Skincare has come a long way — gone are the days when invasive procedures reigned supreme in anti-ageing treatments. Today, non-invasive skincare is gaining a lot of attention. And one treatment in particular is leading the pack: Sofwave. With its promise of rejuvenating your skin without the hassle of needles, bandages or operation rooms, Sofwave is piquing the interest of Canadians.
What is Sofwave?
Sofwave is a relatively new but Food and Drug Administration-cleared, non-invasive treatment that helps improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. More importantly, it’s designed to stimulate the body’s natural collagen regeneration process. Using a unique Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam SUPERB technology, Sofwave goes to work on the mid-dermal tissue layer. This is where collagen rejuvenation begins.
Sarah Jessica Parker shared her experience in a recent interview with Real Simple. She prefers treatments that build up effects over time rather than offering an instantaneous transformative fix. According to SJP, “My derm just used this thing on me called Sofwave, and it was amazing.”
The ultrasound waves cause micro-injuries in the dermis, and as the body heals with new collagen production, tightening the tissue. It’s the same idea as radiofrequency and microneedling (ahem, Morpheus8), but you are not cutting through through the skin.
Before the treatment, I had a consultation with RN Madison Nagel at Beber Plastic Surgery in Toronto.
We chatted for 20 minutes or so and took some photos of my face, then I sat down on the patient chair and she got to work.
How does it Work?
Sofwave utilizes a technique called Intense Ultrasound Beam Technology (IUB). This technique deposits ultrasound energy precisely at a depth of 1.5mm under the skin, triggering a process known as neocollagenesis — the formation of new collagen. Renewed collagen helps revitalize the skin, improving the look of wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
In case you’re unfamiliar, collagen – the protein our body naturally produces, providing plumpness in our skin — begins to deplete from the age of 25+. This means collagen-stimulating treatments are billed as both preventative and corrective in anti-ageing terms. Sofwave is the ultimate example of this.
The Sofwave device integrates cooling to ensure patient comfort. I’m thankful, however, it does sting a little. Depending on the person, in certain areas of the face have more sensitive nerves than others, so it can feel a bit spicy. I wouldn’t say that you can get used to the treatment’s zaps or that it’s a particularly relaxing experience, but the discomfort is manageable. The device doesn’t linger in one spot for too long. And when the device beeps and moves on, the burning sensation completely disappears.
Because of the integrated cooling mechanism called Sofcool, the uppermost skin layer is protected from overheating. So patients don’t experience redness, a ton of discomfort or irritation. According to Dr. Sharyn A Laughlin, this new device meets an unmet need. “Using Sofwave, I can give my patients impressive results in one treatment session.”
Only one treatment? That’s impressive.
The benefits of Sofwave
- Non-invasive: There are no surgical implements involved in the process. The surface of the skin remains undisturbed—making it non-invasive and relatively painless.
- Quick Treatment Time: On average, a Sofwave treatment takes around 30 to 45 minutes. The relatively short time frame means you can even get it done on your lunch break.
- Minimal Downtime: As it is non-invasive, recovery time is almost immediate. You can return to your daily activities post-treatment without any hassle.
- Effective Results: Sofwave has proven results in dealing with wrinkles and fine lines, and the effects can be seen after just one treatment session.
- Safe for All Skin Types: The technique is suitable for various skin types, increasing its accessibility and popularity.
Is Sofwave the right choice for you?
Sofwave may be the perfect choice if you are looking for a non-invasive, non-surgical, swift, and effective method to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Although not cheap (the treatment costs $3500,) the benefits outweigh the higher price tag when you think about long-term results.
When you compare it to treatments like Morpheus8 which requires freezing the face, has quite a lot of aftercare, and you need three sessions to see the full benefits, Sofwave only needs one treatment to see results and there is no downtime. “Results appear anywhere from six weeks onwards, and last for nine-to-12 months,” Nurse Nagel confirms.
Who wouldn’t benefit from this treatment?
While Sofwave generally has a broad application, there are certain situations where the treatment may not be a fit for people who are dealing with the below:
Pregnancy: Generally, non-invasive skin treatments, like Sofwave, should be avoided during pregnancy. And not because they are necessarily harmful, but due to a lack of substantial research.
Presence of Dermal Fillers: If you have received dermal fillers or other injectables in or around the treatment area two weeks prior, it may be best to consult with the practitioner before Sofwave therapy.
Severe Skin Conditions: Individuals with active or severe skin diseases in the area should avoid Sofwave until their condition has significantly improved or cleared up entirely.
Metal Implants: Sofwave is not recommended for individuals with metal implants in the treatment area, including dental implants.
Like any noninvasive treatment, it’s important to remember that results are temporary and won’t be as dramatic as a surgical procedure. I’m currently at two weeks post-treatment, and to be honest, I can’t really tell if my skin is still becoming firmer or plumper. But as the results are gradual, it could just be happening in such slow motion that I can’t measure it.
It’s this subtlety that appeals to me; personally, I don’t want to change the way I look. Unlike other treatments, such as wrinkle-relaxing injections and dermal fillers, Sofwave is here to enhance and “prejuvinate” — by preventing visible signs of ageing and rejuvenating the early ones I have. For a treatment that costs this much (one treatment can run $3,000-$3,500), I’d only recommend it for those serious about collagen banking, not those who want a quick fix.
While I didn’t notice any real immediate results, I’ll be heading back to the Beber Plastic Surgery clinic in the spring to take my after photos. I’m excited to see the comparison photos and to make a final assessment of the treatment. Stay tuned for more!
Disclosure- I received this treatment free of charge but my opinions reflect an authentic and honest account of the procedure and outcome.
Lead photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash