I have the exciting opportunity to try AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum (review coming soon), and much to my delight and excitement, I also received a personally autographed copy of Dr. Al-Qahtani’s fabulous new book Real World Skin Solutions. Despite being a CEO of one of the world’s most elite skin care companies (and AQ Skin Solutions really is a worldwide phenomenon), it has became clear to me through reading his book that Dr. AQ (as many of those who know him reportedly call him) is an extremely compassionate human being and consumer advocate. Real World Skin Solutions reminds us that, despite our aesthetic dissatisfaction, our skin is a miracle (his word for it). Just to scratch the surface, the book helps readers: separate science from empty marketing, know harmful red-flag ingredients to avoid, see past marketing hype to better evaluate the true benefits and risks products and procedures, better understand skin disorders and concerns and how to treat them.
This is a compassionate yet no-nonsense, science-based book about how to manage your skin and how to smartly navigate the skin care industry. This is a book that will save you money. I learned a number of things I wish I had known sooner.
There is a wealth of knowledge contained in Real World Skin Solutions, but I will give you a taste of a few highlights from the chapters on stem cells and growth factors.
- There is no scientific basis for including stem cells in anti-aging lines. Stem cells do produce growth factors, but Dr. Al-Qahtani explains that stem-cell growth factors are not relevant to our skin.
- Most companies utilize plant stem cells, but as Dr. Al-Qahtani points out, our DNA is different from plant DNA, and stem cells cannot “jump species.” So, he says, this is completely empty marketing!*
- Also, you know all those products that utilize algae? Dr. Qahtani explains that our skin does not have the enzymes to put this to any use. *
- In other words, he says, do not waste your money on trying to get benefits from plant-based DNA. *
NOTE: Although perhaps technically correct in his points, I believe Dr. Al Qahtani overlooks the benefits that plant stem cell extracts do have for our skin. Other readings point out things like the following: “In recent years, researchers have identified naturally occurring botanicals with substantial antioxidant activity proven to protect skin stem cells from UV-induced oxidative stress, inhibit inflammation, neutralize free radicals and reverse the effects of photoaging. Consequently, cosmeceutical products containing extracts derived from plant stem cells have the ability to promote healthy cell proliferation and protect against UV-induced cellular damage in humans.” Source: http://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/stem-cell-technology-and-skin
- Epidermal growth factors, on the other hand, are worthwhile because they simultaneously stimulate the growth of new cells while repairing damaged ones and benefit all skin types.
- However, in order to achieve desirable results without unintended side effects, you need the right growth factors in the right combinations, something that requires expertise.
- Dr. Al-Qahtani follows up with four rules of thumb to spot “fake factors” and save your money.
- Be skeptical of anything in a clear bottle. (Time for me to throw a bunch of stuff away!)
- Anything from another species will not help humans. (More things to throw away.)
- Be sure a product is not based on stem cells or organ cells left over in other laboratory tests, as they will not yield beneficial results.
- Be skeptical of growth factor products that come from outside the US.
- Dr. Al-Qahtani also lists ten of the most relevant growth factors found in solid skin care products on the market today, as well as what each of these can accomplish.