Is Growth Factor Technology Really All That?

Buckle up, folks, it’s time for some science.

Not to blow our own trumpets, but we’re pretty knowledgeable about skincare and aesthetics here at HintMD. We are, however, well aware of how confusing it can be for those of you not surrounded by the likes of retinoids, hyaluronic acid and clostridium botulinum on a daily basis.

And we get it. With ingredients most of you have barely heard of, and advances in technology that require a lesson in pronunciation, it’s no wonder we’re blinded by TV commercials and glossy magazine ads claiming their latest ‘supercalifragilistic acid-laced, miracle-in-a-jar’ will work wonders on your *insert skin concern here.

One skin advancement we’re very much on board with, however, is growth factor technology. And here comes the science bit…

Growth factors are groups of naturally-occurring proteins that have the ability to stimulate tissue growth. They play a major role in promoting cellular differentiation and cell division, and in the skin, are vital in maintaining healthy structure and function. Why? Because things like epidermal growth factors (EGFs) stimulate the production of collagen and elastin – and we all know these are what gives skin its strength, softness and suppleness. They also stimulate biochemical pathways to help promote repair and regeneration within deeper levels of the skin.

We’re all born with plenty of EGFs in our skin, but quelle surprise, these numbers drastically deplete as we age. So, by introducing extra growth factor technology into skincare the skin’s natural healing ability gets a jump-start, meaning all kinds of damage and deterioration can be addressed.

“If cells are rejuvenated in the dermis, then growth factors can help make new collagen fibers or help damaged or photoaged collagen fibers to be made more useful,” says Dr. Dendy Engleman, board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York City.

“And if you apply skincare containing growth factors to burnt, photodamaged or aging skin, for example, it can help drive ingredients into the skin when cellular activity takes place, thereby revitalizing the tissue and resulting in younger-looking skin.”

Here are some of our recommendations for medical-grade (which, in our opinion, are always the most effective) skin solutions containing various levels of growth factors…

1. ZO Skin Health Ossential Growth Factor Serum Plus

Super-lightweight on the skin and packed with cell-communicating ingredients like EGFs, retinol, peptides and niacinamide, this gel-like formula is the perfect nighttime, regenerating treatment. With very little scent (always a good thing in our books), it suits even the most sensitive of skin types and works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while simultaneously restoring the skin’s natural protective barrier for a healthier, younger-looking complexion.

2. Regenica Rejuvenating Dual Serum


This dual-chamber serum not only delivers over ten skin-loving ingredients, but comes packed with a 95 percent concentration of MRCx™ (Multipotent Resignaling Complex), a patented, next-generation growth factor technology developed by Dr. Gail Naughton. During her years of research, Dr. Naughton was struck by how an unborn child could have surgery yet show no signs of scarring at birth. She then studied this unique prenatal environment in immense detail and eventually found a way to mimic it to produce the same type of growth factors within skincare. Fast forward a few years and Regenica was born (if you’ll pardon the pun). Rejuvenating Dual Serum is the brand’s best-known product and, with continued use, has been shown to improve the appearance of lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, tone and texture.

3. SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

SkinMedica was one of the first companies to start manufacturing human stem cells for cosmetic purposes and TNS (Tissue Nutrient Solution) Essential Serum has become a major player with derms, doctors and plastic surgeons nationwide. Another dual-purpose treatment, it contains TNS Recovery Complex in one chamber and APS Corrective Complex in the other, which combine to offer a multi-pronged approach for tackling the visible signs of aging head on. More specifically, Essential Serum contains a patented, stabilized growth factor blend (TNS), plus antioxidants, peptides, hyaluronic acid and alpha-arbutin to brighten the skin.

“I see this product as the foundation of any daily skincare plan,” explains Dr. Aric Aghayan, MD, of Marin County’s Plastic Surgeon Specialists.

“Combine it with SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator and a daily SPF lotion and the main pillars of your skincare regimen are pretty much covered.”

Written by: Georgia Gould