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The science behind beauty | cellular activators

  • By Trulux Team

How do you separate clever marketing from fact? How does one navigate the daunting number of elixirs on the market promising to turn back the clock on your skin? The answer is Nobel Award-winning science.

In early 2000, Icelandic stem-cell scientists used *award-winning science to develop a platform to produce human growth factors – or cellular activators, as they are known in Australia – by bio-engineering a plant-based replica of human protein.

What the northern scientists discovered was that these cellular messengers were really important to maintaining healthy skin. In 2008 the scientists introduced the growth factors to the cosmetics industry and received a very positive response.

However, the scientists were concerned the industry wasn’t ready for this skin rejuvenating discovery just yet, and branched out on their own. Their major worry was that cosmetics manufacturers would add growth factors to their existing formulas. This would destroy the activity of the growth factors, rendering the innovation null and void.

Since then, however, the cosmetics industry has caught up.

Epidermal growth factors/cellular activators

Human growth factors are proteins that are secreted by cells that make up the epidermis and dermis. They regulate the growth and multiplication of cells and play an important role in maintaining the structure and function of healthy skin.

They work by stimulating pathways that repair and regenerate skin tissue and promote collagen formation.


Topical skin care that contains growth factors provides both cosmetic and therapeutic benefits. When they contain a balanced mixture of growth factors and other proteins, cosmeceuticals reverse the signs and symptoms of skin ageing. Both intrinsic ageing (natural ageing process) and extrinsic ageing (environmental).

Controlled clinical studies have found that skin care containing growth factors:

  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Evens out pigmentation and improves the appearance of age spots
  • Decreases skin roughness, and
  • Improves skin elasticity and texture.

However, like most discoveries, not all growth factors are equal. See Part 2 of our The Science behind beauty blog.

*(The 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to American biochemist Stanley Cohen for the discovery of epidermal growth factor. This was the first of many growth-regulating signal substances to be discovered and characterised.)

Image courtesy of www.jbioserum.com/

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