Therabody TheraFace Pro review: Expensive but versatile

TheraFace Pro I was intimidated. Manufactured by Therabody, the company behind the popular Theragun devices, TheraFace Pro is the It Girl beauty tool of the moment, on par with the coveted Dyson Airwrap in both price and prestige. This $399 tool offers a variety of skincare treatments, from microcurrent and LED light to percussive facial massage. You can also purchase additional heads for heating and cooling treatments.

But you need all this if you’re not, let’s say, kicked out top gun 2? The answer is, maybe. The skin is the first defense against external bacteria, so most people could probably take better care of it. It’s hard to know exactly how well TheraFace Pro works (if at all), but I really enjoyed my time with it. Despite my initial concerns about the no-touch thermometer-like device, it made high-end skincare feel accessible and easy.


Photography: Therabody

TheraFace Pro comes with six detachable magnetic heads for four different types of skincare treatments: facial cleansing, microcurrent, LED light, and percussion massage. These pads are controlled by two buttons, the drum button and the ring button, each with three settings equaling low, mid, and high. Except during cleaning, it beeps every 15 seconds to let you know how long each treatment has passed.

Therabody is known for its percussive treatments, and facial massage can improve blood circulation and trigger lymphatic drainage. There are three percussion accessories that come with the Pro that can be used alone or in conjunction with the red light treatments. The bristle facial cleansing head is also combined with the percussion button to exfoliate and massage at the same time.

To use microcurrent, you apply TheraOne Conductive Gel to your face to lubricate the area and create a barrier between your skin and the electrical current. Then you touch the two metal knobs on his face, slide them over his skin, and control the current with the button on the ring. In theory, the electricity stimulates the facial muscles to strengthen them and increase the production of collagen, a natural protein produced by the body to maintain skin elasticity (among many other functions).

The LED light treatment head has three different settings controlled by the ring button: red light, blue light, and red light with infrared light. Red and red plus infrared light increase collagen and elastin production by microscopically energizing cells, and blue light kills acne-causing bacteria by activating the body’s immune system.

You want to avoid actual skin contact to prevent the potential spread of acne-causing bacteria to your face, so light treatments are only started when they’re within a half-inch of your skin. You’ll know it’s working because the light will intensify. While you can pair percussion treatment with the red light setting, you don’t want to pair a percussion session with a blue light session, because the percussion will negate the bacteria-killing effects of the blue light.

If you also buy the additional temperature control heads, you will get two additional treatments: heating and cooling. With those heads, the Pro can apply heat to stimulate collagen production or cooling to reduce inflammation and swelling (both with the same high, medium, and low settings).

Investigation of the facts

TheraFace Pro has been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration, which means that the FDA tested both LED light and microcurrent treatments and ensured that the device was safe to sell. Therabody’s clinical trial states that the device showed efficacy and satisfaction of 80 percent or better in multiple skin care categories. That said, the trial was done on a very small sample (35 people), and it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start electrocuting your skin, even with the smallest current.

I spoke to dermatologist Jeffrey Hsu to ask if these treatments really work. For the most part, they do, but I did have a few caveats. Percussion therapy can remove dead skin to begin with, but it’s easy to overuse it and people with thin or sensitive skin may develop irritation. That is why Therabody does not recommend combining an exfoliating cleanser with the cleansing head.

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