In this week’s Healthista x TTG Transformation Tuesday Tweakments series, I’m discussing the Profhilo phenomenon with Dr Vicky Dondos, who runs the Medicetics clinic in central London .
What is Profhilo?
In a nutshell, it’s an injectable moisturiser – a gel made from hyaluronic acid which is placed just below the surface of the skin to hydrate and regenerate the skin from within, with results that last for six months.
It’s also the most chattered about tweakment of the past couple of years, and Dr Dondos and I discuss why that might be.
Why is it so popular?
Because it works really well, and everyone who tries it, says Dr Dondos, seems to absolutely love the results. What results? Softer, firmer, fresher-looking, skin, with that subtle glow to it that tends to vanish from the skin with age.
Is Profhilo a filler?
Even though Profhilo is made from hyaluronic acid, the same substance that most injectable fillers are made from, it is not a filler. That’s because it is a more fluid type of gel. Thicker, stiffer injectable fillers can be used to add structure to face, maybe in the jaw, chin and nose. Medium-density fillers can be used to add volume to the cheeks; softer fillers are used in the lips. Profhilo and other ‘injectable moisture’ treatments such Restylane Skinboosters and Juvederm Volite are even more fluid. You could think of fillers and their different densities in terms of pancake batter. When it’s stiff and you’ve just stirred all the flour into the eggs, that’s your firmest type of filler. Add some milk, and the mixture softens to a dropping consistency. That's the equivalent of a medium-density filler. Keep adding milk, and you wind up with the sort of thin batter you can swirl around a hot pan in one movement. That’s the Profhilo end of the scale.
What that means is that while Profhilo will make your skin look plumper and fresher, it is doing this by giving the skin extra hydration. It is not adding volume to your face so there is no danger that it will make your face puff up.
What does Profhilo treatment involve?
The product is put in place with five small injections on either side of the face – and that’s it. It only takes a few minutes. You go home with five odd-looking swellings on each side of your face, like some alien insect-bite – but these will subside over the next few hours as the product disperses itself beneath the surface of your skin.
What’s different about Profhilo?
Injectable moisture treatments are not a new concept. Restylane launched its Skinboosters treatment in 2004 (back then, it was called Vital). More recently, Juvederm launched Volite which, like Skinboosters, involves injecting hundreds of micro-droplets of fluid hyaluronic acid gel into the skin, to hydrate the skin from inside. Profhilo spreads from its injection sites, which is why only 10 injections are needed, rather than 200. That makes it a no-brainer for most people weighing up their treatment options.
But what’s really different about Profhilo is the way that it makes the skin regenerate itself from the inside out. Clinical trials have shown that it enables skin to produce more collagen, which keeps the skin firm, and elastin, which gives the skin its bounce, alongside the extra hydration that the hyaluronic acid is providing. That is invaluable for skin that has become rough, dry, or is generally losing its lustre with age.
Anything else different about Profhilo?
Also, unlike other hyaluronic-acid-based injectable gels, Profhilo contains no BDDE – a substance used to link hyaluronic acid molecules together in a gel. The company behind Profhilo (IBSA Farmaceutici) says this is an advantage although BDDE hasn’t shown itself to be an ingredient that causes issues in other fillers.
Is Profhilo just for the face?
No, you can use Profhilo just about anywhere your budget will allow. The face is usually the first area that patients want to try the tweakment. But it also works a treat to smooth dry, crepey skin on the neck and the décolletage – though in my experience the results take longer to show in these areas where the skin is usually drier than the face.
Because Profhilo also tightens the skin, some practitioners like to use it on loose skin on the upper arms, or even on the stomach.
How long does Profhilo take to work?
You won’t get an instant result with Profhilo, but believe me, the result is worth waiting for. Officially, you are advised you will notice the difference five weeks after your second treatment (which should be done four weeks after the first treatment). The first time I tried Profhilo, I saw results more quickly than that. A week after the second round of injections, I found that my makeup was sliding off my face halfway through the day – because I simply didn’t need the amount of moisturiser that I had been using. In fact, I didn’t really need any moisturiser at all.
Does Profhilo treatment hurt?
Barely. The injections are done with a fine needle and there are only 10 of them. But you can always have numbing cream applied beforehand. When I tried Profhilo injections in my neck (see the video below, or you can read my post about this treatment on the link here) I found it was a more sensitive area than the face, so numbing cream would have been a good idea!
Here's a video of me having Profhilo treatment in my neck, at the Waterhouse Young clinic in London.
What does Profhilo cost?
It’s not cheap, so you are looking at paying upwards of £400 a session, and you need two sessions, a month apart.
Where can I get Profhilo treatment?
To read more on Healthista.com about what it's like to try Profhilo, follow this link here.