Everything You Need to Know About Using High Frequency for Acne

Updated 09/07/19
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My favorite part of any facial is not the masks, the peels, or the extractions (OK, maybe a bit), but the devices. When an esthetician comes at me with any sort of futuristic tool (like microcurrent, radio frequency, or bio brasion), I can’t help but feel giddy. As a frequent sufferer of hormonal breakouts, most of my facials end with a dose of high frequency.

It all happens so fast, but when the esthetician runs that humming rod across my skin, I know I’ve had a successful treatment. In fact, I’ve often felt that if I could take that magical tool home, I wouldn’t need professional facials at all. (Sorry, estheticians—you know I love you.) Little did I know I could keep that acne-ending gadget right in my medicine cabinet.

Intrigued? Keep reading.

at-home high frequency for acne
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The Benefits of High-Frequency Treatments

High-frequency treatments kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, hence the acne-fighting benefits. The blemish-busting treatments also increase circulation to stimulate collagen, making the treatment an effective anti-aging and glow-boosting tool, too.

In the past, you’d have to go to a spa to experience a high-frequency facial for acne, but there have been a number of at-home device launches that allow you to achieve the spa-like results from the comfort of your own bathroom. Case in point: the StackedSkincare decive. To learn more about how it works, keep scrolling.

Stacked Skincare High Frequency Device on a white background.
StackedSkincare High Frequency Device $125
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How It Works

The tool itself looks like a stick with a little bubble on the end—that bubble is the electrode. The electrode produces argon gas (a gas that’s good for your skin) and emits a small electrical current. When applied to the skin, professional esthetician Kerry Benjamin says it generates oxygen, kills bacteria, and calms inflamed skin for the high-frequency home facial of your dreams.

Meet the Expert

Kerry Benjamin is an L.A.-based esthetician. She is the founder of StackedSkincare and the StackedSkincare spa in Santa Monica, CA.

How to Use It

In order to achieve the stellar results that the StackedSkincare device is known for, you have to know how to properly wield it. Benjamin explains how, below.

1. Thoroughly wash and dry your face, and apply your serum. Benjamin suggests one with epidermal growth factors (like her StackedSkincare EGF Activating Serum, $150, or Nurse Jamie EGF Platinum 3 Restorative Facial Elixir, $198) because growth factors speed up healing.

2. Cut a small piece of gauze, and place it on your face.

3. Insert the electrode into the wand, place over the gauze, and turn it on.

4. Turn the dial up on the wand until you feel a slight tingling sensation. “You should feel it, but it should not be painful,” Benjamin says. “Don’t crank it on too high, or you will dry out the acne too much.”

5. Move the wand over the acne lesion in circular motions, working on each area for no more than three to five minutes. “You can also ‘spark’ the acne by tapping the tip of the wand on the acne a few times, and then move in a circular motion again,” Benjamin says.

6. Once you’ve hit all the spots, your high-frequency facial is officially over and you can finish by applying your moisturizer.

Depending on the severity of the acne, you could spend up to 15 to 20 minutes per day using the device, or as little as five minutes for smaller areas.

Want to see the step-by-step? Check out Benjamin’s video tutorial on how to use her at-home high-frequency device, and keep scrolling to discover more at-home high-frequency devices.

New Spa High Frequency D'arsonval Professional Grade Device $139
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Lift Wand 2.0
Lift Care Lift Wand 2.0 $70
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High frequency device with multiple heads.
Signstek Portable High Frequency Face Wand Facial Machine $36
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Next up: If you have trouble keeping your hands off your skin, discover the real reason why you can't stop picking.

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