Everything You Need to Know About Using High Frequency for Acne

Updated 06/05/19
Product Disclosure

My favorite part of any facial is not the masks, not the peels, not the extractions (okay, maybe a bit), but the devices. When an esthetician comes at me with any sort of futuristic tool (microcurrent, radio frequency, 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.

So how does it work? High-frequency treatments kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, hence the acne-fighting benefits. High-frequency 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 tool for acne, but there have been a number of new at-home devices that allow you to utilize the powers in the comfort in your own bathroom. Scroll through to learn all about at-home high frequency!

How Does It Work?

at-home high frequency for acne

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.

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 Do You Use It?

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.

How To Use It:

1. Thoroughly wash and dry your face, and apply your serum. Benjamin suggests one with epidermal growth factors (like her StackedSkincare EGF Activating Serum, $135, 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 circular motion again,” Benjamin says.

6. Once you’ve hit all the spots, finish by applying your moisturizer.

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 shop at-home high frequency devices.

StackedSkincare High Frequency $65
New Spa High Frequency D'arsonval Professional Grade Device $139
Lift Care Lift Wand $90
Signstek Portable High Frequency Skin Machine $32

Click here for more at-home beauty gadgets we love

This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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