Our Rating: 4 stars

Stem cell actives need something to repair, such as a wrinkle. If you don’t have wrinkles you will be disappointed if you splash out on a stem cell serum. Which is why, I believe, Dennis – who share with us that he “doesn’t have lines” – had a mixed experience when he (very thoroughly) reviewed Stemulation Facial Serum for us. I’ve been curious ever since to know what Stemulation Facial Serum (0.5oz/$135) would be like if given a sporting chance on some real lines and wrinkles (such as mine), and I have been testing it for the past six weeks.

It turns out that Stemulation’s stem cells are no exception – they like the wrinkle challenge. I found that it has helped smooth fine lines and given the skin around them renewed suppleness. I also experienced a bonus evening out of skin tone due to some of the other ingredients here that I will go into later.

First a quick word about Stemulation’s signature HMSC Cultured Media cell growth medium conditioned by cytokines secreted from Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells that are harvested from human bone marrow. They are capable of replication as undifferentiated cells. Read more on human and plant stem cells.

Stemulation’s serum is a lightweight lotion in an aloe vera base. Following the stem cells, there is  Syn-Ake (dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate), which claims to fight expression lines by temporarily debilitating the muscle, keeping it from contracting and thereby smoothing lines in a wrinkle-prone area. I don’t necessarily object to expression inhibitors but I don’t much care for them, regarding them as mostly superficial. This otherwise impressive formulation could easily do without it. To start with, there is a gentle, but effective form of vitamin C, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, and the powerful and multitasking niacinamide. I like the inclusion of the collagen-boosting peptide, miristoyl pentapeptide-8. The botanical extracts include a couple of my favorites, skin-brightening turmeric and milk thistle, an antioxidant that protects against cell damage from toxins. Milk thistle helps against acne, making it a good choice for those who need their anti-aging serums to assist with breakout control.

There’s nothing much to dislike except for a lone silicone and ubiquitous phenoxyethanol. Although fragrance is listed, I find Stemulation’s Serum to be odor free. Finally, it is worth pointing out that those with dry skin may need to layer a moisturizer over this serum.