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The Number

Jan 09, 2024

The number-one skin-care device in China just made its way stateside (we’re often behind in the tool market because the U.S. FDA requires 510K clearance to launch here), and it's a first-of-its-kind technology beauty-obsessives will go nuts for: Meet TriPollar STOP VX.

The unique device combines radio-frequency energy with electronic vibration (ELV) to bring a cutting-edge skin-care treatment into our homes. "It heats the dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, and it's color-blind, so it works on all skin tones, unlike most lasers," says New York dermatologist Hadley King, MD, noting that the device also contains a sensor that constantly monitors the temperature of the skin, as not to overheat. "For those who have had in-office radio-frequency treatments like Thermage and Pellevé, I’d compare this device to those because they’re also noninvasive treatments that create collagen synthesis. It helps lift sagging skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, as well as contour the jawline."

How to use it: The radio-frequency mode works on all areas of the face, but the RF+ELV mode should only be used on less-sensitive areas of the face like the jawline. Each at-home session takes about 20 minutes to do your full face: four to five minutes per cheek, and the same on the forehead and jawline. "You can also treat the sides of your neck—not the center in order to avoid to thyroid—and we’ve seen great results when using the device on the backs of the hands, too," Dr. King says. "When using it around your eyes, make sure to only go up to the orbital bone and no closer, and avoid getting too close to the lips as well." Dr. King recommends using the device two to three times a week, and says you can expect to see benefits in eight to 12 weeks. However, "you’ll also see immediate results after each treatment because it oxygenates the skin and dilates blood vessels for an instant glow," she says.

TriPollar Stop VX ($629) comes with its own Preparation Gel, which is nonconductive, skin-safe and should be applied in a very thin layer over all treatments area before using, and a thin layer is truly all that's needed. "Many people think they need a ton of gel, but that's the not the case," says Dr. King. "This one lasts a good amount of time when you apply it correctly." And if you run out, don't try to use your own face oil or serum instead (though this is "OK" with some other treatments—it's a question we get asked about tools often), as this gel has been precisely formulated to complement the technologies in the device.

For all the power this tool packs, I was expecting it to be heavy and cumbersome, but it's super lightweight and sleek. The only downside I can see so far is that the device needs to be plugged in while you’re using it (it's not a charge-before-use situation). However, this isn't comparable to a jade roller you’d quickly roll on to depuff in the back of a cab anyway.

For those who are loyal to their in-office treatments and want a complementary device to help maintain their results in between appointments, this is a perfect fit. But, it's also ideal for those who want to avoid the office appointments altogether and treat their skin from the comfort of their own home.

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