Most formulas with growth factors are gentle to the skin and most women with mature skin tolerate it, though Hooper has some reservations on basing your whole skin care routine around them. “The caveat here is the data behind efficacy or actual effectiveness of growth factors is far less than the data behind the effectiveness of sunscreen, retinoid and other cosmeceuticals,” she said. “It’s not my first choice of an anti-aging regimen, rather is an add-on for…someone already using sunscreen and retinoid.”

If you do want to add some products to your regimen, growth factors have better results when used at night since “that is when your skin is in repair and regenerate mode,” according to Shah. The best way to apply a product with growth factors, she said, is to lather it over damp skin right after cleansing. Shah also recommended allowing 5 to 10 minutes before layering with a retinoid or moisturizer if you are using one.

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