcho Ojeh, Vivien Chen, et al, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Tissue Repair and Fibrosis, Cell Tissue Res, 2016 Sep; 365(3): 495–506.
Lim, IJ & Phan TT, ‘Epithelial and Mesanchymal Stem Cells From the Umbilical Cord Lining Membrane’, Cell Transplantation, Vol 23, 2014 pp.497-503.
Vangsness CT, Sternberg H, Harris L, ‘Umbilical Cord Tissue Offers the Greatest Number of Harvestable Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Research and Clinical Application: A Literature Review of Different Harvest Sites’, Arthroscopy. 2015 Sep;31(9):1836-43.
W. Olaya, Kate Kim, D. Kim, ‘CALECIM® Serum Reduces CO2 Laser Treatment Erythema & Edema: a Randomized Controlled Double-blind Split-face Trial’, Mission Viejo, California, U.S.A.
Cheryl L Effron, Reduction of Pain and Discomfort post CO2 Fractional Laser resurfacing after the application of umbilical cord lining extract: A cingle-Blinded Split-Face Trail
Dr Ziv peled, ‘Improvements in Skin Tone and Cosmesis with Umbilical Cord Lining Extract Calecim: A Same Patient Control Study’, San Francisco, California.
Figure 1: A 28-year-old patient four days following a C02 laser treatment treated with Calecim Professional Serum on their left and basal media on their right. Patient’s left side shows decreased oedema.