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Game-changing plant-based growth factor skincare

An anti-ageing EGF skincare brand that is a cult favourite with beauty aficionados

The use of growth factors in skincare has been around for years but is really having a moment right now.

Several brands claim to offer plant-based growth factors  – but one stands out from the rest. BIOEFFECT is an industry leader when it comes to luxurious, natural and effective growth factor skincare, with products made with a combination of Iceland’s finest natural ingredients and the brand’s groundbreaking science. Suitable for all skin types, if you are not already on board, here is what you need to know…

Growth factors are some of the most intriguing ingredients in modern skincare. They are natural proteins in your body that support your skin’s natural signalling properties by instructing neighbouring cells what to do. Their purpose is to stimulate and grow cells to produce more collagen and to repair broken skin.

Since the 1990s, clinical studies have shown that topically applied growth factors can help reverse signs of ageing in the skin by reducing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging, as well as helping with pigmentation, increasing elasticity, and improving skin tone and texture.

Over time, natural levels of growth factors in our bodies start to decline. Supplementing the skin with growth factors may help return the skin to its optimal health. Growth factors in skincare are derived from stem cells found in plants, animals and humans. Scientists have known for several decades that growth factor was a protein worth producing for skincare products, but it is difficult, not to mention expensive, to safely produce.

Offering revolutionary skincare born from science and made in Iceland, BIOEFFECT is an industry leader in biotechnology. The company was founded by three scientists who spent ten years researching and developing a pioneering method to bioengineer a plant-based alternative to the human growth factor.

The BIOEFFECT skincare products are the world’s first to contain a human replica of a growth factor made from plants; barley seeds. They include EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) cellular activators that are natural to human skin and signal the skin to speed up its renewal process and rejuvenate its complexion. EGF is one of the most significant growth factors in skincare, helping boost collagen and elastin production to maintain healthy, dense and youthful skin. Being plant-based makes it uniquely pure and stable.

Produced in the company’s state-of-the-art, ecological greenhouse, the amazing plant-based EGF is at the core of BIOEFFECT’s entire product range. This skincare brand is a must for anyone serious about their anti-ageing routine.

The brand’s high-performing skincare range provides stunning results, yet the science behind it is incredibly complex – which is why we offer a detailed explanation of it in this article.


EGF – the skin conductor

EGF stands for Epidermal Growth Factor. From birth until adulthood, our bodies manufacture massive amounts of proteins called growth factors that communicate with cells, instructing them to repair and renew themselves.

Think of them as musical conductors instructing all the different cells to perform. Just as a conductor leads an orchestra in performing musical masterpieces, EGF tells skin cells to repair and rejuvenate and boost the production of collagen and elastin. This makes it one of the most important growth factors in our skin, helping it maintain its plumpness, firmness, smoothness and youthfulness.

If we imagine a baby’s skin, it is thick, smooth and plump because it is full of EGF. As we age, the production of growth factors decreases considerably. As a result, cell turnover and repair slow down, eventually affecting our appearance – skin starts to thin and sag, and fine lines and wrinkles appear. In fact, skin density thins by 1% each year after we turn 20. This is where the topical application of EGF comes in.

The growth factor in BIOEFFECT EGF is a proven conductor. It triggers the cells in the top layer of the skin to produce their own growth factors, resulting in higher skin density and increased collagen and elastin production – all to help slow down the ageing process. In double-blinded studies, BIOEFFECT EGF demonstrates up to a 60% increase in skin thickness and a 30% increase in skin density.

Background – BIOEFFECT

Celebrating 11 years of true innovation, BIOEFFECT’s founders did not set out to launch a skincare brand, yet they literally and figuratively changed the face of skincare forever.

The company was founded by three Icelandic scientists when they discovered, after over a decade of research, a way to produce growth factors by bio-engineering a plant-based replica of the naturally occurring human protein within a barley plant.

As one of BIOEFFECT’S founders, Dr. Björn Örvar specialises in plant molecular biology and is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of British Columbia and was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University before returning to Iceland to launch ORF Genetics and later BIOEFFECT.

The world’s first plant-based EGF – a scientific breakthrough

Responsible for producing the world’s first plant-based EGF, BIOEFFECT has revolutionised the skincare market.

EGF has previously either been grown in bacteria, which poses a risk of endotoxins or extracted from human or animal cells, which presents ethical, moral, and legal issues. BIOEFFECT invented a way to produce a plant-based EGF in barley. The company’s barley growth factor is a sustainable, renewable ingredient grown in their ecologically engineered greenhouse in Iceland that is powered by geothermal energy.

BIOEFFECT’S barley-produced EGF signals skin cells to maintain their youthfulness and renew themselves in the same way EGF extracted from human tissue would. It has the same amino acid sequence and 3-D structure as human EGF, so it can easily detect and bind to EGF receptors on human skin cells.

The brand chose to use barley, which is purer and more stable than its human counterpart – a perfect choice for skincare. Also, seed-generated EGF is more precise: BIOEFFECT uses a defined concentration of known growth factors, whereas companies working with human growth factors use an undefined extract, a ‘mix’ of many different proteins.

BIOEFFECT’S patent-pending green biotechnology bypasses the risk of including bacterial endotoxins associated with conventional production of EGF cellular activator in bacteria. It ensures that the company’s products contain EGF of maximum purity, activity and stability.

Open bottle of EGF serum from BIOEFFECT

Cutting-edge biotechnology and award-winning science – from seed to growth factor skincare

Iceland’s stunning landscape – glaciers, lava fields and volcanoes – combined with harsh dark winters make it difficult to grow plants. However, it is also highly geothermally active, enabling BIOEFFECT to grow barley plants all year round in a state-of-the-art greenhouse powered exclusively by sustainable geothermal energy.

The company’s high-tech, eco-friendly greenhouse is surrounded by the spectacular lava fields of Iceland’s Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark.

The greenhouse can nurture up to 130,000 barley plants at a time, producing BIOEFFECT’s signature ingredient, EGF, that works as the skin’s anti-ageing protein. Created through careful bioengineering, the company grows the barley plants for 30 days in the carbon-neutral greenhouse. The plants are grown in inert volcanic pumice instead of soil – to minimise contamination – and they are watered with geothermally filtered Icelandic groundwater enriched with the necessary nutrients.

The Icelandic water and the EGF from the company’s barley plants are what makes BIOEFFECT unique.

Proven results

BIOEFFECT has done around 50 in-house scientific studies, not relying on self-assessment studies that are so prevalent in the skincare industry. Most of the studies are double-blinded placebo-controlled efficacy studies with research periods ranging from two months up to three years. The results of the studies clearly show that topical application of growth factors has a powerful effect on skin rejuvenation processes.

BIOEFFECT’s efficacy studies are also backed up by independent studies conducted by scientists, such as Dr. Moy, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, former President of the American Academy of Dermatology and a professor of Dermatology at UCLA, and Dr. Kerscher, professor of Cosmetic Science at the University of Hamburg and a world-renowned expert on dermatology.

Pure, green and clean credentials

When talking about purity in skincare, BIOEFFECT takes a multi-faceted approach. From their clean formulations with only a few ingredients and pure Icelandic water to the company’s greenhouse in Iceland powered by sustainable geothermal energy.

Bottles of BIOEFFECT EGF serum

The company’s strong commitment to green and clean beauty is evident in initiatives such as:

ZERO-CARBON: The company’s  EGF barley is grown in a zero-carbon emissions greenhouse.

PLANT-BASED: BIOEFFECT’S scientists developed the world’s first plant-based EGF using biotech science. The EGF is copied from human skin and made in barley seeds to ensure maximum efficacy and quality. The company has developed a technology to produce growth factors in bioengineered barley seed, which results both in purer and more stable EGF due to lack of endotoxins and lower proteolytic activity (enzymes that break down other proteins, such as EGF)

ICELANDIC WATER: BIOEFFECT’s products use pure water – one of Iceland’s most abundant resources – that is geologically filtered through layers of volcanic lava for maximum purity and softness.

UNCOMPROMISINGLY EFFECTIVE FORMULAS WITH FEW INGREDIENTS: BIOEFFECT’s formulas contain only ingredients essential to their efficacy – no unnecessary extras or harsh preservatives. The brand uses as few as seven to twenty clean, natural ingredients and only those that our skin can genuinely understand.

FREE FROM ALCOHOL, FRAGRANCE & SILICONE: BIOEFFECT’s products do not contain any fillers and are free from alcohol, fragrances, silicone, parabens, phthalates and petrolatum. It means that their products are suitable for all skin types – even very sensitive.

RECYCLABLE/ REUSABLE MATERIALS: BIOEFFECT is dedicated to finding more recycled, recyclable, and sustainably sourced materials. Most of the main components of the company’s primary packaging and all secondary packaging are recyclable.

The hero product – Bioeffect EGF Serum, one of the world’s most effective plant-based EGF

In 2010, BIOEFFECT launched its first luxury skincare product, the award-winning EGF Serum.

Renowned for its unique efficacy and potency, the serum is called the “Fountain of Youth” for good reasons. This anti-ageing serum with plant-based EGF reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, boosts hydration, and restores younger-looking skin with only seven pure ingredients. The EGF serum is a moisture-binding and skin-rejuvenating protein that helps support the skin’s natural collagen production and is essential for keeping skin looking smooth, healthy and youthful.

Moreover, it can….

  • Smooth the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating collagen and elastin to improve the skin’s texture and elasticity
  • Restore the skin’s youthful thickness, smoothness, plumpness, and tone
  • Strengthen the skin’s barrier to hold moisture and maintain optimal hydration
  • Accelerate the fading of acne scars and inflammation
  • Reduce skin pigmentation concerns, like age spots
  • Reinforce the skin’s protective mechanisms to combat signs of ageing
  • Enhance the skin’s natural recovery process after professional treatments, including microneedling, chemical peels, and laser treatments

In an independent double-blind split-face study, BIOEFFECT EGF Serum demonstrated up to:

– 30% increase in skin density

– 60% increase in skin thickness*

*Independent scientific split-face study that included 29 women using BIOEFFECT EGF SERUM twice daily for two months.

A separate study of Bioeffect EGF Serum showed “significantly improved brown spotting, skin texture, pore size, red spotting, and wrinkles versus baseline” with the twice-daily application over three months. This is an impressive list of youth-preserving results to see from a single product.

BIOEFFECTskincare products

With only ingredients that are truly necessary, pure, clean, safe and effective, the EGF serum can be used on sensitive skin.

It is suggested that the EGF Serum should not be used on anyone with ‘pre-cancerous cells or cancerous lesions‘. The obvious fear is that growth factors are mitogenic – meaning while they do not cause cancerous cells, they will cause cancerous cells to multiply.

Other BIOEFFECT products to try

Apart from the brand’s iconic EGF Serum that has long been a cult favourite for its ability to transform dull, tired skin, minimize wrinkles, and restore radiance, we cannot recommend the EGF Eye Serum enough for wrinkles, fine lines, and puffiness. Another stellar product is the BIOEFFECT Volcanic Exfoliator, a clarifying all-natural facial exfoliator containing Icelandic micro-crystalline lava and ground apricot seeds that deep-cleanse and smooth the skin, leaving it feeling soft and refreshed.

You cannot go wrong with any of BIOEFFECT’s products – they will be total game-changers in your routine.

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