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With more and more advancements being rolled out in the beauty industry, facialists and aestheticians alike are always on the lookout for cutting-edge technology that they can combine with a hands-on approach.

The demand for treatments such as radiofrequency facials (Thermage is one of them) is also ever-increasing, as famous celebrities and personalities credit the non-invasive treatments for keeping their skin youthful and lifted.

While radiofrequency (RF) technology is known for tightening and lifting the skin, it is still mainly used for in-salon treatments presently. Shouldn’t there be a device that delivers similar in-salon benefits that we can conveniently use at home?

Well, there’s a new salon-grade gadget that promises to do just that. Before we dive into it, let’s learn more about what radiofrequency is all about and how it works.

How does radiofrequency (RF) work?

how does rf work photo source anna shvets pexels

Photo source: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Simply put, RF, which is a form of electromagnetic energy, is all about stimulating collagen production.  Collagen is the most abundant protein found naturally in the human body – it’s present in the bones, muscles, tendons, and our skin.

But by age 25, studies show that our collagen production starts to decline by around 1% per year, due to both internal and external factors. While you can’t simply ‘drop’ more collagen into the skin, you can prompt the cells responsible for producing it – the fibroblasts – to work a little overtime. And that’s where radiofrequency (RF) comes in.

When applied to the targeted area, it causes heat-producing molecular friction – with the actual source of the heat being the frictional resistance of the tissue. Collagen fibres then contract to give an instant skin-tightening effect. Studies have also found that maintaining a temperature of at least 46 degrees Celcius for over three minutes can stimulate the creation of new collagen fibres – RF waves heat the deep layer of the skin to between 50 and 75 degrees Celcius.

In other words, RF can soften fine lines and firm the facial contours – both immediately and over time, which explains why many facialists and aestheticians love the collagen-inducing skin therapy. But when salons can be ordered to shut anytime to flatten the pandemic curve, it can be difficult to upkeep the results when monthly trips to the salon are disrupted.

Since we’ll be spending more time at home, it’ll be more worthwhile to add a salon-grade facial treatment device that delivers salon-quality results to your skincare routine instead.

Meet Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS, the latest salon-grade RF device you can use conveniently at home

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The latest innovation by Japanese home-care beauty device innovator, Ya-Man, the Photo Plus Prestige SS is a compact top-of-the-line RF gadget that features not one, not two, but 10 professional beauty technologies in one little device for salon-quality facial treatment right on your own couch.

Of all the technologies jam-packed into the Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS, there are several that stood out for us. First, it’s powered by the exclusive Dynamic Hyper Pulse technology, a combination of iontophoresis, high-frequency EMS, and hyper pulse.

Dynamic Hyper Pulse (or DYHP, as the brand calls it), is developed to enhance the penetration of beauty ingredients in your skincare products. This is made possible first by the help of hyper pulse and EMS which temporarily open up tiny gaps between skin cells – this is to allow iontophoresis to then take over and drive all the active ingredients from your lotions and serums deep into skin layers.

Unlike other RF devices out there, Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS uses three megahertz RF, which is typically only found in RF machines used in salons. What’s more, the gizmo is currently the only device on the market that can be used around the eyes for salon-quality results; so far, no other at-home RF devices can be used on the delicate skin around the eye area.

To find out if the device’s big claims really hold water, I tested out the Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS for a month to tell you what it’s like using the gadget.

Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS review

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My existing skincare routine is fairly simple, just the usual four-step routine plus weekly exfoliation and that’s pretty much it. I’ve dabbled in at-home beauty devices before but I just couldn’t find the time – or discipline – to keep up with them daily.

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But when I heard about the anti-ageing wonders that Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS can potentially bring, it instantly piqued my interest as I thought it would make a good addition to my existing skincare routine.

The first thing I immediately noticed was how multi-functional the device is – we’re not just talking about enhancing skincare absorption, it can be used for deeper cleaning too with its CLEAN mode that uses RF, EMS, ion cleansing, and red LED.

In fact, I personally found that the device cleaned my face better than just the usual toner-and-cotton-pad combo – I could see more dirt remnants and gunk being cleaned out of my face without any risk of irritation at all.

It was just a satisfying sight to see all the extra dirt and residue that the device managed to clean off my face on the cotton pad – something that I usually can’t achieve when I use my toner without the gadget.

However, I resorted to topping up my toner midway through the treatment as my cotton pad started running dry and the warmth from the device was beginning to feel uncomfortable on my skin. My advice: trust your gut and don’t hesitate to wet your cotton pad with more toner if you need to.

The following MOISTURE mode, which can be used with either your favourite serum or moisturiser, employs RF, DYHP, and orange LED to drive deeper penetration of skincare ingredients for increased absorption and skin hydration.

I used this setting with the usual serum and moisturisers in my daily routine and found that the device worked really well together with my skincare products.

The EYE CARE mode, which utilises a combination of RF, EMS, and micro-current) is another winner for me, simply because I’ve yet to see any other compact RF device that treats the delicate eye at the same time.

The best part? There’s no need for any detachment and reattachment of different device heads, all I needed to do was to rotate the current attachment head 180-degree upwards in order to activate the EYE CARE mode – easy peasy!

Finally, there’s the COOL mode, which uses blue LED to tighten pores and soothe the skin. To further let you personalise your treatment, Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS lets you choose from five different vibration levels (three for the EYE CARE mode) which you can easily toggle between depending on your skin’s comfort level.

I find that levels 1 and 2 were more than enough for me so if you’re starting out on beauty devices, don’t go too strong first – you have to let your skin get used to the vibration strength before upping the frequency level.

I used the Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS at least three times a week, and I occasionally up the frequency to four to five times weekly when I felt that I wanted some extra pampering for my skin with the COOL mode. It’s hard to pick a favourite mode as each of them worked great in tackling different issues and giving me a luxurious DIY facial experience in the comfort of my own home.

The device itself is also fairly easy to use once you get used to toggling between the four pre-loaded settings of the device. To do so, you just need to refer to the manual for the first few times to know which direction to massage towards, and then it’s pretty much etched in memory once you’re used to it.

I also appreciate that Ya-Man didn’t sacrifice convenience when it came to developing the Photo Plus Prestige SS: it has a self-timer that beeps to let you know when you reach the half-time mark and auto-shuts down once the time is up. In other words, it takes the guesswork completely out of the process so you can use it with complete peace of mind.

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After using the Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS for a month, I could tell that my laugh lines are slightly less visible, and there are definitely improvements to overall skin texture with fewer bumps.

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My eye area seems brightened and my jawline also looks sharper too! I reckon I will see significant improvements in my laugh lines and jaw area if I continue using to see regularly down the road.

With a total of four pre-loaded programmes, Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS is truly a total facial treatment device that cleverly takes care of major ageing concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, enlarged pores, puffiness, and dark circles while respecting your skin.

My only gripe with the Photo Plus Prestige SS is that it’s wired and has to be connected to a power source, which wasn’t what I expected out of the most premium model of Ya-Man Photo PLUS series. But with all the salon-grade benefits I reaped from the device, I’d say that this is an inconvenience I don’t mind living with.

Is Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS suitable for all skin types?

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The short answer: yes. The Photo Plus Prestige SS is especially beneficial for those experiencing loss of firmness and dullness by boosting collagen production. However, you may want to skip this device if you are dealing with broken capillaries, rosacea, and active acne, wearing metal braces, or are pregnant.

And before you ask: no, it is completely painless to use the Photo Plus Prestige SS. Contrary to popular belief, RF is virtually painless, has no downtime, and is actually rather relaxing, much like a hot stone massage.

Where to get Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS

Currently available exclusively in Japan and Singapore, Ya-Man Photo Plus Prestige SS retails for S$2,299. It is available at Ya-Man counters in Isetan and TANGS as well as online at Lazada, Shopee, and iShopChangi.

This article is brought to you by Ya-Man.