Polynucleotides: what are they and can they help my skin?

polynucleotides aesthetic skin treatments london

Polynucleotide treatment has come to Crystal Palace! This treatment has taken the skin rejuvenation world by storm. So how do they work?

Our bodies DNA controls many important and different functions in the body including how skin and hair develop. Nucleotides are the building blocks that make up DNA. Nucleotides are made up of chains of polynucleotides.

Polynucleotides are injected into the skin to help repair skin and have been used for 40 years to help with wound healing. Recently they have become more popular for improving the overall health of skin in people who are looking for rejuvenation. Polynucleotides target fibroblast cells which produce our collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin provide the skin with strength, structure, shape, volume and smoothness. Polynucleotides also help to protect the skin from external factors such as the sun and pollution, but also internal factors such as stress, via their action on free radicals. They also provide a small amount of plumping to the skin. Studies have shown a significant improvement in wrinkles and skin texture (Araco et al. 2023; Lim et al. 2024), pigmentation, firmness and radiance (Lim et al. 2024). It is also used to help prime the skin before using other modalities such as chemical peels, laser and light devices or needling (Cavallini et al. 2021).

The polynucleotides are derived from salmon or trout DNA but are highly purified and suspended in water. So, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, these are not suitable for you. There are various concentrations used in these injectables, but at London & Surrey Aesthetics, I only use brands with the highest concentration, for maximum effect.

polynucleotides skin treatment london

What can Polynucleotides be used for?

Given they work on the fundamental structure of skin via fibroblasts, polynucleotides can be used for a multitude of issues to boost hydration, elasticity and reduce inflammation. Therefore, they can help with:

  • Acne scarring
  • Inflammation
  • Dark circles
  • Rosacea
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Wrinkles, lines and general poor quality skin
  • Dry and dehydrated skin
  • Hair growth

How and where are polynucleotides administered?

Using very small needles, the polynucleotides are injected into the superficial skin which leave tiny blebs on the surface. These disappear for the most part over a few hours (similar to skin boosters) but in some people remain for a little longer.

Alternatively, a cannula can be used to spread out the polynucleotides but this is a less common form of administration. Cannulas are less precise overall meaning it is difficult to get into the right layer of the skin with a cannula compared with a needle (Cavallini et al. 2021).

The treatment is suitable for anywhere on the body, including the scalp to help with hair loss. Many people like to try them on the abdomen for stretch marks or to tackle small areas of loose skin in the abdomen, knees or inner arms. The under eye is a very common area to use them to help with crepe skin and dark circles. Delicate areas such as perioral, decollate, neck and hands are all areas where polynucleotides can be used.

Depending on the area being treated, the protocol will have slight differences in terms of how often and how many treatments are used. This will be discussed at your consultation.

Are there any risks and what are the common side effects with polynucleotides?

As mentioned above, there are little blebs under the skin that form as a result of the treatment. These do disappear relatively quickly, but some patients can take longer. Occasionally patients can have redness or bruising but this is rare. It is more likely around areas of very thin skin like the eyes. The consensus is the most common issues are a small degree of discomfort along with redness and occasional bruising. Most of these side effects are gone by 12 hours (Cavallini et al. 2021).

Unlike fillers, there isn’t a risk of vascular occlusion.

It is recommended that sun exposure, sun lamps, heat from saunas and steam rooms are avoided for 48 hours (Cavallini et al. 2021).

How long does it take to see results with polynucleotides?

Like most skin care treatments, the results of polynucleotides take some time to see. They alter the DNA of the skin cells to encourage them to work harder to produce more collagen and elastin, and therefore this takes several skin cycles.

Your skin cycle is dependent on your age, but it is basically the time it takes for a skin cell to be produced and work its way up to the surface of the skin, before being sloughed off the skin. Very young children have an extremely quick turn over of skin cells and hence why they have such smooth, winkle free skin. If you are aged between 20-30 the skin cycle usually takes around 4 weeks. However, if you are 30-40 years old this is time takes longer at around 6 weeks. Then over 45 it is often more like 8 weeks.

Consequently, results are normally seen at around 3 months after a course of treatment, but some changes are often seen within a month. Things can often continue to improve for around 6 months after treatment. Most people do have a single maintenance treatment every 3-4 months to sustain long-term results.

Who is suitable for polynucleotides?

Generally, polynucleotides are a great option for those with mature skin who require a deeper level of regeneration of skin cells and want long lasting results. Skin boosters can work better for those who are showing the first signs of ageing and who want a slightly quicker results, or for those who have a special occasion that is soon, and can’t wait for the effects of the polynucleotide to kick in. However, anyone at any age, are suitable for treatment. If you have the start of fine lines under the eyes for example, they are great. Using them for prevention can work well, if you are not too keen on anti-wrinkle treatments.

Why choose London & Surrey Aesthetics for your treatment?

At London & Surrey Aesthetics, we only choose the highest quality products to work with and ensure our techniques are cutting edge. Marie is a Level 7 qualified aesthetic practitioner who prides herself in giving honest advice regarding what may or may not help with your skin concerns and weighs up all treatment options, including those that she doesn’t provide, and consequently being able to advise you on what is best for your individual concerns, and providing you with a comprehensive and bespoke plan for your skin goals.

Brands used for polynucleotides include Plinest, Plenyage, Newest and Philart.


Araco, A. Araco, R. & Raichi, M. (2023). Clinical efficacy and safety of polynucleotides highly purified technology (PN-HPT®) and cross-linked hyaluronic acid for moderate to severe nasolabial folds: A prospective, randomized, exploratory study. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 22, 146-155.

Cavallini, M. Bartoletti, E. Maioli, L. Massirone, A. Pia Palmieri, I. Papagni, M. et al. (2021). Consensus report on the use of PN-HPT™ (polynucleotides highly purified technology) in aesthetic medicine. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20, 922-928.

Lim, T. Liew, S. Tee, X. Chong, I. Lo, F. Ho, M. et al. (2024). Polynucleotides HPT for Asian Skin Regeneration and Rejuvenation. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 17, 417-431.

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