Sharon Walker tried Profhilo, the new injectable moisturiser, at Medicetics, Clinic to improve her skin tone and structure – part of Healthista’s exclusive new transformation series
It’s not a lot of fun looking in the mirror at your face in your fifties.
I’m all for ageing gracefully but as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing graceful about crepey skin and a dishevelled jawline. To me, my face looks increasingly ‘untidy’ with bigger pores, fine lines and depleted bounce, like a slowly deflating balloon after a birthday party.
And don’t even get me started on the neck.
I wasn’t too bothered by the ageing process during my forties, but suddenly the years and past sunbathing crimes are catching up with me. I’ve hit 54 now and I’ve noticed that my skin is much drier now – even moisturising masks and hydrating facials don’t hit the spot quite like they used to.
After 50 collagen production – the substance that gives our skin its structure and bounce – slows down significantly, which is why the texture of your skin changes and starts to look thinner; losing that springy quality of youthful skin.
What can skincare do at this stage? Not a lot. It’s all sticking plasters on a gaping wound.
The party is well and truly over for my face.
Or is it?
Profhilo – the new skin fix
What’s needed now are the big guns, ie surgery. But I’m far too terrified to go under the knife and in any case a facelift won’t improve skin quality. So instead, I’m testing the latest beauty jab, Profhilo, that beauty editors and cosmetic doctors are all raving about.
Every beauty editor out there has tried it apparently, including Beautista’s Annabel Meggeson, who loves it.
I decided to try the treatment with Dr Vicky Dondos at Medicetics, who I trust implicitly, as she has been doing my Botox for years.
In this video, beauty ‘tweakments’ expert Alice Hart Davis discusses Profhilo with Dr Dondos.
Dr Dondos has the lightest of touch when it comes to her aesthetics treatments – hence she will only treat me with the lightest sprinkling of Botox, so I never look frozen, and I’m 100 per cent sure she won’t do anything that might make me look like I’ve had work done.
The thing about Botox though, is the older you get, the less you can use, without looking odd. (There’s nothing like an egg-smooth forehead paired with a sagging lower face to highlight the ageing process and throw up a red flag that says ‘worked on’). So the old tricks aren’t working quite as well as they used to.
Profhilo doesn’t freeze your face or change your facial contours.
I’ve never had actual filler in my face, until now, as I’ve already got chubby cheeks and high cheekbones, making me a tricky candidate.
Profhilo, on the other hand, is designed to boost skin quality and doesn’t have any of these issues. It doesn’t freeze your face or change your facial contours making it a great starter treatment for anyone nervous about trying ‘tweakments’.
In any case, if it’s improved skin quality you’re after, Botox and fillers don’t really do the trick on their own. They can smooth lines yes, and they can replace lost volume (in the case of filler), but if it’s that youthful bounce you’re after they won’t tick that box.
Profhilo is also one of the only things that seems to work on a crepey neck, where the skin is thinner than the face and so more vulnerable to ageing.
Which is why it has been such a storming success.
What is Profhilo exactly?
In short, an ‘injectable moisturiser’ that smoothes the texture of your skin giving a more youthful look.
Profhilo is made of hyaluronic acid gel, like other fillers that are used to replace lost volume, except that it is much runnier and, unlike other fillers, it doesn’t change the shape of your face.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that’s found in our bodies and frequently used in moisturising serums because it attracts water molecules. Except that the kind you find in cosmetic products dissipates quite quickly, hence the need to apply it morning and night. The hyaluronic acid in Profhilo has been ‘cross-linked’ intensifying the bonds between the molecules so that it stays in the skin for longer.
And unlike other fillers that are injected deep into the face Profhilo is injected into the superficial layers of the skin where it spreads out to do it’s magic.
Profhilo gel spreads out in the superficial layer of your skin, encouraging hydration and clinical tests show that it also improves elasticity and collagen production.
In the short term, the Profhilo gel spreads out in the superficial layer of your skin, encouraging hydration, but the really good news is that clinical tests show that it also improves elasticity and collagen production, in a process Dr Dondos calls ‘biostimulation’.
‘At least 50 per cent of my clients notice something just from the gel being in there,’ says Dr Dondos.
‘Their skin will feel smoother from the first week after the treatment. But we treat again a month later and that’s when you begin to see the real benefits. That’s because it stays in the skin for thirty days, but if it is in the skin for sixty days, you get a long-lasting response in the skin. It stimulates new collagen, which is a protein in the skin, and new elastin. So the plumpness, firmness and springiness improve and that can last up to six months post treatment.
And, when it comes to potential side-effects and risks? There doesn’t seem to be any, at least none I’ve heard about.
It’s no wonder everybody loves it.
So what’s it like to have a Profhilo treatment?
Really not bad at all. I went to Dr Dondos’s clinic on Connaught Street in central London, just off the Edgware Road, near my office.
There’s no need for anaesthetic as the injections are so superficial. Then it’s just five quick jabs on either side of your face and then about 10 more in my neck.
Immediately after the treatment I look like I’ve been attacked by a virulent swarm of mosquitos. But the bumps on my face disappear within a few hours, as the liquid disperses.
The bumps on my neck take a little longer. The next day, I’m left with white and red blotches which disappear completely within a day or two. So, I wouldn’t recommend going out to dinner straight after, but the next day is fine if you wear a chic silk scarf.
How long to see results from Profhilo?
Dr Dondos sums up the effect perfectly when she says Profhilo affects the ‘blink impact’, that first impression you get of someone when they first walk in the room.
Most people see results within a month, but I’d already noticed a difference in my skin within a couple of weeks. My skin looked more plumped and youthful. Nothing dramatic, but at the same time very noticeable.
The biggest change comes after my second treatment.
And that’s when people really start to notice. ‘What have you done? Your skin is glowing. You have to tell me,’ says one the mums from school gates who immediately demands the number for my aesthetician, pronto.
And that’s after I’ve been at a festival all weekend and slept a maximum of four hours three days in a row. I think that’s pretty damn good.
There’s only one snag of course. Now I’m officially hooked.
How to get the best results?
Dr Dondos suggests a course of two treatments, one month apart, for best results.
After that her clients tend to pop back in for a top-up every six months or so.
Cost of Treatment:
£1200 – Two treatments for face and neck
£850 – Two treatments for either face or neck alone