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How Epidermal Growth Factors Treat Acne

Written by Kerry Benjamin

How Epidermal Growth Factors Treat Acne

The scientists who discovered epidermal growth factor (EGF) won a Nobel Prize for their work—and for good reason. This skincare multi-tasker can lift hyperpigmentation, heal scarring, reverse sun damage, and diminish fine lines. Plus, EGF can also be used as an effective acnetreatment. Find out how this naturally occurring active helps take down blemishes and reveal smoother, clearer skin.


Epidermal growth factors are chains of proteins that live in our fibroblast skin cells. These protein chains, also called polypeptides, regulate cellular growth by sending messages to ourskin cells.

Here’s an example of how EGF works in our bodies: let’s say you get a cut on your finger. As soon as that injury happens, EGF in your skin cells triggers the body’s healing response and gives the signal to create new skin cells to replace the ones damaged by the cut.

When applied topically on the skin, cosmetic EGF speeds up the skin’s natural cell turn overrate, telling the skin to renew itself even if there hasn’t been an injury. Increasing cell turnover can help lift dark spots, decrease fine lines, and reduce or eliminate acne breakouts.


Acne has many causes, but most blemishes start with a build-up of dead skin cells and oil. When cell turnover is slow, dead skin cells hang around for longer, which means they are more likely to get trapped in your pores and cause breakouts. By increasing skin cell turnover and helping dead skin shed faster, EGF prevents dead cells from clogging pores in the first place. The boost in cellular turnover also helps shed skin damaged by previous breakouts, which helps diminish post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by blemishes.


Speeding up the skin’s natural turnover cycle brings clogged pores to the surface faster, which can cause a pesky side effect—purging. With your skin regenerating at a quicker speed, all of the pimples that would generally take weeks to form can pop up on the skin all at once, causing a reaction that mimics a breakout. This means that your skin can actually look worse before it gets better. Don’t be discouraged and stay the course—purging generally subsides after 4-6 weeks, after which your skin will be firmer, brighter and clearer.

EGF is very effective in treating acne, particularly as an alternative to harsher ingredients that also increase cellular turnover, like retinol. Because retinol products can cause irritation and peeling, you have to introduce them gradually, which slows down your results. EGF is gentle and won’t cause irritation, so you can use it daily and see results more quickly.

Ready to try EGF for your breakouts? Check out our EGF ACTIVATING SERUM, a powerful complex of EGF peptides and yeast that boosts cell turnover for clearer, smoother skin.

About the Author


Kerry Benjamin, a licensed aesthetician, has over 12 years of experience. Kerry is the driving force behind StackedSkincare. As the company's CEO, Kerry has dedicated her career to revolutionizing skincare. Her innovative approach combines peels, serums, and specialized tools toeffectively address a wide range of skin concerns. CA LE license number Z98459.