Protein Powerhouse

As the skincare industry grows and evolves, many product companies have been turning to science to discover ingredients proven to help turn back the hands of time, and the latest kid on the block is in the form of epidermal growth factor (EGF). This protein molecule, which can be extracted from actual epidermal cells, placental cells, and even plants, has been used for years in the medical world to treat wounds by facilitating faster healing. Now, EGF has crossed over into the skincare industry, thanks to its anti-aging abilities. Here, Medik8’s founder Elliot Isaacs answers some commonly asked questions surrounding this molecular miracle ingredient.

What are the unique benefits and advantages of featuring EGF in products?

After the age of 30, cells start to slow down. You may notice this when you cut yourself. The cut probably takes a longer time to heal than it did when you were a teenager. This healing process is directly related to cell activity, and cellular activators are the best way to increase cell turnover. EGF is a naturally occurring molecule that communicates directly with skin cells and is the latest and most powerful weapon in the fight against aging. By introducing a synthetic but exact copy, we are able to help stimulate increased cell regeneration, which leads to plumper, more radiant, and younger looking skin. The buzzword is “luminosity,” which describes that healthy, youthful glow. EGF is a really powerful molecule, it does not sting or cause irritation, and can be used on all skin types.

What is the source of the EGF?

We use an exact copy of the EGF molecule, which is highly purified. We employ the same synthetic and purification techniques that are employed in the manufacture and production of insulin (injected by diabetics). We do not use human or animal sources of EGF, because they are banned in Europe and many other countries because of health and safety concerns.

How stable is EGF?

Any impurities in the EGF (known as proteases) can attack the EGF while it sits in the bottle or container. This is not dangerous, but it does mean that the EGF will be less effective when you put it on the skin.

Do immediate results occur? 

No. Although cell activity will begin increasing from the initial application, clients should expect to see noticeable results around six weeks. 

What client is the ideal candidate to use products containing EGF?

It is recommended for anyone over 30 years old who wants to help maintain a youthful glow and healthy appearance.

Elliot Isaacs is the founder and medical director of Medik8 Skin Research and a graduate of The University of Leeds pharmacology and physiology department. He is also a member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists. For more information about Medik8 Skin Research, visit