What is EGF and is All the Hype Justified?

By Michelle Miller

We break down the simple facts about what EGF is, what EGF does, and how it might revolutionize your skincare routine.

First, Some Background on EGF
If you’re an informed skincare fan, you know a lot of your favorite ingredients sound pretty scary…hyaluronic acid, niacinamide; or, they sound terrifying in other ways (I’m looking at you, snail mucin). EGF (epidermal growth factor) is the latest scary-name, super-effective addition to your skincare routine. It’s been around since the ‘50s and has been used medically, primarily as a wound healer, since the late ‘80s, but more recently, dermatologists have been using EGF in skincare products with impressive results.

What Does EGF Do?
Our bodies produce EGF naturally, stimulating collagen and elastin production which improves texture and elasticity. But like so many good things, it decreases as we age, slowing skin’s repair speed. Because it potentially boosts your body’s production of dwindling collagen and elastin, among EGF’s chief superpowers are reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, improving skin hydration, improving the appearance of age spots and sun damage, and potentially helping prevent development of new hyperpigmentation.

So, When Do I Start?
The best time to start EGF is when you begin noticing signs of diminishing collagen production like wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines, or when you notice discoloration caused by sun damage or post-acne scarring. The best time to use EGF is at night when your skin is already in its natural repair mode.

Heads Up!
The EGF in most products on the market is extracted from human foreskin fibroblast cells. Yes, you read that correctly, foreskin.

Thankfully, there are some really effective NON-FORESKIN, even vegan, options available if you really want to try EGF but find the traditional source kind of gross.

The Best Way to Incorporate EGF into your Life (And Skincare Routine)
Most skincare professionals recommend using EGF products on clean skin at night, preferably delivered through a concentrated serum or cream. Some die-hard fans say they see improvements in skin tone and texture in the first week, but really, you need to give it a month, minimum.

One trick people don’t always consider is combining an EGF product with other active skincare ingredients like retinol. The potential cell-renewing properties of EGF can counteract some of retinol’s annoying side effects, making it a great way to pull some rejuvenation double-duty.