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Medik8 Growth Factor- reviewed and recommended

Medik8 Growth Factor 1.0 oz


Synthetically produced EGF noticeably alleviates wrinkles


Phenoxyethanol and Yellow 5 are possible irritants
June 22, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 30 Comments
The peptides in this serum really deliver anti-aging results

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)

  • August 11, 2017

    by Gisela

    The medik8 growth factor serum, is this sold in Australia and if yes, under what name. I don't seem to find that product anywhere?

  • July 5, 2015

    by Regina

    For this price, at least they could make a product that's USDA Organic. And free of synthetics. Also, it's unclear if they use animal ingredients (toxic production), or animal testing. I'll just stick to my coconut oil for now...

  • May 10, 2015

    by Polina

    Hi, I've been looking for a good serum to improve my skin but am not sure if this will work for me since it's got citric acid. My skin is very sensitive and allergic to Vitamin C. But I still decided to try it out and ordered a travel size. We'll see how it'll do. ;)

  • September 10, 2014

    by julie

    I have been trying a few different serums and exfoliators over the past few months and this product was one. I had a sample which I used for about 10 days. When I ran out I did not buy a full size because of the cost . ( I have a kid in college and the budget to show it!) Well, within a few days I noticed a difference in my skin - it did not look as pretty, smooth, radiant- and now I have to break it to the husband that I need a full size bottle of this.

  • July 19, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Shalini

    It isn't an issue of age, but of wrinkles. Growth factors and some peptides need something to repair - eg a wrinkle (different peptides do different things: If you don't have wrinkles then you won't see any results and will be disappointed. If you are looking for something preventative, choose a product with antioxidants. See our post on products with the most powerful antioxidants:

    Try looking at our suggested regimen for 30-somethings:
    Or if you do feel that you are seeing signs of aging then there is the 40-something regimen:

  • July 19, 2013

    by Shalini

    Hi Marta. I am 35 with acne prone combo skin. I have been a retinol user for a while and recently switched to a peptide regime (Arcona firming serum). I have been eyeing the Medik8 growth factor for sometime. However, I was wanting to understand the difference between growth factors and peptide serums?
    Is it that growth factors are recommended for 40+ only?
    How are the two different in terms of promoting collagen?
    I understand peptides are more preventive than reparative.
    Please advise if I could include a growth factor along with a peptide serum.
    Thank you!

  • July 3, 2013

    by meredith

    I've been using medik8 for about 3 weeks now. Is it possible that it makes my chin hair grow faster?

  • June 28, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Kathy
    I haven't tried the Medik8 dermaroller. Ultimately, this is a personal decision and this type of treatment is not for me. I don't like the idea of puncturing my skin and prefer the slower process of letting a serum penetrate at its own pace. I have had dermarolling once carried out by my esthetician and several days later my face looked amazingly pump. I wrote about it here:
    Having said that, some people swear by it as you can see from comments here:

  • June 28, 2013

    by Kathy R

    Has anyone tried the Medik8 facial roller with titaniam points? I saw a write up on it some time ago. Martha, have you ever tried it with the serums? What are your thoughts about that type of tool, that punctures the skin, as an added benefit when using Medik8 serums?

  • May 10, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Esther, EGFs will help plump the skin. Also, in my experience, the absolute best thing for plumping is LED light.

    My personal view on glycolic is gentle and regular.

  • May 9, 2013

    by Esther

    Martha, can you tell us whether the EGf plumps the skin? Can you help us what ingredients to look for that help plump the skin...? And also what products in your honest opinion? Also, in another post you discussed the use of glycolic acid for better skin and anti aging. Do you recommend using a one time once a month 30% home peel / mask, rather than a 5 or 10% every other day or once a week? Mostly cos some people live in hot climates and also are using retin a...wouldn't it be better to use a higher percentage once a month?

    Thanks always for your input and look forward to hear all your answers...
    We all know that we can reverse some lines and wrinkles, I am getting there and my skin tone is really good....I miss the fullness and the plumpness especially around my mouth area...this all happened in a few months..I am in my late 30's.

    Thank you Martha.

  • May 2, 2013

    by Kathy R

    I would really like to try this for my Panda eyes. I haven't come across anything that does the trick yet.

  • May 2, 2013

    by Alexa C

    I have tried every top serum for dark under eyecircle treatment offered in the TIA Shop. (As well as in department stores) They include the heavy hitters: AQ, YBF control, KI Elixir of life, etc. Although I have had good results with puffiness and fine lines, my dark circles continue to be my nemeses. I would be quite pleased to "Dare to try" the MEDIK8 dark eye circle treatment. At 59 my eyes need all the help they can get.

  • May 2, 2013

    by Tamra Smith-Wasel

    I would love to tryout this product. I've had dark circles under my eyes for as long as I can remember. It would be a miracle if something could fix it.

  • May 1, 2013

    by Stella

    Martha, thank you for your input. Have you seen the Hydr8 normal to dry? Does seem to have different ingredients, plus an added spf. Have never tried it myself.

  • May 1, 2013

    by Stella

    Kathy, Debbie, Gail and Seline. Well from medik8 I also use the Pretox Eyelift. It is very much like their dark circle gel, but it has got some peptide added, in that it feels like botox under your eyes. I do see great improvement in my crows feet, but not sure on dark circles....I have got some dark areas in my tear, the place where the tears come down (hope I am understood here lol), I have to check it out, maybe its pigmentation. And I cant seem to cover them with anything, concealer or otherwise.. It does seem lighter with this Pretox Eyelift. But not sure as yet as I havent been using it for a very long time. The under eye and the crows feet do feel lifted , that for sure. I am also in my late thirties.

  • May 1, 2013

    by Selina

    Just turned 40 and my dark circles are really noticeable and getting me down. Because I don't wear makeup, I suppose I have high expectations of skincare products. YBF Correct is also the only thing I've found to help. I would love to give this a go, if you'll work with someone in the UK!

  • May 1, 2013

    by Gail DuPont

    Dark Circles you say....I've got them. Not sure if ifs from putting contacts in for many many years, but anything to help minimize would be great!

  • May 1, 2013

    by Debbie Herbert

    Would love to try -- if it worked on my dark circles it would work for anybody.

  • May 1, 2013

    by Katy

    I have been battling dark circles for years. The only product that has ever helped was YBF Correct. I could really take Medik8's dark circle formula eye cream for a drive. I am in my late thirties.

  • May 1, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Stella, much as I like Medik8 products I don't particularly like the look of XD Hydra8. There's a lot of silicone and it is has retinyl palmitate, which I shouldn't think would be a good idea for you given the retin A in the rest of your weekly regimen. I doubt whether this would be hydrating enough. Your homemade oils sound like a better bet. We will be introducing comment response alerts in the next few weeks.

  • April 30, 2013

    by Stella

    Hi Martha,

    First of all I would like to thank you for coming back to me and suggesting a moisturiser. Last week for the first time I had a wow effect. Could be the EGF from Medik8 is kicking in ;) I dont remember doing anything different, other than I cleansed my face with a microfibre cloth )which I had used in the past) and applied the EGF )the retinol before it). This week I started to see my lines really less visible! I noticed mostly on my forehead. I will continue to use this product. Just need to know whether its ok to buy a second bottle and to keep using it religiously :)

    I am also using the Retinol 3TR from them...and just started alternating it with an 0.025 Retin A cream (prescription). I started to see some I backed off a bit. This week I started using one day Retinol with dermastamp, the next day nothing (EGF only), day 3 Retin A, day 4 nothing, day 5 again retinol with dermastamp. WE shall see how I go. However now more than ever I need a hydrating moisturiser during the day, as when I put the mineral SPF 50 (from neutrogena), it does make my face white and even more and more dry, and thats when basically I start seeing some flakes...

    Have you seen the XD Hydra8 from Medik 8 Martha? Can you tell us what you think of the ingredients? They all sound hydrating..but maybe again not enough for me..and I do put a layer of Hyaluronic Acid before it too....At night I am going natural and mixed a few oils together like Extra virgin (yes!) , jojoba and vitamin e oil from a capsule. Can you tell us what you think of this?

    And one more question I have it ok to layer moisturisers?? I do put Xd then layer a little bit of Rose Day Cream from Dr Hauschka for extra hydration...

    Thank you and keep up your good work. I am from Europe and I follow your blogs.
    How can I have an alert when any of my questions has been answered? I didnt know about your answer here, I only happened to come back to this page.

    Thank you

  • April 25, 2013

    by Eliza

    I have been using Medik8 products for months in hopes of having more vibrant skin as i approached 40. My skin has never looked better and i feel more confident as a result. Yeah!!! I'm glowing and I'm not even pregnant!

  • April 25, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Susan, we are in discussion with Medik8 and hope to have the products that we have reviewed so far available in the Truth In Aging store within a few days.

  • April 24, 2013

    by Medik8 Scientist

    Dear Martha,

    I will be pleased to post some background to the technology and manufacture behind bioidentical synthetic human growth growth factors as made by Medik8 EGF and Bioeffect.

    I will try to attend to this in the next couple of days.

    Medik8 Scientist

  • April 24, 2013

    by susan

    Where would I be able to find this line? I live in NYC and would love to try some of these products. A particular website perhaps?

    Thanks. Susan

  • April 24, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Stella, how about La Vie Celeste's Extra Rich Creme. It is very hydrating and also has great anti-aging ingredients:

  • April 24, 2013

    by Marta

    Thank you Medik8 Scientist. That's great additional information and I am very interested to learn more about the synthetic, but bioidentical EGF. Certainly I am impressed with the results and will continue to use this serum.

  • April 24, 2013

    by Medik8 Scientist

    Dear Marta,

    Thank you for your review which is as well written, scientific and balanced as usual. We are big fans of TIA. It's incredible what you have done with the site. It's the goto resource for consumers. People in the UK are reading it too. Hats off to all the team.

    We are pleased to be back on your radar. We'd love you to also try out our new L- Ascorbic Acid serum called CE-Thione which has incredible stability data. Please will you request samples from whoever sent you the EGF Serum. We are very excited about this technology. I promise the manufacture process is a geek-fest. :-)

    May I just add a couple of comments on your EGF review. In the EU we cannot use recombinant human EGF (as commonly used in US and Asian growth factor formulae) because of EU concerns over prion transfer and ethical issues over using anything human derived. That is the major breakthrough with Medik8 EGF in that is is bioidentical to human EGF but synthetically produced. Hense the prefix "SH" (synthetic human) instead of "RH" (recombinant human). I apologise if this was not more clear or 'underlined' in any press release you may have been sent.

    We also admire Bioeffect. It is a real growth factor product and not an 'apple stem cell' formula. The guys in Iceland are great scientists.

    Medik8 have commissioned two completely independent trials. Both blinded. One in vivo was by a London university and the other in vitro was performed by an independent biotech lab running a human cell assay. The purpose of the in vitro study was for us to select the best final formula for production from 14 prototypes (we wanted to see the long term effect/shelf life of various Preservative blends on the EGF molecules, as well as the determining the effect of ethanol - Very impressed you picked up on that Martha). We ran all 14 prototypes double blind against a negative control (hyaluronic acid solution) and a positive control (Bioeffect).

    The results and a short video presentation designed for training our staff and distributors is at the link below. Your users may find it interesting to watch.

    We found that Medik8 EGF serum is far more potent than barley derived products and because it is triple filtered our purity is also far higher (the previous drawback of E. Coli over Barley). From memory Medik8 EGF has twice the potency of Bioeffect in this test.

  • April 23, 2013

    by Esther

    I am in week three I think in EGf from medik8 . I also purchased their retinol 3TR, their CE Tetra, their Pretox eyelift (which, although I love it and i think it works, my fine lines are less visible around crows feet, I am having a problem with applying products over starts to peel, but I will speak to them personaly, I might be doing something wrong.(
    I have also purchased their XD moisturiser, and i am a little bit disappointed about it, its not enough for dry skin....I have to put something like the rose Day Cream from dr Hauschka on top of it to feel some hydration. Not to mention the fact that I am in Maine, where the weather is cold and dry...
    I am still looking for the perfect moisturiser. In the meantime I will await and see how I go with EGF growth factor and see whether it works...
    Can anybody recommend a very very good moisturiser ? I was looking at Revive.
    and is it ok to LAYER moisturiser at this stage? Thank you Martha and keep your information coming! Scared to go to a dermatologist in case she gets me to buy more products! I am an addict now to try new stuff that hopefully works lol

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