What are growth factors? And why do I keep hearing about them in skincare?

Growth factors are substance that manage key tasks in the body.  Over the years, science has sourced them from human, plant, or animal cells.  They typically will enhance the cell’s function that produces it.  Therefore, application of the stem cells to the corresponding tissue will increase the functionality of that cell essentially making it act younger.  One of the most popular ones you hear about these days is growth factors that come from your own blood.  This is the infamous PRP that is often paired with microneedling that Kim Kardashian highlighted in her dramatic Instagram video few years back.  Since these growth factors come from platelets, one of the functions that will increase is that of the fibroblasts in the skin thus leading to increased production of collagen as they are signaling a wound healing cascade. 

Many cosmeceutical companies use these in their flagship products. They have been proven to signal an increase in collagen, decrease inflammation, decrease the breaking down of collagen, and decrease the pigment production.   With many companies having their own proprietary concoction, it can be confusing on which one to use.  Discussing options with your medical skincare specialist will help you narrow them down and determine what is right for you.  Remember, products sold in medical offices are going to have a higher percentage of active ingredients which is more likely to give you better results. 

So, there are numerous growth factors out there.  Applying a well-studied, biopsy proven, growth factor product is in my opinion the way to go.  To get these studies done is expensive, so the products will cost a little bit more.  However, you can rest assured that the money you are spending is worth it and working for you.  Evidence based medicine will not let you down.  Stop buying from companies that sprinkle in the active ingredients and report success from surveys!

Loralee Koontz