Retinol, Botox too strong? Try this anti-ageing ingredient instead, say doctors – why epidermal growth factors, or EGFs, might be right for those with sensitive skin
- Epidermal growth factors, or EGFs, were discovered in the ’50s as a way to speed up wound and burn recovery. Now they can be found in high-end beauty products
- Like retinol, products containing EGFs help address issues such as wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation – but are far gentler on the skin
Anti-ageing ingredients are some of the most important components people look for in their skincare products.
What are EGFs?
Typically found in high-end beauty products, EGFs were discovered in the 1950s by two Nobel-prize winning scientists as a way to speed up recovery from wounds and burns. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that EGFs began making their way into skincare products, according to beauty magazine Allure.
“Research has been substantial on growth factors when it comes to reducing lines and wrinkles,” Kim Chang, a licensed medical aesthetician, told Baylor College of Medicine, a university in the US state of Texas. “They also work by adding hydration and decreasing tactile roughness in the skin.”
“I would say EGF is the ultimate ingredient for repair,” Anna De La Cruz, an educational medical aesthetician, told website Bustle.
Typically, EGFs can be found in hydrating products like serums, moisturisers and creams.
How do they compare to other anti-ageing products like retinol?
However, for people with sensitive skin, daily retinol use can increase dryness, inflammation or generally irritate the skin. EGFs can be more gentle on the skin than retinols, according to Liakas.
EGFs are usually only found in expensive, high-end beauty products. While they aren’t necessary for great skin, EGFs may be a helpful addition to an existing skincare routine.
“I see growth factor products as the icing on the cake if you’re looking to maximise your skincare regimen,” dermatologist Annie Chiu told Allure.