When I do a skin care consult I generally have 4 topics.  Sunscreen, antioxidant/vitamin C, retinol/retinoid and growth factors.  I consider the first three no brainers.  I consider growth factors a nice addition, but a luxury as they tend to be quite expensive.

Products with growth factors can have benefits for aging skin.  I will refer to the two growth factor products I have the most experience with, SkinMedica‘s TNS and Neocutis‘s BioSerum.

TNS Recovery Complex, or Tissue Nutrient Solution, is a combination of growth factors and other skin benefiting ingredients.  Consider it a nutrient rich broth for the skin.  The growth factors are proteins we lose with age and by using a serum to replace them, theoretically, gives your skin support to renew itself.  With time it improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin tone, texture and resiliency.  The cell “bank” for this serum is in Houston, Texas and  the original cells were derived from human cells.

TNS also comes in a product called TNS Essential Serum which is a dual chambered product.  One side is TNS Recovery Complex while the other side is a combination of antioxidants, peptides, arbutin, (which helps minimize hyperpigmentation) and hyaluronic acid. (which helps lock in moisture) This product takes two steps down to one by combining the ingredients.

BioSerum, PSP (Processed Skin cell Proteins),  is made in Switzerland and also sources the cells from a cell bank where the original cells were harvested from human tissue.  Their serum was originally made to minimize the formation of scars with wound healing and burns.  Cosmetically, like TNS, it supports the skin in cell renewal, minimizing the appearance of lines, wrinkles and overall skin texture.  BioSerum also contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and peptides.

Both lines give immediate results due to the level of hyaluronic acid in the products as it gives skin plumping almost immediately.  The real results are 3 months down the road.

Both lines have numerous products with their respective growth factors in the products in addition to the serums which have the highest percentage of the proteins.

There are other growth factor products on the market.  Some are derived from nonhuman cells and I am not as familiar with the science behind these products.

Growth Factors are not to be confused with stem cells.  Stem Cell therapy is another topic.

I have heard some concerns in the industry that the growth factor products can also stimulate the overproduction of “bad” cells, such as skin cancers. There is no real research or well controlled studies to help answer this concern one way or the other.  My personal answer is if you have had a history of skin cancer, I would not use growth factors.

I have used both TNS and Bioserum over the years and have noticed improvements in the fine lines around my eyes and overall tone of my skin.  I can not say which is more efficacious.  I can say that the TNS has a strong smell which takes some acclimating to.  The Bioserum is free of any strong odors which some people would want to consider.

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