Stem cell beauty comes to the masses


Superdrug launches first own brand product containing Mibelle’s apple stem cell technology

AS Watson owned Superdrug has become the first retailer to develop an own brand skin care product designed to boost the vitality of stem cells in human skin. Swiss Apple Overnight Skin Renewal Serum contains PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, an active ingredient developed by Mibelle Biochemistry, derived from a variety of Swiss apple called Uttwiler Spätlauber and renowned for its excellent storability.

“The difference between normal cells and stem cells is that in stem cells all genes can be expressed,” Mibelle business manager Dr Fred Zülli explained. “Stem cells need different nutrients to other cells; we need to give them nutrients that only come from other stem cells.”

While several brands including 3Lab and Lancôme offer products containing PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, the Superdrug serum’s USP lies in its value; it will launch in Superdrug stores in September with an introductory price tag of £9.99, which will eventually increase to £14.99.

“We’re looking to bring innovation to the market, but at an accessible price,” commented Superdrug’s category director for own brand, Andrew Groom.

The serum, said Groom, was conceived as an overnight product because it afforded the active “the best chance of penetrating without ‘pollutants’ like make-up getting in the way”. “The point,” he added, “is to get the product deep enough into the skin for it to work”.

For this reason, Groom ruled out the possibility of an apple stem cell based range.

“Commercially I’d love to expand apple stem cell technology into everything we do,” he said. “But not all skin care products can penetrate as deeply as this ingredient needs.

"However, we are working with Mibelle on potential products containing their other stem cell ingredients, so if we were to develop this concept further it would be towards the production of other intensive serums.”

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