What is ThermiSmooth Face?
ThermiSmooth Face is a radiofrequency (RF) energy treatment that’s intended to treat fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. It’s usually performed on the cheeks, around the mouth, and on the neck, but it can also treat the forehead and around the eyes.
How does ThermiSmooth work?
By transmitting radiofrequency energy as controlled heat into the dermis (the lower layer of the skin), ThermiSmooth causes the skin’s foundational collagen protein fibers to contract and triggers a natural inflammatory response that accelerates cell regeneration.
Collagen provides the skin with structure and elasticity, but its production slows with age, so skin becomes thinner, looser, and more crepey. Heat-based energy treatments like ThermiSmooth target collagen fibers and the cells that produce them (called fibroblasts). Skin becomes tighter, smoother, and more supple.
“The collagen in skin shrinks when heated to a sustained temperature greater than 40°C [or 104°F],” says Dr. Larry S. Nichter, a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California. “When the skin is heated to this level, this creates a physiologic process that stimulates fibroblasts to produce new collagen over time.”
Boosting collagen production is a gradual process, and it takes weeks, if not months, to see noticeable effects from new protein fibers and renewed cells.
To align with the rate of cell turnover and target all cells, an initial series of three to six ThermiSmooth Face treatment sessions, spaced two to four weeks apart, are recommended.
What is the procedure for ThermiSmooth Face treatment?
When you consult with your provider, you’ll discuss your treatment plan, including the areas you want to treat and the number of sessions you’re likely to need.
Each session lasts 30–45 minutes, and your provider will tailor it to your treatment goals, focusing on the areas of your face where you want to address laxity and lines.
After applying a gel that helps conduct heat safely, your provider touches the handheld ThermiSmooth Face device to the surface of your skin and sweeps it across the treatment area in a circular motion. Each area will be targeted for 5–15 minutes.
Radiofrequency energy is transmitted through the skin without breaking the surface. The device adjusts its temperature in response to your skin heating, maintaining a comfortable level of heat the whole time.
No anesthetic is needed. You can expect your treatment to feel like a warm massage, though you should let your provider know if it feels too hot so they can adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.
Side effects include minor redness and swelling, but you should be able to continue with your day post-treatment, with no recovery required.
When will you see ThermiSmooth results?
You may notice some tightening immediately after your treatment session, given the heat-induced contraction of collagen fibers. Results will improve with every treatment session, and it typically takes three to six months to see full results. After your initial series of treatments, you can maintain your results with follow-ups every 9–12 months.
How long do ThermiSmooth results last?
The benefits of ThermiSmooth® can last a year or more.
Is ThermiSmooth permanent?
Many patients wonder if this treatment is permanent. As a simple answer, we would class this treatment as semi-permanent. Not unlike semi-permanent hair dye, this treatment does require some upkeep to continue to see the same results.
What are the pros and cons of ThermiSmooth Face?
- There’s no downtime after a ThermiSmooth skin tightening treatment, so you can resume your daily activities immediately.
- The nonsurgical treatment is pain-free—all you’ll feel is some warmth.
- ThermiSmooth is safe for all skin tones: because it heats only the skin below the surface, there’s no risk of hyperpigmentation or scarring.
- ThermiSmooth results are subtle compared to more aggressive surgical skin tightening options, like a facelift or brow lift. A review of literature on radiofrequency for skin rejuvenation found that while 96% of studies reported positive results, only 44% actually showed a statistically significant difference.
- To yield noticeable, long-term results, you’ll need multiple initial treatment sessions, followed by yearly maintenance sessions.
- For overall skin rejuvenation, you may need treatments that complement ThermiSmooth Face. While it addresses firmness and elasticity, you won’t see an increase in volume or improved brightness, as you might achieve with injectable fillers or laser resurfacing, respectively.