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Growth factor skincare products are the new anti-aging frontier. Because growth factors offer a new way of renewing skin, which doesn’t involve skin peeling, flaking, or irritation. They’re like anti-aging 2.0! But there’s a catch. Because growth factors are incredibly expensive to harvest and formulate into products, growth factor serums are some of the most expensive anti-aging products out there.
And because these products are incredibly expensive, you need to think twice before splurging on one and know what you’re buying. First things first. If you need a recap, here are the headlines on growth factors in skincare.
Growth factors, which is the umbrella term for different types of growth factors, are proteins that are present in your skin. They do several tasks like making sure your skin heals properly, there’s new collagen cooking up, skin cells renew regularly, and so on.
And growth factor serums are born as a result of an attempt to replicate this process. Growth factor serums improve skin texture and tone and aid in skin repair from sun damage and other stressors. Does that mean you should buy the first growth factor serum out there? Absolutely not!
How To Choose a Growth Factor Serum
Know that there are two types of growth serums you can buy. One is derived from human skin cells and the other one is derived from plants or bacteria.
Human growth factor serums obtain their growth factors from human skin cells under laboratory conditions. And because these are derived from human skin cells, the proteins they isolate from these cells contain tens, maybe hundreds of growth factors. Some of them are epidermal growth factors (EGF), platelet-derived growth factors (PGF), and fibroblast growth factors (FGF).
And in the second option, they single out growth factors from bacteria or some other source and only put in, say, a single epidermal growth factor in your serum.
As you can imagine, serums with human growth factors resemble the way growth factors work in your body. And because of that, the general consensus is that the more growth factors there are in your product, the better it will work for your skin.
What people generally tend to do is look for an epidermal growth factor serum. So don’t be fooled by the name epidermal and assume that that’s the best one to grab.
For regular people like us, human growth factors may sound intimidating. But know that these cells are usually obtained once to be utilized several times and are usually sourced from cell banks. And this whole process explains why growth serums are so expensive.
But how do you know if your serum is a human growth factor serum or not? Don’t worry, because they tell you. This is actually something to boast about!
The Best Growth Factor Serums
Find below the best growth factor serums you can try for anti-aging.
Because they’re the pioneers in this department, SkinMedica offers some of the best medical grade growth factor products. And they have their original publishings demonstrating that their products work. This serum contains human growth factors. And because of that, it’s practically a variety of different types of growth factors to better target signs of aging. The gel formula is super minimal and incredibly targeted. It repairs sun-damaged, rough skin, improves uneven skin texture, and promotes collagen and elastin growth.
Peptides are a chain of amino acids. And growth factors are basically a chain of peptides. In skincare products, they actually complement each other. And this potent growth factor serum combines the two to stimulate collagen synthesis and skin renewal. It’s made with human growth factors to reduce and soften the appearance of wrinkles and lines. And it packs signal peptides, which nudge the skin into producing new collagen. The growth factor serum also contains the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E for added free radical protection, and acetyl glucosamine to target discolorations. Plus, you get immediate skin-plumping benefits from hyaluronic acid and squalane too.
With growth factors, there’s an ongoing conversation regarding skin penetration. Some parties offer alternative methods to make sure that growth factors penetrate the skin and actually work. On a side note, serums seem to be superior to creams, so no need to worry. But because of these concerns, growth factors are sometimes micro-encapsulated to ensure maximum skin absorption. A great example of that is this serum that contains human growth factors and claims to accommodate 600 of them! It’s laser-focused on anti-aging skincare with growth factors and has no interest in hydrating or moisturizing your skin. It’s practically a bottle of skin-boosting proteins!
This growth factor serum belongs to the second category where no human skin cell is involved. It’s made with an epidermal growth factor, sh-oligopeptide-1. Even though this is an antioxidant-rich anti-aging serum, it’s actually made with acne-prone skin in mind. Because growth factors are also anti-inflammatory and helpful in skin healing, the serum aids to speed up the acne healing process. To amplify the results, the serum also contains anti-inflammatory green tea to calm inflamed skin.
One of the most expensive options out there, this is a well-deserving splurge. The serum is a little bit thicker than a regular water-based serum but it harbors amazing goodies for instant benefits too. It has neuropeptides, which help relax and smooth out wrinkles instantly. And it has signal peptides to encourage new cell generation and collagen production. And it has different growth factors, like epidermal and platelet-derived, to kind of bring the whole crew together for an aggregated effect.
This is an all-in-one anti-aging serum that’s like a workaround for anyone who can’t tolerate exfoliants, retinoids, or other potentially irritating actives. The oil-free serum has a light, hydrating base made with humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and sodium PCA. They plump the skin instantly and reduce the appearance of fine lines. And it has transforming growth factor beta-1, a cytokine, another type of growth factor, that’s super important in collagen production.
And lastly, I wanted to include this affordable growth factor serum along with my two cents. If you want to try growth factors with a budget-friendly option, you can consider this one. But personally, I think that any skin benefit you’ll get from this is probably from vitamin C. Because it has one single growth factor, a plant-derived one, and the whole thing seems like a marketing trick to me. Well, I’m not a chemist nor a dermatologist or whoever it is that would count as an authority. But I know my growth factors. That being said, the serum packs a vitamin C derivative to brighten the skin and fend off free radicals, making it a nice, affordable growth factor adjacent serum.
So these are some of the best growth factors serums out there. And they’re great for people with mature, sensitive skin, who are looking for alternatives to major anti-aging ingredients.
So if you’re not happy with treatments causing peeling or redness, growth factor serums, especially the human growth factor serums, are great.
And lastly, there’s this conversation about whether expensive products are better than cheaper ones. In the case of growth factor serums, the answer is yes.
Expensive is better because high-end skincare brands are the ones that can afford to manufacture these ingredients, do proper clinical research, and create something that works. So in that sense, you can rely on SkinMedica.