Radiofrequency microneedling review: the what, why, before and after
Microneedling with RF first came onto my radar on my Advanced Aesthetician’s Instagram feed. I’ve been doing microneedling with Kevini for years and trust her with my skin so of course as soon as I saw this non-invasive procedure I wanted to try it but I had lots of questions first. The pricing’s a lot steeper than regular microneedling but is it worth it? What’s the difference between regular and microneedling with radiofrequency? What does it actually do? Does it work? After my experience with the plasma pen I’m always nervous about trying new things and the possible side effects and downtime. So after a lot of research on the pros, cons, possible side effects and reading reviews which were mainly favorable I decided to go for it. Here’s my experience with it and the before and after photos after the recommended 3 sessions.
I paid in full for these treatments, this is not a sponsored post but an honest review and my personal experience*.
Sorry the top before photo is a bit blurry as it’s a video screenshot but it was the best example of the lines around my eyes. Versus the after photo below.
What’s Microneedling with RF
Let’s start with the obvious question, what is microneedling with radiofrequency:
RF, or radiofrequency microneedling, is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scarring, and sagging skin.
Dr Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
It’s supposed to be good for treating various skin conditions and signs of aging including:
- Reducing fine lines
- Decreasing pore size
- Skin tightening not just for the face but also the body
- Acne scars
- Stretch marks
- Uneven skin tone
But does it live up to it’s promises…
Why did I choose to do Microneedling with radiofrequency
If you read the blog you know that I’ve been trying everything to try and help the lines around my eyes. Living in Portugal and the Caribbean for nearly a decade and having sunbathed way more than I should (shhh) wreaked havoc on my skin like deep crows feet and my chicken pox scars have always bugged me. Along with a fairly new biopsy scar that’s visible in some swimwear and necklines.
I was doing regular microneedling for my skin discoloration, scars and fine lines. While it did wonders for my sun damage and I love the glow it gives skin a couple of weeks later it wasn’t really working on the lines around my eyes and my scars. Which is why I wanted to try the radiofrequency since it works on a deeper level and is supposed to be better at treating scars too while having minimal downtime.
What’s the difference between regular and RF microneedling?
Microneedling with radiofrequency energy works on a deeper level than regular microneedling to aid the rejuvenation process. Both Both microneedling procedures use ultrafine needles but the RF treatment uses LED lights that emit radiofrequency waves. These waves create thermal AKA heat energy which is supposed to trigger a wound response which is turn is said to encourage the body to produce collagen to repair the trauma.
From what I’ve read, RF Microneedling needles puncture the skin to about 3 millimeters deep vs microneedling needles which range from 0.5-0.75mm for collagen induction therapy up to around 3mm for scars. At home microneedling devices only go to about 0.25mm.
I’ve done lots of microneedling with Kevini over the years (photos below), you can learn more about regular microneedling here and have always loved the results. It’s one of those things I like to do at the end of Summer to help with any sun damage and to get fresh skin ready for my Winter skincare routine.
What happens during the RF microneedling treatment?
After thoroughly cleansing my skin, Kevini applied a topical anesthetic to the treatment area and let it sit for about 30 minutes before starting the procedure. Once it was numb she started on a small area to test the levels before needling the whole area.
The intensity of the treatment can be increased or decreased (depth of the needle penetration and amount of radiofrequency) depending on your pain threshold and results you’re looking for. We went deeper on areas with scarring and lighter on areas where I was more sensitive.
How long does the procedure take?
It depends on how big an area you have done. I had my entire face, neck and decolletage done. The entire treatment including the 30 minute wait for the numbing to take effect was around an hour.
Does microneedling with RF hurt?
It shouldn’t be really painful if you’ve been numbed really well. Did I find it painless? No. Was it excruciating? No. Could it be? yes. The reason I say that is because we all feel pain differently and have different pain thresholds.
If they have the machine turned up to high for your personal pain level it’s probably going to hurt so just communicate with your Aesthetician. I like mine to go to the top of my comfort level to be able to get the desired results.
Each area is done so quickly though, so the pain is really temporary. Some areas were definitely more sensitive than others. Once the needling stopped I was no longer in pain. She prepared me to feel tight and hot afterwards which it definitely did for the rest of the day. By the next day all heat and discomfort had gone.
Is RF microneedling better than regular microneedling?
When it comes to Radiofrequency VS regular microneedling it’s not really one of those treatments where it’s either or. Most Aestheticians will recommend doing both to get the best results.
While they both use needles, the results have been very different for me. With traditional microneedling (without RF) I tend to peel and be left with glowing skin and it definitely helped with my sun spots and discoloration which haven’t returned.
The RF treatments didn’t do that at all, but instead worked much better on my fine lines and scars than without radiofrequency. There was also less downtime as I didn’t peel.
How many sessions of RF microneedling do you need?
Aesthetician’s tend to recommend 3-4 sessions spaced 4-8 weeks apart. The reason they want you to space them apart is to allow your skin to fully heal between sessions.
Because I couldn’t schedule perfectly due to being in Europe all Summer my 3 sessions were on:
- June 3rd
- August 9th (9.5 weeks later)
- September 25th (6.5 weeks later)
We might do a final blast of my scars but I was self-tanning over the holidays and I’ve been using retinol in my Winter skincare and you need to avoid both before the treatment. You can read more about the pre and post care here.
How long does microneedling with RF last?
The results can take 3-6 months to notice as it takes time for the collagen repair process to be noticeable.
However, my Aesthetician Kevini told me that doesn’t mean it needs to be done every year. For my skin she recommended doing the RF every 5 or so years and then the regular microneedling sessions every year to maintain the results. Which is also a lot kinder on the bank account too!
It’s probably different for everyone, so ask your skincare provider for their personal recommendation for you.
How long does it take to see results from RF microneedling?
The results should last for up to a year. More details above.
Does microneedling with RF really work?
It definitely worked for me as an effective treatment for the areas that were bugging me. I notice a difference in the lines around my eyes, the depth of my scars and the reduction in my pore size the most. I’m probably the only one who notices the pore size but I love how much smoother my skin looks with foundation on.
Did it make my skin baby smooth and completely wrinkle free, no. It’s not a miracle worker. However, it did make a visible difference to me at least. Have a look at my before and after photos below and decide for yourself. It is what I consider expensive though, so it’s not a treatment that I’ll be doing every year.
How often should you do RF microneedling?
Talk to your Aesthetician for their personal recommendation. I’m going to have mine done every 5-10 years and then do the regular collagen induction therapy annually to try to maintain the results as much as possible.
Who knows, in 5 years the treatment will probably have advanced to something new anyway and I’m always looking for the latest technology to try and help with my skin concerns and encourage new collagen production.
How much downtime do I need for RF microneedling?
For me I was fine going out in public after a few hours and the redness had subsided. However, it was basically only 48 hours for the redness to full subside but read your providers post care advice. As it will tell you how long before you can wear makeup, workout, return to normal activities, tan, use a sauna and retinol, etc.
Is RF microneedling better than Botox?
They don’t do the same, so they’re not really comparable. While it’s not going to have the same instant effects as botox, the effects should last longer. I also didn’t find the results as dramatic on my forehead as botox but since botox no longer works for me this is the best solution I’ve found.
What will my face look like after RF microneedling?
This is what I looked like after mine. I was hardly red at all after the 1st treatment. I was redder and had a few marks after the 2nd and 3rd sessions as we went deeper and more intense with the treatment. After 48 hours I was pretty much back to normal.
Microneedling with RF Before and After photos
These are my before and after photos of the final results of the treated area as well as photos after each of the treatments.
Before and after first treatment, before and after 2nd treatment, before after 3rd treatment, 6 months later
How much does RF microneedling cost?
This varies greatly from provider to provider, how big an area you have done, the number of treatments and where you live.
Would I do it again
Yes, absolutely as I saw a significant improvement and I liked how little downtime there was but I won’t be doing it again for a while as she said it wasn’t necessary. I’d probably have it done more often if pricing wasn’t a factor.
Where to find Kevini
Kevini is a Licensed Advanced Aesthetician and the owner of Current – A Skin Clinic LLC in Las Vegas. You can learn all about her services and book her here. If you use code EVE when booking, she’ll give you $100 OFF.
*Experiences and results may vary from client to client.
More skincare and anti aging treatments and reviews
From regular microneedling to Plasma pen treatments, I’ve been trying every alternative to botox under the sun as it doesn’t work for me. Here’s what’s been going on, the pros, cons, and the results: