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The best at-home radiofrequency tools for firmer skin from your sofa
May 5th 2021 / 0 comment
Radiofrequency is loved for its collagen-producing, skin tightening powers. These are the at-home devices for salon-similar results
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Known for its ability to tighten the skin and promote collagen and elastin production, radiofrequency targets areas including crow’s feet and the under eyes, under the chin as well as reducing puffiness. It’s a popular in-salon treatment but as we've become more accustomed to doing our treatments at home, radiofrequency tools have become an in-demand device.
Aesthetic doctor Sophie Shotter and facialist Joanne Evans both named at-home radiofrequency devices among the tools they rate and when two respected names claim something is a must-have, we felt it our duty to look into the best ones out there.
Is radiofrequency safe at home?
It can be daunting to use a pro-tool at home but it’s perfectly safe, explains Dr Sophie Shotter. “Radiofrequency is a safe and clinically effective technology to use at home. There are a few devices that have harnessed the power of RF in an FDA (an American standard ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical devices) cleared home-use device. Even though the FDA is an American body, I always find it useful to look for as it tells you that a device has been extensively researched for both safety and results. Always check that your device is also CE marked (meaning it is tested and safe by European standards).”
How do at-home radiofrequency tools work?
At-home tools work in the same way as in-clinic treatments, stimulating collagen production within the skin and with regular use will lift and tighten the skin. Joanne refers to this as ‘shrink-wrapping’ the skin because it heats the cells to tighten them.
If you’re used to radio-frequency in-salon you’ll find at-home tools aren’t as hot as those treatments, though you will feel some warmth when using them. The method is the same as you'll have seen from the pros - simply glide the device over the contours of your face - watch Joanne demonstrate how to use the devices at 3:48 in the below video for a tutorial.
For an at-home tool to work, you need to use a conductive gel such as Newa's Lift Activator Gel, £35. The gel allows the device to move smoothly over the treatment area (no uncomfortable tugging) and acts as a conductive medium for the waves, allowing them to pass through the skin layers.
How often do you need to do radiofrequency at home?
Home-use devices won’t be as powerful as in-clinic devices and will require more frequent use to achieve results, Dr Sophie explains, “Most in-clinic RF machines involve a course of weekly sessions, but you may need to begin by using an at-home device daily over the first few weeks. Each device will have slightly different guidelines, so always follow the instructions for the device you choose.”
Radiofrequency devices to invest in now
The facialist's favourite: Newa Anti-Aging Skincare Device, £349
When we spoke to experts about their preferred skincare devices, this one came out top for both Sophie and Joanne. “I have known Endymed [the makers of Newa] for some time so when they put their professional knowledge in a homecare device it made my ears prick up. It has clinical trials and science-backed papers to prove the results," explains Joanne. "It targets three main areas of the face eyes, cheeks and jawline." It comes with an activated gel and you rotate it around the face in tiny circles and deep sweeps, with the device telling you when to move on to a new area. Joanne says to use this for four minutes on each area. It’s not cordless so not great for using as you go about your business, however.
The super powerful one: 21Skin, £499
Unlike most RF devices which use biploar technology (two electrodes), this one uses monopolar (or unipolar) with a single electrode for deeper penetration. Its makers tell us that it reaches up to 10mm below the surface of the skin, compared with 2-4mm for bipolar.
This machine is salon technology shrunk into home form and as such it's rather larger, with a base station and a corded handheld device. It takes a bit of personalising in terms of heat and time (up to 20 minutes, we started with ten) but there's a lot of scope in finding the right fit for you. You can definitely feel the heat working deeper. Testers aged between 20 and 60 saw results after eight weeks of using it three times a week, with their 21Skin before and after photos showing a noticeable difference. You can use it if you've had Profhilo, (although please check with your doctor first) but keep away from fillers.
The J-beauty one: Ya-Man RF Beaute Bloom, £185
From Japanese beauty brand Ya Man, known for at-home beauty tools, this easy-to-hold device says you only need to use it for six minutes per session to see results and is for use on the face and neck. It has near-infrared (NIR) technology which also tightens. Don't forget to add conductivity gel to basket.
The travel-friendly one: Sensica Sensilift Mini, £179
For use on the face, decolletage and hands this portable device has a built-in smart sensor that constantly monitors and adjusts to your skin’s temperature. It's perfect for 30+ skin as an entree into the world of tightening. It has two prongs that deliver waves into the skin and reviewers say they saw a difference with just three uses. It comes with base gel.
The award-winning one: Sensica Sensilift, £279
For more mature skin, we love the larger Sensica RF device Sensilift, £279. It impressed Dr Sophie Shotter, who chose it as the winner of the tools category of the 2020 Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards. "The science behind this FDA-cleared device is real for stimulating collagen and achieving firmer tighter skin. It feels like a treat to use," she said. It feels pleasantly warm with a rather fabulous massage action that feels amazing on the brow bone and lifts hooded eyes. Base gel provided.
It may look like a TV remote but this is much, much more. It smoothes and reshapes the face with radiofrequency, red LED light and infrared heat energy. The combination of the three forces heat to all cell layers, seeking damaged tissue and repairing it to target wrinkles and fine lines by rejuvenating collagen and elastin fibres. Base gel included.