Ever since tennis coach Judy Murray revealed that she's had the radiofrequency needling treatment Morpheus 8 , to dramatically refresh her complexion and tighten her 'turkey neck', interest in the procedure, which requires three sessions, has been at an all-time high.
But what if we told you there was another RF microneedling treatment that did the job in just one go? Enter, Profound. Already a big hit in the US, it's new to these shores, and Dr Sophie Shotter at Illuminate Skin Clinic in Kent is one of the first clinics to offer it. While she rates Morpheus8 as excellent, in her opinion Profound has the edge.
The treatment has buckets of evidence behind it, with eight peer-reviewed studies and FDA approval. It's been shown to deliver results equivalent to a third of a facelift - and as it acts only on the lower third of the face, this is pretty impressive stuff. "Where doctors may previously have discussed a facelift in the past, now there's another option," says Sophie.
It's delivered in a hand-held zapper, lifting cheeks and jowls and eliminating the sag around the nose-to-mouth lines. It can also be used on the thighs to tackle cellulite.
You'll need numbing cream and anaesthetic injections and expect up to a week of redness (face masks are your friend!) but we're told it's pretty much a pain-free procedure - our tester is set to report back soon. Dr Sophie is hailing it as ' radiofrequency 2.0'.
What's interesting about the Profound is that it offers a marked boost to the three aspects of the skin that give it its healthy, vibrant appearance: collagen (for skin firmness) , elastin (for snap-back), and hyaluronic acid (for glow and nourishment) . According to the science, it doubles collagen levels, brings a dramatic increase in our natural hyaluronic acid (there's no exact figure as Dr Sophie says this is harder to measure) and a five-fold boost to elastin levels. “This translates into tighter skin that's regained its youthful bounce, lifting of the jowls, significantly reduced lines and wrinkles. We can even target the fat pad under the chin to lift and refine the jawline," explains Sophie. Profound has a 100 per cent response rate for improving lines and wrinkles and 95 per cent response rate for targeting sagging, Dr Sophie tells us.
Profound radiofrequency microneedling before and after
If you were impressed by the Morpheus 8, not just on Judy but on the Instagram feeds of its celebrity fans such as Amanda Holden and Kim Kardashian, the Profound actually delivers more RF, as Sophie explains: "Profound delivers the radiofrequency energy for four times as long as Morpheus8.". The needles are inserted for four seconds as opposed to one. "This is why you only need a single treatment."
Because Profound is mainly for the lower face, Dr Sophie Shotter pairs it with filler in the upper face to plump out areas where bone and tissue loss cause sagging. She's called this combination the Tri-Lift. By adding filler, the upper face is plumped too.
Dr Sophie Shotter uses Profound on a client's lower face
How does Profound work?
The needles on the Profound zapper penetrate the skin and deliver about 300 shots of hot radiofrequency energy at 67C (as compared with 40C in conventional RF) to a precise depth in the dermis. The energy gets directly to where it is needed to stimulate collagen and elastin and hyaluronic acid, without touching the epidermis or compromising the skin barrier .
During your session, the hand-piece is moved across the face and neck (including the upper lip) causing micro-wounds. As with any clinical micro-needling procedure, the skin immediately bleeds where the needles have penetrated. You'll receive a skincare regime to use afterwards while your face is healing.
Who can have Profound?
People over the age of 45 are a good fit for Profound, says Sophie. Darker skin tones need an in-depth consultation with a practitioner to check their suitability for this treatment as they may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Does Profound hurt?
Before your Profound treatment, a numbing cream is applied for around half an hour, followed by numbing anaesthetic injections which take 15 minutes. Dr Sophie offers her clients a virtual reality headset to wear to minimise discomfort.
How long does Profound take?
The Profound treatment takes around 45 to 60 minutes. With time taken for the numbing cream and injections, plus a post-procedure LED light to help with inflammation, the whole procedure takes around two hours.
What’s the downtime with Profound?
You can expect five to seven days of downtime after Profound. On days one and two post-treatment, most people experience bruising and swelling and you’ll likely feel some mild discomfort. By day three you can apply makeup to cover the bruising. If you're wearing a face mask this will of course help hide bruising.
How quickly do you see results?
“You should see a noticeable difference after six weeks and at six months the results are at their best,” Dr Sophie tells us. The results should last up to three years.
Profound costs £2800 per session at Illuminate Skin Clinic . For Dr Sophie's Trilift add on £500+ for filler.