Witch hazel water (which may contain enough alcohol to cause irritation and, likely, free-radical damage) is the main ingredient in this serum. It also contains a trio of irritating fragrant oils, including lavender. The lavender oil causes skin cell death and promotes oxidative damage (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). This contains some potentially effective skin-lightening ingredients, but the irritants prevent a recommendation. The apple stem cells in this product cannot help your skin (see below).
Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other cell in that organism and reproducing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetic companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.
The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all. The reason is due to the fact that stem cells need to be alive in order to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and therefore useless. It’s actually a good thing that stem cells in skin-care products can’t work as claimed because one stem cell study has revealed the potential risk of cancer they pose.
Plant stem cells such as those derived from apples, melons, or rice cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, though being from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant properties. It’s a good thing plant stem cells can’t work as stem cells in skin care products; after all you don’t want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!
There are also claims that because a plant’s stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin and these claims are completely without substantiation.
Another twist on the issue is that cosmetic companies are claiming they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they can work as stem cells would in some way. This approach doesn’t work because stem cells must be complete in order to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.
Apple Brightening Serum contains nature’s most effective skin brighteners such as Applephenon, azelaic acid, alpha-arbutin, and lemon bioflavonoids to assist in maximum skin brightening.
Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aqua (Water), Glycerin (Vegetable), Niacinamide (B3), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit, Polysorbate 20 (Plant), Alcohol Denatured (Grain), Nonapeptide-1 (Melanostatine®5), Dextran (Plant), Rumex Occidentalis Extract (Yellow Dock), Malus Domestica (Apple) Fruit Cell Culture (PhytoCellTec™), Malic Acid (L) (Apple), Ascorbic Acid (L), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract (Applephenon™), Gallic Acid (Plant), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Melia Azadirachta (Neem Leaf) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum (Giant Knotweed/Resveratrol) Extract, Citrus Grandis (Red Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance/Parfum (Natural), Phytic Acid (Rice), Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum (Fermented Sugar
Colorado-based MyChelle is sold in many health food, specialty supplement and vitamin shops, and spas. It was started by Myra Michelle Eby, an entrepreneur whose background includes years working in the natural products industry. Eby's background was mostly in sales and she translated that talent into creating MyChelle.
Like many lines that heavily emphasize natural ingredients, MyChelle spurns synthetic ingredients as always being bad or toxic. The company's catalog provides an ingredient dictionary that glorifies every natural ingredient they use as having multiple benefits for skin, but it leaves out any of the negative research proving that many plant (i.e., natural) extracts can have a negative effect on skin. Once again consumers are being fed a pipe dream that a natural product is the answer to their skin-care concerns. Depending on the MyChelle product you choose, you could be putting your skin at considerable risk for irritation, free-radical damage, and potentially phototoxic reactions when skin is exposed to sunlight. As is often the case with new skin-care companies promising the world, MyChelle has over a dozen moisturizers and serums proclaiming their lifting antiwrinkle properties, but it sells only one sunscreen, which they identify as being for the body not the face. None of that adds up to great skin care.
Ironically, while MyChelle products have lots of missteps, many of the products also contain several proven beneficial ingredients for skin alongside the irritating ones. Antioxidants, retinol, peptides, and skin-identical ingredients are often included, but when these great ingredients are mixed with ingredients that cause irritation, destroy skin cells, and cause collagen breakdown, they are fighting an uphill battle to provide your skin with any benefit.
Please don't misunderstand: we're all for natural as long as it doesn't make matters worse for skin, but that's simply not the case with the majority of products in this line. As for the "Dermaceuticals" portion of the name, well, that's just one more meaningless marketing term to look past, as there is nothing dermatologic or pharmaceutical about any of these products.
For more information about MyChelle Dermaceuticals, call (800) 447-2076 or visit www.mychelle.com.