RF Microneedling vs. Microneedling: Which is Better?

We all know signs of aging will catch up to us, but we’re never really ready when they do. Lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone not only take away from our once youthful appearance, but they can eat away at our self-esteem. If you’re unhappy with the signs of aging you see on your once-smooth complexion, call Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center in Sacramento, CA and ask about RF Microneedling.

What Causes Signs of Aging?

It’s just not as simple as the passage of time. As we age, we lose the production and volume of three powerhouses that keep our skin looking young: collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.

What Does Collagen Do?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is considered the building block of our skin. This strong and fibrous protein builds a strong foundation in the middle layer of our skin called the dermis. This strong layer acts as a smooth scaffold for the outer layer of our skin to lie on and a tough anchor for our deepest layer of skin to hold on to.

When we’re young, we have so much collagen it packs tightly together and doesn’t allow for any weakness or faults, so everything stays in place and our skin is wrinkle-free. It’s also the platform on which our cells regenerate, giving our tone and texture an even appearance and feel. Collagen works closely with another protein called elastin.

What Does Elastin Do?

As you can probably guess by its name, elastin keeps our skin and other organs flexible and elastic. When our skin is stretched or pulled, it snaps back to place because of this flexible protein. Elastin works with the deepest layer of our skin keeping the fat pads in place each time we smile or make other expressions. Elastin helps our skin fight gravity, making sure our skin remains firmly in place after each movement, tug, and pinch.

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do?

You’ve probably seen the increase in skincare products that boast hyaluronic acid as their active ingredient. That’s because this naturally produced sugar is responsible for young skin looking and feeling so moisturized and supple. Each molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.

These molecules not only hold moisture, but they attract it, too. Hyaluronic acid is the reason young skin has that hydrated “bounce” when it’s touched. When we have plenty of hyaluronic acid, our skin looks dewy and never dehydrated or dull.

What Happens When We Age?

When We Lose Collagen

Our collagen loss is about 1% every year after we turn 20. At menopause, women lose another 30%. Because collagen was responsible for everything staying smooth, its loss can be seen everywhere. That smooth foundation our skin laid smoothly over weakens in areas, forming spots where the fibers give way causing crevices.

Because the fibers are no longer packed so tightly together, they lose their hold on the deeper layers of our skin. When the lower layer loses grip, the fat pads in our faces can slip, leaving the bottom of our faces heavier than the top and areas like our cheeks looking hollow. Our skin cells don’t regenerate as quickly, so our skin’s tone and texture become uneven. Overall, we can look older and tired.

When We Lose Elastin

Those crevices formed by the loss of collagen would have been no match for younger skin with plenty of elastin. Because we’re losing this flexible protein, our skin falls into those crevices, forming lines, wrinkles, and folds. Our skin can also no longer resist gravity the way it used to, so we’ll see areas of loose skin under our eyes, near our chins, and on our necks.

When we pull, tug, and manipulate our skin, it isn’t as quick to snap back to place, and the years of repeated expressions take their toll on our complexions.

When We Lose Hyaluronic Acid

As both collagen and elastin production decrease, so does hyaluronic acid. When we lose these moisture attracting and retaining molecules, our skin isn’t as hydrated and can look dull and dry. We lose that dewy and supple look and feel. It’s replaced by skin that needs heavier and more emollient lotions and creams to look healthy.


While it may seem hopeless, there are many solutions available today. The most effective solutions for rebuilding skin from the inside out are those that increase the production of collagen. RF Microneedling is one such treatment and packs two powerful collagen inducers.

Is RF Microneedling Better Than Microneedling?

There are two distinct microneedling treatments available today: microneedling and RF microneedling. Microneedling came first and has given clients all over the world great results, so what makes RF microneedling so different?


Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment uses a handheld device packed with hair-thin, medical-grade needles. This device is gently moved across the skin to create micro-perforations. These tiny injuries get your body to trigger its natural healing process, which is to produce more collagen.

As this collagen is formed, it fills in fine lines and wrinkles by rebuilding the foundation in the middle layer of your skin on which the outer layer lies. This also helps skin cells regenerate, evening skin tone and texture. Elastin and hyaluronic acid are boosted too, so skin is rejuvenated and your appearance is younger-looking and healthy.

Radiofrequency (RF)

When radiofrequency is applied to the skin, it penetrates deeper layers while leaving the surface intact and unharmed. The deeper layers of the skin are gently heated by the energy waves. The body treats this like an injury, though it won’t look or feel like it.

As the body works to heal the deeper layers of tissue, it forms collagen. This collagen builds up the skin’s strength from the inside, giving it that strong and smooth middle layer again. The radiofrequency also causes constriction and tightening of the skin, adding to a smooth and taut appearance.

Combing Microneedling With Radiofrequency

When we combine these two modalities, you get one powerhouse of a treatment. We still use the hair-thin microneedles which cause those micro-channels to be formed. These channels act as a direct line from the skin’s surface to deeper layers in the dermis.

As these micro-channels are created, it delivers the radiofrequency into deeper layers than either treatment alone can achieve. Now you have the body working to repair the microscopic injuries of the microneedling but also from the heat of the radiofrequency. The result is more dramatic results achieved more quickly. This treatment effectively addresses:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scarring
  • Mild skin laxity
  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Dry spots
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun damage

What to Expect

The first step in our process is to have an in-depth consultation. We will go over your areas of concern, do a thorough examination of your skin, and talk through realistic expectations for treatment. Once we’ve decided RF microneedling is the right treatment to address all of your concerns, we’ll give you just a few pre-treatment instructions.

It’s important to avoid direct sun exposure for at least two weeks before your appointment, and this includes tanning beds. If you get an active breakout of cystic acne or a cold sore, skin lesion, or topical infection, call us. We may need to reschedule once your skin has calmed down. Other pre-treatment instructions might include restricting blood-thinning medications for two weeks before treatment, including:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen like in Advil or Motrin
  • Naproxen sodium like in Aleve
  • Fish oil
  • High doses of vitamin E
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Ginseng

During Treatment

When you arrive for your appointment, we’ll apply a topical numbing cream to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible during your session. Most clients describe this as a very comfortable treatment. Once the numbing cream has taken effect about 20 minutes later, we’ll turn on our machine.

The handheld device will be gently passed over your skin, delivering radiofrequency as the microneedles do their job. Once the treatment is over, you’re free to go. There is no downtime associated with this treatment, and you can go back to your normal routine immediately.


There are just a few post-treatment instructions for you to follow to make sure you get the most of your treatment and that your skin heals properly. First, avoid any direct sun exposure, including tanning beds, for two weeks. Your skin will be very sensitive to the sun, so wearing sunscreen every day no matter what the weather is critically important.

You’ll also need to avoid any harsh facial treatments until Dr. Kaniff has cleared you for more treatment. Sometimes other treatments like a chemical peel are perfectly fine, while other ablative treatments like microdermabrasion could harm your skin.


Most clients say they see an immediate brightening of the skin. This is because the dull layer of dead skin cells is broken up. When this layer breaks up, it allows healthier and brighter skin cells to come through. This also helps to quickly repair dry and rough spots on the surface of the skin. The real results come as collagen is produced in the skin’s dermis.

Over the next few weeks and months, your body will continue to produce new, healthy, and strong collagen. This will rebuild your skin from the inside out, filling in fine lines and wrinkles, tightening up mild skin laxity, and helping healthy skin cells regenerate, reversing sun damage and hyperpigmentation.

Extending Your Results

To get the most out of your treatment, you’ll want to keep your new collagen as healthy as possible for as long as possible. It’s important to eat a healthy diet and always keep hydrated. There are certain things you can avoid, protecting your collagen:

  • Unprotected and extended time in the sun
  • Smoking
  • Excess sugar and processed foods
  • Lack of sleep
  • Long-term, unmanaged stress
  • Poor skincare routine

Some clients get the results they want after just one treatment. Many clients will opt for multiple treatments. This keeps collagen growing and will amplify results. We’ll recommend the right follow-up routine perfect for your areas of concern and desired results.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Only a consultation with Dr. Kaniff can determine if you’re a good candidate for RF microneedling. Generally, people in good health with mild-to-moderate signs of aging or acne scarring are good candidates for treatment.

Achieve a Younger Appearance

If you’re unhappy with the toll time has taken on your complexion, great solutions are just a phone call away. Take control of your aging process and call Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. We’re dedicated to helping each client reach their individual aesthetic goals. We understand the role a person’s aesthetic image plays in their overall self-confidence and are committed to helping each of our clients feeling great about how they look.

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