The phrase "stem-cells" typically has negative connotations surrounding it, personally when I hear that phrase I am taken back to high school biology class where we debated embryonic stem cells and the morality of their use. Similarly, you probably learned about how they can be used to repair diseased areas of the body and all the controversy surrounding them.
Like myself, most people are going to think of human stem cells when they see the phrase. Stem cells are basically a specific cell in an organism that has the ability to develop into a different type of cell, typically this is where embryonic stem cells come into play because they can be developed into many different human cells. Plants also possess stems, although different they have similar functions and characteristics. Plant stems cells mainly aid the plant in regeneration after injury and help with overall protection.
Unlike humans, plants are stationary so their stem-cells need to be extra protective; because of this they contain high levels of antioxidants and have the ability to repair any damage, which is what makes them so popular in skincare products! Antioxidants helps to fight off free radicals, for plants this could be factors like weather and for us free radicals are factors like pollutants and sun rays. But unlike with the use of human stem cells, plant stem cells are not alive when used as an ingredient, there is more research being done on being able to use live cultures but it very difficult to keep them alive when not in the lab. But regardless you still benefit from the plant stem cells antioxidants and ability to boost collagen production, like they would do for the plant.
Here at C2 we include plant stem cells in a few of our products; The Apple Stem Cell Regenerating Serum and the Citrus Stem Cell Moisture Lock Creme. The apple stem cells used are from the Swiss Apple which were some of the first plant stem cells researched for use in skin care. They were used because of the apples ability to have such strong skin and be resilient in its environment. Studies showed a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles as well as an increase in damage repair. Citrus stem cells, similar to the apple stem cells are also used -- they are both fruits with strong important skin that provides protection.
Overall plant stem cells are not the same as human stem cells but they have very similar functions, they help to protect the plant and aid in regeneration. When used as an ingredient in personal care products they, although not alive, provide antioxidants and collagen boosting properties like they would do for the plant.