What To Know About Skincare Ingredient EGF

Incorporating the correct skincare ingredients in your routine can be the difference between healthy and unhealthy skin. If you want your skin to look and feel as healthy as possible, creating a routine with ingredients tailored to your needs and skin type is essential. 


GlobalSpa explains that knowing all of the information behind your skincare products' ingredients is a newer skincare trend that serves to make consumers more conscious about what they are putting on their skin. Previously, consumers relied on brands and companies telling us what worked and what didn't. Nowadays, it's easy to research what ingredients you need to fit in with your skin goals, and the increase in consumer knowledge has led to a wider variety of available options than before.

One skincare ingredient that has made headlines recently due to the popularity of its benefits is EGF. While EGF may not be as popular as other skincare heroes like salicylic acid or niacinamide, it's still a common ingredient you can easily find in mainstream skincare products. For anyone looking to expand their skincare collection, EGF is one ingredient you need to have on your radar.


What is EGF?

EGF, or epidermal growth factor, is a multitasking skincare ingredient that is starting to become a fan favorite to celebrities and consumers alike. Dr. Dendy Engelman, an NYC board-certified dermatologist, tells Glowsly, "Epidermal growth factor is a reparative ingredient that signals to cells to boost collagen and elastin production. This helps with cellular repair and renewal, resulting in a more radiant, youthful complexion." EGF helps by stimulating your skin growth at a cellular level, making it much easier to repair your skin. In addition to helping repair the skin, EGF has plenty of other benefits you will find useful in a skincare routine.


Before its use in skincare, EGF was previously used in medicine as a wound recovery agent. According to The Klog, the discovery of EGF marked a new evolution in medicine. Its discovery actually earned biologist Rita Levi-Montalcini and biochemist Stanley Cohen the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986. The purpose of EGF is to signal your cells to regenerate and rapidly start the production of skin growth to help heal the skin quicker. Although we naturally produce EGF in our bodies, the amount of EGF we make reduces as we grow older, so EGF in our skincare can replenish this lost amount and help continue the process of repairing and replenishing.

How do you use EGF?

Using EGF is as simple as using any other skincare ingredient in your drawer. Herbal Dynamics Beauty suggests using a serum or cream with EGF to help add its benefits to your routine. When using it in a serum or cream, apply it after removing all makeup and cleansing your skin. Then apply the EGF product onto damp skin. Wait until the product has been absorbed before sealing it with a moisturizer.


Dr. Björn Örvar, co-founder and chief scientific officer of BIOEFFECT, explains to Coveteur, "We recommend always applying the EGF serum first, on clean skin, and allowing 5–10 minutes before applying anything else on top [to] give it time to activate the skin cells and do its magic." Örvar also suggests using your EGF serum in the evening versus in the daytime. This suggestion is based on the fact that cell turnover happens at night, so combining EGF will maximize these effects. Similarly to retinol, also ensure you are using sunscreen the next day for the ultimate protection of your skin.

Benefits of adding EGF to your routine

Besides skin growth, there are plenty of benefits of adding EGF to your skincare lineup. Pure Vanity Spa explains that EGF can also be used to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, smoothen skin texture, reduce pore size, and lessen the appearance of sun damage and hyperpigmentation (these benefits are based on a study where patients saw these skin changes after months of continued use). 


While it's hard to believe that one skincare ingredient can be behind all of these benefits, the key is that it can penetrate into a cellular level. Once at the cellular level, EGF can help direct all of the various mechanisms to repair the skin.

Like other skincare ingredients, EGF can also help your skin's hydration. By helping to keep your skin hydrated, you can get a glowy and youthful appearance. Dr. Ioannis Liakas, medical director at Vie Aesthetics, explains to Refinery29 that EGF can protect the skin by improving your skin's barrier, thus shielding your dermis from external assailants like pollution and preventing the development of further signs of aging. Overall, if the appearance of aging is worrying you, EGF will be your new favorite skincare product.


Downsides of using EGF

Although EGF sounds like a miracle ingredient, there are a few things to note before using it. One reason why many are wary of EGF is due to the lack of information that exists on possible side effects. Because EGF only recently became a popular skincare ingredient, not much is known about how it can affect you in the long term. Dermatologist Dr. Deirdre Hooper tells Today, "We don't have robust or long-term studies to say what happens if you keep applying something that causes you to grow, because it can cause a growth that you [may not want]. For example, you can grow [additional] blood vessels, which [can] result in more redness." Because EGF is still new, you should include it slowly in your routine.


The lack of information surrounding EGF is one of the only downsides of using EGF products. While it may seem a small price to pay for healthy skin, not knowing the long-term side effects of EGF is risky. Alicia Yoon, the founder of Peach & Lily, warns via Into the Gloss, "EGF, like parabens, is surrounded by some controversial talk but still has an avid, almost cult-like, following by those who have tried EGF-infused products. It all really depends on your risk tolerance for ingredients without substantial research on their potential hazards — and I would say that this doesn't apply to just beauty products, but the heaps of toxins we're exposed to and even eating on a daily basis."

Who should use EGF

On top of the many benefits of EGF, this skincare ingredient can be used by almost anyone. Since it's naturally found in the body, there's no reason why even the most sensitive skin types can't use it. Fairy Glow Mother explains that EGF is perfect for those who find retinol too irritating. Those with sensitive skin will love EGF, as it is the perfect alternative to retinol and other exfoliants that can cause redness and irritation. 


And while it's ideal for anyone, those who are starting to show signs of fine lines or wrinkles will also find EGF beneficial in reducing their appearance. Rejuran explains that EGF should be used by those who are starting to show signs of sagging skin or an overall diminish in skin health. Stopping these skin concerns in the beginning with an EGF product will help you slow down the signs of aging. If you notice that you are having trouble with hyperpigmentation, sun damage, or acne scarring, it's best to try out EGF as soon as possible. Continued use of EGF over time will help reduce the appearance of these issues as well.