Penetrating deep within the skin, radiofrequency facials use the heat energy from electric currents to tighten the skin without damaging it. The resulting look is visibly sculpted and lifted, with fine lines blurred out. We visited three spas in Vancouver that offer different versions of radiofrequency facials to find out more.
Skin Technique: EndyMed 3DEEP RF Facial Tightening
“Collagen is what makes our skin look healthy,” says Dr. Christopher Pavlou, owner of SkinTechnique in Yaletown, where the EndyMed 3DEEP RF Facial Tightening is available.
Collagen makes up 75 to 80 per cent of the total protein in our skin, providing hydration, volume, and elasticity. Free radicals, harmful ultraviolet rays, and genetics all play into the rate at which our collagen production dissipates, says Pavlou. Radiofrequency can help reverse collagen loss.
Electric current facials operate in two ways: the monopolar current penetrates the subdermal skin layer where it heats and prompts elastin fibres to produce more collagen (neocollagenesis). The bipolar current treats the superficial layer—or the epidermis—to decrease fine lines and add definition. The EndyMed treatment involves the application of a cooling and insulating ultrasound gel, followed by gently pulsating currents emitted from a handheld device into the cheeks, jawline, forehead, and under the eyes. After the treatment, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic antioxidant serum and a mineral zinc SPF are applied to protect against UV rays and free radicals.
Bioéthique Spa: Radio Frequency Mono & Bi-Polar Facial
At Kitsilano’s Bioéthique Spa, the Radio Frequency Mono & Bi-Polar LED package starts with a facial cleanse of tamanu oil (the best way to clean away dirt and oil without stripping the skin’s natural pH, says the esthetician). Here, the monopolar device is used only on the fatty parts of the face, with the bipolar reserved for fine lines and inflammation around eyes and mouth. The machines are moved in a gliding motion from forehead to the top of the cleavage to aid in lymphatic drainage. There is no pain during a radiofrequency facial, but there can be a mildly uncomfortable, deep bruising feeling as the heat is delivered. Two hours of rhythmic facial massage later, the treatment is finished up with an LED Light Therapy mask to brighten and expedite cell turnover. The benefits of consuming collagen powder or capsules, along with 1000 mg daily of Vitamin C are discussed as a way to help the skin rejuvenate post-treatment.
Project Skin MD: Thermage Comfort Pulse Technology
Thermage Comfort Pulse Technology (CPT) was featured on Oprah in 2003, and aesthetic physician Dr. William McGillivray at Project Skin MD was one of the first physicians to offer it in Canada.
“I call it beauty insurance,” he says of the treatment that should only be taken every six months. Thermage CPT involves the use of a sheet mask decorated with a face grid that outlines monopolar squares where the skin is stamped, and bipolar sections where the device is swooped over (in the motion of a Nike swoosh). The Thermage application tips vary in size, designed for different face structures (the smallest tip is popular for its ability to offer a non-surgical eye lift). Dr. McGillivray also treats the abdomen, arms, and buttocks, and recommends other volume-inducing aids, such as fillers and Fraxel resurfacing lasers, to complement the Thermage CPT.
Read more from our Summer 2019 issue here.