Your Guide to Sofwave, the Noninvasive Skin Tightening Treatment

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  • Sofwave is an in-office skin treatment that targets fine lines and wrinkles.
  • The device promises to stimulate collagen for a smoother appearance.
  • The treatment is noninvasive and requires no downtime.

We all know that fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, and therefore a normal part of life, but if you are looking for a smoothing solution, there’s a buzzy skin treatment called Sofwave we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. For background, Sofwave is an FDA-cleared device that uses a combination of ultrasound technology and heat to stimulate collagen production. While it is an in-office treatment, unlike semi-invasive treatments like Botox and fillers or invasive procedures like plastic surgery, Sofwave is considered noninvasive and has zero downtime.

If you’re curious to learn more about the innovative treatment, we tapped Michelle Aszterbaum, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Dermatology Center of Newport, based in Newport Beach, CA, to break down what Sofwave is, how it works, and everything else you’d want to know.

What Is Sofwave?

Sofwave is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive, in-office treatment that uses high-frequency, low-divergence ultrasound and heat to boost collagen production and soften fine lines and wrinkles. “Sofwave safely and effectively heats collagen at the right temperature and at the right depth of 1.5 mm in the mid-dermis, triggering a healing response that increases both collagen and elastin in the skin,” Dr. Aszterbaum tells POPSUGAR. (This trigger response is similar to the effect of microneedling, only there are no physical punctures to the skin.)

Sofwave is currently approved for the face and neck areas and promises to lift the eyebrows, tighten the skin beneath the chin and neck, and smooth lines. A Sofwave session usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes, and it involves no needles, cutting, or risks associated with invasive procedures. While you might experience some slight redness immediately after an appointment, its little downtime makes it a popular choice among patients who want to undergo a quick procedure.

Is the Sofwave Treatment Painful?

While pain tolerance depends on each individual person, experts say you can expect to feel different levels of warmth on the skin as the ultrasound energy is delivered. Prior to undergoing the treatment, you can also ask for a numbing cream, which can help lessen the discomfort. Treatment cycles usually last around 30 seconds each, with the end of each treatment cycle being the most intense and uncomfortable.

Still, one of the benefits of Sofwave is that there is little downtime, and patients can return to their regular activities immediately after the session. “There is no lost time after treatment and no one will know you just had a procedure,” says Dr. Aszterbaum “You can immediately resume your daily activities and even go outside and enjoy the sun because there is no sun sensitivity with Sofwave.”

How Much Does a Sofwave Treatment Cost?

While the cost of the treatment varies depending on the provider and where you are located in the country, you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,500 and up.

Does Sofwave Work?

While the Sofwave treatment is suitable for all skin types and tones, the age of the patient does play a role in whether or not it will work for them. “A good candidate is typically those in their 30s and older who have mild to moderate skin aging,” Dr. Aszterbaum says. Patients in their 30s who have mildly sagging skin around the face, neck, or jaw are also good candidates for a Sofwave treatment.

How Long Do Results of a Sofwave Treatment Last?

Immediately after a Sofwave treatment, you may notice that your skin feels more firm and tight, but Dr. Aszterbaum says noticeable results tend to come one week following the session and continue to improve month after month. The actual collagen regeneration process takes up to 12 weeks; you’ll likely see the most discernible effects after that 12-week period of the treatment.

Although Sofwave is seen as a “one and done” type of treatment, the results aren’t permanent, so getting a re-up approximately once a year is recommended.

Potential Risks of a Sofwave Treatment

Dr. Aszterbaum says there aren’t any serious side effects to be concerned about, although some patients may experience minor redness, swelling, slight sensitivity, or a feeling of “tightness” after the treatment. This varies depending on each person’s skin sensitivity. Still, after you leave the office, there’s zero aftercare instructions to worry about. “Sofwave has no post-treatment care — most don’t notice anything other than a lifted look and feel,” she says.

Sofwave, Before and After
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