The “shocks” (naturally harmless and painless) are very popular in the world of beauty. In fact, they have long since entered the beauty routine of many women thanks to the advent of technological devices for use at home. And it seems that micro-currents are the most requested. The market research company Euromonitor ranked the world’s number one brand for i beauty device systems the brand Nu Skin, appreciated for the system AgeLoc which exploits galvanic currents to attenuate the signs of aging, so much so that faithful consumers consider it the “wrinkle ironer” par excellence.
For those who do not like to dabble with these tools, aesthetic medicine clinics and beauty institutes offer treatments that use this kind of current to improve the skin conditions of the face: radio frequency and high frequency. Even if they are often assimilated with the conviction that they are synonymous with each other due to the mistaken belief that they act in the same way, in reality between the two methods there are abysmal differences precisely in the mechanism of action and purpose. Let’s try to clarify with two experts.
The radiofrequency that rejuvenates the face
“It is a minimally invasive technique not to be confused with its derivations such as fractional radiofrequency and fractional quadripolar dynamics: compared to these methods it produces neither lesions nor skin wounds”, he begins Roberto Grella, surgeon specializing in plastic surgery Luigi Vanvitelli University of Naples and National Councilor of SICPRE, Italian Society of Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
“The medical equipment used by the aesthetic doctor offers the possibility of modulating both the frequency, which can exceed 50 Watts, and the intensity”. The electrical impulses are conveyed into the skin tissues by means of special handpieces, with a smooth surface, which the expert slides on the skin of the face, neck and décolleté after applying a gel. “Crossing the tissues, the shocks generate heat in the deep dermis, causing a thermal shock that reorganizes the collagen and elastin fibers: these react by becoming immediately shorter, making the skin appear tense and compact.“. The action of heat, then, is not limited to this: it induces an inflammatory reaction that stimulates the fibroblasts to produce new collagen and glycosaminoglycans, fibers constituting the subcutaneous tissue and responsible for the turgor of the epidermis. Finally, thermal energy increases local blood flow, producing greater oxygenation and nourishment of skin cells ». These are sophisticated equipment in continuous evolution and the subject of constant studies. The latest born is called NuEra Tight with technology FocalRF from Lumenis which even uses 5 different frequencies to control the depth of energy penetration by specifically heating specific skin layers. The goal is to further customize the treatment not only to make facial wrinkles less evident, but also to reduce subcutaneous fat that aggravates the areas of the body with cellulite.
The results are striking, so much so that we talk about the “lifting effect without a scalpel”. The wrinkles around the eyes are smoothed out, the face contour is redefined, the skin is taut and lifted, the cheekbones are higher and the wrinkles in the neck are erased. “It works very well on mature, dull and marked skin, while on young skin it is almost superfluous”, underlines Grella. Besides, it’s not a treatment for everyone. “AND prohibited during pregnancy, in case of couperose, for pacemaker wearers and in the presence of neurological diseases“. Each session costs about 150 euros, and to obtain appreciable results a cycle of 4-10 sessions is recommended, to be repeated once a year.
The high frequency that improves the absorption of cosmetics
«The best equipped beauty salons use special machines that deliver current frequencies below 50 Watts, therefore milder than those used in medical clinics, with pre-set, fixed and non-modifiable programs.»Begins Grella. “It does not produce heat and acts essentially on the superficial layers of the skin with an immediate illuminating action, and is essentially used as a carrier of the active ingredients contained in cosmetics”, he explains Marika Cangelosi, beautician and trainer for 2G Beauty Communication. The high frequency has an electro-osmotic action that facilitates the absorption of the active ingredients. «To perfect the treatment, a targeted cosmetic is applied whose active ingredients penetrate more easily precisely due to the effect of micro-currents. For example, a moisturizing hyaluronic acid-based specialty is used for normal skin. But be careful, cosmetics with soothing agents can be used in the case of sensitive skin or sebum-balancing if it is mixed, but this method does not cure acne, an inflammation that requires the intervention of a dermatologist “, concludes the expert. It absolutely is contraindicated in case of very sensitive complexion or subject to couperose or rosacea and the suggestion is to always rely on adequately trained and experienced operators. Costs range from 50 to 80 euros per session to be repeated throughout the year as needed.