I was on the fence about Profhilo, a hyaluronic acid injection that’s often dubbed ‘the injectible moisturiser.’ Unlike a dermal filler, which is injected deep into the subcutaneous fat, at the bone surface, to fill lines, lips, jaw, and hollow under eyes, Profhilo is injected in the dermis (where collagen and elastin is made) and works on skin quality; in other words, it’s meant to give you a nice glow.
Hmm, I can think of other things that can do that for a fraction of the price: a long run, good sex, laughing uncontrollably with a dear friend, an illuminating make-up primer…so why would I need to spend £500 on a 10 injections (5 per side) of hyaluronic acid?
Well, if you want consistently good skin – without make-up – then this is your best bet say the doctors I’ve spoken to. And it’s not just the ones performing the procedure who agree. Since lockdown, bookings for Profhilo have doubled as a new study by Glowday revealed that over a quarter of UK women (27%) feel like lockdown has aged them.
Dr Katie Barron, advanced Harley Street trainer and aesthetic practitioner at Koha Clinic says, ‘Bookings for Profhilo in particular are going crazy, and many of our customers are choosing to book a course of the treatment in addition to their usual Botox appointment, which takes the cost of these bookings from around £500 to £1100.’
It’s not for everyone mind you. Dr. David Jack, the Harley Street skin doctor I chose to do the procedure, says, ‘for those who want instant dramatic results such as bigger lips, fuller cheekbones or an immediate reduction in lines, then they are sometimes disappointed – but for the savvy client who wants to improve the quality of their skin subtly over the long term; they love it.’
‘It gives you the kind of skin you get when you are in peak health and happiness. No one can quite put their finger on what you’ve had done but clients often say they begin to receive compliments on how well their skin is looking,’ he adds.
I count myself conservative when it comes to cosmetic procedures and liked the sound of post-holiday skin, and the adoring comments wouldn’t be unappreciated, so I decided to put my face in his hands. Is it safe? I asked Dr. Jack tentatively. ‘There’s literally nothing that could go wrong,’ he assured me with a trusting look.
As I reclined back in the chair, he muffled (through his visor and mask) ‘this might hurt a little.’ The reason for this, he went on to explain, is that traditional fillers contain a little bit of Lidocaine, a numbing agent. However, with Profhilo that’s not possible.
If I’m honest, it did sting, as warned – but only fleetingly. As there are five injections on each side of the face, I took a few seconds rest in between injections, though I’m sure that sturdier folk would cope just fine without a break, as the full procedure is over within a few minutes. When I looked in the mirror, the sites that were injected appeared a little bit bumpy and red at first but went back to normal within the hour.
A couple of days after the treatment my lower face seemed ever so slightly ‘fatter’ especially when I smiled. I wasn’t sure if it was down to the bottle of Rose I’d been nursing over the past couple of days, or the Profhilo, so I called Dr. Jack to ask his opinion.
He explained that because hyaluronic acid is a humectant that retains moisture, a marginally plumper face is normal, though temporary, and not everyone has that experience. In any case, it was an imperceptible difference that didn’t last longer than a day or two.
In the subsequent couple of weeks my skin took on a more uniform look. This may be down to Profhilo’s effect on tightening that can be a pleasant a side benefit to the hydration and plumpness that occurs initially.
Profhilo lasts in the skin around 28 days, during this time the stimulation of four different types of collagen and elastin (the stuff that makes skin plump, springy and firm) takes place by the slow release of hyaluronic acid.
Dr. Jack tells me this is the secret behind skin tissue improvement. ‘Initially the effect is hydration but after a couple of weeks it kick starts the stimulation of the fibroblast cells, which produce collagen and elastin which continues for six to nine months, provided you have a top up after one month.’
I’m on day 26, so I’m yet to see the final results of the skin boosting injection that everyone’s been talking about lately. But I can report that although I haven’t noticed a hugely moisturised effect, my skin does look more even in tone and it feels firmer and tighter.
If you want a dramatic turnaround straight away, this isn’t for you. But if you’re prepared to invest time into maintaining a healthy, youthful-looking complexion without looking like a blow-up doll, then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For the full review, I’ll report back in 9 months – with an abundance of collagen I hope.
Profhilo costs from £450 with Dr. David Jack.