One of the more intriguing stem cell extracts is the peptide sh-Oligopeptide-1. It is in a serum that I have been testing and have been impressed by, Medik8 Growth Factor Youth Activating Serum (1oz/$160). Initially it rang a bell as it has the same name as the barley-derived epidermal growth factor used in BioEffect, the serum from Iceland and one of our Five Best with Plant Stem Cells. But it turns out it is a little different.
Thanks to some clarification from Medik8, I now understand that Medik8's EGF is bioidentical to human EGF, but synthetically produced - hence, the pre-fix SH (synthetic human) rather than RH (recombitant human). Medik8 claims that its EGF is more potent than barley-derived ones - based on personal use, I would agree with that - and it is triple filtered for extra purity.
There are several things to like about Medik8 Growth Factor. It has a pared back formula that has no solvents, alcohols or other ingredients that could negatively impact the growth factor. The price for a 1oz bottle is very good compared to BioEffect. The serum is light, absorbs easily and does not leave a sticky residue. And, oh yes, it works. I found that it has a good effect on wrinkles – even those forehead ones - and a very noticeable lifting and tightening.
There isn’t any independent research that I have found on this active and its results. However, my experience with it has been positive with an effect on wrinkles. It must be said that I gave my test six weeks and although I felt my skin was smoother within a couple of weeks, as with most growth factors, I found that the serum came into its own after a month or so.
The handful of accompanying actives are all useful. There is antioxidant rosemary, panthenol (vitamin B) and hydrating hyaluronic acid. The only thing not to like is the preservative phenoxyethanol, which may be a neurotoxin and irritant. Note that the coloring Blue 1 is deemed safe for use in the EU and by the FDA. Yellow 5 (C1 19140) is a tartrazine and although it is commonly and legally used, it can cause allergic reactions in some people.
I first came across Medik8 a few years ago with a product called Firewall and as this European brand didn’t have much presence in the US, it went off my radar. I am pleased to have been reunited with it and look forward to trying some more of Medik8 products as well as hearing more from our reviewer Noel on progress with the Firma Derma neck serum.
Ingredients: Water, Rosemary extract, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, sh-Oligopeptide-1, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Lecthin, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)