I hope this url goes through, but I'll also post part of the article. It comes from, of all places, a cosmetics newsletter. It talks about newborn's foreskins being used in cosmetics. The author's light take on this issue disturbs me, but I suppose her only concern is how well it'll fight wrinkles.
: Anyway, is this old news? What do you think?http://tinyurl.com/5ydxh
(article is halfway down)
TNS Recovery Complex
Over the past few weeks several reporters have asked me about neonatal human foreskin tissue and its use in skin-care products as an antiwrinkle ingredient. It was difficult not to laugh out loud. About a hundred jokes went through my mind, none of which would have been appropriate during an interview. So after I regained control of myself, I realized I had actually reviewed this ingredient before, because it is also sold under the trade name NouriCel. It isn't really human foreskin, but the medium or "soup," so to speak, that is used to develop and grow cells harvested from human foreskin. The interest here is that this soup, which encourages cell growth of human foreskin in a petri dish, is said to have the same benefit when applied topically to skin, meaning it can make more skin cells or grow more collagen.
What I first wrote about this ingredient is basically still true--the only research showing that this ingredient has an effect on wrinkles or builds collagen for healthy skin is generated by Advanced Tissue Sciences, the company that manufactures and licenses this ingredient to cosmetics companies. For now, it is used primarily in products like TNS Recovery Complex (TNS is “Tissue Nutrient Solution”), sold by SkinMedica (skinmedica.com). Despite the company's insistence that SkinMedica can be sold only in doctors' offices, it is readily available on the Internet and can also be found in spas and salons.
NouriCel, technically called "human fibroblast conditioned media," is created by taking a newborn male's foreskin cells. These cells are put through a process that produces ingredients to generate new skin growth and stimulate collagen production. According to Advanced Tissue Sciences, "When applied topically, fibroblast conditioned media rejuvenates the skin by replenishing it with the same natural human growth factors, antioxidants, soluble collagens, and matrix proteins that newborn skin makes, but that aging skin produces less efficiently and sometimes in smaller quantities. As a result, this efficacious ingredient fights the visible signs of aging by reducing wrinkle number and depth, diminishing the number of fine lines, improving the appearance of sun damaged skin, and enhancing skin texture and elasticity." Unfortunately, there are no published studies that support Advanced Tissue Sciences' assertions.
The lack of published studies, however, doesn't mean there is no science behind the use of human fibroblast conditioned media. The FDA approved Advanced Tissue Sciences' use of human fibroblast conditioned media for diabetic-induced, chronic, ulcerated wound-healing under the name DermaGraft (fda.gov). A study published in Wound Repair and Regeneration, July 2003, page 297, stated that "The exact mechanisms of action of ... [human fibroblast conditioned media] and their effects on wound healing at a cellular level are yet to be fully defined." Still, the study concluded that human fibroblast conditioned media definitely helped create new blood vessels. Whether or not that benefit, or any benefit, translates to its use in a cosmetic mixed with other cosmetic ingredients is at this point a leap of faith. For now, whether or not baby foreskin is the new miracle skin-care ingredient is still an unknown.