This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ingredient analysis, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.
Often regarded as high-potency products, EGF serums, AKA epidermal growth factor serums, are growing in popularity among skincare enthusiasts. But are they really so effective?
We’re here to cover the basics and answer the questions about what EGF is and what are some of the benefits. We’ll also give you our top 3 products so you can see for yourself how effective they are.
Lastly, we know how much research it takes to integrate something new into your skincare routine, so we’ll also talk about what you can and can’t combine EGF with.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
What Does EGF Serum Do?
EGF is a reparative ingredient that serves the function of boosting collagen and elastin production in your skin. These proteins are crucial for skin firmness and texture as they’re our skin’s natural reparative reactions.
This means that EGF essentially helps your skin do the work and improve itself.
There are also other growth factors that are used in medicine, but the epidermal one was the first to be studied. The other ones are frequently used to speed up different healing processes in the body. For example, VEGF is used to help heal wounds.
The scientists who discovered EGF 30 years ago got a Nobel Prize for their findings!
Image source: Freepik
What’s the Best EGF Serum?
Although EGF is just starting to grow in popularity, there are plenty of options to choose from when browsing skincare shops. Here are our top 3 recommendations:
BIOEFFECT EGF Serum Treatment
This EGF serum by BIOEFFECT is by far the most popular one – and for good reason. It’s got a great Amazon rating, and the majority of the reviews testify to its effectiveness.
It’s also one of the best-selling products in the category and a winner of the Best Eye Product award in the 2022 Marie Claire Skincare Awards.
However, all of these benefits are also reflected in the price, so be prepared to make an investment if you’re going to commit to buying the best of the best.
• Great Amazon ratings & reviews
• Award winner
• It’s an investment
Glo Skin Beauty Bio-Renew EGF Drops
Although somewhat more affordable, the Glo EGF Drops are still pricey. But, that’s just because their formula combines 3 powerful ingredients to create the ultimate anti-aging product.
The EGF in it is 100% vegan. On top of the usual EGF benefits, it also inhibits the production of melanin. This means that you’re reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation on your skin.
It contains a multi-peptide complex, which is specifically designed to further build and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. The peptides also inhibit muscle contraction and boost collagen, both of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
The last ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which further helps in moisture retention and makes your skin look more fresh and youthful.
Plus, it also comes in the form of an EGF cream if that’s more your style!
The INKEY List 15% Vitamin C + EGF Serum
Generally speaking, EGF products aren’t that cheap, as you can see from the previous 2 entries on this list. However, INKEY comes to the rescue with this serum that is very affordable but doesn’t lack in quality.
The vitamin C in this formula is called ascorbyl glucoside, which means that it’s not as potent as other, more popular forms that are used in skincare products. Still, it’s effective at brightening the skin and serving as an antioxidant.
The primary purpose of this product is in its EGF properties, so even the reduced benefits of the vitamin C are a neat bonus!
• A more affordable option
• Not the best form of vitamin C
EGF Serum Benefits
As we said, EGF is completely backed by science – even more so than other popular skincare ingredients. Let’s take a look at what a good EGF serum can do for you & your skin!
Firstly, you probably already know that anything with collagen will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, which was proven by this paper.
Collagen and elastin are the natural agents that fix any blemish on the skin. This means that EGF can also smooth out uneven textures, including acne scars and sun damage.
There’s also been some discussion on whether EGF should be used to help active acne, but since there’s no conclusive answer, we suggest talking to your dermatologist – after all, they understand your skin and its problems better.
EGF is also good at treating and preventing hyperpigmentation and red spots left behind by breakouts. This is again thanks to the regenerative processes it triggers in your skin.
Finally, EGF will help keep your skin’s natural barrier strong. This means that you’ll be more protected from both the sun and the cold air and that your moisture retention will improve, making your skin healthier and more rejuvenated.
Can I Use EGF Serum for Microneedling?
Although this practice isn’t very common, we can attribute that to the generally high price of EGF products. This type of serum can be used both before and after a microneedling session and has been shown to increase the results since it penetrates deeper into your skin than it would with regular, topical application.
Keep in mind that few salons will offer this option – and even if they do, it’ll be more expensive than a regular microneedling treatment.
Image source: Freepik
What Does EGF Work Best With?
We know it can be tedious to try to incorporate a whole new ingredient into your routine. So, in this section, we’ll go over what EGF should and shouldn’t be combined with to help you cut your research short.
Let’s get into it!
Can I Use EGF with Vitamin C?
As you saw from our top picks, some products even combine the 2 ingredients in the same formula.
EGF and vitamin C work well in combination with each other since vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and, in that way, boosts the power of the growth serum.
However, it depends on what kind of vitamin C you’re using. You may need to space out their mixing if your vitamin C product is l-ascorbic acid which has a low pH level which could hinder the effects of the EGF.
It’s best to wait at least 15 minutes between layering the products or simply invest in a different kind of vitamin C serum.
This is why products that combine both EGF and vitamin C, such as INKEY’s serum, will use a different kind.
Experts suggest using EGF and vitamin C in the mornings, as vitamin C can act as a supplement to your regular SPF as well.
Can I Use EGF Serums with Retinol?
They will boost each other’s properties and work even better than if you used them on their own since they’re both powerful anti-aging agents.
The EGF, like we said, strengthens your skin’s natural barrier which will help you avoid the potential negative side effects of retinol.
This combination works best when done as a part of your evening routine.
Image source: Freepik
Can I Use EGF with Niacinamide?
There isn’t much research to show that they’re going to complement each other in any way, but there isn’t anything to suggest they would be harmful to you or each other’s properties, either.
We just know that it is safe to mix them, so feel free to try out the combination but proceed with caution.
What Not to Use with EGF?
Finally, let’s go over some ingredients that don’t work so well with EGF serums. If anything from this list is a part of your routine and you don’t want to take it out, at least don’t use the products at the same time.
Here’s what doesn’t mix well with EGF:
- Exfoliating acids, including alpha hydroxy, glycolic, lactic, mandelic, and apple cider vinegar,
Is EGF Serum Worth It?
All in all, our answer is – yes!
EGF is a very well-tested ingredient that has a proven track record of being effective at treating all the things we talked about in the previous section – signs of aging, texture, hyperpigmentation, and the skin’s barrier.
So far, there have been only speculations regarding negatives, but there aren’t many risks associated with using EGF on your skin.