Profhilo – The Injectable Moisture Treatment
You may be wondering what an injectable moisture treatment is and if it’s just another filler?
Profhilo is a fairly new treatment that has been making waves over the past year or so, due to the effects it has on the skin.
I’ve watched and read as people describe it as the new Botox (toxin injections) or the alternative to Botox (toxin injections) that’s not strictly true and it’s clear there’s some confusion.
Unlike typical dermal fillers or toxins, hyaluronic acid injectables like Profhilo claim to work on the condition and appearance of the skin rather than increase volume or restrict movement.
It stimulates our natural repair mechanisms so more collagen and elastin are produced, this, in turn, keeps skin looking naturally plumped and lifted.
So what is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is part of our biochemistry. Our bodies produce this naturally-occurring polysaccharide which can be found in the skin, joints and eyes. It is found to be identical across all species and lacks a protein component therefore it has no potential for immunologic reaction in humans.
It is composed of repeating disaccharide units stabilised with cross-linked hydroxyl groups that bind water to create volume and plump the skin. With age and sun exposure the amount of H.A in the skin decreases, reducing the skin’s water-binding capacity and turgor, ultimately leading to the usual signs of skin ageing.
Hyaluronic acid works on texture, tone and volume which is why when we age levels of H.A decrease leading to loss of volume and the appearance of lines and wrinkles become more apparent. It is said to have the ability to draw up to 1000 times its own weight in water into the skin makes it ideal for binding and retaining water molecules, providing the very best innate moisturisation.
Beyond skin, hyaluronic acid also plays an important role in protecting certain cells within our body. They are surrounded by hyaluronan which protects them from bacteria, red blood cells, or other matrix molecules
Is it worth spending lots of money on HA creams and serums?
Topical H.As do have their benefits. Research has shown that they have the ability reduce inflammation due to eczema or dermatitis. They can also increase penetration of actives such as retinol, retinoic acid, niacinamide and ascorbic acid into the deeper levels of the epidermis as well as draw moisture to the epidermis.
The debate lies within the difference in price and effectiveness between a high end or more affordable product which contains hyaluronic acid. It has become cheaper to manufacture now and most products contain polymolecular weight or multi-molecular weight H.As which range between 50-200 KDa.
The smaller the molecule the more it can penetrate the skin however even low weight H.A cannot penetrate the dermis therefore topically they can only penetrate different depths of the epidermis (the top level of the skin)
The body’s natural enzyme hyaluronidase breaks down the hyaluronic acid produced by the body but also any H.As delivered both by injection or topically – hence the need to have treatments more frequently than fillers etc.
Some dermatologists recommend saving money by opting for cheaper products that contain hyaluronic acid and spend on H.A to be delivered intradermally or into the hypodermis through injections for better, longer-lasting results.
What is PROFHILO?
Profhilo pronounced PRO-FILE-O is part of IBSA, a pharmaceutical company which hails itself as leading the way in the production on hyaluronic acid.
I spoke to Rachel, a representative for Profhilo who explained how the product works;
“Profhilo is an ultra-pure hyaluronic acid that’s thermally stabilised in the skin. This means it’s a non-cross linked hyaluronic acid with no additional chemicals in the product. A cross- linked hyaluronic acid would be like a mesotherapy, for example.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, is a product which is cross-linked with a chemical called BDDE.
Where Profhilo is unique is that it is thermally stabilised within the skin. It’s a multilevel bio remodeller meaning it works on the different layers of the tissue within the skin.
As Profhilo is delivered via a deep dermal injection it remains in the skin for 60 days. You start to see the cellular activity over a 28-day process. Within that time it will stimulate the collagen 4 and 7 in the epidermal and dermal junction, it will also stimulate collagen 1 and 3 in the layer below in the dermis. It will also improve the elastin production in the skin and the adipocytes in the layer below that providing a little more scaffolding within the skin”
What age is this best for?
As Profhilo is designed to improve the condition and increase levels of Hyaluronic Acid within the skin it is best suited for anyone from 30 to a more mature patient.
Where can it be used?
Although it’s typically a facial treatment it is possible to have Profhilo on the body too. There’s been positive results on the neck, knees, hands and the inner arms commonly known as (bingo wings). It can be applied to the forehead but as it involves a needle and there’s little fat you may have the raised injection points a little longer.
How often should it be done?
Hyaluronic acid breaks down over time so it is recommended to return every 3-4 months however monthly is also fine and completely safe if you wish to have the treatment more frequently.
What Profhilo can and can’t do
It can make skin look freshers, dewy, radiant. It can’t prevent frowning or minimise other facial movements, fill deep lines or increase volume.
Dr Steven Land, the owner of Novellus Aesthetics is an advanced aesthetic doctor and doctor in A&E, he explains why Profhilo is becoming popular and how the “injectable moisturiser”- a term coined by the press, differs from standard dermal fillers.
“With Profhilo there are 5 bio aesthetic points which is a regime of areas that are injected into. The idea is that it distributes the product throughout the whole level of the face. The 5 points mostly target the areas people are most concerned about, under-eye, nose to mouth lines, jowls, chin and around the jawline.
As it attracts and retains water the area gets a slight plumped effect so you do see a lifting however it’s not to be confused with the level of lift and fullness filler achieves. This is more natural, like how your skin was previously. (As in the more youthful-looking, plumper versions of our skin)
It’s not as uncomfortable as fillers can sometimes be, there’s no anaesthetic because the injections are superficial meaning they’re just within the skin. The feeling is a little nippy or a very small scratch which is virtually painless. However, the mid-line of the face can be a little more sensitive.
We use hypodermic needles which go blunt quickly so there are 2 needles for each treatment, one for each side of the face.
There’s minimal downtime, people do get this treatment on their lunch break as it is a quick procedure and there’s very minimal swelling or bruising however it isn’t recommended to do before a big night out.
It can be combined with other treatments like dermal fillers, so if a patient did want volume they could combine a dermal filler with the skin-enhancing Profhilo”
My experience of the Profhilo glow
Dr Land began the procedure by injecting into the areas people consider more painful, which is the centre of the face and then worked outwards. He explains that the needle is sharper when it is new so it will be less painful and as there’s a 5 point injection on each side the needle blunts ever so slightly by the 5th injection. (we’re talking on a microscopic level btw)
It takes less than 2 minutes to complete one side and although I had no numbing creams it was pretty much pain-free, the injection point near the labial folds (nose) and chin was a little nippy but nothing you would require pain relief for.
After the other side was finished I was free to go, for a short period of time there’s raised areas at the site of the injection but it fades quickly.
I did see a slight light area underneath my right tear trough which I almost expected (as I always get issues there) but this faded in 3 days.
Similarly to anti-wrinkle injections, you won’t see a difference immediately. Dr Land told me that it’s usually visible after 4 weeks and it may not be directly noticeable for you and that it’s more often the case where people comment on your skin. He also explained that it’s normal to not see a difference after the first session and that it’s usually after the follow session where you’ll see a change.
The follow-up session is 4 weeks after the initial treatment, this is where I mostly noticed an improvement and saw a visible radiance to my skin. At the time I had suffered a random acne breakout on my cheeks which was leaving post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars. As I was using Benzyl Peroxide there were areas on the sides of my face which were starting to look a little crepe – as the cream can dry the skin. Read more about my acne and how I treated it here.
As the weeks went by following my second treatment I began to see an overall improvement in the texture of my skin, especially where the major dryness was.
The most notable and surprising difference for me was how the lines at the corners of my eyes were less prominent and my cheekbones looked a little plumped – in a subtle way, not a dermal filler way (see images below) I could see how it claimed to provide a more youthful look rather than a frozen or volumised one.
In the images you can see how luminescent and smooth my skin looks with and without skin makeup approx 1 month after my second treatment. The GIF (although reduced quality) shows how plump, hydrated and smooth my skin looks makeup free. This for me was when I realised how radiant and even my skin appeared.
I will stress that this didn’t treat my acne, I had created a specific routine for that. I wouldn’t consider this a tweakment as it isn’t changing the shape or movement of your face but instead subtly enhancing and rebuilding those hyaluronic acid levels, improving the texture and providing an overall radiance (as demonstrated above)
It’s £250 per treatment which is reasonable considering the effects. If you were to get it every 4 months it works out a little more than eating out once per month. Although it’s recommended once every 3-4 months it’s also fine to have Profhilo monthly if you wish.
This is most certainly a treatment I would recommend and hope to have another soon!
For more information visit www.novellusaesthetics.co.uk and speak to Dr Land or one of his team members for more advice. If you are interested in finding out about other skin treatments Novellus Aesthetics have just introduced the Angel Facial. It uses an Angel Infusion device which delivers 3500 micro injections per minute via 9 minute needles. This then allows your bespoke infusion to penetrate deeper into the skin. It’s a microneedling/micro infusion treatment to address a number of skin concerns. I’m yet to try it but it looks very interesting!
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