• Jessica

Phyto EGF is the Next Anti-Aging Skincare Ingredient You Should Try

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

It's healing, anti-aging, and acne-fighting.

In case you haven't noticed, the sun is back out again. It's officially time to put retinol back in the beauty cabinet. While dermatologists point to the popular resurfacer as the gold standard in anti-aging skincare, retinoids are photosensitizing and not appropriate for sunnier times of the year. Consider this your warning: It will make your hyperpigmentation, lines, and wrinkles worse.

When it comes to retinol-alternatives, rosehip oil and Bakuchiol are two worthwhile swaps, both of which I wrote about recently on FabFitFun. But botanical epidermal growth factor, or phyto EGF, is another ingredient to consider for anti-aging, anti-acne, and complexion-brightening effects.

As I explained in my article on vegan collagen, animal-sourced ingredients can actually trigger inflammatory responses in the body. This is the exact opposite of what you want. But non-phyto EGF uses human-sourced stem cells, the most famous of which comes from fetal foreskin. (Gattaca-much?) The fact is, sensitive immune systems like mine may react adversely to bio-EGF worry, so I avoid it because I am always wary of inflammation.

EGF works by stimulating the skin cell's production of collagen, minimizing wrinkles. Since it boosts your skin cell production, you have to exfoliate more often when using it. To do so, I have been pairing my Stacked Skincare EGF Activating Serum ($150) with Hora Skincare Exfoliating Overnight Mask with CBD ($62) before going to bed. The power-combo clears pores with salicylic acid, soothes with CBD, and boosts the skin's overnight replenishing effect with EGF.

The regenerative formula also contains fermented yeast extract, a healing peptide, and antioxidant-packed green tea to give it a plumping effect. I finished the entire bottle of Stacked Skincare, only taking breaks after PDT and laser treatments. It helped to clear up an inflammatory breakout and make headway on healing old scars, while accelerating my healing process following the treatments.

My only concern with the vegan serum is overshadowed by it's benefits. The truth us, the murky brown tincture smells kind of like fish. Every time I put it on, I feel like I'm putting soy sauce on my face. But it's still 100% worth it.

In conjunction with the Hora Skincare mask, any bumps, irritation, or inflammation is soothed by the morning. I have been waking up to skin that feels incredible — better than it does for the rest of the day, until I can apply this precious duo again at night.

I am so impressed by phyto-EGF that I'm curious about the efficacy of platelet-derived EGF and would love to try SkinMedica's beloved Essential Skin Serum (the one with fetal foreskin cells), but I'm worried I'd have an inflammatory response.

That being said, plant-derived EGF is not bio-engineered to behave in a "human-like" way. I have read that stem cells that aren't designed to do so really only serve an antioxidant effect — which is still beneficial. So, the engineered barley-EGF in Bioeffect should speed up cell growth, while the apple stem cells found in Juice Beauty might not.

Either way, EGF is starting to attract the attention by a handful of luxury beauty lines, as well as celebrity estheticians like Joanna Vargas and Georgia Louise. Louise — who works with celebrities like Michelle Williams, Winnie Harlow, and Karlie Kloss — even offers an EGF Hollywood Facial at her spa.

If you decide to try it out, look for improved brightness, plumpness, and clarity.

Here are 5 skincare products that contain botanically-sourced phyto-EGF.


Stacked Skincare EGF Activating Serum ($150)


Joanna Vargas Twilight Face Mask ($75 for 5)

These heal the complexion like woah, recommended to me by the amazing celebrity facialist, Sora Connor.


Bioeffect EGF Serum ($160)

This is the one made with barley. I really want to try the EGF Eye Serum ($90).


Nurse Jamie EGF Platinum 7 Rejuvenating Facial Cream ($398)

Said to be a celebrity favorite.


Rhonda Allison Growth Factor Gel ($42)

When I checked, other products in the line use non-photo EGF, but this one is plant-based. This product is safe for oily and acne-prone skin types.

Have you tried EGF skincare products? Tell me on Instagram!

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