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Demystifying Growth Factors in Skincare

July 14, 2021

Demystifying Growth Factors in Skincare

Last week we talked about Poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA), now we’re going to take a look at Growth Factors in skincare products. You are going to be so excited about the benefits of these powerful ingredients.

Growth factors sounds sort of spooky. Right? I will demystify what they are and how to use them effectively. First, they are NOT growth hormones. They are perfectly safe - and - are part of the human body.

If you follow mainstream beauty "experts", you might have heard about growth factors in the context of the “vampire facial” made famous by Kim Kardashian. She had a blood-infused growth factor facial using her own plasma. Gross, right! You don't have to go to that extreme to benefit from the use of Growth Factors.

However, you'll want to know the origin of the growth factors you purchase. They can come from humans like skin cells or dermal fibroblasts, fat stem cells, and bone marrow stem cells. Others are bioengineered from plants, snails, and even bacteria. Some are even entirely synthetic and bioengineered in a lab. 

I prefer using Growth Factors derived from non-human sources and that are manufactured using advanced recombinant DNA. This is an advanced biotechnology in which the main ingredient is sH-Oligopeptide-1. These kind of growth factors have been found to be safe and effective when used properly and when used with supporting ingredients in the formulation like those found in Dr. Esthe Essences and Sculplla products.

What are Growth Factors?

GFs occur naturally in our skin and serve to repair damage. A super-simplified explanation, they are regulatory proteins that restore harmony to skin by acting on cell regeneration and the cell repair process. Growth factors help make the necessary components produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, that provide firmness and elasticity while helping to maintain skin's protective functions.

Why Growth Factors?

Research has proven that consistently using GFs in topical application results in improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and even discoloration.

It is thought that when growth factors are applied to the skin in high concentrations, they can penetrate the superficial epidermis, and initiate a communication chain that leads to stimulation of dermal fibroblasts to produce collagen. In other words, topical growth factors prompt the skin to produce more of its own growth factors. That's what I call a win-win! 

What Combination is Effective?

There are many kinds of Growth Factors. Combinations of growth factors with antioxidants and peptides tend to show results sooner, typically within 4–8 weeks. Results will continue to build with ongoing use.

An example of a great combination of Growth Factors would be the 4GFs found in SculPLLA Cell Repair Cream


EGF [Epidermal Growth Factor] is a factor of the epidermis cell regeneration, which acts at the molecular and cellular level. EGF helps stimulating cell growth in tissues throughout the human body. Binding with the receptor EGFR, this protein increases the cell count and skin turnover while boosting the production of collagen and elastin resulting in reduced wrinkles and rejuvenated and improved skin texture.

FGF [Fibroblast Growth Factor] is a factor that activates the processes of growth and divisions of skin cells, provides antioxidant and detoxifying effect, stimulates the proliferation of fibroblasts, healing wounds, embryonic development, and angiogenesis. It also promotes the blood vessels development and collagen synthesis of the dermis.

IGF [Insulin-like Growth Factor] is a factor that functions as cell growth and multiplication booster, regulates intracellular metabolism and stimulates cell renewal. Involved in the synthesis of collagen and elastin, improves firmness and density of skin.

TGF [Transforming Growth Factor] is factor that helps collagen production and fibronectin, restores the structure of Collagen


If you're looking for a serious anti-aging ingredient to add to your skincare routine, you'll benefit from using products with the right combination of Growth Factors and supporting ingredients in the formulation. It's important to note, those with sensitive skin often find growth Factors more beneficial than harsh retinols.

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