Can This High-Tech Device Erase Fine Lines Without Any Pain?

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
High-tech facial devices always hit the market with a bang, piquing our interest with blue lights and spaceship designs that make us hope perfect skin isn't just some futuristic fantasy of ours. Some end up being bogus; others, brilliant. But how do you distinguish between the two before throwing down your cash? We're on a mission to find out. Over the next few weeks, R29 staffers will be road-testing the biggest innovations of the year to see if each delivers on its stellar claims. Up next: the NEWA Skin Care System.

It's easy to obsess over a single wrinkle — especially if it's your first. When you look in the mirror, that one fine line, wherever it may be, suddenly becomes all you can see. That was the case for R29er Natalie Gontcharova, who wanted a fix for a horizontal crinkle across her forehead.

And while there are plenty of ways to soften lines at homeretinol is just one good example — the most effective methods have traditionally taken the form of derm-administered injections or lasers. But now, there are more at-home facial devices with lower-strength laser technology popping up on the market, making it easier than ever to flip a switch and get on the road to smoother skin.

So, we enlisted Natalie to road-test the latest NEWA Skin Care System. The device uses radio frequency-based technology that — when used with the included Lift Activator Gel — is meant to stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines. And at $450, we expected big things.
Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Following the instructions, she treated her forehead area for four minutes a day, five times a week, for one month. (Though, she admits, she skipped two days of treatment.) For the most part, using it wasn't a complete imposition on her daily life. "I didn't think the four-minute treatment time was bad. It was just enough time for me to brush my teeth with my other hand — I'm a good multitasker! — or watch a snippet of The Daily Show. Plus, I found the warming sensation of the gel really nice. It wasn't painful at all," she says, adding that all she felt was a gentle buzzing. Good news for those who hate the rubber-band snap of a hair-removal laser.

So did it work? Well, yes and no. "What I found remarkable about this device was that it seems to have an almost immediate smoothing effect on skin," she says. "Right after I used it — and the mornings after — my annoying line was visibly reduced, and my skin felt smoother overall." But, as with most beauty treatments, maintenance is key. "During those weeks when I didn't use it as consistently, the line came back. I'd be curious to see the longer-term results, so I will definitely use it again."
Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
In the end, it's important to note that this device requires commitment. But if you're dedicated to smoothing those fine lines without seeing a doctor, and you're starting early enough (these things can't work miracles on shar-pei-type wrinkles), then we'd consider it a worthy splurge.
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