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Growth Factors and Their Importance

All Skincare is NOT created equal

Carla holding our ZO Growth Factor Serum

What are Growth Factors?

Have you ever wondered why your skin just doesn’t have the “umph” it did in your younger days?  Have you lost that glow and plumpness you had in your glory days?  Unfortunately, this is a natural part of the aging process, and it happens to all of us.  It is in large part due to the loss of our skin’s communicators called GROWTH FACTORS (GF). GF’s are proteins that are manufactured by cells.  They are responsible for sending signals to other cells, commanding them to reproduce and repair.  

In our younger years, our bodies produce large quantities of growth factors, keeping the skin thick and healthy.  Production of elastin fibers are also at their best.  This is the reason our skin can maintain a healthy elasticity and glow when we are in our 20’s. By our late 20’s/early 30’s, the growth factor process greatly slows down.  The skin starts producing smaller amounts of these growth factors, resulting in slower cell growth and skin becomes thinner and less supple.  This breakdown in cell function along with environmental factors such as sun exposure and pollution can really wreak havoc on the integrity of our skin health, causing wrinkles and sagging.  Helping our cells out by adding a growth factor to our skin care regimen can a lot of times be the game changer our skin has been searching for.

Growth Factor Types

There are many types of growth factors that can be derived from many sources.  Typically, they are divided into two groups…human derived and plant derived.  Human derived GF’s can have many sources, such as your own blood (also known as platelet rich plasma or PRP), and other human tissues such as skin cells.  Skincare companies have really risen to the challenge in creating the fountain of youth by developing some amazing products containing GF’s.  These companies tend to have different sources and methods to creating their own growth factors products.


PRP (platelet rich plasma) is one of the most effective ways to utilize your own growth factors.  The plasma containing platelets is separated from the red blood cells by a simple blood draw in office.  The blood is spun in a centrifuge to make this separation process happen.  This is easy and only takes a few minutes!  The plasma containing your PRP is utilized in different ways to stimulate collagen and promote cell growth.  It can be injected underneath the skin to help improve elasticity and thickness, making the cells healthier in general.  It is also used as the glide component in microneedling.  

With this method, the PRP is driven into the skin through the channels created by the needles.  PRP is known to speed the healing process when used in post care for just about any skin treatment such as laser skin resurfacing or RF microneedling just to name a couple.  An awesome benefit to using PRP is that it comes from your own body, so there is zero chance of having an adverse reaction to it, making it a WIN WIN!

Read about our PRP enriched skincare, SoME here https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com/some-the-future-of-skin/

SoME Skincare with Growth Factors

Plant derived Growth Factors vs Human derived

Plant derived GF are engineered in a lab to mimic human derived GF’s.  Sources for these include barley and corn.  

Both types have been shown in research to be effective for reducing wrinkles, improving firmness and elasticity, and boosting cell turnover.

We love our skin care products here at AMA that provide great growth factor benefits!

Skin Medica is renowned for their golden child, TNS (which stands for Tissue Nutrient Solution). They incorporate a high concentration of patented growth factors, over 380 to be more specific.  It is a great human-based growth factor solution and is found in several of their products such as TNS Advanced Serum, TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Eye Repair.  

TNS Advance Serum Growth Factor

Another favorite growth factor product line here is the ZO skincare line created by Dr. Zein Obagi.  This is a great example of a plant-based growth factor!  ZO has a GF serum and a GF eye serum.  Both are big hits with AMA clients!  Feel free to talk to your aesthetician about which one is best for you and your skin!  

Shop online with us by visiting our Shopify https://shop.ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com

Fall Procedure Prep

Though temperatures are high, fall is right around the corner! Fall makes for a perfect time to schedule the treatment you’ve been putting off all summer. Whether correcting sun damage, removing dead skin, reversing the signs of aging, or helping with pigmentation, we have the right procedure for you and your skin concerns.

Here are a few recommendations to prepare the skin for any future TREATMENT (Vivace, Fraxel, VI or Chemical Peels): 

Fraxel being performed on a patient
  • It is best to prep the skin with a well-rounded skincare regimen for 1-2 months in advance before any treatment; cleanser, antioxidants, vitamin c, retinol, and SPF. Better known as, our Big 5 of Skin Care. Growth factors are also very beneficial in helping create healthier cells. Good skincare creates healthier tissue and will help the skin react better to the treatment for optimum results!
  • If prone to hyperpigmentation, the skin needs to be prepped with hydroquinone (an ingredient that suppresses melanin), ideally for 1-2 months. Hydroquinone will also be ideal to keep pigment suppressed post treatment.
  • Please let your treatment provider know if you are prone to cold sores in the area being treated so that an antiviral medication can be prescribed. Heat from the laser can trigger an outbreak in these people if not suppressed.  
  • Make sure to stay out of the sun 7-10 days prior to treatment
  • Stop retinol use 7-10 days prior to treatment. You may continue use of hydroquinone up until the night before.
  • Avoid waxing one week before and 4 weeks after treatment
  • Chemical peels are a great treatment that will resurface the skin and greatly improve tone and texture. It is a great way to quickly remove damaged skin, especially if you have an important event coming up with little time to prep. (We all have busy social schedules during the holiday season). Fall is typically the beginning of “chemical peel season” since we aren’t in the sun as much. Your aesthetician will know which one is best!
ZO 3 Step Peel being prepared

Did you know your skin requires different products in the cooler months? Here are a few recommendations from our Aesthetician, Tricia about achieving your optimal fall skin through the use of products:

ZO Skin Care
  • At home skincare regimen is an absolute MUST! Investing in medical grade skin products is so important if you aren’t doing so already. Medical grade skincare contains the percentages of ingredients that are needed to achieve the best results. Over the counter products can often contain low quality ingredients and/or ingredients that are not strong enough to make noticeable changes, only leading to frustration and feeling like you have wasted money and time. 
  • Retinol products will turn cells over quicker and help remove top layers of skin cells, revealing new fresh skin. Your aesthetician can recommend one that will best work with your skin type. All retinols are NOT created equal! Sometimes it is necessary to use a retinol less frequently in the colder months since the air is dryer and skin is typically a little more sensitive. Just be mindful to stay on a regular regimen and don’t stop completely! 
  • Antioxidants are a must to protect your skin. Vitamins C, E will help protect your skin from environmental factors that will only break down cells and compromise the quality of the cells. This is especially a problem in fall and winter as the weather changes. Vitamin C is also serves as a great brightener! 
  • Hyperpigmentation is always a big concern after the summer months. There are medical grade lighteners and brighteners that can really help! Hydroquinone is an example of a lightener that works by suppressing the melanin your body creates. It is a great fighter against unwanted pigment, especially when used in unison with a medical grade retinol. There are also non hydroquinone lighteners that prove to be very helpful such as Kojic acid. 
  • SPF is MANDATORY in the fight against aging year-round. Do not slack in the fall/winter! Without it, your cells are vulnerable to damage from UVA, UVB and IR rays. Ingredients such as Zinc and Titanium will physically protect the skin from these types of rays. Always choose an SPF of 30 or higher and high-quality ingredients. 
  • Sometimes skin needs a heavier moisturizer entering the colder months. 
  • Adding a lip moisturizer might be necessary to combat the dryness of colder temps and windier days. Getting yourself on a regular regimen that includes all these things will improve your skin tremendously. It will also help strengthen it in preparation for anti-aging treatments, such as RF microneedling and lasers, all of which are ideal to do in the fall and winter months!

Let’s get fall ready by scheduling an appointment with one of our providers. It’s never too early to get on the books for your first treatment. Schedule today by booking online https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com

To read up on some of our favorite fall procedures and what they entail, please choose one of the following links:

Vivace –  https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com/vivace-microneedling-murfreesboro/

Fraxel – https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com/what-is-fraxel/

Chemical peels – https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com/ama-guide-to-chemical-peels/

Microneedling – https://ashleymcfarlandaesthetics.com/microneedling-101-everything-you-need-to-know/

ASK AMA: How does Coolsculpting work?

Our provider, Kristi, in our Coolsculpting room.

What is Coolsculpting Elite?

Coolsculpting ELITE is the newest, most advanced noninvasive fat freezing treatment on the market.

Traditional Coolsculpting is noninvasive fat reduction treatment done via freezing. Many fat reduction procedures require lasers or surgery, which can damage the surrounding healthy tissue, causing deep bruising or bleeding. CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical technique that uses cold temperatures to freeze stubborn fat cells. This procedure was created to address certain areas of stubborn fat not responsive to diet and exercise. 

Read more about Coolsculpting on our blog!

Coolsculpting Elite vs. Traditional Coolsculpting 

The Coolsculpting Elite is Allergan’s most advanced noninvasive fat reduction technology and the one and only treatment FDA-cleared to eliminate fat in 9 different areas of the body. The new system features reimagined applicators that are shaped to better fit your natural curves. It’s applicators have up to an 18% larger cooling area than the previous generation of applicators. And 2 applicators can be used at a time on your treatment area to freeze twice the fat – saving you time.

image of Coolsculpting Elite machine

1. Coolsculpting Elite is the Most Advanced Non-Invasive Body Contouring Technology 

New Coolsculpting Elite is the most advanced Coolscultping technology available yet to help you reduce stubborn fat and reach your body contouring goals.

2. Larger Dual Applicators

With the new Coolsculpting Elite we can use to applicators on your treatment area to freeze twice the amount of fat at the same time as compared to 1 applicator with traditional Coolsculpting. The new applicators also feature up to an 18% larger cooling area than the previous generation of Coolsculpting applicators. Coolsculpting Elite treats more stubborn fat in the same amount of time and it requires little to no downtime so you can get back to your busy day.

Coolsculpting Elite applicators

3. 9 Treatment Areas

Coolscultping Elite is the one and only treatment FDA-cleared to eliminate fat in 9 different areas of the body – more than any other nonsurgical fat reduction technology. The 9 approved treatment areas include: Under the chin, below the jawline, side (flank), abdomen, thigh, bra fat, upper arm, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (banana roll).

Coolsculpting 9 treatment areas

Want even more great info on our services and products (plus some funny videos?) Check us out on Instagram!

Is Coolscultping Elite Worth it?

The average cost of a Coolsculpting Elite treatment plan ranges from $3,000 to $4,000 but can vary widely depending on your individual needs. Every body type is unique and so is every budget and body contouring goal. This is why we create a personalized Treatment Plan just for you!

Considering that this is a permanent procedure and has zero downtime, we think the investment is more than worth it!

When is the best time to start CoolSculpting?

In the winter months is when it’s PRIME CoolSculpting season, because it takes some time to see results. 90 days after your 2nd treatment, you will see your full results. Almost everyone needs 2 treatments for optimal results. Even if it’s summer time, you’ll be able to say good-bye to the stubborn pockets of fat that you’ve been carrying around. Any time is a good time, but the sooner you get it done – the sooner you’ll see results!

Contact us to schedule your consultation today!

The Power of Sculptra

What is Sculptra?

The power of Sculptra is equivalent of reversing the clock. Sculptra is an FDA-approved injectable that helps gradually replace lost collagen, the most common protein in the body that is used to form a framework to support cells and tissue, for results that can last up to two years. Sculptra is different than your traditional filler as it works with your body to stimulate collagen production lost to aging while rebuilding and reinforcing your skin’s structural foundation.

Why is collagen important?

Collagen is a fibrous protein in the deep dermis that gives skin structure and supports the functions of elastin and hyaluronic acid (HA), which helps maintain the skin’s shape, while keeping it smooth and hydrated. A healthy supply of collagen makes for a more youthful-looking complexion.


  • Collagen loss is 1% per year at the age of 20
  • By 45, 25% of collagen is lost
Collagen graph that shows loss with each year
Collagen loss through the years

How many sessions of Sculptra is needed and how often should they be performed?

On average, a series of three treatment sessions over the course of a few months will be needed. The number of injections at each session will vary, depending on the degree of correction needed and the treatment plan determined by you and your provider. The power of Sculptra can restore years worth of aging in just a few treatments.

Who is a good candidate for Sculptra?

Good candidates for Sculptra treatments are those who want to restore fullness to their face slowly and discreetly to correct fine lines and wrinkles. Sculptra can treat submalar hollowing, jawlines, cheek sinking and temple hollowing.

What do I do after my Sculptra treatment?

  1. A cold pack is recommended for helping prevent bruising and to calm common swelling. Within the first 24 hours of treatment, apply a cloth-wrapped cold pack to the treated area for a few minutes at a time. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
  2. Facial massage is an important step in the healing process. Massage the treated area for five minutes five times a day for five days after treatment, as recommended by your provider.
  3. Avoiding direct sunlight is advised. After treatment, excessive sunlight and UV lamp exposure should be avoided until any initial swelling and redness go away. Your doctor will provide guidelines on sunscreen protection and how to avoid excessive sunlight.

Before/after photos

Sculptra restores youth through a collagen production process
Restoring youth with Sculptra
The power of collagen and Sculptra are equal to years off the face.
The power of Sculptra

To read more about Sculptra, please click here: https://www.sculptrausa.com

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