9 Best Radio Frequency Skin Tightening Devices for Home Use

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Whether you want to prevent or whisk away wrinkles and saggy 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 surface, these devices use low-energy radiation to go into the deeper skin layers and heat the dermis. It’s this heat that boosts collagen and help improves wrinkles and loose skin.[1] Better still, most at-home skin tightening 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 treatments for skin tightening 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.[2]

How do radiofrequency skin tightening machines work?

Basically, radio frequency machines use energy waves to heat the deeper layers of the skin between 122 and 167°F. Maintaining this dermal temperature for at least three minutes triggers the release of heat-shock proteins. In turn, this increases the production of collagen and elastin fibers, improving skin firmness and elasticity, reducing wrinkles, and accelerating wound healing.[3] As such, RF is an effective anti-aging solution for a wide array of skin concerns, helping to contour the body, tighten the skin, and reduce sagginess and wrinkles while promoting a firm and smooth complexion.[1]

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.[3]

How effective are radiofrequency devices?

According to research, radio frequency therapy is a safe and effective treatment to correct sagging skin in as early as one week. It was found that it delivers almost instant skin tightening results since collagen production occurs immediately after treatment.[4]

Are radiofrequency skin tightening devices safe?

Since radiofrequency uses low-level energy, it is considered safe for home use. Also, most RF devices are cleared by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. However, there are a few side effects you should be aware of when using an RF skin tightening machine, such as tingling, redness, skin rash, and temporary swelling.[5] To reduce the chances of side effects, apply a conductor gel prior to treatment so that the device can easily glide on the skin. Using a replenishing moisturizer after the treatment can also help speed up the skin’s recovery process.

Besides, there are a few other things you should avoid while following a radiofrequency therapy at home, including:

  • Don’t use chemical peels or laser resurfacing two weeks prior.
  • Don’t perform microdermabrasion one month before.
  • Don’t apply retinol, glycolic acid, or other exfoliants for the next two or three days after radiofrequency.
  • Don’t use radiofrequency on active infections, breakouts, or sunburn.
  • Avoid IPL/laser procedures on the treated area.
  • Avoid alcohol two days prior to treatment.
  • Don’t use radiofrequency if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Avoid using radiofrequency skin tightening devices if you have been taking isotretinoin (Accutane) within the past six months.

The best at-home radiofrequency devices for skin tightening

We have again done extensive research and found that these are the best radio frequency skin tightening machines for home use that received the most positive feedback from customers over the past year.


TriPollar Stop Vx

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 collagen and elastin production. Additionally, the cutting-edge electronic vibration technology accelerates blood circulation 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 20% off on any skin-tightening device on MyTripollar. Check now.


Silk’n Titan Skin Tightening & Lifting Device

Silk’n Titan Anti-Aging Device 2021

Clinically tested, Silk’n Titan uses three different sources of energy, including RF, infrared heat, and LED, to target precise areas beneath the skin to activate your body’s natural restoration process.[6] By using this device for 10-15 minutes twice a week, you’ll notice how collagen and elastin fibers are repaired, cell renewal is stimulated, sun spots and pores are reduced, and skin elasticity is improved. P.S.: If you’re a starter, begin 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 RF Machine

Another skin tightening device for home use that relies on radiofrequency to tighten the skin and reduce wrinkles is none other than MLAY-RF01. It features a system that automatically adjusts the device’s energy depending on your skin’s temperature to avoid overheating issues and provide optimal results. For normal skin, use the device once every four days. If your skin is dry, you need to treat it more often, like every two days. Once you’re satisfied with the results, decrease the number of sessions once a fortnight to maintain them.


NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

NuFACE Advanced Facial Anti-Wrinkles Device

Unlike other devices, this one 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 treatment 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

At-Home Facial Device for Tightening

If you feel like splurging on a skin-tightening facial device, check this one. ZIIP Beauty doesn’t use radio frequency but nano-currents to stimulate skin cells, boost collagen and elastin, increase blood flow, and repair broken tissues. All these lead to radiant, flawless, and glowing skin. The device is beginner-friendly, featuring a phone app that’ll let you choose from seven different facial treatments. It also comes with step-by-step videos offering an easy, relaxing, and comfortable experience.


Sensica Sensilift

RF Machine by Sensilift

Sensica Sensilift is an FDA-cleared RF device that boasts a new generation of radiofrequency technology to stimulate collagen production and remodel the existing one. More precisely, it’s a dual-acting treatment that massages the skin to boost blood circulation while delivering radiofrequency energy to penetrate different skin layers simultaneously and repair damaged tissues. It offers a spa-like experience in your own home that effectively targets crow’s feet, loose and saggy skin, wrinkles, and cellulite. Plus, it can be used on any part of your body, including cheeks, forehead, décolletage, eyes, and hands. Most reviewers reported a drastic improvement in the appearance of their skin after using the device for at least a month, twice a week.


Newa Skin Tightening Device

NEWA Anti-Aging Skin Tightening Device

Among all skin-tightening devices available for home use, Newa is probably the most popular and researched one. It’s actually 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, firmer, and brighter.


Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF Pro

Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF Pro

This one is a bit different than other skin tightening devices. Since it’s made with monopolar technology, Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF Pro uses a single electrode that can penetrate deeper into the skin than devices that have two electrodes (like most on the market). This means the device 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

TriPollar STOP Eye Radiofrequency Device

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 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 treatment area.
  • 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 during the treatment.
  • 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.


How do I prep my skin for a radiofrequency treatment?

All you need to do before using the treatment is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and debris. Apply a conductive gel to ensure a proper connection between the electrodes and the skin before using the radiofrequency device.


What to do after radiofrequency 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 can you use radiofrequency?

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 instructions on the device and follow them accordingly.

After the treatment is 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 is 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 all progress.


Fast facts

  1. According to studies, radiofrequency-based devices are suitable for any skin type and tone.
  2. Most at-home skin tightening machines require multiple uses, daily or weekly, compared to clinical devices that usually require use once every six months.
  3. Radiofrequency may instantly increase collagen production. However, the results don’t last long, and collagen production decreases after one to six months. Hence, you should do the treatment regularly.
  4. 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.
  5. The energy penetration’s depth is inversely proportional to the frequency. In lay terms, lower frequencies can penetrate deeper into the skin.
  6. 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. If you plan to buy such as device, make sure it is manufactured by a genuine brand and has been cleared by the FDA to be safe for home use. And remember that the results only come if you’re consistent with the treatment. Read the usage instructions of your device carefully and follow them accordingly. Use the device for at least two weeks to reveal its true potential.


References

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder and editor-in-chief of Women's Concepts. She has over 5 years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and dermatological research and was an acne sufferer for over a decade. Ana is now an IAO and CPD-accredited skincare consultant keen to teach others about the importance of a consistent routine. She covers a wide range of topics in skincare—from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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