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Everything you need to know about polynucleotides

Meet the new face and body injectable that’s gaining traction for its ability to rejuvenate and regenerate the skin

If minimised pores, less hollowness, better elasticity, fewer finer lines, and a brighter complex sound appealing, polynucleotide injectables might just be right for you and your skin.

In fact, they’re gaining traction for effecting change on a cellular level; as injectables become ever more sophisticated, polynucleotides - aka DNA extracted from the sperm cells of salmon - are the latest discovery to excite practitioners for their ability to prompt skin to behave better over time - and the fact that they can be used alongside other injectables to give you the best youth-boosting results.

Here’s everything you need to know, from how they work, to how often you’ll need to have them to get the best results…

What do polynucleotides do? 

When injected into the skin polynucleotides signal two all-important changes to the way the skin behaves. First, it acts as a wound healing agent might do, telling skin to intensely repair, thereby reducing scar tissue (including stretch marks) and minimising other vagaries or patches of pronounced texture on the skin.

It also has an anti-inflammatory effect, which means it will boost cell renewal, stimulate collagen production, improve elasticity and hydration, and reduce wrinkles. In short, rather than act as a filler, padding skin until removed or dissolved, it disappears, after giving the skin its regenerative instructions.

Etre Vous expert Dr Uche Aniagwu explains that "polynucleotides (PDRNs) are an injectable under the “Regenerative Medicine” category. This means that rather than the injectable being the treatment it instead contains substances and information that encourages the body to make the change. Think of it like a treadmill. The machine itself  does not remove fat, but using it signals to your body to undergo a natural fat loss process. This is different to, let’s say, fillers, which effectively act like an implant. As a result, PDRNs yield far more natural results and carry a lot less risk compared to other injectables on the market. They are as close to natural as possible and yield benefits such as improved skin texture, improved skin discolouration and small increases in volume and tightness - especially under the eyes."

Where can you use polynucleotides?

Given that the effect improves the texture and quality of skin, Dr Uche adds that, "since PDRNs activate specialised cells called myofibroblasts and adipocytes, they can be used pretty much anywhere in the body and have a wide range of effects - not only do they improve the appearance of the skin, but they have great value in things such as acne scar healing and support with hair re-growth."

That said, it’s especially popular under eyes in the infraorbital area, where weakened skin can form a pouch in which fat pads slip, causing bags. The introduction of PDRNs into this area helps the skin to maintain its strength and integrity. Though it is worth noting that it works best at treating the infraorbital area when used in conjunction with other injectables, such as hyaluronic acid filler, to hydrate and fill.

How long does it take to see results? 

This is where PDRNs differ from most injectables - the results aren’t instant. While they’re injected similarly to dermal fillers, they behave differently. Dr Uche explains that they will often cause swelling for 3-5 days, before being completely absorbed into the body. The desired effects then take around 90 days to emerge as skin has to change its behaviour at a cellular level. The positive to this? No issues with lumps, mumps, or overfilling. The negative? It won’t give an instant boost - and given that multiple treatments are required for best results, there’s initially just the nuisance of swollen days without the payback of better skin as a result.

How often can you use polynucleotides?

Given that the behaviour is so different from other injectables, this isn’t a case of having one session and then leaving until the effect has worn off before topping up. Instead, Dr Uche recommends having a session a month for 4-6 consecutive months to build up the effect (a process he calls a ‘loading regimen’). After this, maintenance varies from person to person - though using it monthly will have no harmful effect and will continue to improve skin over time.

Uche Aniagwu, Doctor

Expert in non-surgical under eye rejuvenation.

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