Tweak of the Week is Citizen Femme’s new review series, focusing on the latest beauty treatments and tweakments.
From high-tech facials and device-driven bodycare to needling and injectables, these are the tried-and-tested services that the CF team deem worth the investment.
What is EMface?
EMface is a radiofrequency-based facial treatment that uses high-intensity facial and electrical stimulation (HIFES) to contract and thus strengthen the facial muscles. The aim is to provide a lifting, toning and tightening effect, which means a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles too.
It’s a quick treatment, lasting just 20 minutes, plus some pre-treatment set-up. Furthermore, unlike Botox, it’s non-invasive meaning it is needle-free and has limited downtime. You can return home or to the office with no bruising, peeling or feelings of discomfort.
How exactly does EMface work?
EMface is an energy-based treatment, which uses a combination of radiofrequency and electromagnetic stimulation. It is delivered on the surface of the skin and then penetrates deeper into the muscle layer. The treatment is applied to the skin via facial pads wired-up to a machine. This makes it non-invasive and hands-free.
The pads are applied to target the elevators of the face – aka the muscles that lift your brow and those that lift the corners of your mouth. That means you are likely to see the best results on muscle tone and expression lines around these broad areas.
Why should you be excited?
EMface only arrived in the UK in January 2023 but it has made waves in the US already. Celebrity fans include Rebel Wilson and Jessica Simpson who both posted about it on social media. Moreover, the treatment is the little sister of the body sculpting device, EMsculpt, which is already known in the UK as an effective and non-invasive treatment.
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Tried and Tested: what is having the EMface treatment like?
EMface is available at Doctor Nyla Medispa, which has a gorgeous little outpost in Mayfair, London. The space has warm cream and gold furnishings, with large, light and spacious treatment rooms that avoid a cold, clinical feel.
Once you are lying down on the treatment bed, your clinician will cleanse your face to ensure there’s no barrier between your skin and the technology. Eye makeup is fine to keep on.
Then, it’s time to get hooked up to the machine. This isn’t as scary as it may sound. First, a large, wired sticky pad is placed on your bare stomach. This works as a grounding pad that completes the radiofrequency circuit when the machine is turned on. Next, the facial pieces are applied. There are three in total – a larger piece for the forehead, which is placed above your brows, and two smaller cheek pieces that line up with your mouth.
When you’re ready, the machine is turned on. The main thing to note: the sensation is unique. It feels like a firm, warm vibration-led kneading on your forehead – like someone is folding dough – and an intense vibration and pulling around your mouth. If you imagine you’ve put the end of an electric toothbrush in the inside of your cheeks you are somewhere close.
However, testament to the fact you don’t need numbing cream, it’s not painful. At most, people with sensitive eyes may find their eyelids flutter, which can be slightly uncomfortable. But, the sensations are rhythmic, turning on-then-off for a few seconds, so you can adjust to the feeling.
Your practitioner will start the treatment slowly, turning up the intensity settings on the machine incrementally, to ensure you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout. On average, you can expect to reach between 65-85% intensity during your first session.
Then, before you know it, 20 minutes has passed and the treatment is finished. The pads are easily removed, with no painful pulling, and a little moisturiser is applied to soothe any redness.
What results can you expect?
Straight after the EMface treatment, your skin is likely to look and feel more hydrated, with a lit-from-within flush that makes your complexion look instantly healthier.
Around your cheeks and mouth, your skin looks more lifted, with an effect that’s similar to the results from a sculpting facial massage, except longer-lasting. There’s also a slight smoothing effect on your forehead that softens expression lines, but, significantly, there’s no tight, restrictive or frozen sensation on the skin. You can continue to smile (and frown) to your heart’s content.
With further treatments, these results are amplified. Your skin appears more defined and smooth, with forehead and mouth-based wrinkles becoming less noticible. The muscle tone of your face is also improved, lessening the effect of mild sagging in the treated areas.
However, it won’t treat the small expression lines around your eyes, or frown lines between your brows, as the pads do not cover these areas.
How does EMface compare to other tweakments?
EMFace offers a needle-free, no-downtime alternative to Botox, as well as a more immediate lifting effect that is virtually pain-free. However, Botox has a more significant effect on decreasing facial muscle contractions and thus avoiding further expression lines. Botox is also more precise and can be used in smaller areas due to the use of a needle rather than a pad.
As for its comparison to filler, you won’t get the same skin-plumping effect with EMface; it focuses more on smoothing and lifting than adding volume.
What is the aftercare advice?
EMface is a non-invasive treatment, so it has very little downtime. You may experience noticeable redness straight after the treatment, as it stimulates the muscles and blood flow, but your skin should feel glowing rather than sore and uncomfortable.
It’s suggested you drink lots of water post-treatment and also avoid intense exercise due to the energy that’s been applied to your body too. Aside from that, expect to be able to go about the rest of your day as normal.
Who is EMFace suitable for?
EMface is suitable for all skin tones and types, but individuals who want to improve muscle tone and smooth fine lines around their mouth and forehead are the best candidates.
If you already have injectables, or want to in the near future, there’s no concerns to be had. You can have EMface in conjunction with such tweakments without disruption, but you’ll be asked to disclose what you’ve had to ensure that you can be treated safely.
How many treatments do you need?
For the best results, you will need three to four treatments, depending on the intensity level you were able to reach on the machine. These sessions need to be spaced 7-10 days apart, so you can expect to be finished within a month. As the treatment also stimulates collagen and elastin production, your results can continue to improve for up to a 12-week period.
What are the risks?
EMface is not suitable for anyone with metal implants in their face as the metal can interfere with the electromagnetic waves. As with most tweakments, you should also speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Why is EMface ‘Tweak of the Week’ worthy?
If you want a lifting and tightening facial treatment that is fast and needle-free, EMface is the latest trending treatment to try.
For the best results, you need to complete the full set of treatments, and it’s not as transformative or targeted as more invasive tweakments. But, you can expect your skin to feel instantly refreshed and more defined, without significant side effects, making it a worthy and innovative facial treatment to consider.