Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

Stem Cell Platinum facial

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
October 26, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 14 Comments
If I didn’t love and trust my esthetician Ildi Pekar, I would not have so readily subjected myself to being treated like a pin-cushion. There’s another reason why I let her spend ten minutes using on a dermaroller (a device that I have always found downright scary – on my face): it was part of an extraordinary treatment that involves stem cells, platinum, mini explosions, and sub zero temperatures. And to cut to the car chase, yes, it left my skin looking great.

The Stem Cell Platinum facial uses devices that Ildi has imported from Europe and Japan and the theory is that the dermarolling (I’ll go into the details in a moment) allows a potent combination of stem cells and platinum to penetrate the skin.

I have seen pictures of dermarolled patients who look as if a truck backed over them. Even the gentler at-home devices seem to be have designed for masochists. So it was with some trepidation that I went along with this treatment.  The dermaroller used by Ildi has over 400 very, very tiny needles that prickle very distinctly and to the point of being uncomfortable, but I am happy to say that they didn’t shed one drop of blood.

Proponents of dermarolling say that the advantage over chemical peeling is that it doesn't remove the epidermis. The needles do cause microscopic punctures, the skin perceives that it has undergone a trauma and it starts to produce collagen. Also, the punctured skin can more readily absorb active ingredients. And this is where the next stage (and the mini explosion) comes in.

A vial of 15 stem cells and platinum is placed on a machine and receives a charge strong enough to catapult the vial a into the air while dissipating the platinum into tiny molecules.

While I understand the stem cell part (they signal in various ways to get cells to do things, such as repair damage), I do not fully understand the role of platinum. It is being used in cancer treatments as it has the ability, in certain chemical forms, to inhibit the division of living cells. This may mean that the platinum used in my facial may help my aging skin cells struggle on a bit longer. Platinum has also been tested on animal skin and is thought to helpful in the treatment of “hyperproliferative skin diseases”.

The stem cell platinum combo is massaged into the skin and then a device the size of a small hairdryer cools the skin to minus four degrees Celsius. Surprisingly this feels cool and soothing rather than freezing. This phase closes the skin’s pores and locks in the serum. The final phase is a soothing mask followed by a little moisturizer.

The immediate effect is extremely impressive. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I looked a little rosy cheeked but not really red. My skin felt firm and plump. It looked amazing. Wow, I said. I was glowing and wrinkles around my mouth and chin, as well as crow’s feet had all but disappeared. After all that prickling and intense cold, it is likely that my skin was having a short-term response to the trauma by swelling a little.

By the end of the day, my skin was still wonderfully plump, but it was also redder - as if I'd caught the sun. It wasn't sore, but felt scratchy, for want of a better description.

The litmus test comes in a month when I can expect to see results from the stem cells and platinum. I’ll report back and tell you if I would be willing to pay for future sessions (they cost $375 and this one was complimentary). The number of treatments per year is limited to five – not just by budget, although this is certainly pricey, but because it is powerful stuff.
  • May 4, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    Marta! How interesting for me to see and read this review! I had JUST been explaining to one of the TIA staff the difference between derma stamping and derma rolling and why for AQ's growth factor treatment, we MUCH prefer derma stamping. I wasn't sure that you would be interested in trying something like this, but AQ does have a similar clinical treatment in which we use derma stamping to help our super concentrated growth factor serum to penetrate into the dermis. And I know you are a fan of the active serum.

    Think about it. :)

  • March 10, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Reena, thanks for the link. Here is the website for SkinR3 Platinum <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

  • March 10, 2012

    by Reena

    This page has what seems similar treatment, and more information on the platinum, they are synthetic stem cells I think

  • February 8, 2012

    by Marta

    Good questions Stephanie. I am very happy with the way my skin is at the moment, but I attribute this mostly to topical products and LED. I don't have plans to have another Pelleve, but if things start to sag/deteriorate then I would stump up for it. As the the platinum, I'm really not sure. I am not really a convert to dermarolling and I don't fully understand the role of platinum (I would like to do more research on that).

  • February 7, 2012

    by Stephanie

    What's the final word on this treatment? Also do you have any plans to have another Pelleve treatment?


  • October 30, 2011

    by Jina

    Thank you Dr Sanderson for your prompt reply to my question about micro current facials with regard to prevention of sagging. As I too have looked for scientific evidence and not successful I have hoped to find ancedotal or clinical information. Have had monthly micro current and led light facials since May, and see my eyelids slightly lifted which last a few days. Hopefully as time goes by this will last a little longer and more people come forward with positive or negative results in the TIA community

  • October 27, 2011

    by John Sanderson, MD

    Hi Jina.

    Microcurrents, applied across skin, are well known to accelerate healing in chronic wounds. At <3mA, it won't do much for muscles, or their support structures. No evidence that it increases collagen or other matrix proteins in the absence of a wound. Seems to be acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, calling the right immune cells to the area. Where it might work best is where inflammation is part of the picture, which is true in several common aging-related skin issues. Or where you induce damage in the skin to create many tiny wounds (e.g. laser, dermaroller), which breaks down old cross-linked rigid collagen so that it might be replaced with new, more elastic collagen during healing. With microcurrents it should happen more quickly, although it may need to be applied frequently (or continuously e.g. a microcurrent patch). Also note that part of the skin’s impenetrability to chemicals is due to its electrical charge. Electric currents of the right polarity can open up channels to drive delivery of medicines (we call it iontophoresis). It can make a huge difference to penetration of actives.

    Hope this helps.

  • October 27, 2011

    by Jennifer E

    Maybe Dr. Sanderson can be a future TIA guest writer, as his input adds an additional layer of scientific analysis to the relentless marketing lingo which confuses us all!

  • October 26, 2011

    by Jina

    Hi "science guy"'
    As a TIA reader really appreciate you share your knowledge with the rest of us. Look forward to reading the article about fruit stem cells. One less compound I may not be adding to my regime. Also do you have any knowledge about the science of microcurrents for face. Have read somewhere that it is infact ligaments that need to be strengthened not the actual muscle on face as they keep muscles intact. Good luck Marta really appreciate putting yourself out there, and you do look great

  • October 26, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Dear Marta,

    Per spo's excellent comment, I also don't mean to alarm you about your procedure. Chances are you received very little platinum, if any, and probably just some ground up plant material. The reaction you describe is likely from the dermaroller only. But do watch out for anything that seems like an allergic response (itching, swelling, more redness); let your doctor know if you are concerned. If you had it done more than a day or two ago, the allergic danger has for the most part already passed.

    I forgot to give you a reference to opinion (other than my own) regarding plant stem cells. You might look at the Nov. 5, 2010 issue of New Scientist which has an article named "Feedback: Apple stem cell fruitloopery. "

    Best wishes,


  • October 26, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Hi Marta,

    You are correct that platinum is part of some anti-cancer therapeutics. In fact, it is because platinum damages DNA, and damaged DNA leads to tumor cell death. The chemotherapy agent assures that the drug containing the platinum is taken up preferentially by cancer cells, so more of them are killed than normal cells. If they are not killed, they at least grow more slowly. Here is a recent paper on the cell death effect.

    Cell death-inducing effect of palladium and platinum complexes on non-small cell lung cancer cells in vitro. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2011 Oct;137(10):1425-34.

    The most widely used platinum-based chemotherapeutic agent is Cisplatin. You can read the wiki here: Look at the list of side effects. They mainly relate to platinum salt toxicity. You describe ionization … “placed on a machine and receives a charge strong enough to catapult the vial …” which in the case of platinum causes it to form salts, making it even more likely to be toxic to cells.

    In terms of platinum’s capability for causing hypersensitivity allergies, I would refer you to this paper:

    Metal allergens of growing significance: epidemiology, immunotoxicology, strategies for testing and prevention. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2008 Sep;7(3):145-62.

    You mention that the stem cells are derived from plants. That may eliminate some concerns, e.g. plant diseases are very different from human diseases. However, by that same logic, plant stem cells are radically different from human stem cells in terms of how they operate. Being a stem cell scientist myself, I looked very closely at all the literature, and claims, surrounding plant stem cells. I, like others who have looked at it, find no reasonable evidence, or even a good hypothesis. I know how humans heal damaged skin, and how plants execute their agenda (“kill that limb, we can grow another”). Totally different. The chemical they use to communicate (cytokines) are vastly different. The clinical results are sorely lacking credibility. But I guess I won’t worry so much about your recent treatment having unintended consequences (unless you report back that you are sprouting new leaves).

    Sadly, the marketplace is chock full of hype, and in the end it impedes the real science from shining forth. You perform a wonderful public service by striving for “truth in aging”. I applaud your efforts to do so. If I can do anything to further your cause from a “science guy” point of view, let me know.

    Highest regards,


  • October 26, 2011

    by spo

    Marta, I can't speak for Dr. Sanderson, but I would point out that platinum based chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin and carboplatin, are indeed toxic. So to reason that if platinum is used to treat cancer, therefore it is safe to use when not treating cancer, is not really sound.

    Like all chemotherapy, the hope is that, in using a toxic agent, the cancer cells will be killed. However, there are always toxic side effects to the cancer patients using these drugs. Oncologists are MD's trained in how to administer these toxic agents as safely as possible. But still, it is a risky prospect for the patient. It is only because their life is on the line, that such a dangerous treatment is employed.

    Chemotherapy agents, such as the platinum based ones, target all rapidly dividing cells in the body, hence the hair loss that is commonly experienced by patients undergoing the treatment.

    As a nurse, I can't tell you if the platinum facial was dangerous, but what Dr. Sanderson says, in his comment, is not without scientific basis.

    Maybe you should just check this out with your dermatologist to see what he/she says about it. And, I am so sorry if I am contributing to an anxious tone here..

  • October 26, 2011

    by Marta

    Hello John, I believe that the stem cells are plant derived in this case. As for the platinum, your scenario seems very curious since platinum is used to treat cancer. I would very much like to see the scientific references you refer to. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to post links.

  • October 26, 2011

    by John Sanderson, MD


    Your “stem cell platinum facial” review suggests (I hope incorrectly) that stem cells ionized with platinum were placed on your face, then driven by dermaroller needles past the protective barrier of the skin (stratum corneum) into deeper layers. You don’t mention going through a procedure to harvest your own stem cells, so I would have to assume these cells come from someone else. If that were so, you would be exposing yourself to many risks (e.g. someone else’s DNA, disease). That is basically a stem cell transplant procedure.

    Now, maybe you meant NOT stem cells but conditioned medium of stem cell cultures, which (if done properly) would not carry those risks. I have myself experimented with that combination, under highly controlled conditions, with good results.

    But then there is the issue of that platinum. It carries the same risk as nickel, chromium, and other metals to cause hypersensitivity reactions. All the more so if it penetrates via dermarollers. Finally, your own DNA within your skin cells can become “platinated” (even with non-toxic concentrations), causing DNA strand breaks. That’s where mutations start, which of course a pathway to cancer. The platinum thing, in short, is quite worrisome.

    If you would like scientific references for any of this, please feel free to contact me.

    John Sanderson, M.D.

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More