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Skin boosters, Polynucleotide (PN) injections, Polycaprolactone (PCL) injections: What’s the difference?

By Dr Kelvin Chua
Skin Boosters

Looking to turn back the clock after noticing signs of ageing on your face? If so, you’ve probably heard of skin boosters.

Skin boosters are a popular skin rejuvenation method in Singapore to combat the signs of ageing. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore more about skin boosters and examine their differences so you’ll know how to decide on the best treatment for your skin.

Defining Skin Boosters

The term was first utilised by Restylane which released their SKINBOOSTERS range of Hyaluronic based injectables. However over time, the term “Skin Boosters” grew to include other biological materials such as polynucleotides, amino acids and many other bio-active compounds.

It has been defined as biological materials or bio-actives that help or encourage the skin to increase or improve its function. Often it also implies an injectable form of application.

What the skin booster does will depend largely on the ingredients it contains. However many would boast hydration, improved skin quality and elasticity. ,

Skin boosters are an excellent option for individuals seeking a natural, youthful appearance without surgical procedures.

What Are the Types of Skin Boosters Available?

Skin booster treatments have various ingredients. However the 2 most common are…

  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections
  • Polynucleotide (PN) injections


There are many other useful ingredients, which is beyond the scope of this article to discuss.

We will also be discussing Polycalprolactone [PCN] injections in this article. It is not categorized as a skin booster and instead, is often grouped with dermal fillers. However due to its action as a collagen stimulator, we will also discuss this in some detail below.

What are Hyaluronic Acid Skin Boosters?

Hyaluronic acid skin boosters were the original skin boosters. There is well known evidence citing supporting their role in improving hydration, improving skin elasticity and smoothening the skin. They also have a role in improving fine lines and wrinkles.

However the technology used in the production of hyaluronic acid has improved leaps and bounds since their emergence. One such example is in the way the hyaluronic acid chains are bonded to increase their longevity in the skin.

A very popular option today Profhilo uses NAHYCO Technology, a patented non-BDDE method resulting in hybrid cooperative complexes between high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid without the use of chemical cross-linking. This has allowed hyaluronic acid to be injected in high concentrations with improved resistance to enzymatic and mechanical degradation, while providing a large effect as compared to standard low or high molecular weight hyaluronic acid.

Other brands of hyaluronic acid skin boosters include Restylane and Juverderm Volite.

Benefits from Hyaluronic Acid Based Skin Boosters

Deep Hydration

Hyaluronic acid is hydrophilic [moisture-binding] molecule that attracts and retains water when injected into the skin. In fact, 1g of HA can hold up to 6L of water. Injected HA thus leads to intense hydration in the skin.

Improving Skin Elasticity

Hyaluronic acid can stimulate elastin and collagen production in the skin, leading to improved skin elasticity.

Smoother Skin and Improvement in Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Through increased hydration and production of collagen and elastin, the skin naturally appears smoother with improvements in Fine Lines and wrinkles as wellConclusion for HA

If your goal is to achieve overall healthier, more radiant looking skin, hyaluronic acid based skin boosters are an excellent choice as they achieve this very safely and with excellent proven results.

What are PN Injections?

Skin boosters contain Polynucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA that are commonly derived from fish such as trout/salmon. This ingredient is injected into the skin, where they bathe the cells and acts as a dermal reactivating primer on mesenchymal cells especially dermal fibroblasts.

Brands of PN injections include Rejuran and Plinest. While Rejuran used PN extracted from salmon DNA, plinest uses PN extracted from trout DNA. Both are effective but trout DNA is said to be more compatible with human skin.

Benefits of PN Injections

Cellular Repair

PN encourages damaged skin cells to repair themselves. As we age, our skin invariably suffers from sun exposure, pollution, or various other factors. This results in not just the outward appearance of ageing, but also a loss of normal skin function. Plinest® can help restore these cells to their optimal state, improving both your skin’s appearance and function.

Hydration and Elasticity

One of the standout benefits of Plinest® skin booster treatment is that it boosts skin hydration and elasticity. It attracts moisture, helping your skin retain essential hydration for a plump and youthful appearance.

Natural barrier restoration

A compromised skin barrier can lead to various skin issues, including sensitivity and redness. As Plinest aids your skin in cellular repair and regeneration, it also stimulates the repair of your skin’s natural barrier, making it more resilient against external irritants.

What are PCL Injections?

PCL injections are not typically known to be a skin booster. Rather they are more often considered to be a type of semi-permanent dermal filler with an additional benefit of long-term collagen stimulation.

PCL is a synthetic polymer with longstanding medical applications such as resorbable sutures, wound dressings, etc.

One popular formulation of PCL is one produced by Ellanse which contains 30% 25-50um PCL microspheres suspended in 70% Carboxymethylcellulose [CMC].

Benefits of PCL injections

Immediate Volume

Upon injection, PCL fillers provide an instant volume boost to the treated areas. This effect is particularly beneficial for addressing moderate to severe wrinkles and sagging skin, restoring a more youthful facial contour.

Collagen Stimulation

Beyond their immediate effects, PCL boosters stimulate collagen production in the skin. By promoting collagen synthesis, PCL boosters improve skin quality, texture, and resilience over time.

Adverse Effects of PCL Injections

More permanent facial augmentation is not without its downfalls. Collagen stimulators like PCL dermal fillers are known to have cases of collagen overgrowth, leading to unanticipated/unnatural face shape/nodules in the face. Doing other injectable treatments to the face after PCL injections may also be more challenging due to more fibrous collagen tissue growth in the area previously injected with PCL.

The presence of microspheres which take an extended period of time to dissolve, also brings about a higher risk of biofilm formation and infections.

Lastly, although PCL injections will dissolve with time, there is no reversal agent, hence once injected the results will be permanent until it degrades over a period of 1-3years.

How is Profhilo Different From Other Skin Boosters?

Profhilo is often confused with traditional hyaluronic acid skin boosters but has distinct characteristics. While it shares similarities, it is not typically classified as one. The critical difference lies in their formulation which results in distinct additional benefits


  • A pure concentrated hyaluronic acid formulation produced using NAHYCO technology consisting of both ow-molecular weight HA and high-molecular weight HA, without chemical stabilisers like BDDE
  • Primarily focuses on skin laxity improvement and bio remodelling.
  • Hydrates to improve skin quality and reduce lines and wrinkles.
  • Injected at specific points on the face to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen.
  • Requires fewer treatment sessions than traditional skin boosters.

Skin boosters

Primarily consist of hyaluronic acid chemically bound with BDDE.
Focus on hydrating the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Require multiple treatment sessions for optimal results.

HA Skinboosters vs Profhilo vs PN vs PCL injections: What’s the difference?

To help you make an informed decision, let’s compare these treatments based on various parameters.

PN injections Profhilo HA Skinboosters PCL injections
Main ingredient Polynucleotides BDDE-Free Hyaluronic Acid Hyaluronic Acid Polycaprolactone
Purpose Skin Repair, Collagen Formation  Skin Hydration

Skin Bioremodelling

Skin hydration, Improved Overall Glow Creating Volume/Structure 

Collagen Synthesis

Injection technique Micro injections 5 Bio Aesthetic  Points [BAP] Injections on each side of the face Micro injections administered manually or by an injector machine  Injected into areas of Volume Loss 
Recommended treatment protocol Initial loading with 3-4 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart. Subsequently for 6 monthly top ups for maintenance Initial loading with 2-3 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart. Subsequently for 6-9 monthly top ups for maintenance 3 sessions spaced 2-4 weeks apart. Subsequently for 6 monthly top ups for maintenance Generally one session is sufficient

Skin booster treatment in Singapore

Understanding the differences between the types of skin booster treatments can help you make an informed decision and achieve the desired skin rejuvenation results.

To determine the best approach, we strongly recommend you speak to our experienced practitioners in Singapore, who will assess your skin. Factors such as your skin condition, desired outcomes, and budget will all play a role in making the right choice.

Contact SL Aesthetic Clinic now to learn more about our skin rejuvenation treatments and prices in Singapore. We will guide you towards a more youthful and radiant skin.

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