'I Had An Injection To Help My Dry Skin—Here Are My Results'

Not a fan of needles? Then this skin treatment may not be for you. But, if you can stand a bit of poking and prodding, this revolutionary remedy could be just the thing to get your skin glowing.

I have suffered with dry skin most of my life, yet despite this, I was given the wonderful, and completely random, gift of adult acne at the age of 27. After going through various unsuccessful treatments, in March 2022, I was finally prescribed isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, a very strong retinoid. In simple terms, it shrinks the sebaceous glands in the skin, and dramatically reduces the body's oil production, which can clog pores and cause acne.

There are various side effects, but the main one is extreme dry skin. Couple that with a love of sea swimming in the summer, cold winds, and central heating in the winter, and we have a recipe for disaster. For me, the worst areas of dry skin are the lips, the area around my eyes, meaning I often looked tired, and the area under the corners of my mouth.

No amount of moisturizer or skin care could save me from the scaly skin, which usually came and went with an annoying unpredictability.

Hyaluronic acid is one of the most important ingredients in our skincare routines. So, when I heard that you could get it injected directly into your face, (by a professional and qualified medical practitioner), in a procedure known as a "skin booster", I rushed down to the Cranley Clinic on London's famous Harley Street, to see renowned cosmetic doctor and aesthetic practitioner Beatriz Molina.

Newsweek Life reporter Leonie Helm with renowned cosmetic doctor and aesthetic practitioner Beatriz Molina. Beatriz Molina

What Is A 'Skin Booster' Injection?

Dr. Beatriz Molina defines a skin booster as "a crosslinked hyaluronic acid injection, which hydrates from within, and help smooth out texture and improve quality". The treatment also helps with scarring, breaking down tough tissue, and stimulates collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid can be injected anywhere in the body for hydration, but most commonly it's used in the face, neck, decolletage, and hands. It is a great alternative to botulinum toxin, known by its brand name Botox, for treating shallow lines and wrinkles without losing any movement in the face, "and it can be really effective," says Dr. Molina.

"This is a great treatment for anyone," says Dr. Molina. "Anyone in their 20s and 30s that wants a boost, or [wants] to use the preventative powers of hydration. Anyone older who wants to reduce or prevent the effects of volume loss and improve the quality of the skin. It works for everyone and is virtually risk-free and doesn't change your face. It's beautifully universal for both men and women. "

Skin boosters start from roughly $350 per treatment and your whole face will benefit, without making your happy expression the same as your scared face. Botox injections in the forehead alone can cost up to $1,500, and the results last the same amount of time.

The Treatment:

'The Cannula Looked Savage, But I Barely Felt A Thing!'

In full skin honesty disclosure, the night before I went for the skin booster, I tried to remove two pesky hairs from my top lip with a wax strip. Due to the isotretinoin depleting my skin of oil and making it extremely sensitive, I ended up ripping about a centimeter (nearly half an inch) of skin off my face in the process, leaving an angry red mark. Dr. Molina was kind enough to take pictures and video from the non-marked side. My dermatologist was livid.

Dr. Molina began with a consultation, explaining the treatment outcomes and process, and what I was hoping to get out of it. She then put a numbing injection of lidocaine in both my cheeks.

She then injected IBSA Derma Viscoderm Hydrobooster, an hyaluronic acid product that has been created to not only improve the skin's elasticity and radiance, but also help superficial lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid is essential for hydrated skin, as well as keeping skin supple and flexible, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. My New Year's resolution was to drink more water, and I failed. Coffee is just too tempting, but maybe I should take a leaf out of my colleague Sophie Lloyd's book and try and cut down.

Hyaluronic acid works by drawing out water and holding on to it with its chainlike molecular structure, which also acts like a scaffold structure in the skin, supporting new tissues to grow and helping wounds and scars heal.

Dr. Molina used a cannula because, unlike a needle which requires the practitioner to use multiple injection points, a cannula only needs one. This reduces the risk of bruising and allows her to expertly place the product evenly throughout my cheek. It may look savage, but I barely felt a thing.

I can honestly say that despite the slightly savage look of the cannula rummaging around in my cheeks, it really didn't hurt. I have a small amount of ice pick scarring on my left cheek, and Dr. Molina warned me that it might be slightly more painful on this side, as the cannula would have to work its way through the harder bunched-up tissue. It was definitely a bit more achy. She also told me that as the cannula was moving around and breaking up the scar tissue from within, I might see a small improvement in the appearance of the scars.

The whole process was over in about 15 minutes.

The Results:

'I Would 100% Recommend It, I Will Be Booking It Again'

I was warned I might experience some bruising at the entry points, despite the reduced risks from the cannula, but I'm happy to report there was no bruising at all. There really is very little downtime with this treatment, apart from the slight risk of bruising, and it's best not to use any harsh products on your face for 24 hours to allow the wounds to heal.

After skin booster
Newsweek reporter Leonie Helm could not be happier with the end result. Leonie Helm

Despite the impact of the hyaluronic acid being evident fairly quickly, you should not expect the full effect of this treatment to be immediately evident.

"The skin will feel more plump and glowy after two to four weeks", says Dr. Molina. "The rebuilding of collagen can take a bit longer, which is why we leave a few months between treatments. If you are looking to treat fine lines and wrinkles or scarring, then the skin booster will take a little longer to work, as it is literally repairing the skin by stimulating collagen, and generally improving the overall look of the skin. Dermal filler will work more instantly but it will also change your face."

About a week or two after the treatment, I noticed that my skin was far less dry in the mornings. I have a comprehensive night-time skin routine, but I often wake up wondering why I bother, but since the skin booster, that has improved. I also noticed that despite the winter winds, my skin is less dry towards the end of the day and my makeup stays on better.

To get the full effect of a skin booster, it's generally recommended that you get a top-up about three to four months after the first treatment, and a third treatment another three to four months after that, but Dr. Molina says you may not need to. "It depends on why you are getting the treatment", she says. "If you just want to give your skin a hydration boost, then one or two treatments may be all you need. If you're getting it to help with superficial wrinkles or scarring, then three will probably be the most effective.

Overall, I would 100 percent recommend this treatment, and I will most likely be booking some follow-up treatments. The needle aspect might be scary for some. However, the beauty of a skin booster is that unlike dermal filler or Botox, this treatment is very skin friendly and good for your skin health, without reducing facial mobility or changing the structure of your face.