The Future Of Beauty: Stem Cell Technology To Improve Skin And Hair, With Habib Torfi of Invitrx Therapeutics

Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
Published in
5 min readJul 17, 2020


Your body is the most important part of staying healthy and beautiful. I basically recommend people a healthy diet, exercise, good sleeping habits and avoiding alcohol and drugs

I had the pleasure of interviewing Habib Torfi — The Founder, Chairman and CEO of Invitrx Therapeutics and Reluma Skincare.

Mr. Habib Torfi founded Invitrx therapeutics in Irvine, CA in 2003. Before founding Invitrx Therapeutics Mr. Torfi directed the Laboratory of Regenerative Bioengineering and Repair for the Department of Surgery at UCLA from 1998–2001. The laboratory goal was discovering and developing proprietary, cell-based therapeutics utilizing adult stem cells derived from adipose tissue. Due to Mr. Torfi’s reputation as a pioneer and expert in the field of stem cell biology a colleague reached out requesting the development of a stem cell product for his company.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m Habib Torfi, the founder, Chairman and CEO of Reluma Skincare and Invitrx Therapeutics, a company specializing in stem cell and tissue engineering, research and technology. I directed the Laboratory of Regenerative Bioengineering and Repair for the Department of Surgery at UCLA from 1998–2001. I was the director of Epithelial Autograft Facility at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. Epithelial Autograft Facility provided three dimensional tissue engineered skin and cornea for burn, diabetic leg ulcer and patients with ocular surface disorders. I hold an undergraduate degree in Microbiology and a graduate degree in Human genetics. I published numerous papers and hold several patents in stem cell and bioengineering fields.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

Invitrx began as a developer of skin grafts for burn patients. We developed one of the first umbilical cord blood stem cell products. As this product was unique and the market was immature the demand for the product grew exponentially. We have since spent years developing proprietary processing methods that have increased the quality, safety, and efficacy of its products. From its humble beginnings our company has grown exponentially and organically through innovation and dedication to product quality to become a leader in the cell therapy industry.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Having team members that you can depend on and be transparent with is crucial. We have team members who keep me grounded and help me avoid wasting time on negativity.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

Invitrx develops innovative cell therapy products to provide physicians and patients alternative treatment methods to traditional pharmaceuticals. Invitrx’s breakthrough technologies have become instrumental to the creation of numerous products such as Reluma Skincare.

In fact, every Reluma product, from facial cleanser to shampoo, is formulated with growth factors and matrix proteins produced using Invitrx’s proprietary Stem Cell Core Technology. This scientific approach to skin care has yielded remarkable results and earned Reluma a passionate and loyal customer base across the globe.

Our products were designed utilizing Stem Cell Core Technology to rejuvenate skin and hair to have a lustrous glow. Our Stem Cell Core Technology uses a proprietary method to retrieve the essence of Adult Fibroblast Stem Cells. This essence is our Polypeptide Enriched Media. We in turn use this as our main ingredient in the whole line of Reluma products. Notably, our active ingredient is the Polypeptide Enriched Media itself — there are no live stem cells in our products.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

The universe of the science fiction Black Mirror is very interesting from an ethical perspective. In regards to the cell therapy industry, there are several sources of stem cells, but the two most common include embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells have historically been the most coveted since they can potentially become any cell in the body. However, they’re also the most controversial because they’re extracted from human embryos, which has raised ethical issues. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, present no ethical challenges as they come from adult tissues. And while they can’t give rise to all cell types, emerging research has revealed that adult stem cells are far more versatile than previously imagined.

Can you share 3 things that most excites you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

These are 3 exciting things for me to look out for this year:

1- The cell therapy market is growing very rapidly, and the big players are following. It took 20 years for them to show interest in cell therapy technology. The increasing investments of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in stem cell research are the key driving factors for the cell therapy industry. Today, we are talking about how we can cure cancer, reduce pain and improve the quality of life for people. It’s clear that advances in gene therapy are becoming more accessible in the beauty industry.

2- People start giving more attention and focusing on their skin health more than ever. We see that fact and we are taking the preventative steps.

3- Personalized products are the next step in beauty. We’re beginning to see completely personalized beauty products tailored to people’s unique skin type and needs.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

Three things that concern me are the lack of innovation in the industry, transparency issues and using unproven cell therapies. The FDA helps with the development and licensing of cell therapies where the scientific evidence supports the product’s safety and effectiveness.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Your body is the most important part of staying healthy and beautiful. I basically recommend people a healthy diet, exercise, good sleeping habits and avoiding alcohol and drugs

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The cup is always half full. I’m pathologically optimistic.

How can our readers follow you online?

Twitter @htorfi

Linkedin @HabibTorfi

Facebook @HabibTorfi



Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.