Yesterday we left you hanging midair with the notion of a pleasant surprise as Dr John attended a lecture about stem cells in cosmetics. Fully expecting a stone wall and a rigid adherence to party line (as dictated by the labs from which things are sourced) I found the opposite – a speaker with an open and curious mind. He allowed me to interrupt his lecture to explain about human stem cell work and the methods used to extract stem cytokines. Rather than turn his lecture into a debate, I corralled him afterwards and we had a walking chat about plant stem cell work, and the holes in the whole story (e.g. the producers wound the particular plant to create a callus, but true (University-based) botanists say that’s not even where you will find a plant “meristem” cell – the closest thing to an actual stem cell in the plant kingdom. Our speaker didn’t try to defend the work. And he even stopped by the Cellese booth to get literature about our human mesenchymal stem cell science. Wow!
So, who was this masked man? His name is Michael Pugliese, and he is the CEO of Circadia Skin Care, a company started by his grandfather, a physician, Dr. Peter Pugliese, an industry stalwart, textbook author, and educator dating back 40 years. Michael is not a physician, but seems to have grown up in the skin care industry, and is a licensed esthetician. He impressed me with the depth of his knowledge in dermal biochemistry.
I didn’t get to spend much time with him at the show, but plan to contact him in the next few days to begin a collaborative sharing of information, and perhaps even a collegial debate. Their company does put plant stem cells in products, so if I can talk them out of that I will have accomplished the BFT mission. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
I wanted to share this with you, because it encouraged me, and hopefully will do the same for you. There ARE people involved in the industry that value scientific validity, and share the basic skepticism that scientists hold dear as a basic tenet of the scientific method. Mind you, there is a still evidence of the skin care industry blindly believing what the ingredients manufacturers are pitching – despite the lack of coherence with known biology. But maybe there is room for a new paradigm top replace the old, broken one.