A treatment that takes less than an hour, gives your face an instant lift and a glow*, and offers the potential for lasting improvement, all without any downtime, sounds too good to be true. But a gentle radio frequency facial treatment ticks all those boxes even if it sounds worrying high-tech.
The treatment falls into a category that I call “facials-plus,” and it’s the “plus” bit that makes all the difference.
Radio frequency treatments work by heating up the collagen within the skin to 39 or 40ºC, which makes the collagen fibers contract. That’s handy because it gives you a small instant lift* in the face as the shrink-wrapped collagen tightens up. Then there’s the secondary effect, in that the heated collagen thinks that it has been injured, so the body produces more collagen to repair the perceived damage.
In a clinical treatment, when radio frequency energy is used at a high intensity, this can create a noticeable tightening of the skin* after just a couple of treatments.
For a radio frequency facial treatment, the energy intensity is much lower (and more comfortable). You still get an instant lift and glow*, but you need to do a course of around six treatments (depending on your individual skin concerns) in order to see lasting results.
To catch up on the latest type of radio frequency facial, I went to visit celebrity facialist Teresa Tarmey, who is an expert at boosting the complexions of celebrities and red-carpet stars, to find out how she works with radio frequency energy.
Teresa has always keen on incorporating beauty technology in her facials. She has lasers, she has LED light canopies, and she’s an ace with her Venus Versa™ radio frequency machine, which she used on me with a DiamondPolar™ applicator.
Why does she like radio frequency as a treatment? “It’s really good for skin tightening** especially around the eye area. It’s not a laser [which uses light energy] so it’s good and safe to use on all skin types. It’s a good option for people who don’t want anything invasive, or to have any injectables. Also, you can focus treatment on the areas of the face where it is needed,” said Teresa. “It’s a great treatment for men, too. It doesn’t feel like they’re having something too pampering because it’s done with a machine.”
The treatment itself is very easy from the patient’s point of view—I just lie there and relax while Teresa first covers my face with a gel, which helps conduct the radio frequency energy into the skin. She then begins moving the DiamondPolar™ treatment applicator around my face in smooth, sweeping movements. The treatment applicator has four rounded metal tips, which pass the RF energy between each other, into and back out of my skin. The Venus Versa™ also delivers Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) into the skin, which help activate and energize the skin cells for healthier skin.
At first it feels warm, then the heat starts to build, but before I start to squeak, Teresa turns the energy down to a level where I feel comfortable. It won’t prevent the treatment from working, she explains; it will just take a fraction longer to raise the temperature to the required therapeutic temperature.
Teresa concentrates on the lines around my eyes, the sweep of my cheekbones, and my jawline to give my face a sculpting boost.
When she sits me up at the end of the treatment, I can see the lift that she has managed to generate in just half an hour. My cheekbones look better defined, as does my jawline. My face is a bit pink immediately after the treatment from the heat, but that calms down within an hour, leaving me with a healthy glow.
Please note that this content was sponsored by Venus Concept (original Tweak of the Week article found here), and the treatment, indications, and Venus Versa™ treatment device may not be available in your area. Please consult our Venus Treatments clinic finder to see if the treatment is available near you. Learn more about Alice Hart-Davis and her book, The Tweakments Guide.
*Sensations described by the author, not actual indications.
**Skin tightening is an indication approved outside of the U.S..