The ageing process can be quite a nuisance! The skin starts to thin, dry, crinkle, wrinkle and sag, leaving us looking more tired and older than we are.
If you’ve recently been considering non-invasive facial enhancements to address areas of your appearance that you’d like to improve, you may have come across two popular treatments: Profhilo and dermal fillers.
As more and more people look to reverse signs of ageing, these highly effective, revolutionary injectable treatments have become the go-to solutions. Both can rehydrate, tone, smooth, and revitalise your complexion, lift years off your face and leave you feeling fantastic.
But are Profhilo and dermal fillers the same thing? If not, what are the differences and which treatment is right for you?
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Hyaluronic Acid(HA): The Elixir for Healthy Skin
What comes to mind when you hear the word “acid” in the context of skincare? Probably, some exfoliator that chemically slough off the skin, leaving you raw and red?
Well, hyaluronic acid is different.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) comprises of sugar molecules naturally found in skin, muscle and joints. Its primary role in the skin is to keep the skin healthy, firm, supple and plump -- essential attributes for a youthful-looking complexion.
HA has a unique ability to draw up moisture to 1000 times its own weight! This enables it to bind and retain water molecules, hydrating the skin from within and protecting cells from premature ageing.
Our skin produces and breaks down hyaluronic acid every day, but the process gets sluggish as we age. The result is a drop in skin moisture, which studies have shown is a key contributor to skin ageing.
To remedy this, people turn to external sources of hyaluronic acid, which are available in two forms.
- Topical hyaluronic acid products such as serums, creams and even makeup!
- Injectable hyaluronic acid products.
But, there’s one major downside to most topical HA products.
Hyaluronic acid has a “high molecular weight” in its natural state, making it too large to pass through the skin barrier. Cosmetic chemists often synthesise hydrolysed HA, which has “low molecular weight” particles to aid in penetration. But many of these smaller versions can’t make it past the epidermis, either.
Hence, the second option: hyaluronic acid injectables like Profhilo and dermal fillers.
What is a Filler?
In a nutshell, dermal fillers are FDA approved gel-like substances injected into the skin at different depths to help fill in facial wrinkles, provide facial volume, and augment facial features. You can find out more by heading over to our comprehensive Guide on Dermal Fillers. You can also find and compare different filler treatments here.
What is Profhilo?
Launched in the UK in 2016, Profhilo has been hailed as a revolutionary product for improving skin tone and combating skin laxity. It’s an injectable (much like a dermal filler) that produces a ‘scaffolding’ action on the skin tissues to trigger the production of new, bouncy collagen and elastin through a process known as bio-remodelling.
What’s the difference between Profhilo and fillers?
Even though hyaluronic acid is the star of the show in both injectables, Profhilo and fillers still differ in some key aspects.
Composition of the product & how it’s administered
Beyond hyaluronic acid, dermal fillers have other components such as lidocaine (local anaesthetic agent), BDDE and the gel carrier. BDDE is a crosslinking agent used to stabilise the majority of HA-based dermal fillers. Crosslinking allows manufacturers to produce dermal fillers with different thicknesses and consistency.
This gives injectors more options for fine-tuning a treatment to your unique needs.
Fillers can be administered using different techniques. A popular example is Tunneling, which involves inserting a micro-cannula into the skin following the direction of the wrinkle. As the needle is withdrawn from the tissue, the filler product is slowly deposited into the area.
Other fillers have a different active ingredient in place of hyaluronic acid. Examples include Poly-L-lactic Acid and Calcium Hydroxylapatite. Learn more about different types of dermal fillers here.
Profhilo contains one of the highest concentrations of ultra-pure grade hyaluronic acid on the market. In fact, this is ultra-pure grade hyaluronic acid that doesn’t contain any synthetic additives, such as BDDE.
Profhilo is injected into 5 specific areas on each side of the face, known as the BAP (bio aesthetic points). Once the provider has mapped out these points on your face, each pre-filled syringe is carefully injected deeply into the dermis for a total of 10 injections, which are spread evenly across the face, with five on each side.
Profhilo can also rejuvenate the neck, décolletage, hands and even knees.
A single course of Profhilo involves 2 injectable treatments 4 weeks apart. This course is repeated every 6 months as needed to maintain the results.
How anti-ageing results are achieved
Once a dermal filler has been administered, the HA pretty much stays in the place (the last thing you want is your filler migrating!). By adding volume to a specific part of the skin, the appearance of lines, wrinkles or hollowness is diminished.
However, this means only one area is focused on at a time. Let’s you want to plump up your lips and temple; you would need to go back for a second session.
At Dr Aesthetica, we offer a client-favourite procedure called Liquid Face Lift that tackles all the areas of the face that are most susceptible to signs of ageing.
If you are looking for a procedure that will lift 5-10 years of your face, this is the treatment for you!
Also, the results of dermal fillers are immediate, with the final look seen after 2 weeks once the filler settles and any minor swelling has subsided.
Once the Profhilo injections have been delivered, the hyaluronic acid spreads within a 2 cm radius of the injection site. This is because Profhilo has a runnier consistency than dermal fillers. By dispersing underneath the skin, Profhilo doesn’t have a volumising effect like fillers.
Instead, the anti-ageing effect is gradually attained as Profhilo slowly releases HA over 4 weeks, during which stimulates fibroblast cells to synthesise collagen.
The outcome is plumper, tighter, smoother, more supple skin. However, full results are seen only after the second session once your skin has produced a sufficient amount of new collagen.
Which Is The Right Treatment For You?
Ar Dr Aesthetica, we believe there is no “one size fits all” solution. Ultimately the answer to Profhilo vs Dermal Filler is: the decision depends on your concerns and your treatment goals.
However, taking into account common patient concerns below is a general guide that demonstrates examples of use cases for Profhilo and dermal fillers.
Who is Profhilo for?
Profhilo is a good option for anyone looking to reverse the general signs of ageing and skin laxity as it provides an overall hydrating and rejuvenating effect.
It’s suitable for people who want to:
- Smooth skin texture
- Minimise fine lines
- Combat skin laxity and crepiness.
- Improve skin tone and achieve a radiant complexion
Who are Dermal Fillers for?
Dermal fillers are suitable for people who want to:
- Replace lost volume in specific parts of their face. For example, fill in hollow temples or flat cheeks.
- Alter the shape of their face or features. For example, non-surgical rhinoplasty and lip fillers.
- Smoothen deep wrinkles and skin folds such as Marionette lines and neck wrinkles.
What about Botox?
Botox works by temporarily relaxing facial muscles, which in turn minimises the appearance of wrinkles. Botox can complement both treatments by smoothing out dynamic wrinkles where additional volume from fillers is not needed (e.g. on the forehead), or Profhilo would be less appropriate.
Where to Get a Profhilo or Dermal Filler Procedure?
It’s reckless to get a cosmetic injectable from an untrained individual! One has to have a deep understanding of facial anatomy and proficiency in how different products work to safely perform any cosmetic treatment, regardless of whether it’s surgical or not.
Currently, the non-surgical cosmetic industry is unregulated in the UK.
As a matter of fact, a considerable number of the botched filler treatments you find on the internet can be attributed to beauticians, hairdressers and laypeople with no medical qualifications at all.
In addition to their lack of qualifications, untrained practitioners often purchase cheap, unlicensed products over the internet!
These are more than enough reasons why you should always do your due diligence.
Here are a few resources to help you out:
- Are Dermal Fillers Safe? Risks & Long-term Side Effects of Injectables
- How to Choose the Right Doctor for Your Filler/Botox
- Approved vs Off Label Uses of Botox in the UK
We appreciate how important looking your best is to you. Our doctor-led team of experts in different non-surgical cosmetic procedures is here to answer any questions you might have. Talk to us today!