Whether it’s a perfectly tailored item of clothing or a commissioned artwork, getting something customized always feels special. Why shouldn’t the opportunity extend to your skin? Bespoke in-office treatments are becoming increasingly popular, and one in particular has dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and their patients talking of late: Potenza RF microneedling.
“As a plastic surgeon, I’m always looking for ways to create beauty in an efficient manner,” says Jay Calvert, a board-certified plastic surgeon who is based in Beverly Hills, California. Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling is among those he chooses. “Radiofrequency energy is great for tightening the skin*, and microneedling is an effective way to revitalize it through the penetration of ultrafine needles,” he says. “Combining the two helps create a tight and refreshed appearance.”
While RF microneedling is nothing new, the treatment recently got a major upgrade with Potenza, a technology that allows for more customization than was previously available. And because it’s well tolerated, with limited side effects such as pinpoint bleeding, swelling, redness, or irritation, it can be done virtually anywhere on the body, at any time of year.
Ahead, find out more about this groundbreaking process, including specific benefits, what to expect during a procedure, and how long it takes.
What exactly is RF microneedling?
A brief history lesson: “The first recorded use of microneedling was in the early 1900s, and technology has significantly evolved,” says Calvert. “With the advancement of automation and the combination with radiofrequency, RF microneedling is now a straightforward, minimally invasive technique that delivers impactful results.”
The treatment works by jump-starting the body’s own collagen-regeneration process. “Creating small, controlled needle punctures in skin, combined with the thermal heat of radiofrequency energy, triggers the body’s natural healing response to stimulate collagen and elastin production,” Calvert explains. “This tightens the skin* and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
What sets Potenza apart from other RF microneedling treatments?
It starts with the depth of the needles themselves. “Many different topicals are used with RF microneedling today,” says Calvert. But with other microneedling devices, “less than 5 percent of these applied medications reaches the target depth under the skin barrier.”
Potenza’s Fusion tip, in contrast, penetrates topicals 67 percent deeper into the dermis with its unique dual-air chamber, and also allows customization. “The four RF modes allow you to treat a larger variety of conditions, both superficial and deep,” explains the plastic surgeon. Potenza has more than 10 other treatment tips to choose from as well, which Calvert says allow him to tailor experiences to each patient’s particular concerns.
Why is customized RF microneedling so next-level?
While many treatments can be personalized to some extent, Potenza expands the range of options significantly. “No two patients are alike,” Calvert points out, adding that different areas of the skin also have unique sensitivities—for example, around the eyes compared with the lower jowls and neck. “The versatility that Potenza presents, by allowing me to control the speed and needle depth to customize for different faces, shapes, and body parts, is a huge benefit.”
What skin concerns does Potenza address?
How much time do you have? “The face isn’t the only concern,” says the plastic surgeon. “Whether a patient has a textural concern, loss of elasticity with age, or skin degradation due to environmental or free-radical damage, Potenza offers a multitude of solutions.” Examples of other areas the treatment can help with include the neck, the décolletage, above the knees and elbows, and the abdomen. “We often find that patients start with one to two treatment areas and then progress to others, given their satisfaction,” he says.
And the versatile procedure has even more potential applications. “Potenza is an amazing stand-alone way to revitalize skin by tightening*, as well as targeting blemishes,” says Calvert.
What is the experience like?
Potenza treatments are much less painful than other RF microneedling tends to be, and certainly less so than surgery. However, everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so your doctor may apply a numbing cream to the treatment area first. “After a thorough consultation ensuring the patient’s goals are attainable and this treatment is the right fit, we numb the area for 30 minutes and then proceed,” says Calvert. Overall, he says, “treatments are quick and tolerable, and a full face can be completed in less than 45 minutes.”
How long does it take to notice the benefits—and how long do they last?
“Results can be seen as early as four to six weeks after one treatment, and will get more dramatic with multiple treatments and over time,” says Calvert. “As the skin’s cellular-turnover process occurs, the treated skin’s collagen and elastin fibers will continue synthesizing, inducing a more youthful, refreshed appearance.”
Although the plastic surgeon says a series of treatments is typically recommended for full customization, even just one or two can be effective. “And patients will continue to see improvements up to a year post-treatment,” he adds.
Are there any side effects?
“Patients usually see mild redness and slight swelling post-treatment but overall minimal downtime, meaning you won’t have to spend time recuperating at home, given the epidermis is not [resurfaced],” says Calvert.
Who is a candidate for Potenza treatments?
According to Calvert, “basically anyone interested in seeing a revitalized appearance,” since they can be performed on all skin types and tones. They also don’t entail the risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation, a result of the overproduction of melanin that comes with many skin lasers. “Whether you’re looking to turn back the clock or start your aesthetic journey with a preventative treatment,” he says, “Potenza is a phenomenal solution.”
Visit cynosure.com to learn more and for a chance to win a personalized Potenza RF Microneedling treatment.
*Skin tightening through soft tissue coagulation.
Lindy Segal is a beauty writer and editor. In addition to regularly contributing to BAZAAR.COM, she also writes for Glamour, People, WhoWhatWear, and Fashionista, among other publications. She lives in New York City with her Chihuahua mix, Barney.