20 April 2020
Profhilo, Rejuran vs Skinbooster: Injectable Moisturisers Explained. This is part 2 of a 3 part review on hyaluronic acid in dermatology.
If you have dry skin, wrinkles and large pores that don’t seem to be getting better with skincare; this may be the time to consider skincare that go a little deeper into the skin: injectable moisturisers. Injectable moisturisers involve delivering hyaluronic acid directly into the dermis of the skin for improved and longer lasting skin hydration.
You might have already heard of Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer, two very popular skin hydrating treatments in Singapore and Asia. Both these treatments are examples of injectable moisturisers that hydrate, brighten and repair the skin at the same time.
Another new injectable moisturiser that’s the buzzword in Singapore is Profhilo. Profhilo also doubles as a bioremodelling skin treatment that builds collagen and elastin to lift the skin. Injectable moisturisers aren’t just skin hydrating treatments alone these days and it’s easy to see why Profhilo, Rejuran Healer and Skinbooster are on a rise in popularity.
You don’t need to have dry skin to enjoy the benefits of injectable moisturisers; if you have dull skin or signs of aging, injectable moisturisers are useful to brighten and rejuvenate your skin from within. In today’s blogpost I’ll be taking you through the topic of injectable skincare and the different types of injectable moisturisers in Singapore; namely Profhilo vs Rejuran Healer vs Skinboosters. To give you a clearer background on these treatments, I would recommend reading these blogposts first:
Part 1 of this series on hyaluronic acid: Everything You Need to Know About Hyaluronic Acid and Part 3: review, 5 Cult Favourite Hyaluronic Acid Serums and Moisturisers Reviewed.
Dry skin, sagging skin and wrinkles are some of the signs of aging that become apparent from the start in our 30’s. Can you guess why this happens?
Hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin in our skin make up the structural framework for healthy, firm and hydrated skin. The levels of these 3 essential components start to decline in our epidermis and dermis as we age. This results in signs of aging such as dryness, crepey and wrinkly skin, thinner skin and enlarged pores. Majority of anti-aging skincare products and dermatological treatments are centered on replenishing hyaluronic acid and collagen in the skin, specifically, the epidermis of the skin.
Injectable moisturisers are soft gels that are injected into the dermis to replenish hyaluronic acid in the dermis. Most of these injectable moisturisers contain hyaluronic acid molecules, which attract water molecules from their surroundings. When these hyaluronic acid molecules are injected into the dermis, they retain water molecules to hydrate the dermis of the skin.
Most of our skin’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid molecules lies in the dermis of the skin1. The hyaluronic acid molecules in conventional anti-aging moisturisers and skincare products are typically too large- 3000nm in fact2– to pass through the membranes in the skin to reach the dermis of the skin3. The hyaluronic acid molecules rest on the epidermis of the skin (because they are too big to penetrate the basement membrane that separates the epidermis from the dermis) to attract water molecules temporarily to moisturise skin4. When these moisturisers are washed off, the transient moisturising effects to the epidermis are gone.
The benefit of having these hyaluronic acid molecules injected into the skin versus applying hyaluronic acid serums or moisturisers are:
• Directly replenishing hyaluronic acid into the dermis (the epidermis is bypassed)
• Longer lasting dermal hydration Most of the newer injectable moisturisers also repair the skin and anti-aging benefits.
Profhilo, the hottest injectable skincare of the moment in Singapore, increases the skin’s synthesis of 4 types of collagen and elastin and increases adipocyte stem cell viability. This allows Profhilo to remove wrinkles and lift saggy skin. Skinboosters, which is immensely popular in Asia, also builds collagen in the skin to tighten pores and reduce depressed acne scars.
The benefits of injectable moisturisers are namely longer lasting dermal hydration. The exact duration will differ according to the type and brand, but most last for at approximately 6-9 months. The effects of replenishing hyaluronic acid in the dermis with injectable moisturisers are mainly improved skin hydration and firmness. Hydrated skin looks and feels brighter, smoother and more radiant. Fine lines and wrinkles can be softened and skin is more plump. The problem of hyaluronic acid molecules being too large to pass through the epidermis of the skin is also bypassed with injectable moisturisers.
Some skinboosters such as Teosyal RD1 also contain additional amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins that repair and brighten the skin.
The newest bioremodelling skin moisturisers, Profhilo, also treats skin laxity. The complex of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid molecules in Profhilo lift the skin and build collagen and elastin in the skin.
Injectable moisturisers deliver hyaluronic acid into the dermis of the skin for long lasting skin hydration and anti-aging benefits. Some of them like Profhilo and Skinboosters may build collagen or have bioremodelling effects that gently lifts the skin. However, injectable moisturisers do not treat wrinkles or volumise or contour the face the way Botox (botulinum toxin) and dermal fillers can.
Botox (botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxin that relaxes muscle. Botox is most commonly injected into the muscles of the upper face (forehead, crows feet and glabella) to erase wrinkles; and the jaw muscles to treat bruxism and to slim down the jaw muscles for a slimmer face shape. Injectable moisturisers are injected into the skin for hydration.
Botox can be injected into the skin as a treatment called Dermalift to gently lift the skin or as part of mesobotox to shrink large pores and reduce oiliness of the skin. However, Botox does not provide skin hydration benefits unlike injectable moisturisers.
If you would like to learn about the safety issues and FAQ about Botox, this blogpost Is Botox Deadly? is a comprehensive review.
Injectable moisturisers vs dermal fillers Dermal fillers are also soft gels that are injected in the face to contour the face (e.g. nose, chin and cheek fillers); lift the face (e.g. cheek and laugh line fillers) and correct dark eye circles and eye bags (e.g. tear trough fillers).
The most commonly used type of dermal fillers in Singapore are hyaluronic acid fillers. However hyaluronic acid dermal fillers differ from injectable moisturisers that also contain hyaluronic acid in several ways. The consistency and volumizing properties of dermal fillers are greater than injectable moisturisers to allow dermal fillers to add volume or to sculpt the face.
The basics of Botox and dermal fillers are covered in this post, Botox vs Fillers: Differences, Uses, Effects and Myomodulation.
These are the most commonly used injectable moisturisers in Singapore
• Skinboosters: Juvederm Volite, Restylane Skinboosters, Teosyal Redensity 1
• Rejuran types: Rejuran HB, Rejuran Healer
• Bioremodelling injectable moisturiser: Profhilo.
If the current slew of injectable moisturisers confuse you, rest assured that you are not the only one feeling this way. There are overlapping similarities between Profhilo, Rejuran Healer and Skinboosters; it can be difficult to know which option is best for you. Profhilo, Rejuran Healer and the different types of Skinboosters contain hyaluronic acid molecules that are injected into the dermis for skin hydration and firmness. However there are intrinsic differences between each of them:
The top 3 Skinbooster brands used in Singapore are: Juvederm volite, Teosyal Redensity 1 and Restylane Skinbooster.
Skinboosters can be injected into the skin manually with needles or with using a vital machine injector. There are approximately 100-200 tiny injection points on the face. The recommended treatment protocol for Skinboosters (except for Juvederm Volite) is three rounds of treatments monthly followed by maintenance 6-12 months later.
The hydration, firmness, glow and radiance are very apparent with Skinboosters, especially when antioxidants and vitamins are added in. Skinboosters can be combined with microbotox or mesobotox to tighten the pores and control oiliness.
The skin reparative and lifting effects of Skinboosters are much less as compared to Profhilo and Rejuran Healer.
Rejuran Healer and Rejuran HB are both skin healing treatments that contain salmon DNA fragments called polynucleotides (PN or PDRN). Both Rejuran Healer and Rejuran HB also contain a smaller percentage of hyaluronic acid and this is why Rejuran has skin hydrating benefits.
Both types of Rejuran are used to treat depressed acne scars, shrink large pores, improve skin hydration and treat fine lines and wrinkles. The salmon DNA fragments in Rejuran Healer and Rejuran HB initiate skin repair and healing processes and build collagen in the skin.
The collagen building effects for Rejuran Healer are better than Skinboosters. In terms of hydration benefits, Rejuran Healer’s hydration results are not as pronounced as Profhilo or Skinboosters.
Both Rejuran Healer and Rejuran HB are manufactured in South Korea. Both treatments can be injected by manually or by using an injector. The recommended treatment protocol is similar to Skinboosters i.e. once a month for the first 3 months followed by maintenance 6-12 months apart.
Profhilo is a skin hydrating treatment that also bioremodels the skin- i.e. builds 4 types collagen and elastin and proliferates adipocyte stem cells in the skin. This gives Profhilo the lifting, firmness, anti-aging and hydrating effects.
Profhilo contains one of the highest concentrations of low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. In the face, Profhilo is injected into the middle and lower face at 5 standardised points called Bio-Aesthetic Points. Although the hydrating and bioremodelling benefits of Profhilo are superior, Profhilo is not meant to be injected over the upper face. If you have dry skin and fine wrinkles over your forehead, Rejuran Healer or Skinboosters will be best for you.
The recommended treatment protocol for Profhilo is two treatments a month apart followed by maintenance treatments 6 months apart.
Profhilo is injected into 5 specific points on the face and/or neck called the Bio-Aesthetic Points. Rejuran Healer and Skinboosters can be injected using an injector or manually over the skin and face over 100-200 points.
Injectable moisturisers are generally safe with low risks of side effects. There may be transient needle marks, bruising and swelling related to injections rather than the ingredients of Profhilo, Rejuran Healer or Skinboosters itself. The duration of the above symptoms will last approximately for 1 week; but with Rejuran Healer and Skinboosters injected by hand, the bruising and swelling may last longer.
Please follow through with the aftercare as prescribed with your doctor after your treatments. In my practice, I usually prescribe an antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infections and anti-bruising supplements. Avoid consuming alcohol and supplements e.g. gingko and fish oil as these may worsen and prolong bruising.
Please don’t forget to keep your skin clean and use your sunscreen too!
The results of injectable moisturisers vary:
• Profhilo: 6 months after the first 2 injections
• Rejuran Healer: 6-12 months after the first 3 injections
• Skinboosters: 6-12 months after the first 3 injections except for Juvederm Volite. Juvederm Volite lasts for approximately 9 months after the first injection
I guess the question on everyone’s mind is: Rejuran Healer vs Profhilo vs Skinboosters- which is best for me? The answer will depend on the specific conditions that your skin may have.
My top choices for skin hydration for the injectable moisturisers would be Profhilo and Skinboosters, as opposed to Rejuran Healer. The skin hydration, glow and radiance and pore tightening effects of Skinboosters are very well received. However, if you are more mature and want a lift of your skin, consider Profhilo. Also if injections and needles scare you, Profhilo might be a better option because Profhilo only requires 5 injection points on each side of the face and neck.
I’ve also shared about various non invasive aesthetic dermatological treatments in Buro magazine. You can read this article , Anti-ageing Tips for Every Age here.
If you’re looking for alternative ways to moisturise and rejuvenate your skin, what else can you try?
My top suggestion would be to use moisturisers with ingredients that act as emollients, on top of using topical hyaluronic acid. Ingredients that strengthen the skin’s barrier to reduce transepidermal water loss would also be very useful. Two examples of such ingredients are ceramides and niacinamide. You can find these ingredients in over the counter skincare products. My blogposts Ceramides in Skincare: A Relief for Dry Skin and Niacinamide: A Versatile Ingredient will share more about these ingredients; how to choose a product with ceramides and niacinamide and a few product reviews.
If you’re looking at boosting collagen levels in your skin for younger, firmer and healthier skin; fractional CO2 laser is a tried and tested laser well loved by doctors. Fractional CO2 can smoothen fine lines and tighten pores. Fractional CO2 laser is also the gold standard in dermatology for treating acne scars. However, please note that fractional CO2 does not hydrate the skin or induce hyaluronic acid formation so it is not a treatment for dry skin.
For treating signs of aging like wrinkles- consider Botulinum toxin (Botox). For your frown lines and crows’ feet wrinkles, Botox can effectively remove these wrinkles without causing a ‘frozen’ or ‘tight’ look. One of my expertise is Baby Botox, where small doses of Botox are used to remove the wrinkles and preserve facial expressions. I’ve shared my own experience of injecting Baby Botox on myself in this blogpost, Baby Botox and Preventative Botox. No one will ever guess you had a little help! Also, if you would like to learn about how exactly Botox works and the safety issues surrounding Botulinum toxin injections, Is Botox Deadly? 5 Thing You Need to Know About Botox Safety will cover these topics.
If you have dry skin, wrinkles and large pores and your moisturisers and serums aren’t working; it’s time to consider injectable moisturisers. Injectable moisturisers deliver hyaluronic acid into the dermis of the skin to give longer lasting hydration. Some of the benefits of injecting hyaluronic acid into the dermis with injectable moisturisers are glowy, radiant and healthier skin because of improved skin hydration.
Injectable moisturisers for skin hydration and rejuvenation are rising in popularity because hyaluronic acid injected into the skin provides sustained skin hydration and overcomes problems with using topical skincare like skin irritation, poor absorption…etc. If you have dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles and large pores; injectable moisturiser can help to address these issues.
Skinboosters and Rejuran Healer are two examples of injectable moisturisers that are very popular in Singapore and Asia because of the glow, radiance and dewy skin that they bring about . Both Skinboosters and Rejuran also provide extra benefits such as healthier and brighter skin and reduced pores sizes; so you can think of them as souped up moisturisers with longer lasting results.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your skin protected with skincare even though you’ve had injectable moisturisers. Sunscreen and antioxidants are still everyday essentials to protect your skin from aging and sun damage like skin cancer.
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2. Interaction of nanoparticles and cell-penetrating peptides with skin for transdermal drug delivery. Desai et al. Mol Membr Biol. 2010 Oct; 27(7):247-59.
3. Hyaluronic acid: its structure and use. Balaza and Band. Cosmetic and Toiletries. 1984;99:65–72.
4. Moisturizers: what they are and how they work. Lynde. Skin Therapy Lett. 2001 Dec; 6(13):3-5.