In the past, those looking to turn back the clock may have tried procedures like Botox or fillers. But a new option, Fractora, might be a unique youth-infusing possibility. The small machine, with a celeb following (E!’s Giuliana Rancic is a fan), claims to conquer everything from discoloration to sagging, and wrinkles to acne scars. It achieves results without a scalpel or any significant recuperating time.
Fractora is a radio frequency facial that rejuvenates and resurfaces the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles while helping the skin “snap back” to what it looked like 5 or even 10 years ago. “It improves a wide range of problems, from superficial skin tone issues, like photo damage, to deep textural concerns,” said Olga Lucia, FAAM-CPCP-CMI, of Olga Lucia Permanent Cosmetics in Roslyn Heights, who offers the treatment. It can be used anywhere, but the most commonly requested areas are the neck, smile lines, forehead furrows, cheeks, around the mouth and eyelids (yes, it’s gentle enough). “Skin aging is a natural process that is impossible to stop,” noted Lucia. “But with this technology, and maintenance treatments, it can be delayed.”
After topically numbing the area to be treated, a technician gently smooths a wand back and forth over the skin. Fractora sends bipolar RF (radio frequency) energy to various depths in the skin. The electrodes also send controlled levels of heat to the deep layers to revitalize collagen. Technicians can customize the depths, densities and energy levels to suit their patients. And they can address different problems, like sagging and discoloration, at the same time as opposed to patients having to undergo two separate treatments.
Each treatment takes less than an hour. “It’s recommended that a client receive one to six treatments depending on the severity, but visible results can be seen after the first session,” said Jacqueline Ryan, spokesperson for Invasix Aesthetic Solutions, manufacturer of Fractora. Two weeks after a session is when the most noticeable results appear.
“Celebrities like Giuliana Rancic and Jennifer Aniston are using this treatment,” explained Lucia about Fractora, which has also been featured on shows like Dr. Oz, The Doctors and Rachael Ray. More than ever people are looking for non-surgical, less-invasive options for skin rejuvenation. “Fractora is beneficial to those who are hesitant to undergo surgery,” she said.
It works equally well on the neck and face; other go-to procedures don’t—the neck is a tough place to address sagging. Until now, surgery was really the only truly effective option. And surgery, even a nip or tuck, comes with recovery time and a risk of complications. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of actual surgeries performed in 2012 dropped 2 percent from the year before, while minimally invasive cosmetic treatments increased by 6 percent.
Unlike more aggressive or invasive treatments, Fractora patients can jump right back into their busy schedules with virtually no downtime. Ryan said the only post-treatment requirements are to moisturize, avoid sun exposure and hold off on makeup for at least 24 hours. Lucia discovered another unique advantage: it’s safe to use on darker skin tones, since it brings little risk of post-procedure inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It also provides a natural look, not the telltale signs of obvious work being done.
Women as well as men in a wide range of ages are coming into her office. “Prevention treatments can start as young as 40; corrective treatments are being performed into the 70s,” she said. Lucia has had many success stories. “One of my clients told me she was feeling great because she was receiving compliments from friends, relatives, even people at the gym,” she recalled. “Some of the comments were, ‘Your skin looks radiant and younger!’ and ‘What’s your secret?’” And that, insisted Lucia, is the big Fractora advantage. “You don’t look pulled tight or fake. You just look somehow younger.”