There’s a silver device sitting on my bedside table right now. It’s shiny, sleek and wouldn’t look out of place in a spaceship 😂. It tells me I can get you instant skin tightening to reverse crow’s feet, smile lines, jowls and sagging skin. I’m in my later 30s and while I look younger than my age (thank you anti-ageing skincare and diet) I do have the first appearings of crows feet and so I’m taken. I’m excited. Can this shiny, sleek radio frequency treatment device work?
And should you consider it too?
Come find out if RF is an anti-ageing treatment you must try in my radio frequency treatment review for CurrentBody’s new RF Radio Frequency Skin Tightening Device.
This post is sponsored and made possible by CurrentBody – opinions are 100% my own and supported by real science. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors who support Honesty For Your Skin, they allow me to be by your side always.
What Does RF Treatment Do?
You ask all the best questions 🙂 And there’s a really simple answer – radio frequency treatments do 3 awesome things;
- Instantly tightens skin (more about how it does this soon)
- Stimulates production of new collagen (which helps smooth fine lines)
- Boosts production of hyaluronic acid – this plumps skin
It makes radio frequency treatments potentially fantastic for anti-ageing and also for cellulite reduction.
Radio frequency works by what us scientists call – thermal injury or heat shock.
It kind of wakes up your skin like a shrill morning alarm clock – beep, beep, beep.
Next your skin quickly and suddenly scrambles because it thinks – heck it’s been caught snoozing on the job. Yikes.
Imagine for a second how you work when suddenly your boss is peeking over your shoulder. That’s exactly how your skin works after one radio frequency treatment. It’s like your skin’s supervisor’s peering over your metaphorical skin shoulder and so right now your skin’s doing its best job ever.
Do Radio Frequency Treatments Really Work?
Okay, ok, so this is THE important question. Just like there are many types of chocolate – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudgy gooey chocolate 😋 – there are also many different types of radio frequency devices.
This is especially important to know about when choosing an at-home radio frequency device.
Different types of radio frequency treatments;
- Bipolar (best at-home radiofrequency device)
- Tripolar (at-home radiofrequency device)
- Plasma driven
- Combination treatments e.g. microneedling radio frequency
Right now you’re probably thinking – what the heck? I absolutely would be too.
So let me re-wind a step.
Radio frequency devices heat your skin by using radio energy.
You can see right now because of light energy pulsing through this screen.
Radio waves sit on the very same spectrum as light waves which runs from radio to microwave to infrared to visible light to UV light.
In anti-ageing radio frequency treatment devices, radio energy is flowing into your skin through an ‘active pole’ aka an electrode – this is where the name ‘polar’ comes from.
In monopolar devices (which you only get in clinic) RF energy flows into your skin through the device head and then out of your skin through a return electrode placed somewhere else on your body.
When you’re using a bipolar device the device itself has a ‘return’ electrode. Energy flows into your skin through the active electrode and out of your skin through the device head too.
This is how you know (for sure) the difference between monopolar RF treatments and bipolar RF treatments in a clinic – if you’re only in contact with the treatment device/applicator you’re having a bipolar RF treatment. If you’re in contact with the treatment device and what’s called a ‘grounding plate’ which looks like a metal or self-adhesive pad which also connects you to the machine (usually applied on your back), then you’re getting a mono-polar RF treatment.
Psst – tripolar devices are a bit of a gimmick because energy can only flow between two poles (like +ve and -ve) – they do however expand the treatment area of a device.
Radio Frequency Treatment Review: Does RF work?
Ok so you now know the science behind anti-ageing radio frequency treatments – that’s awesome.
You know that RF energy causes a heat shock in your skin and that this heat shock can tighten and boost collagen and hyaluronic acid production which means;
- Tighter skin
- Smoother skin
- Plumper skin
- Younger looking skin
Pretty awesome eh. RF works in theory, but does RF work in practice?
Can RF reduce wrinkles?
The short answer is yes – radio frequency treatments can reduce wrinkles.
For example, a study that tested anti-ageing laser treatments vs. anti-ageing RF treatments found that;
laser was more effective for the periorbital area; whereas fractional RF treatment was more effective for perioral, nasolabial and jawline areas. There was no statistically significant difference in side effects between two treatment groups. In conclusion, both modalities significantly improve skin wrinkles.Dermatol Ther. 2019 Sep;32(5):e13054Did you see that – RF treatment significantly improves skin wrinkles. Wahoo. This was a large study with 333 patients. Yay.
Studies also tell us that RF treatments can get;
up to 50% improvement in skin tightening, and in nasolabial fold and periorbital wrinkles, 3 months after the treatment session with single treatment.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Mar; 64(3): 524–535.
Did you see that – just a single treatment of radio frequency can get big anti-ageing results. Radio Frequency isn’t something you have to use every day to benefit from (that includes best at-home devices too).
But – I also have a long answer for you.
Most published radio frequency studies are based on in-clinic style treatments of monopolar RF and microneedle RF or bipolar vacuum RF (where skin’s sucked up between electrodes to increase skin depth penetration).
There’s a lot of support in the literature for these types of RF devices reversing wrinkles and smoothing skin. There’s less support for bipolar and tripolar (at-home) devices.
Technically bipolar and tripolar RF devices do not penetrate your skin as deeply because the ‘return’ electrode is so close to the electrode that’s pulsing out RF energy. If RF energy isn’t penetrating your skin as deeply then anti-ageing results won’t be as great.
However, studies do still show anti-ageing benefits from bipolar devices (ref, ref). They’re just not as well studied or proven and not as potent as in-clinic treatments – but that’s to be expected eh.
CurrentBody Radio Frequency Treatment Review
Independent (manufacturer-funded) studies of at-home radio frequency devices like the CurrentBody RF treatment show some fantastic skin smoothing, skin tightening benefits. Take a peek at these two;
And again some wonderful improvements in periorbital wrinkling also known in normal English as eye wrinkling.
Best At-Home Radio Frequency Treatment
The BIG fact you must know when choosing the best at-home RF treatment device is this – temperature matters. And if we’re getting into the nitty-gritty maintenance of that ‘ideal collagen producing temperature’ matters.
A study published in 2006 tells us;
Heat treatment at 40–42 °C enhanced hydroxyproline content and improved wrinkles/sags of the facial skin… heat treatment at 40–42 °C has a beneficial therapeutic potential to repair wrinkles and sags in the skin through the up-regulation of collagen synthesis.J. Dermatol. Sci. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006, Pages S39-S49
Psst – hydroxyproline is an ingredient in your skin that tells your skin to make more collagen. It shouts – make more collagen please! Collagen supplements boost this too.
This study I’m sharing tested temperatures of 38, 40 and 42 °C on the skin of women concluding, ‘Exposure to the higher temperature (42 °C) significantly accelerated the production of type I collagen by cultured dermal fibroblasts compared to lower temperatures’.
Psst – type I collagen makes up 80-90% of total collagen in your skin.
The CurrentBody RF treatment uses an optimal collagen-producing temperature of 43 °C.
Other at-home radio frequency devices like the Newa Beaity RF device (£349) or the Panasonic EH-XR10 (£499) use a temperature of 40 °C
And bonus fact – when it comes to the nitty-gritty temperature maintenance of CurrentBody’s at-home RF treatment there’s wonderful news. The CurentBody RF device has, ‘Skin Sense Technology™’ – the nickname for a technology that’s constantly monitoring the temperature of your skin (every 0.004 seconds!) to make sure it’s the optimal temperature for collagen boosting (and that it’s very safe for you to use).
The CurrentBody RF treatment device is currently the only device on the market with Skin Sense technology – it’s very important because everyone’s skin has a different resistance to radio frequency and it’s this resistance which determines how hot your skin gets. The CurrentBody device is continually adjusting for your skin’s unique resistance ever 0.004 seconds.
Bottom line: because the CurrentBody device uses Skin Sense Technology it’s 33% more effective than most other at-home RF treatments you can buy.
Radio frequency treatment review: If you’re considering an at-home RF, in my scientific opinion CurrentBody’s RF treatment device has the best potential to get you tighter, smoother, younger skin.
How Often Should I Get RF Treatment?
If you’re anything like me you turn runaway bride when someone asks you to use an anti-ageing device for an hour a day, three times a week. Eeek.
This is a major benefit of at-home radio frequency treatments because;<
- You only need to use them once a week to get anti-ageing benefits
- After 8 weeks of a once-weekly treatment you can get long-lasting results
- Treatment is quick: for example if you’re treating the eye area it’s just 5 minutes per eye
Who Radio Frequency Treatment is NOT for
Your at-home radio frequency device is going to feel like a hot-stone treatment. 43 °C is warming and you will feel this. For this reason, I do not recommend anti-ageing radio frequency if you have rosacea or if you have a significant amount of persistent redness in your skin.
You should also not take a RF treatment if in the last 3 months you’ve had;
- A professional chemical peel
- Facial abrasion
- Ablative laser treatments
- Plastic surgery
Radio Frequency Treatment Review: My Personal Experience
So far I’ve used CurrentBody’s at-home RF treatment for targeting ‘crows feet’ and smoothness of my under eye area.
This is me after treatment – notice the red area – this is what to expect after a 5-minute RF treatment – the redness for me disappears within an hour or so. That’s why it’s best to do RF treatments in the evening after you’ve removed makeup but before your skincare routine.
What I’ve so far loved about the CurrentBody RF device;
- It’s super simple and easy to use
- It has 3 levels: level 1 is beginner mode (I’ve stuck to this so far) it heats up gradually over 30 seconds which is a gentler feeling, level 3 takes just 18 seconds
- There’s a green and orange light which tells me when it’s heating (green light blinks), when I’ve reached treatment temperature (solid green) and when treatment is done (orange) – communication worthy of a long term relationship 🙂
- The device glides smoothly over my skin with the included CurrentBody Skin Radio Frequency Gel
- I do see an instant skin plumping and ‘tightening’ – keep in mind when skin is heated it naturally expands and plumps
I’m excited to see long-term results.
If you would love to try out the CurrentBody at-home radio frequency device (£299) then you can use this CurrentBody discount code – HONESTY15 – to get 15% off your order.
Have a question about at-home radio frequency devices I’ve not answered? Word blurt it to me in the comments below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist, skin health expert & award-winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. Through her 1-2-1 services and video courses she’s here helping you get healthier, happier skin you feel comfortable, confident and like the freakin’ awesomesauce you are in. Select the option which best describes your skin health here to see and hear the amazing transformations you could be getting.