Zo Skin Health Product

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The Nonirritating Wrinkle Busters: Growth Factors

These tiny proteins in your skin send cellular signals that help stimulate collagen and elastin production, keeping your outer layer taut and lifted. Trouble is, we lose them as we age. "Our body's natural production of growth factors gets sluggish starting at about age 20, making our skin lose elasticity and vibrancy," says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon in New York City. Now product formulators are cooking up these dynamos in the lab and adding them to serums and creams. "These ingredients can be a gentler alternative to vitamin A derivatives like retinol, which work well but can have the not-so-pretty side effects of scaling, redness, and peeling," says Engelman. Although the proteins don't come cheap, they're extremely effective, with studies showing a noticeable improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.

Find it in: ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Serum ($148; ZOSkinHealth.com)