Stem cells in a facial? That was our question too.
As luck would have it, the Dermatology Times/Aesthetic Authority booth was side-by-side with Russell Health’s at South Beach Symposium 2020. And we couldn’t help to notice all the materials on something called the “Stem Cell Recruitment Facial.” You’re probably thinking what I initially thought: The word “facial” conjures up images of salon and spa treatments. But add in “stem cells” and suddenly maybe we’re looking at something with medical-grade chops. We had a few questions for Russell Health, and they were more than happy to answer.
I sat down with Ryan Salvino, director of sales for the company. What exactly is the Stem Cell Recruitment Facial? Here’s what you need to know:
The “facial” is an amniotic fluid product manufactured by Russell Health that is injected into the skin using a patent-pending process that includes multiple steps, from product preparation to administration. The product itself is an adjunct to microneedling (with or without RF).
“[The amniotic fluid] comes from a live c-section birth and the mother must give consent,” says Salvino. After going through the FDA-regulated testing process to ensure safety parameters are met, the donated fluid is put through a complex filtering system and frozen.
“We're freezing it because we're able to maintain all the biological components: cytokines, extracellular matrix proteins and growth factors,” says Salvino.
Still, there is a shelf life. The company’s procedural guidelines point out the need to check the label on the product box before opening it because the graft must be used before the expiration date.
The amniotic fluid is acellular and exhibits low immunogenicity. There have been no reported cases of immune rejection.
Notably, the product is FDA regulated and 361 compliant.
The procedural guide provided by Russell Health includes a protocol and offers detailed guidance such as needle depth for each area of the face and the back too.
Each treatment session involves two passes of microneedling with radiofrequency, separated by topical and intradermal application of the amniotic fluid.The full treatment protocol includes two sessions spaced 3-4 weeks apart.
“The protocol is [to] do one treatment, wait three weeks, do a second treatment, and you'll see the effects six weeks after the first treatment,” says Salvino.
As for how long results last, “It varies for every patient. What happens is the amniotic fluid helps with the regeneration process.” Which, he says, continues after each treatment. “We've seen results that last eight to 12 months.”
So really, this isn’t simply a facial — it’s a “super” facial.
“It's approved for homologous use, which is lubrication of the skin, regeneration, repair,” says Salvino.
To date, physicians have used it with microneedling to improve post-acne scarring, skin laxity, fine lines, wrinkles and jawline definition.
Of course, one question I always have for product reps: Have you used it yourself?
Salvino says he has not, but his fiancée has had the recommended two treatments.
“She actually had scalp psoriasis and it is completely gone. She doesn't need to fold her hair over in front anymore [like] she used to. She had [psoriasis] since she was in fifth grade and now she's… super confident.”