We don't know about you (and go ahead, call us vain), but any editor here at Byrdie HQ will graciously embrace any product or treatment claiming to sculpt and tighten our faces to A-list and/or goddess-like heights. (I mean, wouldn't you?) So when I was recently presented with the opportunity to go in for a complimentary Venus Radiofrequency treatment with Anita Patel, MD, (one of the best plastic surgeons in the business), I obviously refused. KIDDING. Of course, as any fellow skincare and beauty lover would, I graciously accepted with gleeful appreciation. To learn more about Venus RF, what it entails, what the benefits are, and what my personal experience was like, keep scrolling!
What Is Venus Radiofrequency?
What Is Venus Radiofrequency?
Venus Radiofrequency, also referred to as Venus RF, is a treatment that melds both radiofrequency energy and pulsed electromagnetic field energy to naturally kick-start the body's own renewal process. According to Patel's website, it's considered the gold standard in nonsurgical skin tightening and sculpting.
The Venus treatment, in short, may be one of the best noninvasive, no-downtime-necessary ways to tighten and rejuvenate the skin. "The RF energy that is delivered causes ions in the treated tissue to collide, creating kinetic energy, which is transformed into thermal energy (heat), and which induces thermal changes," explains Patel's website. "The heat basically causes a controlled injury to the tissue that triggers the body's own natural wound healing process." Then, said wound healing ultimately results in the regeneration and renewal of skin tissue, which, in turn, imparts a fresh, glowing, and sculpted end result.
Benefits of Venus Radiofrequency
- Stimulates new collagen growth
- Helps remodel existing collagen in your skin
- Skin looks tightened and lifted
- Immediate glow and rejuvenation
- Shrinks fat cells
Though the extent of the results may depend on the number of treatments a patient receives, pleasant side effects of Venus RF include the stimulation of new collagen and the remodeling of the existing collagen, Patel explains, which is what creates a tightened, toned, and more lifted appearance of the skin.
"There is both an immediate glowy and tightened appearance and a rejuvenation effect seen over time. Depending on the treatment temperature, it can also shrink fat cells (releasing fat but not killing fat cells), which is often desired on the neck and body," Patel adds. On her website, Patel also states that the immediate effect of Venus RF is due to the denaturation and contraction of collagen caused by the heat, which results in an instantaneous rosy glow and a tauter appearance. This, she says, is why celebrities come in for the treatment the day of or the day before an event.
"The later effect appears as the body begins the repair process, which generates collagen to heal the microwounds caused by the heat," Patel explains.
How to Prepare for Venus Radiofrequency
When you arrive for your Venus treatment, you'll want to come in without any makeup, heavy creams, or powders on your face. If you're coming in during a lunch break or after work, try to wash your face beforehand.
What to Expect During Venus Radiofrequency
Prior to the treatment, Patel and my technician, June (who, just as an aside, is an angel on Earth and so sweet and informative), gave me the lowdown on what I could expect during the treatment. Physically, they explained to me, Venus RF feels kind of like a hot stone massage on the face—some people love the heat, and some people find they're a bit sensitive to it.
In terms of duration, they told me the treatment would take about 30 minutes (roughly 15 minutes for each side of my face), and though they would treat my entire face and a bit of my upper neck, the treatment would be concentrated in the areas where I wanted more tone and lift. For me, that was my jawline—I've never liked its natural roundness—under my eyes, and above my brows.
As both Patel and June warned, the treatment did pack some heat, but nothing that felt at all extreme or uncomfortable. In fact, that 30 minutes was the most blissful end to a long day of work, and I'm pretty sure I actually fell asleep. I thought it felt amazing and was craving another treatment the second June told me we were all done.
Now, because I know this will be brought up, I realize I'm young and without much—if any—sagging or wrinkles. My skin still has a lot of its natural elasticity, and perhaps aside from a morning after one too many margaritas, it generally maintains a happy and bright homeostasis. That and the fact that I would only be receiving one Venus RF treatment (versus the full six recommended by Patel) lowered my expectations as far as visible results. While Patel reassured me that I would likely notice an immediate improvement in tone and luminosity, I was still fairly skeptical. But, of course, who doesn't like the sound of a little extra chisel and glow?
Halfway through, she woke me up to show me the results for comparison's sake. Although it wasn't dramatic or aggressive, I could immediately see a difference in the tone, lift, and overall "svelteness" of my face. My chin, jawline, and cheekbone looked way more sculpted, and I even noticed my eye and brow looked perkier and more lifted. Essentially, it was as if June had given me a face-lift by way of a heated massage. I was obsessed.
When I asked June how long I'd reap my freshly sculpted results, she said it usually depends on the person and, again, how many treatments they've received. Since I received just the one, she predicted the visible results I loved would last about a week or so.
It's worth pointing out that I'm now about 11 days out from the treatment and still notice a difference. I have also been receiving more compliments on my skin than ever—a coincidence? I think not. In fact, one of the minor (but also major) ways I've been able to track my progress and notice the difference is with my smile lines. Prior to Venus, and despite the layers of powder I'd apply, my foundation and/or concealer would always crease into my smile lines. And now—never. Thus, the only logical explanation is that the treatment lifted and tightened my skin enough to rid me of my product-catching indents almost completely.
Potential Side Effects
Immediately post-treatment, patients will experience a rosy glow, but this dissipates after 30 minutes or so, in my experience. And, though Venus RF is an extremely safe treatment with a very minimal risk of potential side effects, Patel does make a few important stipulations regarding who should avoid the treatment.
"There are some patients who are not candidates," she tells me. "If there is underlying metal hardware in the area to be treated, that area cannot be treated, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot have treatment during that time. Also, there should be a gap between any toxin or filler and the Venus RF treatment, unless the treatment area does not overlap." For instance, Patel says that lip filler is OK, since RF doesn't go over the lips.
The cost of a Venus treatment varies by medical spa or doctor's office. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300–$750 per session. Keep in mind, if you want to keep up the glow, you'll probably need to invest in multiple sessions. "Having the treatment once does yield noticeable results, but the results will not be as sustained as someone who gets the full series of six treatments," Patel says. "Someone who gets a full series and then maintenance single sessions every few months will really see the best results, and some even forgo fillers, thanks to the effectiveness of this treatment."
I loved that there was no downtime with the procedure. I was in and out of Patel's dreamy Beverly Hills office in roughly one hour (from start to finish), and while my face was a bit flushed after the fact, it had returned to normal by the time I got home after my 30-minute commute.
After the appointment, you'll want to avoid sun exposure, excessive sweating, and heat, as well as hot showers and baths, for about 24 hours after your treatment, according to my instructions. It's a good time to just take it easy at home with some Netflix and takeout. You can resume your normal gym and shower routine the next day.
The Final Takeaway
All in all, I would 100% recommend Venus RF to anyone looking for an instant lift (and/or long-term rejuvenation, depending on how much money you're willing to commit) without the invasiveness of a surgical procedure. Venus RF is pricey, but I'm personally obsessed with the results and feel it's a worthy investment if you're looking for a nonsurgical lifting option.
Ray M, Gold M. A retrospective study of patient satisfaction following a trial of nano-fractional RF treatment. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(11):1268-1271.
Gold MH. Noninvasive skin tightening treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015;8(6):14-18.
Goel A, Gatne V. Use of nanofractional radiofrequency for the treatment of acne scars in Indian skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(2):186-192. doi:10.1111/jocd.12311