Scienceploitation: concern for consumers over stem-cell claims

Scienceploitation: concern for consumers over stem-cell claims

The official journal of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has raised concerns over the use of stem-cell claims to market anti-aging products. The journal claims this is part of a wider trend whereby the language of newer areas of science is leveraged by marketers, known as scienceploitation.

“Despite the state of stem cell science, where only a relatively small number of therapies have moved to clinical application thus far, the cosmetic and beauty industry continues to borrow language from stem cell science research to market unproven products and treatments as ready-to-go, when such is far from the case,” explained ASAPS member Dr Ivona Percec.

The authors examined the product descriptions and efficacy claims for stem-cell based cosmetics and anti-aging products online and found that the majority of web pages portrayed stem cell-based products as ready for public use. Very few substantiated their claims or mentioned any risks associated with stem cell science.