Like their wisest patients, dermatologists know better than to take note of every new trend to hit the market. That is, unless there are exceptional, proven benefits they can recreate in their clinics. Today, we’re all about addressing the microscopic, yet almighty growth factor because it is a key component to the success of our skincare line. So, how does the science of bio-signals impact our ability to "de-age" the skin?
Here, we take a brief overview of growth factors: where they come from, what they do, and why they represent an exciting new frontier in skin care for patients and physicians.
What are Cytokines and Growth Factors?
In order to understand where cytokines and growth factors come from, we need to take a closer look at stem cells and how they carry out their functions.
Most of us know stem cells can differentiate to build new cells and tissue, but another role of stem cells is to orchestrate the action of other cells in the body, including the body’s natural healing and regeneration response.
To carry out these actions, stem cells communicate by producing and releasing proteins called cytokines and growth factors. Controlled release of these cytokines and growth factors by stem cells will activate the biochemical pathways in adjacent cells and therefore command and control essential processes in the body.
All cytokines and growth factors bind to specific receptors on cell membranes, stimulating the cells to carry out a precise and intricate response, thus giving the cell its ‘directions’.
The types of cytokines and growth factors number in the thousands, each with its specific action. For skin renewal, these would include Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) amongst others.
It’s important to note that no single growth factor determines the outcome within the cells. It’s the unique mix of peptides in specific proportions designed by nature that triggers our skin to repair and grow.
The Role of Growth Factors in Aging
When we are young, we have a high ratio of robust stem cells in our bodies, and they secrete potent cytokines that allow rapid healing and renewal processes within our skin. As we age, our stem cell count and activity diminishes. As a result, our skin cells receive less cytokine and growth factor input, gradually losing its ability to effectively renew and repair itself.
Our skin’s reduced ability to heal—from wounds and also from environmental and sun damage — results in hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of aging skin. CALECIM®’s solution to this is to re-engage the skin’s natural healing ability by replenishing lost cytokines and growth factors through topical products. This creates the perfect medium for healthy skin regeneration, revealing a new layer of fresh, supple skin that acts young again.
Although other cells such as fibroblasts and keratinocytes also secrete growth factors, stem cell growth factors are unique because they encourage cell repair and rejuvenation much more actively than cytokines secreted by cells that are not stem cells. Many skin care products currently in the market use growth factors that are derived from skin cells, not stem cells.
CALECIM® offers something unique: Products with a high concentration of cytokines and growth factors secreted from robust, neonatal stem cells.
Replenishing Cytokines and Growth Factors with CALECIM® Professional: Doctors' Choice of Clinical Skincare
Although they have tremendous potential for advanced skin care, cytokines and growth factors are not common ingredients in skin care products, particularly those that you can purchase without a doctor’s prescription. The reason for this is that in the past it’s been difficult to find an ethical source of stem cells abundant enough to produce a consistent high quantity of cytokines and growth factors. Making skin care with sufficient quantities of cytokines and growth factors, therefore, became cost prohibitive.
In 2004, CellResearchCorp—CALECIM®’s parent company—patented the discovery and isolation of epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord lining membrane. Through this technology, CALECIM® has access to an abundant, ethical source of stem cells reliably producing cytokines and growth factors. The stem cells are cultivated in culture media in the lab and then removed from the media, leaving behind the cytokines, growth factors and other proteins they’ve secreted. This conditioned medium is the key active ingredient in CALECIM® Professional products.
Although there is still a long way to go in understanding cytokines and growth factors, initial studies and clinical trials done by CALECIM® have proven the tremendous value of these bio-signals, especially in speeding up post-laser skin rejuvenation healing and stimulating new skin cell growth. For more about the science behind CALECIM® Professional, visit our parent company CellResearchCorp., or speak to one of our authorized physician partners.