Over the past decades, the demand for medicinal plant extracts has grown at a very fast pace. The existence of these plants is increasingly threatened and many of them have become extinguishing species. The search for alternatives has prompted plant cell culture technology to become a viable source for high-quality plant-based ingredients.
What this involves is the following. Plants are first selected based on their known therapeutic benefits (eg. Echinacea, Gotu Kola) or based on their incredible ability to defend and protect themselves in harsh environments (eg. Edelweiss, Arabian Cotton). We call these “survivalist plants”. Plants that are required to defend themselves and reproduce under challenging conditions, have evolved to become stronger and healthier. And thus, their secondary metabolites are also stronger and more active. This is the juice that we want for our skin.
Once the lab has selected the plant, they will extract cells from the meristem (stem cells), where the growth takes place. The plasma of these stem cells is isolated, then stimulated, so that the molecules are incited to exert their true power. We like to say that these plant molecules are “turbo-charged”. When at their most potent, the secondary metabolites are cultivated through biotechnology, making them grow and reproduce even more metabolites. This process has enormous benefits.
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