I’ve always had pretty good skin for my age (37, in case you were wondering), but lockdown got me good. Working full-time from home with two kids, too much coffee and a largely sugar-based diet left me looking far from fresh (or was it all those Zoom meetings giving me too much time to scrutinise my own face?) Either way, I was ready to take drastic action once lockdown lifted and clinics started to reopen again.
I'd just interviewed a handful of dermatologists for a skincare feature, all of whom raved about a treatment called Profhilo, dubbed "the injectable moisturiser." It involves having hyaluronic acid (a hydrating powerhouse) injected into the face, but before you ask, no, it’s not the same as fillers.
"Profhilo uses a hybrid of high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid and low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid," explains aesthetician Dr Lauren Hamilton. This basically allows slow release into the top layer of the skin (epidermis) to hydrate, while stimulating the production of plumping elastin and collagen, which creates a volumising and lifting effect in the lower layer (dermis), and in turn, tightens the skin.
So, unlike fillers, Profhilo diffuses into the skin to boost your overall complexion rather than staying put in one area to fill creases or plump cheekbones or lips.
I decided to brave the treatment and was lucky enough to visit Dr Lauren Hamilton in her chic East-London clinic, Victor & Garth. She injected me 5 times on each side of my face to offer "maximum diffusion across the face with a reduced risk of bruising." The injections were pretty stingy, especially in the cheekbone and chin area, with each needle staying in for around 5-10 seconds. But despite looking like I’d walked into a wasps nest when I left the clinic, my face was more or less back to normal 3-4 hours later, phew!
What is Profhilo used for?
To rejuvenate the skin by improving hydration levels, texture and overall radiance. It also promotes a firmer, plumper complexion by boosting elastin and collagen production. "Anyone who has noticed signs of ageing from skin laxity and fine lines will benefit from this treatment," says Dr Hamilton.
Does Profhilo really work?
I noticed an improvement in the texture of my skin, and it gave me back that much-longed-for glow I’d been lacking. But as Dr Hamilton warned me, my transformation wasn't as dramatic as someone displaying more visible signs of ageing (so it was those pesky Zoom meetings!) My results were evident, sure, but more subtle compared to some of the case studies on Profhilo's Instagram account.
My before and after:
A before and after on Profhilo's Instagram account:
How Long does Profhilo take to work?
Two treatments are recommended for maximum results, four weeks apart, with the best results being visible four weeks after the second treatment (my after picture was taken four weeks after the first treatment). "It should last in your skin for up to 28 days, but will continue to reap benefit as it stimulates your collagen supply," Dr Hamilton tells me. "My patients tend to book in every six months to a year for a treatment."
Is Profhilo better than Botox?
The two can’t really be compared. Profhilo isn’t administered to the forehead, for a start (the area Botox is most commonly used to treat). The effects of Profhilo feel more subtle compared to Botox or even fillers, as the treatment is designed to give the complexion an overall boost rather than to "remodel" the face. In my opinion, it's ideal for those with the budget to give anti-ageing injectables a go, but who don't quite feel ready for Botox or fillers.
Profhilo with Dr Lauren Hamilton at Victor & Garth will costs you £300 per treatment, with one or two treatments recommend initially, four weeks apart.
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