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Radio frequency therapy eliminates sagging jawlines

August 6, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 30 Comments
When we interviewed Ildi Pekar a few months ago, she told us that treatments using radio frequencies would be the next big thing. And being the self-confessed machine junkie that she is, she recently came back from Europe with one of the latest models to add to her collection of microcurrent machines for face and body. Being something of a sucker for all this stuff, I was excited to try it out.

Radio Frequency Therapy: Who Should Try It?

"You are not a very good candidate for this", Ildi said half way through treating my jawline and neck. She was obviously disappointed. What she meant was the I already have a jawline and I don't have a double chin and that the effect would be subtle. Apparently, people with sagging jaws and wrinkled necks see really dramatic results. Actually, I was fairly impressed with my results after all.

I was even more impressed the following morning. My jawline was definitely even more pronounced and pinching at the skin on my neck I found it to be really taut. There was no kind of redness afterward (although that can be a common side effect).

Radio Frequency Therapy: How Does It Work

Radio frequency treatments work by generating heat. The treatment produces localized heat injury of the dermis and subdermal layer as well as the collagen contraction leading to skin tightening. There are at home devices such as Stop that are effective - but don't expect salon results.
  • July 21, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Michelle, I have tried Dermawand and you can read my review here:

  • July 21, 2016

    by Michelle

    Has anyone tried this "Derma Wand" that I keep seeing ads for everywhere? Does it really work? How long before you saw any results?

  • December 10, 2015

    by beth

    Has anyone done enough research on these machines to recommend a particular one or at least the strength that should be used? I've google searched and there are SO many options to choose from!

  • October 20, 2015

    by lora

    Hi...I just want to put a good word in for home RF. I actually have one older machine withe the classic bulb tip and a newer blended multi-function RF/microcurrent machine (not true microcurrent but I'm on a budget). If you don't over use these machines and follow the instructions, they are safe and they are HOME use so yes they are weaker but still effective. Ive also read a lot on RF and after much research have learned that results from RF are usually from more of a cumulative type use of at least 3 months or you can't rally just have one treatment and say it doesn't work. Also it is supposed to be very complimentary to the other modalities of ultrasound or MC.....and I have good results alternating all of the machines. I'm 56 with no lines, wrinkles or sagging and have been using these types of machines since my 30s.

  • June 19, 2014

    by maria

    I wish I had read Rita's email before I had an "IPL" done, which turned out to be RF without my knowledge! The loss of fat around the eyes and sides of my face is exactly what happened. The MD, who was clueless and I should've run as fast as i could from her, wasn't paying attention and she kept going until i had to tell her to stop because it was too hot for me to take anymore! Exactly one month after i saw the very noticeable changes and now i've even got saggin, enlarged pores, and dryness and it's so hard to get over! I have just 4 mos left before I cannot take her to court anymore and i so hate to focus on this but I feel like i should just do it and get it out of my system. I'm so angry -- I feel like she's even changed the course of my life. I had beautiful skin before; always got compliments! I've taken the best care of my skin all of my life and now this and it's been almost 2 years and I can't seem to shake the anger and disappointment and sadness. I have to let it go I know. Beware if you're going in for RF. Make sure y ou get someone who knows what he's doing. If there are any comments about HELP for the fat loss I'd be very happy to hear them, although I don't have much hope for restoring it. I'm trying dermarolling but cannot use that around my eyes!

  • July 4, 2013

    by sh

    Which store can I purchse home radio frequency machine? Not interested online one.

  • July 19, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Anna
    Sorry about the tardy response. I was waiting for a reply from Ildi and then on vacation. Unfortunately, she is very protective of her machines and won't divulge the make. I do know that it is one of the latest (about two years old). Caci seems to have cornered the UK market (I had them when I lived in London). As far as I know they are good machines. However, there are two things to bear in mind: try to find a salon with the very newest machines with multiple settings; secondly, remember that microcurrent's success very much depends on the skill of the esthetician as it can really be manipulated to "sculpt" the face and work more intensely on problem areas.

    I don't know anything about Therma Skin and haven't been able to find much in the way of reviews. Future-tec sounds gimmicky to me - claims to combine microcurrent, ultrasound, laser etc... It is made by Caci as well. Personally, I'd go for the best microcurrent machine you can find in the hands of someone really good.

  • July 7, 2010

    by Anna

    Marta, I started CACI facials once a month, after reading about micro current facials at TIA. I live in the UK and Hong Kong, and there doesn't seem to be any other brand of machine used by facialists here, so I was wondering whether you know anything about it? Also, I would love to have radio frequency facials too, and wondered if you had heard of Therma Skin or Future-Tec, for us non-US readers who can't get the exact equivalent of the facials you get from Ildi! Btw, I also have a Baby Quasar, which I love! Thanks very much- Anna

  • January 28, 2010

    by Lisa

    I tried a series of IPL and RF and saw no results at all, no tightening of lax skin especially neck and jaw line. ( I am 47 with pretty good skin) Very expensive and dissapointing. I tried the micro laser peel and loved it although the down time was 5 days. My skin looked much more firm and wrinkles were reduced significantly.

  • November 10, 2009

    by Rita

    Radio Frequency, referred to as RF, has been around for some time. Most dermatologists and plastic surgeons are familiar with RF technology. RF, radio frequency, is using high heat energy in short, intense bursts to stimulate the deeper layers of the dermis. As mentioned, Thermage, is one of the first RF equipment out there for physicians to use. RF energy is what is in your microwave. When you place your food into the microwave, the RF energy heats up the water molecules in the food, which in turn the molecules move very quickly creating heat energy. This heat energy is what cooks the food. In the skin, this heat energy is stimulating to the skin cells and tissues. Skin is mostly made up of water. Once the heat is gone and the skin tissue cools, there is a contractions of the tissues.

    When RF came out, physicians did have complications, because they used settings that may have been too powerful which caused too much heat within the skin causing loss of facial fat, which became noticeable around the eye and cheek areas. In the face,one does not want to remove too much fat in these areas because as we age naturally, we lose facial volume. So, what happened was many individuals had RF treatments around their eyes for "tightening" and in several months, they had sunken-in eye appearance from the excess shrinkage of fat which surrounds the eye. They looked worse.

    Home RF devices will not have the same power as medical. That would be dangerous and that would be a non-medical person practicing medicine without a license.

    LED Light therapy is based of light energy and not RF energy. They are different.

    Keep in mind, RF, radio frequency treatments do not address the visible surface of the skin. If someone is concerned about pigmentation, redness, comedones, acne, dryness, then one must consider peels, products, etc. to address the surface conditions.

  • November 2, 2009

    by marta

    Hello Elsa,
    Firstly, LED and RF (radio frequency) are different. I think they are both effective at a salon. But I haven't yet found a good RF device for at home use. Whist the Baby Quasar is LED and it is very good. If you are a subscriber to our newsletter, you can get a 10% discount on it at our shop:

  • November 1, 2009

    by Elsa

    Dear Marta

    I am in the process of 'finding' the funds to buy the Baby Quasar. Do you think I should wait because something better is coming on to the market or should I go ahead and buy it?



  • October 31, 2009

    by marta

    Kathy, it doesn't hurt at all. I can reveal that it is the Trio. See my <a href="" rel="nofollow">post on cellulite and the treatment</a> I had the other day (come to NYC, Ildi's offering 50% off for a short time!).

  • October 30, 2009

    by Kathy

    Marta, Did the RF treatment you had with Ildi hurt? I've had Thermage and it hurt like the dickens. Beyond which, it did NOTHING for me.
    So great, I paid all this money to be tortured and got no results.

    Tell us more about Ildi's machine when she is able to reveal its name.

  • October 10, 2009

    by Beth

    You are wonderful! Thanks, Marta!

  • October 10, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Beth, I'm trying to piece all this together, but this is what I have so far. Syneron uses elos technology in Velashape. We wrote about <a href="" rel="nofollow">Velashape getting a bad rap from doctors</a>. And I checked again on a website called <a href="" rel="nofollow">Medicalspa</a> and although some professionals liked it, most said it was useless and one admits that it took a year to learn how to use it and not burn patients. Here's a sample: "ELOS technology has put more med spas to rest than all other manufacturers combined. The number of ELOS systems on the used market is a strong indicator of these facts." Another says: "Matrix IF, non fractional skin rejunevator ( wrinkle reduction) hurts like @#$% but it works really well on my clients."

    Talking of painful. Thermage really hurts. <a href="" rel="nofollow">We wrote about Thermage</a> and the results don't seem to be worth it.

    If I were you, I'd get some <a href="" rel="nofollow">LED treatments</a>. Safe, not painful, work. And top up at home with a <a href="" rel="nofollow">Baby Quasar</a>.

    Good luck with the reunion. I'll bet you'll turn out to be slimmer and looking at least five years younger than the rest of them.

  • October 10, 2009

    by Beth

    Hi Marta,

    I have come to really trust TIA and your well-informed reports. So I'm turning to you to ask about something in Dr. Bone's interview ("Matrix" with Elos technology) and now "ReFirm" which I just learned about and seems to sport the same tech (

    Question: how is this different than Thermage? Should we be afraid that we're "cooking" our lower dermis and that's what's resulting in the tightening?

    Would really love to know. I have a reunion coming up ;-)


  • September 25, 2009

    by deb

    certainly Ildi's perogative not to share info. seems somewhat trite imo tho. seriously, what does she think is going to

  • September 16, 2009

    by Carol

    It sounds like we will have to wait to hear about radio the meantime, this is what I found out about microcurrents: studies performed at the University of Washington indicate a 14% increase in the production of natural collagen, a 48% increase in natural elastin production, and a 38% increase in blood circulation over the course of 20 days.
    Sounds really tempting...I may have to travel to another state for a treatment.

  • September 16, 2009

    by Marta

    Saw my esthetician today and she's not telling. Sorry.

  • September 16, 2009

    by deb

    hi Carol,

    in my small little town (all 3200 of us!) we do have a gal who has just started a small business built around "Beautiful Image". I'm very curious about "the rest of the story" from Marta.

  • September 15, 2009

    by Carol

    newbie here...just happened on your site. I have been investigating Beautiful Image for a few weeks.

    I purchased the NuFace tool (microcurrent) and sorry I cannot commit to that machine every night and the creams, etc that go along with the procedure. I'm sure if I saw fast results, I wouldn't mind the 10-15 minutes.

    Beautiful image has an impressive website with amazing results. When I contacted the company, there were no spas in my area that offered Beautiful Image treatments.

    Love to hear more about microcurrents and radio frequency treatments. It seems to be the upcoming "latest and greatest".

  • September 9, 2009

    by marta

    I'll be seeing Ildi next week, I'll see if can torture some information out of her.

  • September 9, 2009

    by deb

    Hi again,

    i'm waiting anxiously (as are my chins) for further information about this treatment.

    a salon recently opened in my area that offers "Beautiful Image" microcurrent technology, however, i am unclear as to the effectiveness of this alone.

    please give us an update on the whosits and whatsits of this newest anti-aging procedure and if "Beautiful Image" is a reputable machine with noticeable results.

    thanks in advance,


  • August 9, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Christine,
    Ildi asked me not to reveal the name of her machine just yet. All I can tell you is that isn't Thermage. It is one of the latest machines from Europe and she may be the first with it in the US. As soon as she gives me the go ahead, I'll post more info.

  • August 8, 2009

    by Christine

    Hi Marta, great post! I'm still a bit unclear on exactly what type of "radio frequency" Ilda is using... I'm an esthetician in Louisiana and we have always had access to "high frequency" ozone-generating pimple-zappers (which do use radio technology to kill bacteria in the pores)... however it sounds like what Ilda used on you is more like the new crop of RF tightening devices, such as Thermage. I haven't read enough of TIA to know whether Ilda works in a doctor's office or medi-spa, but as far as I know, the RF devices must be medically supervised in most or all US states. However if there is a milder form of RF (but still stronger than the home version) that is available to estheticians outside of a medical office, I'd love to know about it! Thanks again, Christine

  • August 7, 2009

    by marta

    Joon, sorry not to be clear. The primary treatment I was describing was radio frequency. However, the results are even better if followed by microcurrent.

  • August 7, 2009

    by deb

    please.....tell us more. i used to be able to count my chins on one hand.... :)

  • August 6, 2009

    by Cristina

    Are the results with home devices not as good because they don't heat up the skin as much? If you used a home model for a longer period of time, would you get similar results? Ans would that be true of any home version of a salon machine?
    If you had to pick one home machine, would you pick the Stop, Baby Quasar or Nuface (or something else)? I'm looking at those and they all sound wonderful...

  • August 6, 2009

    by Joon

    Im confused, did u try the microcurrent machine or the radio frequency machine?

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