Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


With combination treatments rising in popularity, we asked the professionals why radiofrequency and microneedling work so well together

Combination treatments are becoming increasingly popular as clients move away from traditional facials in favour of something a little more high-tech.

“One of the biggest trends in beauty in the last few years has been combination treatments,” says Susan Fox, managing director of Eden Beauty Group in Wicklow town. “It seems obvious to me that if clients want optimal results, combining two or more proven modalities in one treatment is the quickest way of achieving those results.”

“The rise in popularity of combination treatments stems from clients’ desire for maximum results from minimally invasive and faster procedures,” says Sophia Woods, owner of The Facialist in Ranelagh in Dublin. “They are an efficient way of targeting a number of specific issues at any one time. There is still a demand for classic facials, however demand for bespoke, high-tech facials is rising. This shift is not unsurprising – since the pandemic and the various lockdowns, the increased use of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom has heightened self-awareness and is driving clients towards seeking more results-driven treatments.”

‘Performing radio frequency and microneedling together helps to stimulate collagen at a deeper level, and speeds up the treatment results’

“Classic facials are still very popular, as clients continue to enjoy the relaxing element that comes with them,”agrees Bernadine Cunningham, manager of Younique Beauty Salon in Newry, Co Down. “But these days anti-ageing is a priority for both younger and older clients, so they are willing to forgo the massage and opt for an aesthetic treatment, even if there is some downtime or slight discomfort involved.”

Two treatments that are increasingly being performed together are radiofrequency (RF) and microneedling. While both work to improve skin through kickstarting collagen production, they each have individual benefits that differentiate them.

“Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure where thin needles are used to make tiny holes in the top layer of the skin,” explains Cunningham. “The damage helps stimulate the skin’s healing process, so it produces more collagen and elastin. These proteins keep the skin firm and smooth. Most clients get microneedling on their face, but they can also get it on their legs, back, neck or other areas where they notice damaged or ageing skin.”

“RF causes a thermal injury, which kickstarts a healing response in the body, stimulating ATP [adenosine triphosphate] production and increasing cellular activity and collagen production,” notes Fox. “But it also has an instant tightening effect, giving clients an immediate and visible result. RF can also heat tissue to a point where fat is broken down – this can make it effective for contouring areas such as the jaw line.”

When combined, these treatments can offer multiple benefits. “RF microneedling is one of the most popular and effective combination treatments for a number of reasons,” explains Fox. “Microneedling has an incredible effect on the skin, stimulating collagen production and changing the structure of the skin over time, while RF has a contouring and lifting effect on the skin. Combining the two tackles the majority of the issues raised by clients with ageing concerns.”

“When we microneedle, we are limited to a certain depth on the face,” explains Cunningham. “We are mainly working on skin texture, but we don’t achieve deeper lifting and tightening. Performing radio frequency and microneedling together helps to stimulate collagen at a deeper level, and speeds up the treatment results.”

“The synergy between the two modalities is powerful, leading to improved skin texture, tone and firmness,” says Woods.

‘Offering the latest technologies and fantastic results elevates clients’ opinions of your clinic, increases your profits and singles you out from the competition’

“Microneedling creates minute channels in the skin, allowing for better penetration of the RF energy. The enhanced results it offers makes it a go-to option for clients seeking comprehensive skin rejuvenation.”

So, how many treatments does a client need to achieve their desired results? “We recommend between three and six sessions, depending on the client's age, condition of the skin and desired results,” says Fox. “And we suggest that these sessions are performed at monthly intervals.”

“The number of sessions we recommend depends on the age of the client,” agrees Woods. “We usually advise four treatments one month apart, but the results and frequency of sessions can vary.”

“Most clients benefit from a series of RF microneedling treatments to achieve maximum collagen production and skin rejuvenation,” adds Cunningham. “We recommend three to six sessions, depending on the skin conditions that are being treated, and the treatment is safe to have every four to six weeks.”

As with any treatment, there are contradictions associated with RF microneedling. These include pregnancy, active skin infections, recent Roaccutane use, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, anticoagulants intake, keloid scarring, some autoimmune disorders and epilepsy.

Business benefits

The business benefits of a treatment such as RF microneedling cannot be underestimated. “It attracts new clients who want to invest in themselves and these clients tend to have more disposable income,” says Fox. “They are becoming more educated and are demanding faster results. They are also moving away from overly filled faces, in favour of a more natural look. As technology continues to improve and the gap between beauty and aesthetics blurs more, demand will only increase.

“From a clinic owner's point of view, these treatments can be performed in a similar time to a standard facial, but the pricing and margins tend to be substantially higher. As the costs of running a businesses increase, they are a very attractive proposition.”

“Offering advanced or specialised treatments will set your salon apart from competitors,” says Woods. “Of course, before you decide to invest in a device, you will need to know your market and client base. But these high-priced treatments are excellent for increasing revenue streams, so are worth the investment.”

“Like any business, if you do not evolve and grow you will lose clients and staff,” adds Fox. “The latest advancement in combination treatments is adding exosomes to RF microneedling, which brings regenerative skincare into the therapy. Exosomes are cell-signalling molecules that communicate and act as carriers, bringing growth factors, lipids and ceramides deep into the skin, and slowing the natural ageing process. They are derived from stem cells found in adipose tissue in humans, but they can also come from plant cells. The ones we use in our own clinic are derived from bovine colostrum milk. Applying exosomes after RF microneedling, using the microneedling function on the machine, adds yet another dimension to the treatment. Offering the latest technologies and fantastic results elevates clients’ opinions of your clinic, increases your profits and singles you out from the competition.” 

This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland