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A&G Skin Solutions Active Serum and four cell growth ingredients

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
Reviewed by Marta May 14, 2008 38 Comments
Today I received an email from Ildi Pekar, my esthetician. She wanted to share with me a new product she has been trying out for the last two weeks with great results. She says her skin looks younger and wrinkles are diminished (not that she really has any compared to tortoises like me). The product is called A&G Skin Solutions Active Serum and it has four very interesting ingredients that promote cell growth.

This is a product that takes the opposite approach to anti-aging than, say, a retinol. Retins and hydroxy acids work by exfoliating to make the skin think it has had a trauma so that it starts to make new cells. The problem with this (other than the fact it is irritating) is that you eventually reach the Hayflick Limit: cells can't divide and reproduce indefinitely - if they are healthy - and so reach their limit at 52 divisions before dying completely. Cell growth ingredients are different because they aim to replace or augment the natural growth agents that we lose as we get older.

The first of these cell growth ingredients in A&G Skin Solutions Active Serum is TGF-beta (1-3). This is a 'super' protein that controls cell functions such as growth and proliferation. It also regulates cell death. Studies at Cornell, Vanderbilt and Jefferson show that TGF-beta stimulates collagen and elastin production. Jan Marini uses TGF-beta (1) in her product line called Transformation (pictured below).


Next there is PDGF (platelet derived growth factor). This is also a protein that regulates cell growth and division. The third protein in AG Skin Solutions Active Serum is granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This one stimulates stem cells. Finally, there are more cytokines (molecules that send out controlling signals) called interleukins.

In addition, the two doctors behind A&G have included an anti-oxidant concoction of vitamins C and E, evening primrose and Pycnogenol, an anti-oxidant from a maritime pine tree that grows in France. The manufacturer of Pycnogenol claims that 170 studies and trials have been pubished over that last 35 years backing it up as an anti-oxidant.

As Ildi pointed out, at $190 this product isn't cheap. But if my research bears out, it may prove to be well worth it. Anyway, I pressed the buy now button.  We'll report back.
  • April 6, 2009

    by Justine

    Ummm, I think I meant Bess!

  • April 6, 2009

    by Justine


    I have read different reports about topically applied estrogen and its role in supporting collagen renewal. The theory seems to be that is works by signaling to cells like fibroblasts that something is up and the those cells need to kick into gear. Fibroblast cells support synthesis of collagen, as well as other stuff, in the extracellular matrix.

    The similarity between like A & G, TNS, etc., is that they use actual fibroblasts as the external signal rather than a middle man, estrogen. In that respect, it seems that both products are working on the same mechanism, but I don't think that is the same thing as saying that one is acting like the other. I could be way off though.

  • April 6, 2009

    by marta

    Hello Bess,

    This is a complex question. First, Copley wrote a piece on topical estrogen - or I should say, topical ingredients that mimic estrogen. Basically, these are linked to cancer. It is why people don't like parabens, they mimic estrogens. However, this is a controversial area and the research is contradictory. Copley's piece is very informative:

    As to whether, human fibrobast conditioned media - the active A&G et al - behaves like topical estrogen. Not that I know of and I've just checked back over my earlier posts.

    And yes it does go quickly. I've reduced my current use of Reluma to once a day.

  • April 4, 2009

    by Bess

    Dear Michelle,

    I'm a real consumer. Does anyone on this forum know anything about topical estrogen? I read somewhere, perhaps a Marta post, that the cell growth material like that used in A&G, TNS, Reluma, Revive, etc. behaves similarly to topical estrogen, I just purchased my second bottles of A&G serum, face and eyes. It's amazingly effective, though I am trying to justify the price. A&G recommends using two pumps in the AM and a pump in the PM. At this rate, it doesn't last long.

  • March 15, 2009

    by Michelle


    Everyone seems to love this A & G product and has had great results with it except for Marta. Since "Jennifer" and "Sylvia" were marketers/fakes, and Marta didn't have dramatic results with this product, I'm starting to question the integrity of these other comments about how great this product is (no offense to any real consumers who posted). Can anyone tell me the difference between ReLuma and A & G? I thought they used to be related somehow. I think Reluma is about $60 less, but is Reluma or A & G better, and why?
    Also, how does Image Skincare's Ageless Total Anti-Aging Serum compare since it was listed as top of the most updated Five Best anti-aging serums? It's confusing that this keeps changing. If anyone could respond to my questions, it'd be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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