Whether you want to prevent or whisk away wrinkles and sagging skin, one of the best radiofrequency skin-tightening devices will do it all. Ok, not all. You still need to hold on to that healthy diet, exercise, and rigorously use your wrinkle-fighting products, from supplements and creams to serums or super-charged ampoules. Yet, using a skin tightening machine for home use might actually be the perfect addition to your anti-aging routine, and here is why.
Unlike topical products that work on the skin’s surface, these anti-aging tools use low-energy radiation to go into the deeper layers and heat the dermis (middle layer of skin). It’s this heat that boosts collagen and helps improve wrinkles and loose skin. Better still, most devices require less downtime, lower costs, and no need for recovery compared to in-office lifting treatments—though the results won’t be as dramatic.
While popular skin tightening treatments include radiofrequency (RF), high-frequency, lasers, LEDs, and ultrasounds, experts consider RF the best non-surgical procedure. “Currently, radio frequency represents the gold standard of treatments designed to tighten the skin in a noninvasive fashion,” reveals Abraham MT, the past president of the New York Facial Plastic Surgery Society.
How does radiofrequency therapy work?
The radiofrequency treatment uses energy waves to heat the deeper layers of the skin between 122 and 167°F. When this temperature is sustained for at least three minutes, it activates the release of heat-shock proteins, leading to an increase in collagen and elastin fibers. This enhances skin firmness and elasticity, reduces wrinkles, and promotes quicker wound healing. As such, RF devices are an effective anti-aging solution for a wide array of skin concerns, helping to contour the body, tighten the skin, tone facial muscles, and reduce sagginess and wrinkles while promoting a firm complexion.
FYI, all other skin lifting procedures work on the same principle of warming skin tissues. However, compared to laser and light treatments that don’t work on dark skin, radiofrequency energy is color blind, therefore, is suitable for everyone.
How effective is it?
Studies have found that radiofrequency therapy can effectively improve sagging skin in as little as one week. It delivers almost instant results since collagen production occurs immediately after treatment.
Are radiofrequency skin tightening devices safe?
Since radiofrequency uses low-level energy, it is considered safe for home use. Also, RF devices are cleared by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. However, there are a few side effects you should be aware of when following the treatment, such as tingling, redness, skin rash, and temporary swelling. To reduce them, apply a conductor gel prior to treatment so that the device can easily glide on the skin. Applying a replenishing moisturizer on the treated area after can also help speed up the skin’s recovery process.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you take the following precautionary measures to ensure safe treatment at home:
- Don’t use chemical peels or laser resurfacing two weeks before treatment.
- Don’t perform microdermabrasion one month before.
- Don’t apply retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, or other exfoliants for the next two or three days after the procedure.
- Don’t use radiofrequency on active infections, breakouts, or sunburn.
- Avoid IPL/laser procedures on the treated area.
- Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol two days prior to treatment.
- Don’t use radiofrequency if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have been taking isotretinoin (Accutane) within the past six months.
- Avoid the treatment if you have an implantable metal device or body piercing in the treated area. The same goes if you have arrhythmias or any other severe known heart or autoimmune disorders.
If any of the above applies to you, it’s best to consult with a doctor to confirm whether you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment.
The best at-home skin tightening devices
Considering you’re an eligible candidate, below are the best at-home skin tightening devices that use radiofrequency and other lifting procedures to provide the best-in-class results. Our team researched more than 100 products and it turns out these are the most solid options. Every device featured ahead is cleared by the FDA, gets a lot of love from customers, has been tested in clinical trials, uses various technologies for increased effectiveness, and has the optimal energy level to ensure a safe experience.
P.S.: Our list is constantly being updated to reflect the most recent prices and new releases in the market. We make every effort to ensure that it’s current and accurate and provides the best recommendations.
TriPollar Stop Vx
TriPollar Stop Vx is a multi-duty skin tightening device that works with two types of technologies to smooth skin and target loss of elasticity and firmness. First, it uses interchanging radio frequency waves to distribute heat evenly into the skin, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. Additionally, the cutting-edge electronic vibration technology accelerates blood flow and targets muscles to improve their strength. In a nutshell, this device is capable to bring salon-like results at home in as little as one month. It’s also FDA-cleared, travel-friendly, easy to use, and comes with a hydrating gel to enhance the results.
Use our exclusive code WOMENSCONCEPTS to get a juicy 20% discount on TriPollar Stop Vx. Check now.
Silk’n Titan At-Home Skin Tightening Device
Silk’n Titan is another high-end device you can use at home to tighten your skin and blur sun and age spots. It uses not one, but three energy sources to get the job done and deliver unbeatable results, including RF, infrared heat, and LED. This combination contracts and reconstructs the collagen and elastin fibers and targets precise areas beneath the skin to activate your body’s natural restoration process.
Don’t just take our word for it—the effectiveness of Silk’n Titan has been proven through several clinical studies. In a blind, independent review, 96% of participants showed visibly fewer wrinkles after 20 fortnightly sessions, with no adverse side effects.
You can use it on your entire face and neck, including forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and under-eye puffiness, with no recovery period needed. Plus, with its cordless design, you can now enjoy the freedom to treat your skin wherever you want. P.S.: If you’re a beginner, start with the first energy level and gradually raise it until you reach the heat level your skin is comfortable with.
MLAY-RF01 Radio Frequency Machine
MLAY-RF01 sounds and looks like those devices that doctors use in-office and honestly, it’s the closest that can bring you professional treatment without leaving your home. It has a sophisticated design that incorporates advanced radiofrequency technology and an energy adjustment system that precisely regulates the device’s energy output based on your skin’s temperature. This means the device’s energy level is monitored constantly, avoiding overheating issues and ensuring you get the best results possible without any adverse side effects.
For normal skin, the recommended frequency is once every four days. However, if your skin is dry, it may be necessary to treat it more often, such as every two days, to maintain optimal results. Once you have achieved the desired level of skin tightness, you can decrease the number of treatments to once every two weeks to maintain the results.
The only downside of MLAY-RF01 is that it’s not travel-friendly.
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device
Unlike other skin tightening devices, NuFace Trinity stimulates the skin with gentle microcurrents to deliver almost instant lifting and tightening effects (and it’s also travel-friendly and FDA-cleared). It’s great if you prefer multi-tasking devices as it features interchangeable attachments for the face and neck to improve facial contour, plus an extra attachment for the eye area and lips, perfect to battle puffiness, dark circles, and smile lines. It’s so effective that in a clinical trial, NuFace Trinity improved facial contour in 85% of cases and made the skin smoother in 80% after one month of regular use.
ZIIP Beauty Facial Device
ZIIP Beauty Facial Device is a state-of-the-art solution for anti-aging built by the pioneer of microcurrent and nanocurrent technology, Melanie Simon. Why is it so special? Well, Melanie was dubbed “the Nikola Tesla of facialists” for her ability to harness electricity in skin devices targeting lifting. And this is how ZIIP was born, featuring a unique technology that no other brand uses, called waveform.
Basically, the device provides customized, low-level electrical currents that mimic the body’s own natural electrical signals. These electrical signals stimulate the skin and underlying tissue, helping to increase circulation, contour the face, enhance collagen production, soften rough texture, and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
More than that, the device is beginner-friendly and comes with a phone app that’ll let you choose from seven different facial treatments. It also comes with step-by-step videos offering a convenient, effective, safe, and comfortable experience during the entire treatment period.
Sensica Sensilift is an FDA-cleared device that boasts a new generation of RF technology to stimulate proteins production and remodel the existing ones. More precisely, it’s a dual-acting treatment that massages the skin to boost blood flow while delivering radiofrequency energy to penetrate different skin layers and repair damaged tissues.
It offers a spa-like experience in your own home that effectively targets crow’s feet, loose and sagging skin, wrinkles, and cellulite. Plus, it can be used on any part of the body, including cheeks, forehead, décolletage, eyes, and hands. And the conductive gel (included in the package) provides an effortless gliding of the device on your skin.
Most reviewers reported much healthier and happier skin after diligently using Sensica Sensilift for one month, twice a week. Even if it’s on the pricier side, it’s worth saving for. Just be sure to grab one while it’s in stock because the device is often sold out within a few weeks.
Newa Skin Tightening Device
Newa is the go-to for beginners, those with sensitive skin, or people who just want to test the power of radiofrequency without spending a dollar (it offers a 30-day refund policy). It’s also the first of its kind to be granted FDA clearance for home use and demonstrated anti-aging benefits in clinical studies. Even the FDA tested Newa, clearing it as an effective treatment for skin tightening. “The benefits of the Newa device are based on the clinical performance testing provided, and the improvements seen on the patient wrinkle severity reduction scores are substantial,” concluded FDA.
In short, this beauty tool packs a multisource RF technology called 3DEEP that uses six independent energy generators to control the energy flow sent to the skin for maximum results. Immediately after each treatment, you will see that your skin appears smoother and firmer.
Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF
This one is a bit different than other RF skin tightening devices. Since it’s made with monopolar technology (the one used in professional salons), Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF Pro uses a single electrode that can penetrate deeper into the skin than devices that have two electrodes. This means it provides enhanced benefits in terms of restoring collagen and elastin, tightening the skin, and smoothing wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet. More than that, the purchase includes a serum you can apply before the treatment to ensure optimal conductivity of radiofrequency into the skin, plus two interchangeable attachments to target different parts of the body. It’s an all-in-one solution to tighten your skin at home.
TriPollar Stop Eye
If your goal is to eliminate puffiness, crow’s feet, dark circles, and smile lines, then TriPollar Stop Eye will be a perfect choice. This is because the device has been specially designed to renew and regenerate the delicate skin around the eyes, lips, and nose in just 4 minutes per treatment area (enough to provide benefits without damaging the fragile skin). The purchase also includes a gentle and hydrating balm that makes the treatment more enjoyable and reduces the side effects.
How to use radiofrequency skin tightening devices at home
- Attach the headset to your device. Usually, the small ones are for the skin around the eyes, mouth, and nose, and the bigger ones for the rest of the face and body.
- Apply a layer of conductive gel or serum evenly over the entire area to be treated.
- Choose a power level that suits your skin. If it’s your first time using the device, start with the lowest energy level and gradually raise it as your skin adjusts to it.
- Turn on the device and move it slowly and gently in small circular motions around the treated area. Don’t press too hard, and don’t rub the skin.
- A full facial treatment usually takes 10-20 minutes, depending on the device, and you need to repeat it once or twice a week.
- Turn off the device and wash away the conductive gel or serum from your face. Also, make sure you clean the device after each session.
- Cleanse your face with a gentle face wash and apply your moisturizer (preferably with ceramides, fatty acids, or hyaluronic acid).
Who should use a radiofrequency skin tightening device?
In general, good candidates for radiofrequency are people between the ages of 35 and 70, those experiencing early signs of aging, and those with sun-damaged skin. On the other hand, avoid RF if you have active implanted devices in your body or if you’re taking acne medication like Accutane.
Moreover, if you have Fitzpatrick skin type I (fair, pale white skin) or V (brown to dark brown), or VI (very dark to black), it’s best to chat with a professional before using an RF device. This is because the safety and effectiveness of RF for those with lighter or darker skin have not been fully established, so it’s better to be cautious and play on the safe side.
How to prep your skin for the treatment
All you need to do before using the treatment is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and debris and apply a conductive gel to ensure a proper connection between the electrodes and the skin.
How to care for your skin after the treatment
After the treatment, follow up with a hydrating serum to quench your thirsty skin and a moisturizer to protect it. Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane, niacinamide, and peptides are all great to use after radiofrequency treatment. For the following week, keep your skin hydrated, and avoid products with AHAs, BHAs, or retinol.
How often to use the device
Typically, a skin tightening device should be used two to five times per week, with 10-15 minutes sessions, to provide maximum results. However, you should read the direction of the device and follow them accordingly.
After the treatment has been completed, the skin maintains collagen production for one to six months, after which it starts to decrease. That’s why once you’re happy with the results, you can still use the device every now and then to keep your skin tight and firm. It’s also important not to overuse the treatment. The skin needs time to be completely repaired. Overusing a skin tightening device can block the process and you can lose the progress.
- According to studies, RF is suitable for most skin types and tones.
- At-home skin tightening devices require multiple uses, daily or weekly, compared to clinical devices that usually require use once every six months.
- Radiofrequency may instantly increase collagen production. However, the results don’t last long, and collagen production decreases after one to six months. That’s why you should perform the treatment regularly.
- The frequency used varies from 1MHz to 6MHz, and the power ranges from 40W to 240W, which are considered safe for home use. Most radiofrequency machines adjust their power according to the treated area.
- The energy penetration’s depth is inversely proportional to the frequency. In lay terms, lower frequencies can penetrate deeper into the skin.
- Ideally, don’t expose your skin to sun or tanning beds for at least three days after the treatment. And use sunscreen daily!
The bottom line
This completes our list of the best at-home skin tightening devices. To ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and your skin is safe, only buy from a reputable brand and check if it has been given the green light by the FDA for home use. And remember that it’s more likely to get the desired results when you’re consistent with the treatment. Read the directions of your device carefully and follow them accordingly. In the thousand-to-one chance that the device causes excessive redness or swelling, pain, or persistent discomfort, stop the treatment and cool the affected area with cold water for a few minutes. If redness persists for more than 24 hours after the treatment, consult your doctor—there’s no room for discussion.
- Medhat W, Moawad O, Brennan D, Mahoney MG, Uitto J. Radiofrequency facial rejuvenation: evidence-based effect. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Mar;64(3):524-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.06.045. PMID: 21315951; PMCID: PMC6541915.
- Abraham MT, Mashkevich G. Monopolar radiofrequency skin tightening. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2007 May;15(2):169-77, v. doi: 10.1016/j.fsc.2007.01.005. PMID: 17544932.
- Rousseaux I, Robson S. Body Contouring and Skin Tightening Using a Unique Novel Multisource Radiofrequency Energy Delivery Method. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Apr;10(4):24-29. PMID: 28458771; PMCID: PMC5404777.
- Araújo AR, Soares VP, Silva FS, Moreira Tda S. Radiofrequency for the treatment of skin laxity: mith or truth. An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Sep-Oct;90(5):707-21. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153605. PMID: 26560216; PMCID: PMC4631236.
- Gold MH, Biron J, Levi L, Sensing W. Safety, efficacy, and usage compliance of home-use device utilizing RF and light energies for treating periorbital wrinkles. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Mar;16(1):95-102. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12299. Epub 2016 Dec 2. PMID: 27910259.
- Gold MH, Biron J, Levi L, Sensing W. Safety, efficacy, and usage compliance of home-use device utilizing RF and light energies for treating periorbital wrinkles. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Mar;16(1):95-102. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12299.