Leg day. Arm day. Abs day. It might be time to add face day to your workout calendar. The face is home to about 20 flat skeletal muscles that can weaken by 3 to 8 percent per decade after the age of 30. “As we age, collagen degrades, elasticity is diminished and the basal muscular tone of the facial muscles weaken, which ultimately diminishes the architectural structure of youthful appearance,” explains Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist.
In recent years, facial workouts using manual massage techniques and tools such as jade rollers have become popular methods of toning and sculpting the area. Now a new non-invasive procedure called EMFACE—a sister treatment of the popular body toning device EMSCULPT—targets facial muscles on a whole other level.
The needle-free device “combines radio frequency with HIFES-brand muscle stimulation to tighten and tone the muscles that elevate the face,” says Jennifer Levine, MD, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Beyond the muscles, it’s also able to treat the deeper layers of skin tissue to boost collagen and improve elasticity. This two-in-one approach—technology that simultaneously targets facial muscles and skin—has never been done before according to Dr. Levine who says, “it addresses concerns of the aging face in a novel way without pain or downtime.”
Unlike manual sculpting methods and topical firming products, EMFACE is able to make long-term structural improvements to the face and quality of the skin. The device targets specific muscle groups including those that elevate the eyebrows (the frontalis) as well as those that raise the corners of the mouth (the zygomaticus major and minor). “The muscle structure improves after the treatment so the face will look more lifted and toned,” explains Dr. Levine. The treatment can be used for a variety of results—to create a lateral brow lift, add facial definition and contouring of the cheeks, define the jawline, and address asymmetry. “The radio frequency component can help with [rebuilding] collagen and elastin, which also helps with wrinkles,” she adds.
This preventative, corrective, and/or restorative treatment is so versatile, it can benefit a wide range of age groups. “It can be used by itself in younger patients and in combination with other treatments [like fillers and toxins] in older patients looking for the most natural and proactive approach to reversing the signs of aging,” says Dr. Frank.
At this point, you might be wondering how it actually works. Here’s the deal: Adhesive EMFACE applicators are placed on various muscles of your face, and a grounding pad is attached to your back to ensure safe delivery of the radio frequency. HIFES-brand muscle stimulation selectively activates and contracts individual facial muscles as the device delivers radio frequency to heat the dermis and remodel collagen and elastin. “The procedure feels slightly warm and like fingers raking on the top of your head,” says Dr. Levine. “You will also feel the corners of your mouth raising.” From start to finish, the treatment lasts just 20 minutes, and is typically done in a four-session series with visits spaced five to ten days apart.
While you may notice an immediate difference, optimal results are seen in 12 weeks. “Although the effects are long-lasting, maintenance treatments are recommended and vary depending on one’s age and desired result,” notes Dr. Frank.
Whatever effect you choose to use it for, EMFACE is, in the words of Dr. Levine, “truly is the face of the future.”
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