A Guide to Polynucleotides

Polynucleotides skin benefits

Polynucleotides have quickly become one of the most sought-after aesthetic treatments, garnering attention for their remarkable ability to rejuvenate and repair the skin from within. To better understand this transformative technology, we consulted with three aesthetic experts to get an in-depth understanding of why polynucleotides are being heralded as a transformative breakthrough in skincare.

What are polynucleotides?

“Polynucleotides are filtered and ultra-purified natural DNA fractions that initiate your body’s natural fibroblast production,” explains aesthetic doctor Sara Rakhshani. “The result is increased collagen, increased production of elastin, improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduced dark circles under the eyes, and hydrated skin.”

If you’ve never heard of polynucleotides before, it may be because they are often referred to by their brand name, which can include Nucleofill, PhilArt, Ameela (previously called Nucleadyn), Pluryal Silk, and Mastelli.

According to fellow aesthetic doctor Catherine Fairris, polynucleotides have been used in general medicine for many decades and there are over 90 clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy and safety. “What makes polynucleotides unique is that they are derived from the sperm DNA of salmon and trout (manufactured as a by-product in the farming process of these fish),” she explains. “They are ultra-sterilised and purified DNA fragments which mimic human DNA and function as messenger proteins to stimulate the up-regulation of production of intracellular molecules. They are therefore considered to be biostimulators, promoting tissue repair, enhancing cell turnover, and stabilising melanocyte (pigment cell) activity.”

Dr. Fairris also highlights that polynucleotides have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially furthering their use in aesthetics: “Overall, they can be classified as a regenerative treatment and not just an aesthetic treatment.”

What skin benefits do polynucleotides provide?

Polynucleotides are incredibly versatile in that they can treat many different skin and ageing concerns beyond just lines and wrinkles. As Dr. Fairris explains, “They can be used to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, especially around the under-eye area which can be particularly difficult to manage.”

Polynucleotides are also effective in the treatment of scars, such as acne and atrophic scars. Dr. Fairris continues, “Their anti-inflammatory effect can also be harnessed in the treatment of rosacea and their stabilising effects on melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) make them excellent candidates for the treatment of melasma and hyperpigmentation.”

How do polynucleotides differ from other injectables?

According to Dr. Rakhshani, “Compared to other injectable treatments like hyaluronic acid fillers or Botox that focus on face volume and relaxing the facial muscles, polynucleotides focus on enhancing the skin’s natural repair processes and rejuvenation.”

Dr. Fairris adds, “Results with fillers are instantaneous and can last up to 18 months or so, depending on the type of HA filler that has been used. Polynucleotides work on a cellular level, they do not work instantaneously and only really add minimal, short-lived volume to the injected area,” she continues, “However, there will be more noticeable cellular change in areas treated with polynucleotides versus those treated with HA filler. The regenerative effect of polynucleotides means they heal cells from within and up-regulate the production of molecules that increase intracellular collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. Overall, the cells in the polynucleotide-treated skin will look healthier on a microscopic as well as macroscopic level.”

What should I expect from a polynucleotide treatment?

Skin expert and aesthetic practitioner Dr. Raquel Amado explains that a polynucleotide treatment begins with a skin cleanse to remove any dirt and debris. She adds, “After cleaning the skin, we will apply a numbing cream to reduce discomfort before administering multiple injections or use a cannula across the treatment area.”

Dr. Fairris notes that although there is a period of downtime post-procedure, this is minimal and usually limited to a little swelling and redness lasting just a few hours. “Typically, two to three treatments within a period of 4 to 6 weeks are recommended,” advises Dr. Fairris. “Although this will greatly depend on the product being used as well as the patient and doctor’s aims and expectations. It can take up to 6 weeks to start noticing changes and results can last up to 3 months and beyond following the initial course of treatment.”

According to Dr. Fairris, maintenance treatments will also be required, and results are best in patients who make healthier lifestyle choices when it comes to alcohol, smoking, sun exposure, and diet.

Are polynucleotides safe?

“The treatment itself is generally quite safe,” explains Dr. Rakhshani. “However, like any aesthetic treatment, there are potential risks and side effects. These can include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, or irritation at the injection site.” She continues, “It’s also totally safe for patients who are allergic to fish because all the proteins that cause the allergy are removed during the purification process.”

Where can I get a polynucleotide treatment?

Polynucleotide treatments aren’t currently approved in the US; however, for UK residents interested in experiencing a polynucleotide treatment, we recommend consulting with the following skincare experts…

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