What is Profhilo treatment? A doctor explains

Loved by many beauty insiders including Mary Greenwell and Trinny Woodall, Profhilo is the treatment on everyone's lips (and in everyone's faces) who want a subtle yet noticeable improvement to their skin with almost now downtime.  It's the treatment that aesthetic doctors most often have themselves. Dr Sophie Shotter, who offers the treatment at her clinics in London and Kent, reported a 50 per cent increase in enquiries about skin hydrating injectables such as Profhilo treatment over the last six months.

But what is Profhilo? In her latest video for Get the Gloss Dr Sophie Shotter tells us why this subtle and glow-giving injectable treatment is the one she personally never misses.

What is Profhilo and how is it different from filler?

"Profhilo is a treatment that involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the skin, but it's very different to dermal filler," says Dr Sophie. "Dermal fillers are gels created to lift the skin, whereas Profhilo is the texture of runny honey and it's injected strategically into certain points within the skin."

You’ll feel and often see a bump like a bee sting and generally subsides within hours. It spreads out underneath the skin over the course of about three weeks and will leave your skin smoother and firmer. Think of it like wetting a sponge.

Other fillers such as Juvederm and  Ellanse  are thicker in consistency and designed to stay where injected and plump that specific area, explains Sophie. Fillers add volume and padding, whereas Profhilo with its runny texture is more about boosting skin quality. "The role of Profhilo is to stimulate the skin and switch on your collagen-producing cells, causing your skin to be remodelled," says Dr Sophie. It's great for crepey or lined skin.

More Gloss: How Profhilo knocked five years off my face 

How many sessions of Profhilo do you need?

You need a minimum of two sessions of Profhilo, four to six weeks apart, says Sophie. Some people need more than two sessions; it depends on the individual and their skin.

How quickly can you see results from Profhilo?

"Most people don't see any change in their skin after the first Profhilo treatment. If you do see any difference you're very lucky," Dr Sophie cautions. "People tend to see results around three to four weeks after their second treatment because that's how long it takes for the collagen production to start happening. Profhilo is not a quick fix; but it's good to have in the lead up to an event."

How long does Profhilo last?

Profhilo normally lasts about six months. After the initial two sessions of Profhilo, Sophie suggests having one session every three months to top up, rather than waiting six months.

What are the effects of Profhilo?

Skin will feel and look firmer; it will have a bounce and glow to it. "People will compliment you but be unable to pinpoint what looks so good because you haven't had a structural change to your face," says Dr Sophie. When our columnist Imogen Edwards-Jones, tried the treatment, her  before and after pictures surprised even her mother .

Your skin will feel more moisturised and your makeup will glide on better. "About a week after my Profhilo treatment, my makeup goes on like a dream," she says. "It just seems to sit better as my underlying skin is more hydrated."

Where on the face and body can I have Profhilo?

GTG's Victoria Woodhall has Profhilo with Dr Shotter

Profhilo is normally injected into the face, usually from the cheekbone to the jawline. You can have it in your forehead too but this area can become very bumpy because it's a tight space, explains Dr Sophie. She prefers to use a filler called Viscoderm for the forehead lines.

“Profhilo works well on the neck but needs more than two sessions,” says Sophie. “It works well in the décolletage too, to help crepey skin from sun damage. It's also good for hands and arms and stomachs and knees, though you will need more injected and more sessions for those larger areas."

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Who shouldn't have Profhilo?

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not because it's dangerous but because it's not ethical to test the treatments on pregnant or breastfeeding women.

"I wouldn’t do Profhilo and then straight away have Radiofrequency or Ultherapy," says Dr Sophie. "If you want to combine them you would have the energy-based treatment first, followed by the Profhilo. Or have them in separate sittings. It’s possible that the heat degrades the Profhilo more quickly than we want it to and therefore that you don’t get the result we hope for."

Can Profhilo sculpt your jawline?

There are a lot of amazing Profhilo before and after pictures on the internet, which results in people visiting Dr Sophie thinking it will give them a jawline lift. "That's not what it does," she explains. "Profhilo is about skin rather than structure. If someone has very lax skin, Profhilo will give them a little bit more of a defined jawline, but it's not the same as with dermal filler. In your consultation make sure you're clear about what you want to achieve so you can find out if Profhilo is the right treatment for you."

What's the downtime with Profhilo?

“You'll leave the clinic looking like you've been attacked by a wasp,” Sophie says. “This will go down by the evening if you had a morning treatment and by the following day others will struggle to see any sign you've had anything done. Bruising and swelling are possible with needles too.” Our tester Victoria Woodhall reports: "It's a little painful, but there are only five brief injections on each side of the face. They leave bee-sting bumps, which disappear sometimes within a few hours, maximum within a day. The treatment is quite subtle; over the next few weeks, I started to look more rested and with increased radiance. It's radiance, more than a line-free face,  that makes people say, 'wow you've got great skin'."

Can you boost Profhilo?

Dr Sophie noticed that she was constantly reminding her clients to drink more water after their Profhilo session to get a better plumping result. Why? Because hyaluronic acid (what Profhilo is made of) absorbs 1000 times its weight in water. She then devised her signature  Ultimate Glow treatment , £2,400, which involves giving clients an IV drip during their Profhilo treatment for instant hydration and with added vitamin C which is important for collagen lay down. This is combined with Juvederm Volite, another hyaluronic acid-based skin booster to provide additional moisture to both plump and hydrate the skin.

Profhilo with Dr Sophie is available at  Illuminate Skin Clinic in Kent and London's Harley Street , from £550

MORE GLOSS: These are the most requested aesthetic treatments right now