How growth factors could improve your skincare routine

When it comes to skincare, it can be difficult to know which products work best for you. Whether you are searching for a brightening serum or an anti-aging moisturizer, there is one ingredient that could do both and more: growth factors.

Growth factors have been used for decades in research, but are making a bigger breakthrough in the skincare field. Kim Chang, a licensed medical aesthetician with Baylor College of Medicine, explains why incorporating growth factors into your daily routine can help support your skincare needs.

“Research has been substantial on growth factors when it comes to reducing lines and wrinkles,” Chang said. “They also work by adding hydration and decreasing tactile roughness in the skin.”

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Growth factors are proteins derived from stem cells found in plants, animals and humans that help regenerate the skin. They are found throughout the body and work by renewing skin cells, which creates younger, healthier looking skin. Since aging skin is essentially injured skin, Chang explains how growth factors have both cosmetic and healing benefits.

“Growth factors were first used for skin healing. Certain products, like Neocutis, actually created their creams for burns initially,” Chang said. “They found that using growth factors on burns significantly reduces the time that they need to heal.”

Chang said she uses growth factors after procedures such as micro-needling or chemical peels, and finds that her patients who apply them have a shorter recovery period.

Additional benefits of growth factors include:

  • Improving lines and wrinkles
  • Improving texture of the skin
  • Adds hydration

“People are generally seeing a difference in their skin between 60 days at first and then they continue to  experience it as long as they’re using it,” Chang said.

While growth factors are used by professionals, they can also be found in any beauty store usually in the form of serums, gels and moisturizers. The three main types of growth factors on the market are derived from plants, snails and humans.

“I actually have all three and it really depends on the type of skin and what the individual is comfortable with,” Chang said. “Human growth factors are usually going to be pricier than plant or snail growth factors. “

When it comes to growth factors, choosing higher quality is best. Chang emphasizes that extensive research goes into growth factor products, so it is essential to be mindful of what type and brand you purchase.

Although there are plenty of plant and animal growth factors to choose from, ones derived from human cells make the biggest difference since they match closer to our own cells.

“When it comes to choosing the right product, double check it by their research and development papers,” Chang said. “The product may have the right ingredients but may not have the right delivery method, so it’s not delivering active ingredients into the skin to cause any real change.”

For the best results, Chang recommends purchasing a growth factor product from an aesthetician or physician’s office.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Baylor Aesthetics Studio.

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-By Kaylee Dusang

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