Are injectable moisturisers truly as effective as they are made out to be?

These 'skin boosters' are skincare’s latest saviours. Bazaar India investigates their rising popularity and whether they deserve a space in your beauty routine.

Harper's Bazaar India

Eight glasses of water, seven hours of sleep, and six minutes of skincare time—that’s all it took to keep your skin in the pink of health in the past. But in today’s reality, is it really that simple? Stress levels, smoggy skies, and other environmental aggressors may say otherwise. With this in mind, science got a tad innovative and developed a solution—injectable moisturisers—a one-stop shop (read: syringe) that combines the skin benefits of the above. They work on the inside while you work on the outside, leaving you with a healthy and long-lasting glow, sans the extra effort.

Gone are the days when cosmetic injectables were limited to botched botox and overdone face fillers. The once controversial aesthetic procedure has now become more functional, covering a wider spectrum of skin health. “Injectable moisturisers, also known as skin boosters, are a type of injectable treatment designed to hydrate the skin from within and stimulate collagen production,” explains Dr Kiran Sethi, medical director and founder, ISYA Aesthetics, Delhi.

According to Dr Varshini Reddy, medical director and founder of Glow Clinic in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru, these boosters are primarily made up of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance that is also found in the skin. “These can hold water or draw water to the skin for long periods of time. It makes the skin more dewy and plump, and works on fine lines too,” she tells Bazaar India.

Unlike botox and dermal fillers, they don’t paralyse, relax, lift, or fill the lines of your skin. Fillers are crosslinked with varying consistencies, and are injected in specific areas to add volume or restructure the face. Skin boosters, on the contrary, are purely for skin rejuvenation and hydration. 

What makes injectable moisturisers an appealing choice? The answer lies in its efficacy. Setting the record straight, Dr Madhuri Agarwal, medical director and founder, YAVANA Aesthetics, Mumbai, says that topical moisturisers, especially hyaluronic acid, comprise large molecules, and therefore cannot penetrate well into the skin.

“They sit on the surface of the skin, and even if they do penetrate, it is at a superficial level. Whereas, injectable moisturisers are delivered deep into the skin, spread throughout, and hydrate well. It’s like applying a moisturiser underneath your skin.” They are biostimulators that aid in boosting collagen and elastin production, and even enhance the light refractive property of the skin, leaving it with an even-toned glow. Having said that, Dr Varshini advises to not skip on your daily moisturiser, as it is required to protect your skin and keep it healthy. “Your skin experiences transepidermal water loss and a moisturiser is integral to lock the lipids and water into the skin,” she explains.

The procedure is rather quick and simple—a consultation with a dermatologist, a topical anaesthetic, and the injectable moisturiser is all it takes. It’s quick and painfree, with minimal downtime. “Post-care requirements typically include avoiding sun exposure and strenuous exercise for a few days, as well as following any specific instructions provided by your practitioner. For best results, a series of treatments is usually recommended, with maintenance treatments every six to 12 months,” says Dr Kiran.

The duration of how long the injectable lasts is dependent on the product being used. Dr Madhuri adds, “Most injectable moisturisers like Profhilo, Viscoderm, Restylane Vital require two treatments a month apart for good results, and have to be repeated after six months. Whereas, for Juvéderm Volite and Saypha Rich 1, treatments need to be repeated after nine to 12 months.” While there aren’t any major side effects, in cases of slight bruising due to needle punctures, the dermatologist will prescribe medication to help reduce it.

The goal of the injectable moisturiser is to improve skin hydration, texture, and laxity, at a cellular level. It is great for other areas, like the neck, décolleté, and hands too.

Everyone from their 20s onwards can benefit from injectable moisturisers—it’s especially perfect for those with dry or ageing skin. Experts do agree that the procedure needs to be carried out by an experienced practitioner to avoid unwarranted side-effects. It also shouldn’t be carried out during pregnancy or if you’re breastfeeding, or if you have any bleeding or autoimmune disorders.

Dr Madhuri states that injectable moisturisers will grow to be a huge part of the skincare universe. Its ease of availability, minimal downtime, natural results, and viability for the Indian weather, make it a quick fix for that long lasting glow. Evidently, this injectable is here to stay—along with your eight glasses of water, seven hours of sleep, and six minutes of skincare, of course.

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This article originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar India, April-May 2024 print issue. 

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