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).

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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.