Radio Frequency (RF)
Radiofrequency: as facials go, it doesn’t exactly sound the most thrilling, but radiofrequency treatments have form where tightening and firming skin is concerned. Like laser and LED treatments, radiofrequency uses energy to stimulate collagen and elastin production, but the heat energy is electrical rather than light based. Here’s your rough guide to radiofrequency, what it’s good for and what it’s not
It targets sagging skin
Specialist dermatologist and founder and medical director of Eudelo Dr Stefanie Williams explains that radiofrequency is appealing because it’s a non-invasive and relatively gentle way to tighten skin:
“Radiofrequency (RF) is a treatment that has become increasingly popular in recent years and uses RF energy to heat the dermis and tighten the skin without damaging the top layer.”
Not all radiofrequency machines work in exactly the same way (the most common devices are Thermage and Pellevé), but they fundamentally all use radiofrequency energy “to tighten the underlying skin structure and contour the face to create firm, toned and youthful looking skin” according to facial plastic surgeon Dr Maryam Zamani. It’s this tightening, firming action, brought about by boosting collagen and elastin synthesis, that makes radiofrequency especially suitable for targeting loose skin and the neck and chin, wrinkles and lines that develop between the nose and mouth.
It’s a lunch break thing
Your average radiofrequency treatment takes anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes according to Dr Zamani and there’s very little downtime – you’re likely to experience a bit of redness for up to 24 hours afterwards but that’s about it. During the treatment a machine will heat skin to a bearable 38-40 degrees (our editorial director Victoria reported zero discomfort although some people are more sensitive to the deep heat sensation than others).