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Image of a woman touching her face representing RF skin tightening

Facial facts – the lowdown on RF skin tightening

Written by
Chloë James

Much like scented candles and hot baths, people tend to think of facials as an indulgent form of self-care. This may be partly true – who doesn’t love an excuse to just lie down for an hour? – but for our skin, they mean so much more. There’s a facial out there to remedy all our complexion’s concerns, and some of the most powerful are armed with the same secret weapon: radiofrequency.

The key to its skin transforming magic? Heat. The energy produced by radiofrequency energy is what makes treatments like Thermage, Morpheus8, Vivace, or any kind of RF microneedling so good at tightening and lifting. But how does it work? What can you expect from your treatment? And – most importantly – just how much can it tighten our skin?

Find a clinic or practitioner near you and enjoy a risk-free booking process thanks to free in-clinic consultations and the option to pay in-clinic. Also, you can now split the cost of your treatment into four equal, interest-free instalments using Tabby.

What is RF skin tightening?

Everyone’s skin sags with time. Some causes are avoidable – such as unprotected sun exposure or a diet high in sugar – but the reality is that we all start to lose precious collagen and elastin as we age. And with these two responsible for keeping skin strong and flexible, it’s inevitable that it starts to thin or droop during this process.

What radiofrequency does is trick the body into producing more collagen and elastin. The heat of radiofrequency energy ‘injures’ your cells, which makes the body think it needs to produce more collagen and elastin to heal. Skin is left feeling and looking both stronger and tighter than before (hence ‘RF skin tightening’).

What should I expect?

Nothing too dramatic. Unlike surgical skin tightening methods, you can waltz in and out of your RF skin tightening procedure with zero downtime.

That’s because all you really need to do for RF skin tightening is lie down and wait. During your treatment, the practitioner uses a handheld device to emit radiofrequencies into the dermis (AKA the middle layer of your skin).

Depending on how big of an area you’re treating, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Regardless of the size, it should feel the same – kind of like a warm massage. Your skin is often covered with a cooling ultrasound gel ahead of time to keep you as comfortable as possible, and if you’re really nervous you can always opt for numbing cream.

Results are immediate – but they don’t last forever. Your initial treatment should give you tighter skin for a few weeks, but this duration gets longer and longer with every repeat session. Most people need between three to six, and you’ll probably need an annual – or biannual – maintenance session to enjoy your results year-round.

What can it treat?

Loose skin

This is probably the most obvious concern to tackle with RF skin tightening. Used around the face and neck, it provides a great non-surgical alternative to a facelift. It can also be used on more specific areas, such as the cheeks or underneath the eyes.

Jawline definition

A sharper jawline doesn’t always require surgery. Radiofrequency can tighten and lift the skin around your jaw, reducing the appearance of jowls and contouring the lower portion of the face. This is usually combined with microneedling for maximum impact.

Body contouring

No, radiofrequency can’t get rid of unwanted fat. What it can do, however, is tighten up areas like the stomach, arms, or thighs. This can make a big difference if you’re struggling with loose or crepey skin after weight loss, or if you’ve noticed signs of aging on various parts of the body, such as the hands.

Fine lines and wrinkles

Less collagen equals thinner, more delicate skin. This kind of skin doesn’t bounce back as well when we make facial expressions – which is what leaves us with fine lines and wrinkles. Restoring collagen can help tighten and plump affected areas, restoring – or improving – its texture.

Sun damage

One surprising benefit of RF skin tightening is that it may even improve sun damage. Spending time in the sun’s UV rays (especially if it’s without SPF) breaks down collagen. Skin is left weaker and more vulnerable to all kinds of damage, such as hyperpigmentation. But when RF gets involved, the surge in collagen can help reduce or balance out the impact.

RF skin tightening in a nutshell

If you’re on a mission to treat loose skin, radiofrequency makes for a decent gameplan. It’s powerful, effective, and you can enjoy rapid results. Just remember to factor in your maintenance plan – and the fact that you’ll need to support your skin with the usual strengthening staples, such as SPF – and you’re good to go.

*Terms and conditions: The gift card should be used before the end of the card validity period (which shall occur 12 months counted as from the date of purchase). Upon the expiry date, the gift card will become invalid for use. The gift card can be used for any treatment including special offers and with any clinic listed on If the value of the treatment is less than the gift card value you will loose the remaining balance. The gift card cannot be spread across multiple bookings, cannot be combined with other promo codes, and cannot be redeemed for cash.