September 13, 2020

The need-to-know facts about Profhilo, Singapore’s buzziest skin-renewing injectable

Lifted cheeks, minimised laugh lines with skin that appears tighter and more luminous than ever. Is Profhilo the ultimate insurance plan when it comes to a future-proofed face?

Riddle me this: what plumps, is injectable but not a filler, and helps you remodel your skin without augmenting your face shape? Every so often, a new injectable makes its debut on our shores, to the excitement of Singapore’s aesthetic doctors. Profhilo, the Italian-made anti-ageing skin remodelling treatment, is no different. Made of 100 per cent pure hyaluronic acid, Profhilo and its proven ability to build collagen, elastin, and increase adipocyte stem cell viability in the skin has got local aesthetic doctors bursting with excitement. 

While we’re all about dewy, poreless dolphin skin these days (glass skin, what?), there’s only so much topical hyaluronic acids and moisturising creams can do. Profhilo offers skin deep hydration because the “needle bypasses the dermis to deposit the hyaluronic acid to disperse by itself,” says Dr Rachel Ho of La Clinic who has seen a rise in the number of patients seeking Profhilo. Injecting Profhilo into just 5 points in each cheek, the hyaluronic disperses naturally. “While topical hyaluronic acids wash off the epidermis, it doesn’t exactly target what’s happening within the dermis, which is why skinboosters and Profhilo are able to go deeper in addressing the issues of hyaluronic deficiency in the dermis.”

If you’ve ever wanted healthier, well-rested skin but shudder at the pillowy effects of an enthusiastically overfilled face, Dr Ho who is known for her light hand and specialises in non-surgical, minimally invasive aesthetic treatments, emphasises that Profhilo doesn’t change your features and is not a filler. Instead, “it reverses the signs of ageing in your skin to give you a bit of a lift, correcting issues like sagging, getting rid of fine lines, and wrinkles.” While it stimulates tissue repair, if you’re after a do-all injectable that corrects other signs of ageing such as pigmentation, melasma, or blemishes (you can count on chemical peels and lasers for those), Profhilo alone will not be adequate. “It delays ageing but ageing is a dynamic, ongoing process due to intrinsic factors like genetics and external factors like sun exposure and your diet.”

More than 4,500 Prohilo treatments have been performed in Singapore since November 2019, with the injectible’s numbers abroad topping just a million at the end of last year, according to Neoasia. Age and physical signs of ageing such as wrinkles aside, many now seek treatment with the aim of prejuvenating or future-proofing their skin, scalp, and bodies. Slowing down the affects of stress, time, and urban life has seen an increase of aesthetic treatments over the years and if they make you feel more confident about yourself and put a spring in your step, who’s to stop you? 

What’s got you all excited about Profhilo?

Dr Rachel Ho: “Its unique ability to enhance collagen and elastin formation and stem cell viability in the skin. Most other injectable skin treatments like Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer have been shown to only build collagen. Both collagen and elastin fibres form the scaffold and structural support for our skin and both structures deplete with age. So to me, Profhilo addresses both these aspects of ageing in the skin that conventional treatments have not been able to accomplish. These benefits lift the skin and improve skin firmness, elasticity and tautness. Personally, the results I see in my patients are convincing. I feel that their skin looks airbrushed—smoother and brighter. Profhilo remodels the skin to reverse signs of ageing with minimal recovery time.”  

How does Profhilo differ from fillers or Skinboosters?

Dr Ho: “Think of Profhilo as an injectable moisturiser with skin remodelling benefits, reversing signs of ageing like skin laxity and loss of elasticity. Compared to the other injectable moisturisers in Singapore like Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer, the hydration benefits are much more pronounced with Profhilo as the concentration of hyaluronic acid in Profhilo is higher. The biochemical makeup of hyaluronic acid complexes in Profhilo also build elastin and collagen in the skin to strengthen the scaffold of the skin, whereas the injectable moisturisers only build collagen. This gives Profhilo its slight lifting and tightening effect. Profhilo is injected deeper than Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer into the deep dermis with only 5 injection points—compared to 100+ injection points for both Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer.”

Why is it important for collagen and elastin to be stimulated?

Dr Ho: “Both collagen and elastin fibres form the structural scaffold of our skin. As we age, both collagen and elastin fibres in our skin are depleted. This causes signs of ageing such as thinner skin, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and turgor. Skin also becomes more lax and the surface of the skin also becomes more irregular due to the loss of collagen and elasticity. To address these signs of ageing in the skin, both collagen and elastin fibres should be replenished. Addressing collagen loss alone does not address problems of loss of skin elasticity and laxity adequately.”

You’ve had Profhilo injected into your face. What happens after:

1 week: “You’ll start noticing the skin hydration benefits. Skin feels more plump and smooth,” says Dr Ho. 

1 month: The bio-remodelling anti-ageing effects can be seen—cheeks are lifted and laugh lines are less prominent and skin feels tighter. Fine lines are improved and skin looks more luminous and radiant.”

1 year: “The effects of Profhilo would have worn off, so you might notice skin that dryness, dullness and sagging return.”

Is Profhilo is a good ‘skinvestment’?

Dr Ho: “Yes, Profhilo is a good skin investment to future-proof your skin. Profhilo tackles signs of ageing without changing your facial features, unlike dermal fillers. If you are younger and would like to age-proof your skin, Profhilo is a good consideration to start on early to age gracefully. Think of it as building up the hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin reserves in your skin.”

However, before proceeding with any aesthetic treatment, it’s also worth considering the maintenance involved. Based on studies, Profhilo should be injected once a month for the first two months, with follow-ups every six to 12 months.

What can’t Profhilo do?

Dr Ho: “Profhilo is not a dermal filler. So issues related to volume loss in the face such as sunken cheeks, eye bags, dark eye circles cannot be addressed by Profhilo. Although Profhilo has a lifting and skin tightening effect, its results are not as pronounced as a dedicated lifting treatment, such as HIFU, Liquid Facelift, or face threadlifts. The main effects of Profhilo are improved skin hydration and skin texture and firmness. Thirdly, Profhilo may not address issues in the forehead. This is because the standard injection points for Profhilo do not include the forehead. If you have dry skin or fine wrinkles over your forehead, these issues may persist. And finally, Profhilo only addresses fine wrinkles in the skin. It does not address deeper wrinkles from the muscles of facial expression, like forehead, glabella and crows feet wrinkles. That will require Botox.”

How can I tell if I need Profhilo?

Dr Ho: “If you have dry skin and signs of ageing like fine wrinkles, laxity and dullness, you can think about Profhilo to get your skin looking younger by a few years. Also, if you are looking to rejuvenate your skin and improve skin texture—Profhilo can give you a glow and lift.” 

Can Profhilo be paired with other aesthetic treatments? 

Profhilo can be paired with other aesthetic treatments such as Ultherapy, HIFU, lasers, fillers and Botox, however it is recommended to schedule these procedures four weeks apart from your Profhilo appointments. 

What are Profhilo’s risks, downsides, and contraindications? 

Neoasia, Profhilo’s distributor in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam (with registration pending in Indonesia and Philippines at time of publishing) says, “There is no known risk associated with Profhilo. The 10-point bio aesthetic point technique is away from the major vessels and the injection plane of deep dermis is also away from the vessels.” Minor skin blebs common with injections usually disappear within a day, say Neoasia. Similar to any dermal filler, pregnant and lactating people, folks sensitive to hyaluronic acid and those with autoimmune diseases should seek medical advice beforehand.

Written by: Alli Sim