Ask Dr. Parks, Ingredient Spotlight, Skin Care

What are Growth Factors?

When it comes to tried-and-true skincare ingredients, your dermatologist is likely to recommend products with ingredients such as retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients have been favorites on the skincare market for years, but more recently, a new skincare find has been the talk of dermatologists – growth factors.

What are Growth Factors?

Growth factors are proteins that communicate with other cells in your skin that send the message to your skin to think “younger”- to focus on healing, revitalization and growth. They can communicate with all the types of cells that make up your skin- from collagen-making cells to the cells that determine skin pigment. As we age, these proteins in our bodies tend to slow down and we produce less and less growth factors, leading to collagen breakdown, signs of aging and texture concerns, and we begin to call for anti-aging help for our skin. Enter the use of growth factors.

Different Types of Growth Factors

There are human, plant, and animal growth factors that are used in products. Human growth factors are the most effective (and most expensive) in skin care. The products created from them use the proteins given off as a “replacement” for the cells that your body is naturally making less of. As the skin cells get back into balance with the help of the replacement proteins, skin functions like collagen production and cell regeneration can function more regularly and help your skin regain needed collagen and moisture to keep it soft, supple and smooth.

Growth factors are stem cells, and they can be created through real human secretions or in a laboratory. Human-derived growth factors can be from any part of the body- it doesn’t necessarily have to be skin cells. Scientists have also developed a way to bioengineer human-like growth factors to be used in skincare products, but they take the growth factors from the cells of plants or animals.

Products with Growth Factors

As you incorporate a product with growth factors into your routine, or any product for that matter, it’s important to stay consistent in your application. Using products with powerful ingredients can require some diligence to see your results, but keep on and follow the products’ instructions – the results are worth it.

Ready to give growth factors a shot? Customer-favorite SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is a great place to start. Neocutis Bio-Serum Firm is also a great pick, combining human growth factors with proprietary peptides.  Root of Skin Facial Serum is for you serum-lovers who want a highly-concentrated dose of growth factors in a light-weight formula. If you want to step outside of the box, try Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum with snail secretions, which contain growth factors combined with glycoproteins and antioxidants.


About Dr. Alan J. Parks

Dr. Alan Parks is a board certified dermatologist. Dr. Parks founded his practice, Eastside Dermatology, in 1986 and has been practicing there ever since. In 2016 Dr. Parks launched DermWarehouse, an eCommerce website selling professional strength skin care products to customers across the United States.

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