Skin Science: Growth Factors

Skin Science: Growth Factors

What the heck is a Growth Factor? According to the dictionary, it’s any various proteins that promote the growth, organization, and maintenance of cells and tissues. Sounds straight forward enough, but if you’re wondering how that translates to skin care, you’re not alone. Licensed esthetician Jennifer Christie has seen her share of confused expressions when trying to explain the benefit of growth factors. But she’s also seen incredible results. “My clients have had significant results using the (growth factor) serum that I prescribe for home use.”

A growth factor is a naturally occurring substance. It’s usually a protein capable of stimulating celluar growth and healing. It also helps cells multiply and enhances the performance of ‘specialized’ cells. “Growth factors help repair damage that naturally occurs with aging, sun damage and environmental factors.” Christie says they also support collagen and elastin production, which helps improve firmness and elasticity in our skin.

“As we age, our skin produces fewer growth factors over time, which looks like a loss of hydration and possible discoloration.” Christie says if you consistently use growth factors in your skin care, you can help slow that aging process down. “Growth factors can also help improve your skin’s tone and texture.”

Growth factors break down into several categories to serve specific functions in the healthy-aging process:

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-B): Stimulates collagen secretion

Interleukins: Reduces inflammation

Basic fibroblast growth factor: Promotes the creation of blood vessels

Epidermal growth factor: Stimulates skin growth at the cellular level.

Christie says the best way the get the most out of your formulations is with the support of professional services. “Serums and creams containing growth factors are more effective when used with micro-needling, nano-needling and laser resurfacing.”