Anyone with an interest in the beauty industry already knows about the key players when it comes to skincare ingredients—namely retinol, vitamin C and SPF. But while these ingredients work to renew existing (ahem, aging) skin cells, more modern ingredients aim to replace old skin with new skin cells altogether. Recent years have brought about whispers of an important ingredient with a brand new approach: growth factors.
Growth factors aren’t exactly new—they were first discovered in the ‘50s, earning the scientists who researched them the Nobel Prize in 1986. However, it took a while for growth factors to gain traction in the world of skin care. For starters, like insulin, they become inactive at room temperature. They’re also too large to absorb into the skin topically. So they’re not easy to work with.
But epidermal growth factors hold so much promise for aging skin, and companies like Droplette are figuring out how to keep the ingredient active and get it into (not just onto) skin. So we tapped top experts for a full rundown on what growth factors are, who they work best on, and the best way to try them for yourself.
What are growth factors?
Generally speaking, growth factors are proteins that help to heal, regenerate, and grow cells in the body. “As healthy, natural stem cells grow, they excrete powerful proteins and growth factors, such as pro-collagen and epidermal growth factors,” explains Donna Chang, a stem cell/conditioned media biotechnology expert from Johns Hopkins University. When used in skin care, these growth factors act as an agent to help activate native stem cells, and boost the skin’s production of collagen and improve firmness.
How are growth factors sourced?
The way in which growth factors are sourced differs from product to product. Some growth factors are synthetically made or bioengineered from plant parts. However, these options aren’t bio-synergistic with human skin. Droplette’s Growth Factors Capsules are sourced from healthy, human, adult donors. “Many other skin-care products use stem cells from plant or animal sources, which are less effective with human skin,” adds Boston plastic surgeon Leonard Miller, MD.
How does Droplette work?
Even without its debut of active Growth Factors, Droplette is a novel invention. The skin-care system is the world’s first needle-free, skin-care micro-infusion tool. “The handheld device, called the Micro-Infuser, transforms traditional water-based serums into millions of tiny, rapidly moving ingredient particles that can bypass the skin’s barrier 20 times more deeply than topicals,” says the brand’s MIT-trained founder, Madhavi Gavini, a mathematician and drug developer. “It’s the combination of size and velocity that allows for this unique effect, which rivals the results of injectables.”
How do Droplette’s Growth Factors work?
Droplette’s Growth Factors work because of two key reasons. First, the capsules are delivered via cold logistics. They are shipped frozen for refrigerator storage at home, so they are proven to contain 100x more active growth factors than any other at-home product on the market. Second, when infused via Droplette, growth factors are delivered 20x deeper into the skin. “Activating stem cells so they replace older, damaged skin cells with new, healthy skin cells helps with almost any skin condition—[including] scars, blemishes, [and many] other skin conditions we associate with aging,” explains Dr. Miller.
Translation: Droplette uses cold shipping to keep its formula active with growth factors, which are known to reverse cell quality decline and replace aging skin cells with new ones. Then they use micro-infusion to get these actives into the skin, where they can truly rejuvenate the cells. This process essentially makes your skin cells biologically younger.
How do you use this system?
While many skin-care devices are cumbersome and complicated to use, Droplette is simple. First, slightly shake your Growth Factors capsule before dropping it into the chamber. Once the capsule is secured into the device, hover the tool’s surface half an inch away from your skin. Then, turn the device on and slowly make circles around your face, starting on your cheeks and finishing along your forehead. Once you’ve completed your treatment, remove the capsule for recycling.
For even better results, pair your Droplette Micro-Infuser with the Droplette App to turn on Growth Factors Mode, a stronger voltage that safely and painlessly infuses skin deeply with this groundbreaking ingredient.
The bottom line
According to Dr. Miller, most growth factors products on the market don’t actually do much for skin health—but that’s not the case with Droplette. Clinical studies conducted by the brand found that users of Droplette saw a significant improvement in their skin texture, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and skin laxity. Cold shipping and micro-infusion not only make growth factors a viable skin-care ingredient, but also offer a completely new approach to anti-aging: replacing old cells instead of treating them.
Even better? Droplette is simple, portable, and easy to use. “It takes less than a minute to use,” confirms the brand’s founder. “It’s also customizable for many types of skin conditions and goals because of the unique capsule approach, so it’s a worthy investment that you’ll use for years to come, even as your skin-care needs evolve.”
Because our growth-factor levels begin to taper down from their peak in our mid-twenties, it’s important to add this powerhouse ingredient into your routine sooner rather than later in order to maintain the appearance of healthy skin. “I would recommend anyone past 25 to begin a growth-factor regimen,” confirms Dr. Miller. So, if your primary skin-care concern is anti-aging, snag a Droplette ASAP.
Here at NewBeauty, the realization that younger-looking skin may start with …well, starting over…is rocking our worlds. We’re no longer forced to settle for the skin cells we have. We can replace them by infusing growth factors, especially because Droplette is making them stable, active, and able to get into our skin. This stem cell-level regimen feels like the new skin-care frontier, and we’re not sure we can ever go back.