Growth factors play a pivotal role in maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin. Daily use of skin care products containing growth factors are known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. But, not all products containing growth factors have the same benefits. Dr. Rahul Mehta, Head of Research and Development at SkinMedica® (a pioneer in using growth factors in cosmetic treatments), explains why growth factors are imperative for skin rejuvenation.
What Are Growth Factors and Why Do We Need Them in Skin Care Products?
Growth factors are natural substances made by skin cells to maintain healthy skin. They are responsible for supporting the repair of damaged skin, making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin while helping to maintain skin’s protective functions. They are NOT Growth Hormones! Aging and sun-damaged skin require growth factors to maintain itself. However cells in aging skin make less growth factors than cells in youthful skin. One approach to support the levels of skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products with a high concentration of stable growth factors.
Where Do Growth Factors in Skin Care Products Come From?
Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have created multiple sources of growth factors. They can be derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory (skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells), extracted from one’s own blood (PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma) or from non-human sources such as snails and some plants. While all cells can produce growth factors, the composition of the growth factor blend they produce is likely to be ideal for the health of cells that produce them.
For example, fat stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help the functioning of fat cells and bone marrow stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help with functioning of bone marrow. Similar logic can be applied to growth factors or growth factor-like substances derived from non-human sources. Therefore, to maintain optimal skin health, ideal growth factors would be produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, whose main function is to produce the components necessary to support the skin.
Do Growth Factors Really Work?
Several clinical studies, over the past 15 years, have highlighted the benefits of topically applied growth factor products showing improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and discoloration. The studies show that, depending on the quality of skin, good results take 6-12 weeks of twice a day use. The diligence is definitely worth it as the improvement in skin appearance is very impressive! Most studies show visible reduction in crow’s feet lines, under-eye skin texture, and overall radiance. Combinations of growth factors with strong antioxidants tend to show results sooner, typically within 4-8 weeks. TNS Essential Serum® provides a combination of stable growth factors (TNS Recovery Complex®) with strong antioxidants (APS Corrective Complex) designed to provide this rapid effect. Over 11 clinical studies have been conducted looking at cosmetic efficacy with TNS Essential Serum® with results showcasing its ability to improve the overall appearance of skin. These are more studies than any other topical cosmetic growth factor product in the market today.