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Anti-aging Swiss apple stem cells

May 31, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 31 Comments

A year ago I predicted that stem cells from fruits and vegetables would start to appear in anti-wrinkle potions. Capturing human stem cells is controversial and those from animals are somehow unappealing (and carry risk of infection). Enter vegetal stem cells. In particular, stem cells derived from apples have just started to appear in commercially available creams.

Of course, they don't come from any old apple. No, these stem cells come from a very rare Swiss apple tree that we are told was cultivated over 300 hundred years ago for the long storage life of the fruit. So rare is it, that it was practically extinct. One day, a few trees were spotted somewhere in an isolated corner of the Alps. Scientists were all of a dither, seeing the possibilities immediately: stem cells could be extracted from this long living apple and be used to make other things live long - like my aging skin cells.

I was actually falling for all of this whilst reading a lengthy article penned by a Dr Goldfaden. That is, until I came across Goldfaden Stem Cell Serum and the sweet aroma of life-giving fruit began to smell a bit fishy. Dr G's article is very detailed and it goes so far as to give us the name of this rare species of tannin-rich apple: Uttwiler Spätlauber.

By now, I was on the alert. A Google search of Uttwiler Spätlauber threw up over 30o references and not one of them was botanical. In fact, they ALL refer to the invention of a new skincare ingredient. Uttwiler Spätlauber lives only in the imagination of Dr Goldfaden and the cosmetic industry.

Interestingly, searching on terms such as 'vegetal stem cells', 'fruit' stem cells or 'apple stem cells' is even less, ahem, fruitful. And, once more, references go back to cosmetics and a company called Emerge that supposedly invented a process for extracting stem cells from "rare Swiss apples" called PhytoCellTec.

The whole thing is hooey and has as about as much basis in reality as that other Swiss apple myth, the legend of William Tell.

Ingredients in Emerge Stem Cell Swiss Apple Serum ($120)

Purified Water, (PhytoCellTec™ Stem Cell) Malus Domestica, Glycerin, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol Collagen, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, (Matrixyl 3000), Squalane, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Ingredients in Goldfaden Stem Cell Serum ($75)

Chondrus Crispus (Seaweed) Extract, Purified Water, Hyaluronic Acid, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture, Xanthan Gum, Clycerin, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Red Tea Extract.

Updates: Five Best with plant stem cells

  • March 11, 2018

    by Renee

    Koen- This site's review appears to be based on peer-reviewed, academic research. Wikipedia, along with other such sites, is not considered an academic source. These types of sites aren't considered scientifically or academically valid.

  • January 15, 2018

    by Koen

    Well I'm not sure where you've been looking, but a simple google search yields this information about the Uttwiler Spaetlauber apple variety:ätlauber and here is the patent that describes how to produce a cosmetic skin product using plant stem cells and specifically names the Uttwiler Spaetlauber in the patent: .

    I'm not sure why you couldn't find those but there they are.
    (Mind you I'm not saying that stem cells from that specific apple would be any better than those from any other apple, nor am I saying that the proof of such plant stem cells activity on human stem cells is obvious. But the apple cutivar "Uttwiler Spaetlauber" does exist, and so does the patent for extracting its cells.)

  • November 12, 2017

    by Michael

    Most of aging occuring around the eyes includes wrinkles, expression lines, sagging and dry skin.
    What is your recommendation for the best single product to improve most or all of these common findings related to aging?

  • December 3, 2016

    by TIM

    It's always buyer beware. Especially when the global skin care industry is a $121 BILLION industry.
    OF course, there will be people, whether stock holders, company employees, sellers who will post FAKE 'personal experiences',,,all in the name of $$$$.

    Do your homework people. Don't believe everything you read. And visit websites such as this one for an honest look at the truth behind these claims (which, but the way ALWAYS come with an FDA disclaimer that none of these companies' claims have been proven).

  • April 25, 2016

    by michael

    Rob I agree with you 100%

  • April 21, 2016

    by Bev

    Thank-you for sorting out fact from fiction. Advertising deception should be a required class in Jr high, high school!

  • July 12, 2015

    by marie alice

    I have been using fruits and vegetables, in skin treatments, However, apples are new. It's always good to add honey to skin care treatments.

  • March 2, 2015

    by Liz

    I'm only a consumer, and had tried a product recently which touted Apple Stem Cell high on its ingredient list.
    I use a wide variety of skin care products-all which keep my 60 year old skin in great shape. I recently bought this product from Marshalls, a product which is widely available on the net at a higher price (so I lucked out on getting this product so cheap).
    After one night-one night- of using this product I noted an improvement in elasticity and tone under my eyes. I was so taken by this one night improvement I had to get online to see what this Apple stem cell is all about.
    I'm a believer-proof positive-in the excellent properties this ingredient can produce in the skin. Makes sense and even if this particular apple in Switzerland doesn't exit I have had organic apples I have bought from the grocery store last a remarkably long time. So this makes sense to me. I'm on the bandwagon with it.

  • November 27, 2014

    by Rob

    If there are only a few trees left then how is it that they produce enough apples to produce a big enough quantity of stem cells to make the expense of creating and marketing these brands worthwhile? Perhaps they are super fruiters!!! 10 crops per year anyone?
    Also, perhaps someone can say how stem cells applied to the surface manage to get into your skin cells. That would be a pretty neat party trick.

  • November 16, 2014

    by Marta

    Yes there are 36 references on Google scolar and all are accessible (at least the abstracts) and they written by our friend Goldfadden or by Mibelle, the manufacturer of apple stem cells for cosmetic use.

  • November 16, 2014

    by Bob

    There are 26 academic references to this apple in Google Scholar, so I guess the apple does exist. If you are dubious about something, you can always check via google scholar which is great resource for academic material. Of course you may not be able to access the texts of some papers unless you have access through some academic portal, but at least you will know that they exist.

  • November 16, 2014

    by Bob

    Shouldn't we write stem SELL technology. not stem cell? :)

  • August 5, 2013

    by sarah

    I can't help but chime in - I admit I'm writing marketing material for a company using this apple stem cell extract - but I'm also a farmer with a root cellar. I've found the old apple varieties that you can't find in stores or even many plant nurseries, that aren't as tasty, really do keep long into the winter in cold storage. So I wasn't surprised to hear about the Uttwiler Spatlauber. By going through the Swiss nonprofit that collects heirloom plants and promotes their cultivation I found the farmer who has them growing on his farm along with a few hundred other old varieties. Here's the link to his orchard's list of apples including the Uttwiller Spatlauber.

    Certainly there are big questions that need to be answered about how plant stem cells help your skin, but this special apple is not a hoax. It, like many of our old varieties, has qualities that we can't afford to lose.

  • March 20, 2013

    by Adam

    While I believe that apple stem cells can stop skin aging if applied to it is nonsense, the variety of apple does exist. (

  • December 16, 2012

    by jazz

    so wait are the apple stem cells boulcrap or not? i always forget that people lie about everything to make money. but i wanna believe in plant stem cells darnit!

  • August 23, 2012

    by Polly

    How many of these comments are posted by people in the industry pretending to be consumers?

  • June 21, 2012

    by Caitlin

    oh my gosh, I love it! I got Glymed Plus stem cell syrum and it's GREAT! Bought some for my mother, too. Thanks for the links! I already know from personal experience that apple stem cell technology works, but it's always great to see more evidence!

  • April 27, 2012

    by Angela

    I actually came across this because I was looking for a product that would encapsulate genistein (from soy) in liposome, as the research has PROVEN that this works for anti aging.

    The only product I found that has this property was UNT's PRODIGE PRO-YOUTH TONIC, which also uses apple stem cells. So if those work too, it will be a bonus.

  • April 18, 2012

    by Sarah

    I got a sample of the this stem cell Johnny Apple Seed stuff the other day. I don't think it's real otherwise information about the process of extracting stem cells would be readily available in a search. I can't find jack on it other than sites which want opt you to buy their product. However, your first paragraph was a real nice fantasy and I must say I just ate a real apple and tasted delicious!

  • August 12, 2011

    by Tyler Yang

    Hey everybody! This article really goes to show how we should be looking back to nature for the key to living a long, prosperous and healthy life. I believe nature has all the secrets - after all we are an element of nature ourselves.

    I am Independent Consultant for an amazing Swiss Vegan & Botanically-based Skincare + Nutrition company called Arbonne, they have a fabulous line of anti-aging products called RE9 for both men & women. I won't hesitate to say, I think RE9 is one of the best things on the market currently as far as anti-aging goes; if not "the" best.

    If anybody has any interest in trying some amazing products that can only be exclusively purchased through Arbonne's network of Independent Consultants - let me know! I am currently out of samples, but I have more on my way and would love to place this gift of nature and opportunity in your hands (or on your face hehe)! Don't hesitate to give me an email: follow me on Twitter: @itstyleryang! This is your opportunity to derail the train of aging that just keeps chugging along! Cheers to "La Bella Vita!"

  • July 20, 2011

    by fiat

    hi everyone, I really interested in Emerge swiss apple stem cell serum which has 20% of PhytocellTec in their ingredient list.

    But I'm not so sure whether it is true as it claimed or not because 20% of stem cell seem very high and it would be really grateful if you could provide me with some info for that... thank you very much

  • October 6, 2010

    by Judith

    I've tried CSI brand from Vita Cost, with the apple stem cell, seaweed, and HA. Yes, there is an improvement. Had a sample of Chantecaille product with the stem cells and it was fantastic but I can't afford it. Don't knock this down unless you have tried it.

  • December 16, 2009

    by Jonathan

    Actually, it's Mibelle Biochemistry that makes the Phytocelltec ingredient. The whole thing really isn't hooey.

  • December 1, 2009

    by dave

    Well All I can say is that i use a 20% concentration of the Phytocelltec apple stem cell active. It is AMAZING!!! Nothing has ever compared to this. the Best age reversal active available we feel.

  • November 13, 2009

    by JaneF

    I had a look into this Swiss apple stem cells and came across the actual manufacturer (Chesham Labs) who the skincare companies purchase the ingredient from and there is a host of very impressive clincal tests and studies that back up the claims. I'm very impressed!

  • October 1, 2009

    by Renee Sinrod

    All aboard for the choo choo train to never never land. Stem Cell skin cream is one of the funniest
    research results I've heard yet. Whenever a wonderful discovery occurs, leeches appear from dark recesses and pounce on it with nefarious plans for all kinds of scams. Stem Cell skin cream is selling right now for $19.99 as I write this. If "An apple a day can keep the doctor away", surely an apple can keep the wrinkles away.

  • June 1, 2009

    by J. Kay

    Even on the DIY sites, PhytoCellTec is rather pricey. I haven't purchased any yet. I can't quite wrap my mind around this concept, and now reading your article, Marta, I'm relieved I haven't. I can so often be hasty. ~jk

  • June 1, 2009

    by marta

    Yes - you are completely right. I stand corrected and humbled.

  • May 31, 2009

    by Barry

    Oh, strange. I was going off the uh, company website?


  • May 31, 2009

    by marta

    These are the Image ingredients: Water, aloe barbendensis leaf extract, lactic acid, glycolic acid, sodium hyaluronate, algae extract, artemesia vulgaris, polysorbate 20, hydroxyethylcellulose, phospholipids, cucumber, arnica montana, yeast (faex) extract, chamomile, grape seed, spearmint oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, disodium EDTA, malic acid.

    No Phytocelltec as far as I can see.

  • May 31, 2009

    by Barry

    But I thought you loved Image Skincare's Ageless Total Anti-Aging Serum, which contains PhytocellTec as a key ingredient?

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