One of my favorite things about being a beauty editor is getting to test non-invasive beauty treatments, like microneedling and acne scar-erasing lasers, before they become available to the public. So when I got an email back in August with an opportunity to try Emface, a new facial procedure from BTL (the makers of the popular body toning treatment Emsculpt), I was incredibly excited to test, since it's being touted as a needle-free filler replacement that leaves your face more sculpted, tighter, and toned.
Even my dermatologist friends were referring to the treatment as "revolutionary" and "a game-changer," especially for people who want to enhance their appearance in a more natural way and without needles or downtime. So I promptly scheduled my series of appointments with plastic surgeon Yael Halaas, MD, at her practice in New York City, and now, about four months later, I'm fully seeing the Emface results.
What is Emface?
Emface is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes a combination of HIFES (high-intensity facial electrical stimulation) and radiofrequency technology to improve facial muscle density and stimulate collagen and elastin production, says Dr. Halaas. "As of right now, it's the only device that can address and reverse the two main causes of aging—loss of facial muscle tone and loss of collagen."
So how exactly does Emface work? In short, the HIFES contracts your forehead and cheek muscles with an electromagnetic current to elevate and lift facial tissue, while the RF technology uses heat energy to prompt a wound-healing response in your skin. This process increases collagen and elastin, the two main protein's responsible for keeping baby-soft and plump.
What are the benefits of Emface?
Emface has a ton of benefits: It creates lift, restores volume, and reduces fine lines in the face, says Dr. Halaas. "It also tones underlying facial muscles to provide an overall refreshed, tighter, smoother complexion." Dr. Halaas also says Emface can lift your brows and make cheekbones looks more prominent, which were definitely the two most noticeable benefits I experienced after my round of treatments.
How is Emface different than filler or Botox?
Historically, if you wanted to lift and sculpt your facial features or smooth fine lines, you'd need to head to a derm for a neurotoxin (like Botox or Xeomin) and/or filler. Emface is said to create these same filler-like effects in a more natural way—and without the use of needles. Fillers inject hyaluronic acid into the face to add volume and lift, while Emface strengthens facial muscles to add volume and lift. Botox paralyzes facial muscles to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming, while Emface uses RF heat to smooth lines and forehead wrinkles.
For what it's worth, I've tried all three: Botox, filler, and now Emface. And while I *do* think Emface produces comparable results to Botox and filler, it's significantly more subtle. Botox straight-up eliminates my forehead lines. Emface softened them. I've only tried cheek filler once and it made my cheekbones look more voluminous, while Emface just made them look more lifted. Personally, I prefer the result from Emface—it looks less puffy than filler.
Unlike Botox and filler (Botox kicks in about a week post-treatment and the results from filler are nearly instant), Emface takes some time before you see a noticeable difference in your skin (think: a few months). Collagen building and muscle strengthening is a long game, and I didn't really notice a difference until after my third treatment, with the results being more and more noticeable as the weeks went on. On average, Emface results peak about 90 days after your last session and continue to improve with time.
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