The glow-boosting injectable has been the runaway success of the last 5 years and now new Profhilo treatment combinations for face and body using everything from peels to lasers are getting even better results. Here's what to book in for
Profhilo has fast become a byword for juicier, less tired-looking skin, with increasing numbers of people daring a trip to the cosmetic doctor for these fast-acting hydrating injections that come with almost now downtime, and no danger of looking ‘done’.
In her ‘What is Profhilo’ video, Dr Sophie Shotter names Profhilo as the one tweakment she never skips. Because it’s an injectable, it’s often confused with dermal fillers, but they are quite different, explains Dr Sophie: “[Fillers] are gels designed to lift the skin, while Profhilo is the texture of runny honey and will simply leave skin smoother and firmer – a bit like wetting a sponge,” she says.
Profhilo’s role is not to change your face shape (it won’t), but to improve the quality of your skin – like skincare (it’s often described as injectable moisturiser) but with a greater and longer-lasting impact.
Does Profhilo have side-effects?
Apart from a quickly noticeable hydrating effect, there is also a level of enhanced collagen production, with lines and crepiness becoming less visible and some patients, including our tester, proclaiming that Profhilo knocks years off your face.
With this boost in mind, plus the fact that there are no known side effects of Profhilo or risks associated, nor many contraindications (pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised against it, but only because the product hasn’t been tested on them), it’s no wonder it’s become a popular add-on to other tweakments.
If Profhilo is teamed with other injectables and energy-based devices – as you’ll see below – its plumping and firming benefits can be boosted, and combination treatments with energy-based devices and peels are becoming increasingly popular. Model Jodie Kidd, 44, recently shared her radiofrequency microneedling treatment Morpheus 8 and Profhilo before and after pictures. “The difference in fine lines and plumping was incredible," she said on Instagram.
Profhilo and Botox: can they be combined?
Absolutely, and this is probably the most popular ‘Profhilo treatment combos around, available from most reputable cosmetic physicians. Where wrinkle relaxer botulinum toxin is used in the upper face to smooth out wrinkles, fast, Profhilo is administered in the mid and lower face (and parts of the body such as hands and knees) to provide radiance, mildly enhanced plumpness and firmness, and fewer visible lines over time. Some doctors will also place a dot of Profhilo in the forehead, which can work well for extra smoothing. Both require top-ups every three to six months, so they’re an easy two-in-one-go fix, if you have the money – it would set you back from £600 each time.
We tried the botulinum toxin injectable Bocouture with Profhilo and a peel with Dr Paris Acharya at London’s Waterhouse Young Clinic and were impressed at how much more plumped the skin looked once the forehead lines and crows’ feet had been relaxed and the surface dullness removed (see below for Profhilo before and after pictures).
The best doctor-devised Profhilo treatment combinations
The treatments below are by doctors who are mostly London-based, but that doesn’t mean similar (or identical) combos aren’t available in a clinic near you. Not every clinic mentions every single treatment option it offers, so when you go in for your consultation, always feel free to discuss whether any treatment you’re interested in is available and right for you! The upshot of getting treated outside the capital is, of course, that you’re likely to pay significantly less, without compromising on quality and safety: many of the cosmetic physicians (and do always select a medical professional) in the ‘shires’ are just as capable as their London counterparts.
None of these treatments are recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Best for a non-surgical neck lift: Morphilo (Morpheus 8 and Profhilo) by Dr David Jack
The neck has thin skin and very little fatty tissue and so “is much more vulnerable to ageing than other parts of the body,” says Dr David Jack. “We haven’t really found a reliable non-surgical solution for youthful necks - until now. I have found Profhilo is the perfect partner for Morpheus 8 when it comes to firming and plumping the area.”
Morpheus 8 delivers radiofrequency heat under the skin via tiny needles for a skin-resurfacing, fibroblast-activating, collagen-regenerating effect that results in a more even skin tone and less crepiness and sagging. Profhilo, meanwhile, infuses the skin with long-lasting hydration to further plump the area. “It’s so clever, you only need two sessions of each, and results are permanent,” says Jack. The same treatment is also highly effective for the face. Model Jodie Kidd had hers at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in London's Devonshire Place.
What happens? Over the space of six weeks, you have single sessions of Morpheus 8, Profhilo, Morpheus 8 and Profhilo, all spaced two weeks apart. The heat from a procedure such as Morpheus 8 could degrade the Profhilo faster, which is why the two are not administered in one session.
Downtime: Profhilo will leave you with a number of ‘bee sting’ lumps on your face, which dissipate over a few hours to a day. Morpheus 8 will leave you very red for a few hours, and flaking for a few days, but after 24 hours you can cover it with makeup.
Cost: £3400 (M8 sessions are £1250 each, Profhilo £450) at Dr. David Jack London
Best for hyperpigmented, dehydrated skin: Glowfhilo (Profhilo and peel) by Dr Paris Acharya
Designed to exfoliate, nourish and instantly transform and recondition dull, congested, hyperpigmented skin, this teams a professional PCA Skin NoPeel multi-acid skin peel with Profhilo. Suitable for even the darkest skin tones, the gluconolactone, salicylic acid and 15 per cent lactic acid peel blend, which can be tailored, effectively rids skin of dulling and pore-clogging surface debris, leaving pigmented patches looking less obvious and helping to activate collagen production. Your newly acquired glow is then ramped up with Profhilo injections to infuse the brightness with moisture. A double glow-whammy indeed.
What happens? The painless peel is left to work for as long as Dr Paris deems right for your skin, and Profhilo is administered immediately afterwards. Results become visible in a week and last a good three months. Ideally, you have two 45-minute sessions, four weeks apart.
Downtime: There is none apart from some mild peeling (plus the Profhilo bumps). Apart from pregnancy, cold sores, active skin infections and aspirin allergy are contraindications.
Cost: £650 for a single session £1200 for two at the Waterhouse Young Clinic
Best for a total skin refresh: Profhilo + growth factor microneedling by Dr Apul Parikh
“I love to combine Profhilo (or another hydrating skin booster such as Volite) with full-face microneedling and an infusion of collagen-boosting growth factors, especially if the main indication is intense hydration and refreshed, plumped skin,” says Dr Parikh. The two solutions, infused deeply into the skin, he says, re-enforce each other’s powers, softening scars and wrinkles and resulting in an energised, lasting glow.
What happens? After applying numbing cream and waiting for it to kick in, Dr Parikh administers the Profhilo skin booster. He then applies a growth factor solution to the skin, followed by an all-over microneedling session. Growth factors are re-applied, after which you are put under a panel of LED lights to help calm the skin. It takes 90 minutes in total and Parikh recommends two to three sessions, a month apart
Downtime: You’ll be quite red for the rest of the day, and there might be some pinprick bleeding. Not suitable for those with a very high risk of keloid scars, but safe for all skin tones.
Cost: £995 at Dr Apul Parikh Medical & Cosmetic Skin Clinic
Best for eczema: Profhilo eczema protocol (Profhilo and barrier boosting skincare) with Dr Ayah Siddiqi
Dr Ayah sees Profhilo and other injectable skin boosters not primarily as weapons against skin ageing, but as promotors of long-term skin health. With a background in biomedical science and research, she is excited about the hydrating, barrier-repairing and anti-inflammatory properties these injections have. “They are just brilliant for improving water retention and subduing the inflammation at the root of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis,” she says.
As such, she’s developed a skin-healing protocol to manage eczema that involves Profhilo alongside tailored barrier-repairing skincare (think products rich in ceramides, occlusives ad anti-inflammatories). “Within three months, I see eczema lesions start to reduce, with redness and flaking subsiding,” she says. “Patients also report fewer flare-ups in the months after the initial treatment programme.”
What happens? The protocol consists of three Profhilo sessions, a month apart each, alongside barrier-boosting skincare tailored to your needs. Dr Ayah recommends top-up sessions of Profhilo every three months to boost skin’s defences.
Downtime: None apart from the Profhilo bumps (which get less obvious the more treatments you have)
Cost: from £750 for a series of three sessions, plus skincare, at Harmony Medical
Best for smooth skin for all skin tones: Polish & Perfect (Profhilo and laser) by Dr Wassim Taktouk
Dr Taktoukis aims for your smoothest skin ever (whatever your skin tone) by teaming Profhilo with his Deka SmartXide ‘CoolPeel’ CO2 Laser. Employing a setting for this normally ablative, resurfacing laser that dramatically reduces discomfort and downtime, you will only experience mild peeling while rough texture, sunspots, pores and wrinkles are visibly reduced. Two weeks after your laser session, “we give a moisture surge with Profhilo to leave skin with a hydrated, healthy glow,” says Taktouk
What happens? You will have a CoolPeel, with a session of Profhilo three to four weeks later. The number of times this protocol is repeated depends on your skin condition and is decided during consultation – it could be a maximum of three. Results will last 12 to 18 months.
Downtime: “We customise the energy delivered to the skin to how much downtime the patient can give us,” says Taktouk, but on a mild setting there will be some initial redness and peeling that settles over days. Skinceuticals skincare is integrated into the treatment to speed up healing. Active infection or inflammatory skin diseases are contraindications.
Cost: £1495 for one CoolPeel and one Profhilo session at Taktouk Clinic
Best for smoothing wrinkly knees: Summer Knees by Dr Galyna
Dr Galyna Selezneva’s stock-in-trade is non-surgical body sculpting; she created this teaming of Profhilo Body and cryolipolysis (fat freezing) with her Cristal Pro machine particularly for the knees. Cryolipolysis gets rid of up to 30 per cent of fat pads above the knees while deep-hydrating Profhilo Body (which administers a greater volume of Profhilo with a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid than the face version) softens the crepey lines that appear when knee skin becomes dry and saggy with age. The result: knees that look smoother and more slim-line.
What happens? The Cristal Pro procedure will have small fat pads above your knees vacuum-sucked into dedicated paddles and frozen for about half an hour – this makes fat cells die off and get flushed out by the lymph system over two months. The fat freezing is immediately followed by about ten Profhilo Body injections around each knee; it takes about five minutes. Two treatments, four to six weeks apart, are required.
Downtime: None, apart from some potential bruising around the knees and Profhilo’s bee-sting lumps. Coolsculpting is a little uncomfortable but not painful. The jabs, as with face Profhilo, smart a bit, but only for a second.
Cost: £2500 per combined treatment at Dr Rita Rakus Clinic
Best for tightening bingo wings: Emsculpt Neo and Profhilo Body by Dr Preema Vig
Dr Vig devised this combo treatment to provide additional skin-level support to areas treated with Emsculpt Neo, a machine that uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic technology to cause intense muscle contractions, alongside radiofrequency heat for fat reduction and muscle growth. Where there is lax or crepey skin in these areas, “Profhilo delivers an additional level of tightening to the deeper skin layers for an all-over tautening, ‘sculpting’ effect,” says Vig. “It works particularly well on arms.”
What happens? Emsculpt Neo requires four sessions, a week apart – paddles attached to your arms will emit electromagnetic waves that make muscles contract tens of thousands of times for half an hour, which is uncomfortable but not painful. Between the first and second session, a Profhilo Body treatment, involving ten jabs in each arm, is slotted in, with a second following a month later. The best results will be seen after ten to twelve weeks; they last 12 to 18 months on average.
Downtime: There is no downtime. Dr Vig warns that if there is significant loose skin, for example after significant weight loss, this treatment is not suitable and surgery may be required.
Cost: £4000 for the full course on both arms at Dr Preema London Clinic
Best for a non-surgical facelift: thread lift and Profhilo by Dr Mahsa Saleki
Profhilo can make a treatment that involves healing, such as a thread lift, last longer. The genius of Profhilo, says Dr Saleki, is that it improves skin health overall for better healing and better results from other cosmetic treatments. With threads specifically, she says, the healthier the skin, the better the results: “They last longer with a couple of Profhilo sessions, and there is less chance of entry-point scarring or dimpling."
She always advocates it for older patients, she says, as well as in conjunction with skin-tightening treatments such as thread lifts “because it adds a multi-layer skin-regeneration element to the treatment plan”.
What happens? You have a Profhilo session two weeks before your thread lift, then another one in the same session as your thread lift. Depending on skin condition, a third Profhilo session may be advised.
A thread lift, which is suitable for all skin tones, can be carried out in less than an hour, using local anaesthetic. Medical-grade threads with tiny hooks facing in opposite directions are inserted just under the skin and then tightened to pull tissues taut. For dissolvable PDO threads and Profhilo, results will last six to twelve months. Semi-permanent threads last two to three years, “but the patient would need to come in for Profhilo top-ups every six months,” says Saleki.
Downtime: Threads can cause three to ten days of bruising and discomfort. Use of blood-thinning meds and instances of skin thinning from disease or steroid use can be contraindications.
Cost: £1050 for threads and two Profhilo sessions at SAS Aesthetics