READ these updates to this post: Five Best With Plant Stem Cells and Five Best Serums With Growth Factors 2012

Stem cells have to be the anti-aging beauty ingredient of the year. Specifically known as epidermal growth factors, they are in my experience as good as it gets. Without doubt, EPGs seem to be at the leading edge of what anti-aging skincare currently has to offer. Serums with EPGs vary as to whether they focus on a single growth factor, or complex combinations. They may also be derived from humans or plants. There’s more background on what they are and how they work in my earlier post (you’ll probably be surprised by how close human and plant cells are). In the meantime, here’s my Five Best. As I said, these are about as good as it gets.

Bioeffect EGF Serum ($110 for 5ml and $210 for 15ml). I have been using this every day  for the past three months or so and it seems to suit by skin perfectly. A clear serum, based on only nine ingredients, it has an “oily” feel (although there is no oil in it) and Junko reported that it made her breakout in her oily T-zone). Not me, I use it all over and I think the results are fantastic. All my Five Best stem cell serums give great results on wrinkles, but this one also does the best job for me in overall skin condition – plump, hydrated, healthy. The EGF comes from barley and Bioeffect is manufactured in Iceland. Read the full review.

ReLuma Skin Illuminating Anti-aging Serum ($135 for 20ml and $199 for 30ml in the TIA shop). ReLuma takes a while to kick in - at least three weeks in my experience (although some TIA users have seen results more quickly). It is very good for fine lines and even deep wrinkles. Reluma formulation is based on a blend of three stem cell technologies derived from adult humans and conditioned media. Another deceptively simple formula that, in my experience,works.  Read the full review.

Hydropeptide Hydrostem+6 ($160 for 1oz). Both Emily and I anointed this one a potential Five Best when we reviewed it and now here it is amongst the best stem cell serums. Results are very good, particularly on fine lines. There are six plant stem cells here, three of which use the meristem (which researchers think is the part that matters).  There’s a lot going on in this formula, including some good peptides and some silicone and preservatives that some won’t like (along with a less than pleasant smell). Read Emily’s review.

E’shee Cellular Repair Serum ($179 for 0.34 oz in the TIA shop). This is based on a single growth factor, FGF-1, patented by Professor Chiu of Ohio State University. Although this is an expensive product, I have bought with my own hard-earned. It is best to target this where needed to get the most bang for your buck. As well as wrinkles, this serum is also helpful with broken capillaries (whether this is due to the horse chestnut or the FGF-1, I can’t say). There’s also a fungi extract with moisture retaining properties, plus hyaluronic acid, and mulberry is supposed to have skin lightening effects. (Read my full review)

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair ($65 for 1.7 fl oz). fruit stem cells are not mere tokens; the feature near the top of an ingredients list that is packed full of useful ingredients, many of which are organic. Naturally, the base is Juice Beauty’s signature blend apple, grape, lemon and aloe juices and this comfortable and soothing moisturizer has plenty of shea butter and jojoba. Aging skin will appreciate the essential fatty acids from evening primrose, linseed (flax) and borage. The combination of flax and borage got a thumbs up from German researchers, who found that it smoothed out rough, red skin. I definitely saw an improvement in skin tone. (Read my full review)

Finally, although not a Five Best, I should mention Regeniskin ($39.95 for 1.7oz). This was a Julie Kay find and I was intrigued to test it out. I’ve been using it for three weeks and have found results using it on my hands similar to Julie’s. Skin looks a little plumper and smoother. However, this cream is very light and I definitely need to pair it with a moisturizer. This is not a heavy hitter (and it does have a couple of parabens), but it certainly stands out as value for money. Read Julie’s review.

Ingredients in Bioeffect: Glycerine, sodium hyaluronate, tromethamine, alcohol (less than 0.9%), calcium chloride, sodium chloride, hordeum vulgare seed, EGF (transgenic barley SH-oligopeptide-1)

Ingredients in ReLuma: Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media, Water, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, DL-Panthenol, Hydroxy Ethyl Cellulose, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in Hydropeptide: Water, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid Copolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Panthenol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Silica, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutyroyl Hydroxythreonine, Palmitoyl Dipepitde-5 Diaminohydroxybutyrate, Niacinamide, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Cell Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Cell Culture, Echinacea Angustifolia Meristem Cell Culture, Gardenia Jasminoids Meristem Cell Culture, Leotopodium Alpinum (Edelweiss) Meristem Cell Culture, Malus Domestica (Swiss Apple) Fruit Cell Culture, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol Acetate, Allantoin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Menthyl Lactate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Isomalt, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone

Ingredients in E’shee: Aqua, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Propylene Glycol, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Extract, Tinocare GL, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethanolamine, D-Panthenol, Lactic acid, Carbomer, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, FGF 1 (Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor).

Ingredients In Juice Beauty: Organic Juices of Pyrus Malus Juice (Apple*), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) (Grape*), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) (Lemon*), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (*), Glycerin, Octyl Palmitate, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Malus Sylvestris Buds (Apple), Vitis Vinifera Buds (Grape), Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Bark (Lemon), Organic Plant Oils of Helianthus Annuus Seed (Sunflower), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter*), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed (Jojoba*), Organic Essential Fatty Acids of Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed (Borage*), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) (Vitamin C), Xanthan Gum , Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin Orange) (Mandarin), Litsea Cubeb (Litsea Cubeba) (May Chang), Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) (Pure Essential Oils)(Ho wood) * = organic

Ingredients in Regeniskin: Deionized water, bioferm complex (jopboa, saponaria yucca, rosemary, chamolime, comfrey, arnica, juniper, horsetail, protein growth factor, glyceryl monostearate, stearic acid, octyl salicylte, aloe vera, almond oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, methylparaben, propylparaben, sweet orange oil.