Growth Factors with SkinMedica: The Science Behind Prejuvenation & Rejuvenation

The pursuit of longevity is emerging as a key macro trend in the health and wellness industry. Discussion on health span and lifespan is taking center stage through the work of key influencers, including researchers & physicians. Longevity and aging are broadly defined as the time-dependent functional decline that affects most living organisms, i.e.the “hallmarks of aging” such as cellular senescence, genomic instability, mitochondrial dysfunction, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. Advances in regenerative technologies and bioengineering over the past two decades have allowed to create physiologically balanced skin cell-derived growth factors critical for skin prejuvenation & rejuvenation.

Growth factors play a pivotal role in maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin.Daily use of topical skin care products containing growth factors are known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. But not all products containing these proteins have the same benefits - the source of the growth factors play a key role.

Prithwiraj Maitra, Ph. D is Vice President of Global Skincare Research & Developmentfor SkinMedica® (a pioneer in using growth factors in cosmetic treatments), explains why growth factors are imperative for skin rejuvenation.

What are growth factors?

Growth factors are naturally secreted proteins made by skin cells to maintain healthy skin. They are responsible for supporting the repair and remodeling processes when skin is damaged by making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin while helping to maintain skin’s protective functions. They improve the efficiency of the rejuvenation process and facilitate cellular communication. However, your skin’s natural growth factors decrease with age. One approach to support skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products formulated with a stable blend of growth factors. 

Do growth factors really work?

Several clinical studies over the past 20 years have highlighted the benefits of topically applied growth factor products showing improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and discoloration. The studies show that, depending on the quality of skin, satisfactory results take 2-12 weeks of twice daily use. The diligence is worth it, as the improvement in skin appearance is impressive! Most studies show visible reduction in crow’s feet lines, under-eye skin texture, and overall radiance.

Why is the source of growth factors important?

Growth factors can be derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory(skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells), extracted from one’s own blood(PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma) or from non-human sources such as snails and some plants. While all cells can produce growth factors, the composition of the growth factor blend they produce is likely to be ideal for the health of cells that produce them. For example, fat stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help the functioning of fat cells and bone marrow stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help with functioning of bone marrow.

Similar logic can be applied to growth factors or growth factor-like substances derived from non-human sources. Therefore, to maintain optimal skin health, growth factors would ideally be produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, whose main function is to produce the components necessary to support the skin. Fibroblasts are one of the most important skin cells to maintain the function of overall skin health, homeostasis, dermal matrix components such as collagen and elastin. However, as we age, due to extrinsic and intrinsic factors the critical function of fibroblasts declines. Fibroblast-derived conditioned media containing a physiological blend of growth factors, proteins, cytokines play a critical role in skin rejuvenation.

Who should use Growth Factor products?

Clinical results show that growth factor products benefit anyone with visible signs of facial aging. While those with early signs of aging may benefit by using growth factors, most significant visible improvements in skin are seen in patients with greater photo damage and mature skin. Twice a day use with diligence is the key to maximizing benefits from growth factors products. Your skin care professional can advise whether products containing growth factors are right for you.

What is TNS® Advanced+ Serum and how do its growth factors address visible signs of aging?

TNS® Advanced+ Serum is a next-generation, skin rejuvenating formula that is the only growth factor product proven to address sagging skin and provides visible results in just 2 weeks.

A recent peer-reviewed publication demonstrates TNS® Advanced+ Serum addresses several hallmarks of aging such as loss of proteostasis, stem cell exhaustion, altered intercellular communication and cellular senescence supporting prejuvenation. In addition, histological analysis of skin biopsy samples shows improvements in ECM biomarkers supporting rejuvenation.

Six clinical studies have been conducted looking at cosmetic efficacy with TNS® Advanced+ Serum with results showcasing its ability to improve the overall appearance of skin. 

Several clinical studies have been conducted on topical products containing fibroblastbased growth factors, more than any other cosmetic growth factor product in the market today, with 20+ peer reviewed publications.

How does TNS® Advanced+ Serum stand out from other growth factor products on the market?

TNS® Advanced+ Serum uses a growth factor blend that is made by a process that mimics the fetal environment. SkinMedica has identified over 450 natural growth factors and other matrix proteins. Their formulation combines the most advanced growth factor technology and provides next-level comprehensive skin rejuvenation. 

SkinMedica's product is dispensed using two chambers through a dual pump:

Chamber 1 (TNS® -MR) combines a next-generation growth factor blend (MRCx™) with a peptide complex that supports dermal extra-cellular matrix (ECM).

Chamber 2 (RENESSENSCE (RSC) ADVANCED) is designed to assist the growth factor blend from Chamber 1 in supporting skin rejuvenation and further enhancing the benefits of TNS® Advanced+ Serum. It has an advanced blend of botanicals, marine extracts, and peptides including French flax seed extract, green microalgae extract, Spanish marine exopolysaccharides, lactococcus ferment lysate, peptides, and antioxidants. In a clinical study subjects felt that they looked up to 6 years younger after just 12 weeks of product usage.

What other products should I use with growth factors?

We recommend using TNS® Advanced+ Serum along with an entire regimen of products as part of the SkinMedica® Method, a customizable take on your daily 5-step skincare regimen based on your lifestyle, skin concerns, and skincare goals.

To build your unique SkinMedica® Method, you'll want to choose at least one product from each SkinMedica® Factor. Each Factor builds upon each other to address your specific goals and needs. Apply them in order daily and see results with continued usage.

Step 1: The Cleanse Factor

Prepare your complexion canvas to optimize results for the rest of Your SkinMedica® Method by cleansing your face and neck with The Cleanse Factor.

May we suggest…

SkinMedica® AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, $48

SkinMedica® Purifying Foaming Wash, $46

SkinMedica® Even & Correct Brightening Treatment Pads, $60

Step 2: The Growth Factor

SkinMedica® TNS® Advanced+ Serum delivers improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and texture.

Step 3: The Correct Factor

Your individual skin concerns are a result of lifestyle, age, genetics, environment, and more. SkinMedica®’s powerful treatments under The Correct Factor are formulated to help address your specific needs.

May we suggest…

SkinMedica® LUMIVIVE System, $268

SkinMedica® Even & Correct Advanced Brightening Treatment, $178

Step 4: The Hydrate Factor

It’s natural for your skin to lose its ability to retain moisture as it ages, resulting in rougher, uneven textures. Replenishing and nourishing your skin with what it needs to get its bounce back with a treatment under The Hydrate Factor.

May we suggest…

SkinMedica® HA⁵® Rejuvenating Hydrator, $184

Step 5: The Protect Factor

A good skin care regimen requires regular use of an SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Protecting newly rejuvenated skin is essential in maintaining results. Free radicals produced by sun exposure, smoking, and pollution can damage skin rapidly, negating any benefits of growth factors. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and provide an extra layer of protection beyond sunscreen alone.

May we suggest…

SkinMedica® Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 34 / PA ++++ Sunscreen, $70

SkinMedica® Essential Defense Mineral Shield™ Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen, $40

About Prithwiraj Maitra, Ph.D, Vice President of Global Skincare Research & Development for SkinMedica®

Dr. Maitra is currently Vice President of Global Skincare R&D at Allergan Aesthetics (Abbvie) providing strategic leadership within skincare R&D. Dr. Maitra joined Allergan in 2019 and has been responsible for driving new product development and pipeline innovation for SkinMedica® and DiamondGlow® brands has been instrumental in several recent launches, including Even & Correct product line, Firm & Tone Lotion, Neck Correct Cream, and TNS® Advanced+ Serum. Dr. Maitra is passionate about shaping the future of evidence-based skincare by studying the regenerative & protective processes in skin.

Prior to AbbVie, he held various R&D leadership roles at major corporations for over 10 years, leading upstream innovation for global beauty brands and oral care products. He received his Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from Temple University and Executive Leadership certification from MIT Sloan School of Business & Wharton, UPenn. Dr. Maitra is the author of several peer reviewed publications and book chapters and is a named inventor on over 80+ patents and pending applications. 

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The Author: Emily Gervais

As a skincare, hair care, and personal wellness enthusiast with a decade of experience in the skincare industry, Emily is dedicated to sharing unbiased education on skincare and wellness. With a knack for writing and a passion for empowering others, she strives to provide valuable insight to help others understand and navigate the ever-changing beauty and wellness world.

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