Radiofrequency treatments are often described as ‘shrink-wrapping’ for the skin. Radiofrequency energy is a technology that can create heat within skin, and this heat causes the collagen to contract, believing itself to be damaged, and create new collagen to repair that damage. Radiofrequency treatments can be used for tightening the skin, and the best-known brands of the technology for this are Thermage, Exilis and Profound RF. Radiofrequency energy can also be used for re-surfacing the skin, which is done by devices such as Endymed and Intracel. When used to resurface the skin, the radiofrequency energy is fired into the skin through a grid of needles, to create many small channels of damage within the skin. As these channels heal up, fresher, clearer skin rises to the surface leaving the complexion looking smoother.
Pain level: High
Cost from: £500
Recovery time: More than 3 days
Where is it used for:
Face, neck and decolletage
How does it work:
Radiofrequency waves produce energy at a lower frequency than laser. This means that whereas laser energy acts right on the surface of the skin, radiofrequency energy can penetrate the skin a little and create heating – and collagen contraction and remodelling – without having to burn its way through from the surface. During radiofrequency treatment, the skin needs to be heated to 39 degrees to make the collagen contract. That gives an instant tightening effect, which is enhanced over the next three months as new collagen is formed following the heat-damage to the original collagen. If the radiofrequency energy is pushed into the skin through microneedles, it can create deeper channels of damage that have a resurfacing effect on the skin.
How long does it take:
The best part of an hour to treat the face
Subtle but noticeable tightening of slackening skin.
Skin may be red, and will take up to three days to recover.
Things to bear in mind:
You will need more than one treatment to get the best results. Your practitioner may suggest a course of three treatments, each two weeks apart.
Radiofrequency can help you with these concerns:
Try these devices and skincare products as an alternative