By Kate Halim
Intravenous nutrient therapy has traditionally been used in hospitals to help patients rehydrate or restore nutrient deficiencies. But these days, it has become more popular because women use it to achieve a permanent skin glow.
Intravenous nutrient therapy is a way to get the exact vitamins your cells need for you to stay healthy. Vitamins and nutrients are infused directly into your veins and bypass the chewing and swallowing process and the gut.
Many popular spas and beauty parlours in Lagos now introduce this to their clients because it is a natural way to lighten the skin or achieve a glowing skin for dark skinned people.
Some Nigerian celebrities have embraced this latest beauty treatment. They video themselves while taking their intravenous nutrients on Instagram. IV drips have also seen a boost in popularity, thanks to celebrity patronage.
Why we go for Intravenous Nutrient Therapy
Adebukola Fasinro, a 44-year-old businesswoman based in Lagos told Saturday Sun that she has been using the beauty treatment since last year and she has no regrets.
“It is expensive but it is the easiest way for me to stay healthy and get a beautiful skin at the same time. I travel constantly and see the way celebrities abroad maintain their healthy skin. I decided to give it a try and I love the way my skins looks and feels,” she said.
According to Fasinro, some people claim that she is just wasting money on something irrelevant because she is aging and one can’t beat aging with intravenous vitamins. She tells them not to worry about the money because she feels better in her body and her skin looks younger too.
Mrs. Chika Ezinwa is a mother of three children who decided to take back her body from the wear and tear motherhood has inflicted on it over the years. She’s almost 40 but she wants to start preparing her body for old age now.
Ezinwa told Saturday Sun that the intravenous nutrient drips she takes helps her regulate her vitamin levels, fight fatigue and boosts her metabolism so that she can have the energy to go through her daily activities without breaking down. She added that the vitamins and minerals in the drips she has been taking also helps her promote a faster recovery after an intense workout while making her skin supple and beautiful.
“I work hard for my money, so spending it on my body is not a sin. I have done eight sessions of my beauty treatment and I love what I see when I look at my skin. It is expensive but it’s worth every penny I spend,” she said.
Benefits of nutritional IV therapy
These celebrities and other women who swear by IV therapy turn to it as a way to deliver nutrients to their bodies.
Peju Ogunmola is a wellness specialist in Ikeja, Lagos. She has been administering IV treatments since 2019. She says that when vitamins are taken orally, they travel to the stomach and intestines, but they don’t get absorbed entirely.
With IV drips on the other hand, Ogunmola says the vitamins go directly to the bloodstream, leading to better skin results.
Ogunmola told Saturday Sun that most IV sessions cost between N30,000 and N80,000, and it takes about 20 minutes to complete, although some of the more intensive ones can take up to three hours.
Bimbo Ige is the CEO of Celeb Beauty Clinics in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. She told Saturday Sun that there are no side effects to getting intravenous nutrients therapy because these vitamins are already in our bodies but in less amounts.
According to her, the older you get, your body produces lesser amount of these important nutrients and you need to supplement them with intravenous nutrients. When you do this, it makes a lot of things better in your body.
“Supplements like Vitamin C and Glutathione lightens the skin and makes the skin glow from the inside out”, Ige said.
Having been in this business for four years now, Ige said some of her customers complain that the IV treatments don’t work fast enough. She informs them that the treatment is not something to be rushed like achieving skin lightening with bleaching creams. It is impossible to achieve skin lightening in a month, she stated.
According to Ige, most clients who patronise her beauty clinic use the Glutathione IV treatment because it gives them the skin glow that turns heads. She noted that some people have been using this beauty treatment for years and they get their Intravenous nutrient doses every week.
Ige, however, debunked the notion that only people who wish to lighten their skin go for intravenous nutrient therapy. Dark-skinned people embrace this beauty treatment because it makes their skin glow as they take the nutrients in lower doses, she said. She added that celebrities like singer Tiwa Savage and Annie Idibia have been using intravenous nutrient therapy to achieve enviable skin glow despite their dark complexion.
Ige told Saturday Sun that getting intravenous nutrient therapy is far better than using bleaching creams because bleaching creams contain a lot of harmful chemicals that are detrimental to the body in the long run. Bleaching creams are cheap and can be afforded by many people but Intravenous nutrient therapy is a more expensive way to make your skin look better.
“Getting your nutrients intravenously is a more natural way to lighten the skin, achieve skin glow and feed your body with the necessary nutrients it needs. But when you stop taking your intravenous nutrients and don’t complete your sessions, your skin stays the same as there will be no more improvement,” she added.
According to Ige, the Billionaire Skin Brightening costs N45, 000 per session/N350, 000 for 10 sessions. The drip component are Co-enzyme, Glutathione, Cyanocobalamin, Multivitamin, Thiotic acid, Kojic Acid, Ascorbic acid and botanical stem cell in appropriate milligrams.
She added that the Billionaire Advanced Whitening with Glow Booster and Collagen costs N60,000 per session/N500,000 for 10 sessions. The treatment contains Glutathione, Vitamin C, and Thiotic acid in large milligrams.
There are some few risks to be aware of. For one, these clinics aren’t regulated, so there may be differences in quality and cleanliness from clinic to clinic. There’s also the possibility that you will be given vitamins and nutrients in too-high concentrations, which can be dangerous.
Compared with oral vitamins, this can happen more easily with IV drips, as none of the vitamins are lost during the absorption process or excreted through urine. It’s difficult to predict how your body will respond.
Taking in too much Vitamin C for instance, can lead to stomach issues, including cramps and diarrhoea, according to Dr. Gabriel Omonaiye.
He added that people with allergies should be careful and need to know all the ingredients before the IV is administered. He also advises people with heart conditions to be extra cautious because taking in too many extra electrolytes can lead to heart arrhythmias.
Omonaiye said: “If you are managing kidney disease, ask your doctor before trying IV nutritional therapy, as you may need to monitor intake of minerals, including sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.”
Make sure that whatever is in the IV solution won’t interact negatively with any medication you’re taking, Omonaiye recommends. “If you have medical conditions or are on other vitamin supplements or medications, then you really need to check with your healthcare provider to be sure you are not going to get anything that will interact with something you’re already taking,” he says.
There’s also a risk of infection simply from having a needle inserted into your body. “Anytime you make a hole in your skin, you’re leaving yourself open to infection. It could become infected, or, though uncommon, the vein could be inflamed or a blood clot could develop,” he added.