6 Needle-free Ways To ‘Inject’ Your Skincare

DATE: 26th March 2022

Skincare is getting more profound – here’s how.

Getting skincare ingredients past the skin barrier and into the deeper skin layers is the dilemma every product creator faces. The great hitch is that it can only be easily achieved with injections, which means that most skincare just works on the skin’s surface, limiting deeper ‘transformative’ results.

Obviously, gazillions of us have absolutely no appetite for sticking needles in our face. Luckily, skincare brands as well as clinics are obliging with increasingly clever technologies to ‘open channels’ in the tough, outer layer of skin (known as the stratum corneum) to infuse the skin tissue below with actives. But can these technologies truly compare to injectable treatments such as Profhilo and dermal fillers? We asked the experts to tell us the truth. Brace yourself for some technical skin talk…

The high-voltage facial

Transdermal electroporation is a technology that uses electric currents to drive medical drugs, or in this case skincare ingredients, beyond the stratum corneum and deeper into the skin.

How does it work?

Cosmetic physician Dr Michael Prager explains electroporation employs short high-voltage pulses to create temporary channels in skin cell membranes, through which active substances can pass. ‘I use it to deliver larger molecules into the skin, which without it would otherwise just remain on the surface, like peptides and, specifically, hyaluronic acid,” he says.

What are the results?

Plumper and tighter skin for weeks – “although exactly how long depends on how quickly the individual metabolises hyaluronic acid,” says Prager. It should be noted, he says, that this remains a relatively superficial treatment; it can’t go as deep as injectables like Profhilo, and leave skin hydrated for months. Nor can it compare to dermal fillers such as Juvederm, which Prager likes to “a skin booster, spread really thinly under the skin.” Fillers last at least 6-12 months, and have impressive collagen-stimulating powers, which cannot be achieved through anything else.

What does it cost?

Michael Prager’s Lower Lift Facial incorporating Transderm electroporation is £315. As a comparison, Profhilo costs from £395 per treatment at his clinic, while he charges £595 per 1ml syringe of dermal filler.” Electroporation facials set you back from £100 around the country; one to try is the Cosmecutis Prescription Facial at London’s Gemma Clare Clinic, from £160 for 55 minutes.

The laser aim

The Byonik is a dual-wavelength pulse-triggered ‘cold’ laser whose manufacturer says it makes cells’ lipid bilayer (their outer membrane) temporarily more porous, allowing skincare molecules to pass through more easily.

How does it work?

“This laser’s ‘light-induced transmembrane convection’ technology means antioxidants go straight into the cells to do their protective work, while hydrating hyaluronic acid gets effectively integrated into the ‘intercellular matrix’, a sort of spongy space between the cells in the deep skin layers where skin’s own hyaluronic acid is produced,” says skin therapist Debbie Thomas.

“Using this cold laser effectively rehydrates and plumps skin, but the real gem with Byonik technology is the activation of ATP, which is the energy contained in all our cells. This happens all the way through to the muscle tissue so the entire face benefits from a boost.”

Not all doctors are convinced by the technology: “based on the science described, I’m not sure how exactly the cells would become more porous,” says Etre Vous Expert, Dr Emmaline Ashley. “But I can see how the light would stimulate collagen production and increase cells’ stress defences”. Cosmetic physician and surgeon Dr Jonquille Chantrey is cautiously optimistic: “There is an intriguing study on how transmembrane convection can be used to deliver anticancer drugs. The idea of applying this to transport nutrients and antioxidants from cell to cell into the deeper skin layers is certainly of interest when it comes to skin rejuvenation,” she says.

What are the results?

Like electroporation, results are temporary: “Byonik will boost hydration for a week or two to start with,” says Thomas. “But after several sessions, as the increase in cell energy brings about better barrier function, more collagen and less inflammation, skin’s own, long-term hydration levels will improve. So skin as a whole will look fresher and more juicy for longer.”

What does it cost?

London’s D.Thomas Clinic charges from £195 for Byonik with a hyaluronic acid infusion.

372 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UZ