One of the best-studied peptides in skincare, Sh-Oligopeptide-1 (better known as Epidermal Growth Factor, or EGF) has a wide range of beneficial effects on the skin. Because it’s also found naturally throughout the body, it’s easily bioavailable and binds to special Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors, or EGFRs.
According to a 2021 systematic review of all available studies on EGF, this powerful little peptide can speed up wound healing in both medical and aesthetic contexts. It has great evidence as a hyperpigmentation-fighter: in one study, 73% of subjects who applied a topical EGF serum twice a day for 8 weeks saw a decrease in melasma with no side effects.
It also has significant anti-inflammatory effects and has been studied to reduce acne lesions. One study of 20 subjects used an EGF cream on half their face and a vehicle formula on the other half for six weeks. The side with the EGF cream reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 33.5%.
Overall, EGF is a burgeoning superstar in the skincare world and is a great addition to any routine.