What is the best radiofrequency treatment for cellulite?

Radio frequency: the ultimate technology for skin tightening and for the treatment of cellulite

Radiofrequency is widely accepted as being the most effective cellulite reduction and skin tightening technology available today, for both face and body. It is far superior to lasers, which do not penetrate anywhere near as deep as radiofrequency does.

By applying intensive heat on collagen and fat cells, radiofrequency helps increase skin tightness, reduce fat and boost circulation, thereby improving the contour and texture of body and face for applications such as cellulite removal, skin tightening and lifting and facial rejuvenation.

How to choose a radio frequency treatment

  • Not all radio frequency cellulite treatments are the same

  • If aesthetic practitioners and doctors don't know, then how are you, as consumer, supposed to know?

  • What determines the efficacy of a radiofrequency treatment?

    • Bipolar, tripolar, tetrapolar, octipolar, multipolar, unipolar or monopolar radio frequency function

    • Radiofrequency current frequency, in kHz or MHz

    • Resistive or capacitive radiofrequency

    • Maximum RF power, in watts

    • Radiofrequency with power modulation, in Hz

    • Radiofrequency with cooling mechanism

    • Radiofrequency treatment contact gel/cream used

    • Adjustable RF equipment settings

    • Simultaneous combination of radio frequency with other modalities, such as ultrasound and infrared light

    • Radiofrequency treatment protocol design by the head therapist at the clinic/salon

    • Operator experience and specialisation

  • Get the best possible RF treatment by asking the right questions

    • What frequency does your machine use?

    • What is the maximum power of your equipment?

    • Is this treatment resistive or capacitive RF?

    • Is the treatment bipolar, monopolar, tripolar etc?

    • How does the treatment work?

    • How many sessions do I need and how often?

  • Get the strongest radio frequency treatment in London

  • 60+ expert tips on skin tightening and cellulite removal

Not all radio frequency cellulite treatments are the same

Radiofrequency is widely accepted as being the most effective cellulite reduction and skin tightening technology available today, for both face and body. It is far superior to lasers, which do not penetrate anywhere near as deep as radiofrequency does.

By applying intensive heat on collagen and fat cells, radiofrequency helps increase skin tightness, reduce fat and boost circulation, thereby improving the contour and texture of body and face.

However, not all radiofrequency treatments are the same: effectiveness can range from almost zero to impressive. There are hundreds of radiofrequency machines on the market, for both home and professional use.

With such variability in technology (in addition to the variability in therapist training and treatment creams or gels (which also play a very important role), the following question arises: how can a customer know which treatment is the best?

This is a very common question that I hear from prospective clients, as they are confused by conflicting information from both the press and from clinics and salons. Predictably, everyone claims their treatment or equipment is the best. 

 

If aesthetic practitioners and doctors don't know, then how are customers supposed to know?

Unfortunately, as a simple customer you can't know what is the best equipment - not at least without technical knowledge.

Most therapists, including most doctors, do not know how to choose a good machine. They just go according to the sales pitch or according to how famous the equipment is. But fame and sales blurb are not accurate ways to judge a piece of equipment.

For example, the most famous cellulite equipment on the market simply "doesn't work", yet it still keeps selling like hot cakes - both in terms of machine sales and treatment sales.

I go to professional exhibitions and I see that 95% of sales people cannot even give me any technical specs on the equipment they themselves sell. And of course 95% of buyers do not ask any technical questions, because they do not have much technical knowledge, so they don’t even know what questions to ask. They just follow the herd, to put it bluntly.

Most salon and clinic buyers cannot even understand the specifications. They depend on popularity/fame, "what the competition does", dodgy "evidence", reviews (most of which are fake) and "before and after photos" (95% of which are obviously fake, to anyone with basic knowledge of photography, light or Photoshop).

I was once shown some blatantly fake before and after photos by a sales rep from one of the top selling RF machines and could not hide my anger for his attempt to con me and my clients).

At the end of the day, if the the consumer makes a decision based on fake before and after photos can lose £1000 or £2000. When a professional is misled, they can lose £30000 or £50,000 or £70,000. In my case, if I was to believe the marketing BS I would buy a worthless piece of equipment for £55,000, and then I would try to make that wasted money off my customers, which in turn would waste them £1000-£2000. Of course I wouldn’t do it, but that’s what happens every day all around the world.

Of course, I didn’t. But the marketing blurb is strong and the temptation to offer the latest highly marketed equipment is big - who doesn’t want to offer the best to their clients?

So, if therapists / doctors do not know how to choose, how can you? Well, you may not become an expert in radiofrequency, but with the guide I am going to offer you below you will know all the right questions to ask before booking a session.


What determines the efficacy of a radiofrequency treatment?

There are hundreds of RF machines on the market today, and they all vary in power and other specifications, so not all radiofrequency treatments are the same. Radio frequency treatment effectiveness for cellulite reduction and skin tightening/lifting depends on the following very important factors:

 

Bipolar, tripolar, tetrapolar, octapolar, multipolar, unipolar or monopolar radio frequency function

This mainly determines the penetration depth of the treatment. Bipolar radiofrequency is very superficial, while monopolar radiofrequency may be able to target deeper tissues, depending on other settings.

There are also machines that offer so-called tripolar, quadripolar, octipolar or other multipolar options. However all these machines are in essence bipolar machines and thereby very superficial, contrary to all the marketing hype. As you may remember from school physics, there are only two electrical poles, plus (+) and minus(-). There are no three, four or eight electrical poles. Just two.

However, a lot depends on all the other settings on this list, and ultimately on the knowledge of the person that will design your treatment protocols.

 

Radiofrequency current frequency, in kHz or MHz

This mainly has to do with what kind of tissues the treatment affects. Higher frequencies tend to affect more superficial tissues (but this is not absolute - it depends on all other factors presented here).

 

Resistive or capacitive radio frequency

Resistive/capacitive RF function primarily determines if the treatment is deep or superficial. Resistive RF is generally deeper than capacitive RF, which is usually very superficial.

 

Maximum radio frequency power, in watts

Higher intensity means better treatment, but too high intensity may also cause irritation or even damage. A good therapist will be able to treat at just the right intensity maintaining a fine balance between both effectiveness and comfort/safety.

Most machines, however, have such low settings that necessitate 90’ or even 120’ per area, when a good machine would just need 40’ to achieve the same result. Some machines have such low power (or are so superficial), that are ineffective regardless of how many hours you use them.

 

Radiofrequency with power modulation, in Hz

This allows high intensities to be used without overheating the tissues

 

radio frequency with cooling mechanism

This allows the surface of the skin to remain unaffected while deeper tissues are heated intensely. It can be indispensable with more superficial technologies (i.e. the majority of RF technologies) to avoid skin burning,

 

Radiofrequency treatment contact gel/cream used

This allows the current to pass through the skin but also affects the quality of the treatment itself by altering the characteristics of the current as it passes though the cream/gel and into the skin.

Furthermore, 90% of such radiofrequency treatment products are inert, or as I want to call them, “empty”. This means that they contain no active ingredients, or very little of them. However, if they do contain a decent number, quality and concentration of actives, they can actually boost treatment effectiveness by 30% or more.

 

Adjustable RF equipment settings

Some machines allow the operator to adjust many different parameters. Others have very simplistic controls - which is not very helpful. This leads to crude treatment.

 

Simultaneous combination of radiofrequency with other modalities

RF can be combined with cavitation (good idea, as cavitation also stimulates fat release), vacuum suction (very bad idea, as vacuum stretches the skin), infrared LEDs (largely pointless) etc.

 

RF treatment protocol design by the head therapist at the clinic/salon

Usually the head therapist of the salon/clinic creates the basic protocol to be followed for each client or for all clients. Even the best equipment in the world will not be put to its best use if the person that sets the parameters and designs the treatment does not have a good knowledge of the biophysics of radiofrequency treatment (unfortunately this is non-existent in the beauty industry)...

Furthermore, customised protocols for each client will be more effective than one-size-fits all protocols.

 

Operator experience and specialisation

Usually the operator does not necessarily need to have a good knowledge of the biophysics of the treatment, as the protocols are designed by the head therapist, but experience is very important.

A very busy clinic where hundreds of RF treatments are provided every month allows its staff to gain more experience on the treatment and provide better results. Aclinic that offers a myriad other treatments will not facilitate specialisation and experience in radio frequency.

Also, specialisation on a specific type of RF treatment (e.g. face, body, bipolar, monopolar, resistive, capacitive etc.) can play an important role. 

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Get the best possible radio frequency treatment by asking the right questions

If done properly, radiofrequency is the single most effective skin tightening and anti-cellulite technology available today.

However, RF treatments come in all shapes and sizes and can range from anything between simply ineffective to impressively effective, given that there are more than ten different factors that affect treatment effectiveness and efficiency.

Furthermore, there are hundreds of radiofrequency/cavitation machines on the market with varying levels of specification and there are thousands of such treatment providers, also with very different levels of expertise, training and experience.

Even with the same equipment, each operator provides a different treatment, according to their knowledge, experience and limitations of the equipment, therefore it can be said that there are thousands of different radiofrequency/cavitation treatments available today.

Depending on press reviews or instagram hype is not advised, as most such reviews are fake and/or written by people with no knowledge of the technology, so these reviews will usually mislead you instead of enlightening you...

And before and after photos are frequently faked with photoshop or lighting tricks, so these are not always to be trusted either.

So it is important to ask the person who is selling you the treatment a few questions, based on the above information. This will offer you important clues about the quality of the treatment you are about to receive and help you decide by the answers you receive whether you would like to invest your head-earned cash in them or not.

Sample questions can be:

  • What frequency does your equipment use?

  • What is the maximum power of your equipment?

  • Is this treatment resistive or capacitive RF?

  • Is the treatment bipolar, monopolar, tripolar etc?

  • How does the treatment work? (if they start talking about “toxins” and “melting the fat”, run!)

  • How many sessions do I need and how often? (normally 5-10 weekly sessions are needed; if they promise results with one session or with 2-3 monthly sessions, you know they are trying to take you for a ride)

It is easy to assess the expertise available at salon/clinic by judging the quality of answers you receive to the above questions: if nobody at the clinic/salon has a clue what you are talking about or how to answer those questions, then you know that the clinic or salon you visited are not worth spending your money on. And the same applies if they make promises of a “body transformation” in one session or similarly worded miracle promises.

On the other hand, if your therapist can answer those questions confidently, and propose a treatment based on the above specifications, then it is most probably worth committing to a course of treatments, always combining it with lifestyle changes (healthy eating, exercise, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption etc) and a good cellulite cream in order to achieve maximum results.

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Get an expert radiofrequency cellulite treatment at LipoTherapeia in London

Check our intensive cellulite treatments in London:

You may also wish to check our highly concentrated cellulite creams:

This entire website is dedicated to cellulite reduction and skin tightening, but a good starting point is our extensive, 60+ tip guide on how to beat cellulite and tighten your skin: