If you have any experience with aesthetics medicine treatment, you may be familiar with hyaluronic acid, hyaluronan or simply HA, which is a common component of skin injectables like skin boosters and dermal fillers. You might also have heard of Profhilo®, one of the latest of such products on the market.
Even though Profhilo® is made from HA like many other injectables, it is very different from the others. In fact, Profhilo® is so distinct that cannot be considered a skin booster nor a dermal filler and belongs to a new category of skin injectable: Bio-remodelling injectables. Here, we will examine the research done on Profhilo® and understand why it is superior compared to the others on the market.
What is hyaluronic acid (HA) and why is it so widely used
For those who don’t know, HA is actually a very common substance found in our bodies, including the skin. It plays a vital role in wound healing and skin regenerative processes, making it highly suitable for use in skin injectables. Depending on the product, different classes of HA like low molecular weight HA (L-HA) or high molecular weight (H-HA) may be used.
The advantages of HA can be summarised into 3 main points:
- HA is a substance naturally found in our skin, it is therefore very safe to use as our bodies will not have adverse reactions to it.
- HA plays a vital role in wound healing and skin regenerative processes, which are key in counteracting the natural aging of the skin. This makes it highly suitable for use in skin booster
- HA is relatively viscous, making it ideal for dermal fillers as injected HA will not disperse too far from the injection point.
Despite these, most HA-based injectable face the same problems.
- HA is broken down very quickly by naturally occurring enzymes (hyaluronidase) in our body. Hence, most HA skin boosters and fillers need to be topped-up once every 6 to 12 months for the best effects
- To extend their shelf life, some HA products include chemical stabilisers like 1,4-Butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE) in their formula. Although generally considered safe, chemical additives may still cause some unintended side effects.
Profhilo®, however, manages to address both of these problems.
The main innovations behind Profhilo®
What makes Profhilo® highly distinct from all other HA products is the type of HA complex used. Profhilo® is the first HA-based injectable to complex both L-HA and H-HA in the same product without the use of any chemical stabilisers. The complexes are thermally stabilised with patented NAHYCO™ technology. The lack of chemical stabilisers means that side effects and complications are unlikely, making it a truly safe product.
Profhilo® is also different from others in the way it is administered. The treatment procedure involves injections at 10 specific Bio-Aesthetic Points (BAPs) on the face or neck. These BAPs allow Profhilo® to achieve the most effects with the least injection points.
The effectiveness of NAHYCO™ HA complexes
To truly understand what makes Profhilo® stand out, we have to look at its most defining quality: The thermally stabilised NAHYCO™ HA complexes. To do this, we will refer to a study on the effectiveness of NAHYCO™ HA complexes.
The main aim of this study is to investigate and evaluate the biological activity of Profhilo® HA-complexes compared to H-HA and L-HA alone. Specifically, the researchers looked at the following variables:
- Rate of collagen and elastin production after treatment with Profhilo®
- Actual levels of collagen and elastin in the cell after treatment with Profhilo®
- How resistant is Profhilo® to natural enzymatic degradation by hyaluronidase
Rate of collagen and elastin production after treatment with Profhilo®
The samples treated with Profhilo® complexes showed higher rates of gene expression in the genes regulating collagen and elastin production compared to samples treated with L-HA and H-HA. Simply put, Profhilo® increased production of collagen and elastin more than just L-HA or H-HA alone.
Actual levels of collagen and elastin in the cell after treatment with Profhilo®
Both collagen and elastin levels in the Profhilo®-treated samples are significantly higher than those treated with L-HA and H-HA alone which is consistent with the previous result on increased rate of production. This further validates that Profhilo® is indeed more effective at stimulating collagen and elastin production as compared to most other HA products on the market.
How resistant is Profhilo® to natural enzymatic degradation by hyaluronidase
Of course, all these would not be very useful if Profhilo® doesn’t last long in the skin. However, the same study also showed that NAHYCO™ complexes used in Profhilo® are much more enzymatically stable compared to other HA products. The researchers treated samples of Profhilo® and H-HA with hyaluronidase, the enzyme that naturally breaks down HA in the skin. Within the first day, more than 90% of the H-HA samples have degraded, while only 70% of the Profhilo® have degraded. This result persisted throughout the entire duration of the experiment (10days), clearly demonstrating that Profhilo® is much more resistant to enzyme digestion. Hence, Profhilo® is likely to last longer in the skin compared to other similar injectables.
Quoting the researchers in this study: ““The data presented here indicate that this novel hybrid cooperative complex HA-based formulations clearly enhance collagen expression and elastin more than linear HA, contributing to refine cell morphology and potentially improving skin functions, elasticity and global tissue homeostasis.”
The benefits of HA to our skin are well supported by clinical research and evidence, which explains its wide use in aesthetics medicine. Even so, Profhilo® has managed to set itself apart from others on the market with its innovations. The unique and patented NAHYCO™ HA complexes used in Profhilo® proved to be superior in stimulating collagen and elastin production compared to just L-HA or H-HA. Furthermore, its increased stability to enzyme digestion also means that Profhilo® is likely to last longer in the skin. Although Profhilo® treatment is limited to the lower parts of the face and the neck for now, its qualities certainly make it very promising in the future of skin injectables.