As a beauty journalist, Iantha Yu has become pretty used to hearing every other invention hyped as “the next big thing”. Sometimes the hype was warranted, she says; other times, not so much. But the buzz around Profhilo was deafening.
“I’ve been going to [cosmetic clinic] The Manse in Sydney for years and they couldn’t stop talking about it,” she tells me. “It was all over the beauty websites I follow, too.”
My BS antenna goes up anytime “buzz” is in the area, but I too was hearing a lot about Profhilo, from friends in the industry right through to my trusty editors here at PRIMER, who are always intrigued by new treatments. And after researching this story, I’m almost convinced the hype is real.
I was hearing a lot about Profhilo
First, Profhilo is unlike any other injectable out there, thanks to the fact it contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, which is a supreme skin hydrator. Second, Profhilo has essentially created a new category, one the industry has dubbed “bio remodelling” because the treatment works on the structure and texture of skin, rather than freezing muscles or adding volume to specific sites.
“Profhilo is a bio-remodelling agent,” confirms Dr Steven Liew, a specialist plastic surgeon and international ambassador for Profhilo.
When I mention that the internet is also calling Profhilo an “injectable moisturiser” because of the hyaluronic acid, he says that’s not entirely accurate and offers this analogy: think of Profhilo like a fertiliser booster for skin tissue, activating important cells like fibroblasts (which secrete collagen) and keratinocytes (making up most of the outer layer of skin). Collagen and elastin enhance firmness and elasticity, two things I feel confident in stating we all want.
Profhilo is a bio-remodelling agent
Dr Liew says Profhilo is also effective in “maintaining the vitality of the underlying fat and muscle cells”, and when you add all that to the hydration (remember, hyaluronic acid), it makes for a treatment that may help to “remodel” skin so it looks and feels more plump, smooth and dewy.
Reason number four why I think Profhilo is buzzworthy is that it seems to have made its entrance at precisely the right time. The cosmetic and cultural winds are shifting and, as noted in this article over on The Cut, we seem to be moving away from fillers, and that overly-plump, obviously-filled look, towards treatments that offer a subtler, lifting effect and that healthy, post-facial glow.
Profhilo’s other selling points include its suitability for the neck, where it can target crepiness and thinning, and the fact it’s relatively quick, with a recommendation of two sessions of five injection points to each side of the face (at around $1200 all up), and with minimal discomfort.
But that wasn’t Iantha’s experience when she went in for her first Profhilo session in August, 2022: the clear, jelly-like substance was injected into 8-10 sites on her face, and the discomfort was definitely not minimal.
“This was more painful than some of the other injectable treatments I’ve had in the past,” she recalls. “I would rate fillers and anti-wrinkle injections as a six on the pain scale, and PDO threads as an 8.5, with Profhilo around a 7.5.” The nurse handed Iantha a stress ball before starting, “and I thought they thought it was my first time having injectables and almost gave it back—I’m glad I didn’t because I needed it!”
Iantha experienced stinging during the injection process and, straight after the treatment, the injection points felt harder and more solid, “but it was only noticeable when I touched the area.”
As mentioned, Profhilo is its own category, so to answer the question everyone’s asking, no, it’s not the new Botox. It’s not even the new filler. Botox freezes muscles to iron out wrinkles; filler adds volume in specific areas; Profhilo disperses throughout the skin (because of its runny-honey consistency) for all-over improvement in overall skin texture—without changing the volume or contours of the face. So think of Profhilo as an addition to these injectables, not a replacement, which is exactly how Iantha is incorporating it into her cosmetic treatment routine.
She’s keen to head back in-clinic for the second treatment (two sessions are considered “one” treatment) but she may have to wait: the local PR tells me that the company sold $9 million worth of the injectable in the first two weeks of its arrival here, with clinics then placing massive orders and stockpiling the stuff—one salon ordering $50,000 worth of Profhilo—just to meet the demand.