Collagen is a protein based component of the connective tissue which lies underneath your skin. As we grow older the collagen begins to degrade which shows up as sagging skin and wrinkles. Studies have shown promising results through the use of topical cosmetics that contain HGF or human growth factor.
It is important to understand that Human growth factor (HGF) is not the same thing as human growth hormone (HGH). HGH has a notoriously bad reputation as something used by bodybuilders and other athletes to promote muscle growth for better performance. HGH as the name implies is a hormone and though it does promote growth in the body it is very different from HGF.
HGFs are small proteins that play an important role in the growth of all of our cells. They work by signaling molecules used during cellular reproduction to communicate with other cells. HGFs come in over 20 different known varieties in our bodies.
Scientists in Seoul South Korea reported in 2009 that the use of HGFs on burn wounds helped increase the healing rate of patients. They applied the HGF directly to the wounds of the patients for three weeks. Weekly measurements of the wounds were taken for those patients treated with HGF and those who were not. It was conclusively shown that wounds healed significantly faster for HGF recipients.
Similarly, in a 2007 study reported in the dermatology journal Dermatol Ther, researchers found that cosmeceuticals containing HGFs were showing good results. (For the uninitiated, Cosmeceuticals combine the best of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.) These researchers studied topical cosmetics containing HGFs to determine their effect on aging skin. They reported that the topical creams with HGFs stimulated the collagen synthesis and caused a significant decrease in fine lines and wrinkles.
This is significant discovery because it means HGFs can be added to a topical treatment and still have an effect on the skin without being in the blood stream. The ability to stimulate collagen production through topical creams is somewhat of a holy grail for cosmeceutical producers. Where there is more collagen in the skin, there are fewer wrinkles. This can help people fight the signs of aging without having to use invasive techniques.