Growth factors are cool. Growth factors were science fiction when I was growing up and now they’re fact, a tool that we use in medicine on a routine basis. And growth factors can do wonders for your skin.
So, what are they?
Growth factors are molecules in our bodies that make up the language that cells use to talk to each other, to turn on and off growth and protein production.
For instance, the growth factor could be specific to the type of cell that is turned on, such as the hepatocyte (liver cell) growth factor (HGF), or could signal an immature cell to develop into a particular kind of cell such as transforming growth factor (TGF) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Growth factors can talk to many different kinds of cells at the same time, either giving a similar message to everyone or having the message mean one thing to one kind of cell and something different to another. This kind of action is well-described in the stages of healing a fresh wound like a cut. The first factors released will signal the platelets to patch up the broken blood vessels and the white blood cells to clean up any bacteria in the wound.
I used to be involved with treating problem wounds at the hospital and we would sometimes use topical growth factors to help heal chronic ulcers of the skin.
In cancer treatment, growth factors are used intravenously when the chemotherapy has knocked the white blood cells down to dangerously low levels.
My first experience with cosmetic use of topical growth factors occurred when I first started doing fractional laser treatments to rejuvenate the skin. I was experimenting on a couple of friends who had had previous laser treatments and taken about 5 days to heal. They each tried the growth factor serum and found their healing time was cut in half. Ever since then I have recommended this product to anyone who needs make their recovery time as short as possible after a treatment.
The product I carry is called TNS Recovery Complex. Here are some of the effects of topical growth factors from the original scientific studies:
– 37% increase in collagen after using the product for 60 days
– 30% increased thickening of the epidermis
– 27% decrease in the depth of wrinkles
– 93% of study participants had an improved skin texture
The other great thing about this product is that it doesn’t cause irritation or redness.
TNS Recovery Complex is definitely an effective product and something that I include in my armamentarium to keep my skin healthy and young-looking.
Growth factors work in a different way from the usual skincare products, including the wonderful Vitamin C serums and retinoids that I have previously covered so they make a great alternative for people who can’t tolerate the vitamin-based serums and a great adjunct for people already using Vitamin C or A.