In the evolving world of skincare and aesthetics, its sometimes hard to keep on top of developments. With so many new treatments you would be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed and sceptical. Radiofrequency Microneedling (also known as RF Microneedling) is one of the latest skincare innovations that has gained a lot of headlines and popularity. We’re going to explore the science and evidence behind this treatment to help you uncover what it is, how it works and who can benefit from it. As always, we’ll also compare alternatives and complimentary skincare to it.
What is Radiofrequency Microneedling?
RF Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that combines traditional microneedling with radiofrequency energy. This is supposed to create a powerful duo for skin rejuvenation. Traditional microneedling uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. This prompts the body’s natural healing process to step in and your skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin. Radiofrequency energy also promotes your skin to make more collagen and elastic. RF devices deliver electromagnetic waves in a low frequency to the skin which causes skin regeneration.
How Does RF Microneedling Work?
During an RF Microneedling session, your practitioner will use a device that delivers radiofrequency energy directly into the middle layer of the skin (the dermis) through the micro-needles which penetrate the superficial (epidermis) and dermal layers. The microneedles trigger micro-injuries and the radiofrequency energy generates heat. Both of these stimulate your skin to increase collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are crucial components of the skin and give it its elasticity, thickness and structure. They also reduce when your skin ages which gives rise to crepey, sagging and wrinkled skin. By increasing collagen and elastin your skin, RF microneedling makes your skin firmer, smoother and younger-looking.
Benefits of Radiofrequency Microneedling
As you can see RF Microneedling offers a range of benefits to your skin thanks to the synergistic effects of microneedling and radiofrequency energy. These include:
- Skin Tightening: by stimulating collagen production, RF Microneedling can tighten loose or sagging skin.
- Improved Skin Texture and Tone: this treatment can also reduce the appearance of scars, including acne scars, and improve the skin’s overall texture and tone.
- Reduction in Fine Lines and Wrinkles: RF microneedling can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
- Improve Hydration & Elasticity: increased collagen and elastin can improve your skin’s hydration, plumpness and elasticity.
- Minimises Pore Size: RF Microneedling can help reduce the appearance of of enlarged pores.
Please remember that because RF microneedling works by stimulating your skin, results are not immediate. normally you will need to wait 4-6 weeks to start seeing noticeable results. Often a course of treatment is needed to achieve good outcomes.
Suitable Skin Types for RF Microneedling
RF Microneedling is safe for all skin types and tones. Unlike some laser or chemical peel treatments, which can cause hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones, RF Microneedling doesn’t usually have this risk if used correctly. However, it’s important to note that this treatment may not be suitable for those with active acne, rosacea or other inflammatory skin conditions. This is why its always important to consult with a skincare professional before undergoing any new treatment.
Side Effects & Risks of RF Microneedling
Like any treatment, RF Microneedling can have potential side effects. The most common ones include redness, swelling and minor discomfort during and immediately after the procedure. Occasionally there could be some bruising. These are generally temporary and subside within a few days. More serious complications can include infection, scarring or hyperpigmentation. These are thankfully rare but are most likely to occur if the treatment is not performed correctly or if post-treatment care instructions are not followed.
It’s also crucial to inform your treating practitioner if you have any medical problems, allergies or are currently taking any medications or supplements or active skincare products. They will then be able to assess whether this puts you at increased side effects, increase your skin’s sensitivity or interfere with healing.
How to Use RF Microneedling for Best Results & Where to Get it Done
RF Microneedling should always be performed by a trained professional in a clinical setting. This will reduce the risks and potential side effects. It will also ensure you get the most out of the treatment and even more importantly they will advise against it if it is not suitable for you.
The exact protocol they use should be tailored to your individual skin concerns and goals. Typically, a series of treatments spaced four to six weeks apart is usually recommended for optimal results. Aftercare is also really important. Your practitioner will offer you post treatment instructions which you should follow. Again these will be tailored to you but as a minimum they will include using a gentle cleanser, avoiding sun exposure, and applying a moisturiser and broad-spectrum sunscreen. They may also advise you to stop active skin products for a period.
Alternatives to Radiofrequency Microneedling
Radiofrequency microneedling is not the only skincare rejuvenation treatment. There are a number of treatment that compete with it or complement it. The most popular alternatives are traditional microneedling, laser, chemical peels, skin boosters like Profhilo and prescription skincare .
RF Microneedling vs. Traditional Microneedling
Whilst both treatments leverage the body’s healing process to stimulate collagen production, RF Microneedling boosts this. By delivering radiofrequency energy directly into the dermis, it enhances collagen and elastin production beyond what traditional microneedling can achieve. This results in more pronounced skin tightening and improvement in skin texture and tone. That being said, traditional microneedling can be a very competitive alternative if you do not have access to RF microneedling or only have mild to moderate signs of skin ageing.
RF Microneedling vs. Laser
Laser treatments, such as Fraxel or CO2 lasers, have a long track record of treating skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and scars. However, laser therapy can be quite aggressive and las such may be associated with significant downtime. If your main concern is skin laxity, texture and wrinkles, RF Microneedling is a superior alternative with less downtime. Additionally, unlike laser treatments, RF Microneedling is generally safe for all skin types and tones. If your main concern is severe hyperpigmentation in addition to skin ageing, then laser therapy might be a better option. Either way, discuss with an experienced skincare professional who can advise you on the best options for you.
RF Microneedling vs. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels use acids or enzymes to exfoliate the top layers of the skin thereby revealing fresher, smoother skin underneath. Whilst they can be effective skin concerns like wrinkles, scars and hyperpigmentation, they can not improve severe lines or wrinkles. Radiofrequency microneedling works at a deeper level and produces more collagen and elastin. This results in not only improved skin surface but also enhanced skin structure and firmness.
RF Microneedling vs. Profhilo and Skin Boosters
Profhilo and skin boosters like Volite are injectable hyaluronic acid treatments designed to hydrate the skin and stimulate collagen as well as elastin production. Similar to RF microneedling, they will help smooth the skin and improve firmness as well as elasticity. However, RF Microneedling can address a broader range of skin concerns, including scars and enlarged pores. It does however require multiple courses of treatment whereas Profhilo only needs 2-3 sessions to give you beautiful hydrating and dewy looking skin.
Skincare Alternatives to Radiofrequency Microneedling
The only real skincare alternative to RF microneedling are prescription retinoids like Tretinoin and Tazarotene. These work by increasing skin turnover to quickly exfoliate the top layers of the skin. They also promote increased collagen and elastic production as well as enhance blood supply to the skin. In addition to being the most powerful topical anti-ageing treatments that we have, they can also treat acne, scarring, skin texture and hyperpigmentation. Retinoids can also be safely used on all skin types and tones under the care of a doctor or other medical professional. They of course take longer to deliver results than RF microneedling. However, they can be a great alternative if you have mild to moderate ski ageing. They can also be used alongside RF microneedling or afterwards to boost and maintain your results.
Radiofrequency Microneedling is a powerful skincare treatment that harnesses the body’s natural healing process to rejuvenate the skin from within. Its ability to address multiple skin concerns, suitability for all skin types and minimal downtime make it an attractive option for skin ageing. However its not suitable for everyone and there are many credible alternatives. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced skincare professional who can help determine whether this or any other treatment is best for your unique skin. They will also reduce the chances of potential risks and side effects.
Always remember that skincare is personal and what works for one person may not work for another. Our virtual clinic offers safe and effective treatments like Tretinoin for conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin ageing. Book a virtual consultation with one of our doctors today to take your first step towards great skin.