What are Growth Factors?

Written by: Kelsie Matthews, L.E


One of the most common concerns I hear from patients is that as they get older their skin starts to sag and lose elasticity. Skin elasticity is skin’s ability to stretch and snap back to its original shape. Loss of skin elasticity is known as elastosis. Elastosis causes skin to look saggy, crinkled, or leathery. Elastosis is one of the reasons your skin can lose its youthful appearance. Everyone wants to look younger right? 


Growth factors are large proteins that communicate with your cells to help with regeneration, growth, and cell survival. This is important for all of the cells that make up each layer of the skin―fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and melanocytes. These cells are responsible for melanin production, collagen production, and structure of the skin, so it is very important to keep them all functioning properly. This is where growth factors come into play.


When we are babies, growth factors are found in the highest abundance throughout the body and skin. As we get older and get into our late 20s-30s, our body’s growth factor production decreases tremendously. This leads to less collagen production, less cell growth, sagging skin, and dull/lifeless skin. Adding a topical growth factor serum can make up for our bodies slowing down this process. 


My favorite topical growth factor is the TNS Advanced Serum from SkinMedica. This is a new and improved version of the first growth factor on the market (TNS Recovery Complex), and the most effective one I have found to this day. The best thing about this growth factor is that it is composed of human derived fibroblasts vs. plant derived. The main reason that human derived fibroblast growth factors are better than plant derived ones for most people, is because the plant derived cells cannot bind to human receptors properly in our bodies, which means they will not communicate with our cells to carry out body functions properly. 


As we get older, it is important to not only keep our bodies healthy, but our skin as well. Growth factors are a great way to keep your skin looking young and vibrant. In addition to the treatments you invest in for your skin, it is always important to maintain those results at home with good skincare. VISIA consultations are a great tool to analyze your skin, and see if a growth factor is something that will fit well in your regimen. 


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