Radio frequency skin tightening is a non surgical skin tightening procedure that changes the look of your face and stomach. Being non surgical, it is far less invasive than surgical options like face lifts and tummy tucks. Results are more or less the same with fewer risks. Recovery is simple and it is also less expensive.
There is still a gap in research with regard to how effective it is and what its long term side effects – if any – might be. When young, our bodies are full of proteins called elastin and collagen, which give your skin structure and elasticity. As we age, the production of those proteins slows down and as a result, our skin loses elasticity and gets loose. Here is where you need skin tightening.
How It Works
Terms like thermalift, thermage and exilis are thrown around when it comes to radio frequency skin tightening.
Thermalift was the first of the lot to use the concept of restoring lost collagen. It uses a device to apply controlled radio waves to the area of skin you would like to tighten. The procedure requires no anesthesia and no recovery time at all.
Thermage requires one treatment session although some people may benefit from multiple sessions.
Each of the technologies works the same: Radio frequency waves heat the deep layer of your skin to about 50-70 degree Celsius. Studies have concluded that maintaining a temperature of over 46 degrees for over 3 minutes causes your body to release heat-shock proteins. These proteins stimulate your body to create new collagen fibers.
Regardless of the radio frequency skin tightening technology you go for, results are only slightly noticeable right away. Typically, you need 4 months for full effect to take place.
What Are Radio Frequency Waves?
These waves are what come out of your rf machine for home use. They are a form of radiation and radiation is the release of energy in the form of electromagnetic waves.
It can be classified as low energy or high energy – depending on the amount of energy released, of course. Some examples of the former are the radio frequency waves we use here and X-rays for the latter.
The form of radio frequency radiation used in this procedure is similar to the type of radiation from common household items like Wi-Fi and cell phones.
Fun fact: the form of radiation used in radio frequency skin tightening releases about one billion times less energy than X-rays.
Benefits of Radio Frequency Skin Tightening
Fighting Sun Damage
Prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun can make collagen fibers in your skin break down and get disorganized.
A study conducted in 2011 concluded that 3 months of this skin tightening technology led to significant improvement in a small group of people with mild to moderate signs of sun damage.
Radio frequency therapy may help tighten loose skin on your body by stimulating the production of collagen.
A 2017 study found that 24 of 25 people saw an improvement in their body shape after 5-8 sessions of the non surgical skin tightening procedure that is radio frequency therapy.
Reduction of Wrinkles and Fine Lines
A 2018 study looked at the effects of radio frequency therapy on wrinkles around the eyes of 70 middle-aged women. The research concluded that three treatments over six weeks significantly reduced their wrinkles.
All these benefits are of course on top of the basic purpose of radio frequency therapy that is tightening your skin and getting rid of wrinkles.
Radio Frequency Skin Tightening Side Effects
If done properly by certified practitioners, it is considered relatively safe. However, if performed incorrectly, your rf machine for home use just might burn you.
The most common side effects include temporary swelling, redness and tingling. People with darker skin are at a higher risk of side effects from this kind of treatment as well as some laser treatments.
Although the long-term side effects of low energy radiation aren’t entirely known, there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence at this time that suggests that radio frequency radiation poses a health risk to people.