Expert Doctor

Refirme Skin Tightening

Refirme skin tightening is a cosmetic treatment that utilizes bipolar radio frequency with an infrared laser to obtain skin rejuvenation. The combination of these technologies tightens the skin and stimulates collagen production. Refirme is a non-invasive, FDA-approved method for addressing the natural signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, skin tone and laxity. Refirme can also treat bags under the eyes, drooping brow lines and neck folds. Unlike other skin rejuvenation treatments, Refirme skin tightening can be used on patients with various skin tones regardless if they have light or dark skin.

Am I a Good Candidate for Refirme Skin Tightening?

A GOOD CANDIDATE for Refirme skin tightening includes:

  • Male or female patients who wish to tighten and tone their skin
  • Patients with mild to moderate skin laxity and wrinkles
  • Any patient looking for a non-invasive means to skin rejuvenation
  • A patient who is unwilling or unable to manage sufficient downtime for a more invasive procedure
  • Patients with very light or dark skin tones who are not good candidates for other skin tightening treatments
  • Patient showing the effects of gravity on their appearance

The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for Refirme:

  • Patients with severe laxity of the skin
  • Patients with very deep wrinkles or creases
  • A patient who is looking for a one-time treatment

How is Refirme Skin Tightening Performed?

Refirme skin tightening is typically performed in the doctor’s office and only takes up to one hour. Refirme works best when the patient undergoes three to five treatments spaced three to four weeks apart. The amount of treatments necessary is determined by the severity of wrinkles and the condition of the skin.

During the treatment, the doctor will run an electronic device over the treatment area. The laser energy targets the treatment area at one pulse per second. The light energy from Refirme penetrates through the layers of skin to heat up the collagen in the dermis. The body responds to the heat by stimulating collagen to heal the controlled skin wound. The patient may return home immediately after a Refirme skin tightening treatment.

Paired with Botox

Refirme is often paired with Botox to help minimize muscle movements which create expression lines. This will help the skin to gradually smooth out.

Alternative Treatments

Alternative treatments may include Ulthera and Thermage but they can often be more invasive than Refirme. More aggressive treatments also have more risks, a longer recovery time and a longer downtime.

What is the Cost of Refirme Skin Tightening?

The cost of Refirme varies according to how large of an area is treated and how many treatment sessions are needed to obtain the desired results. The cost also depends on the geographic location of the treatment. The average cost of Refirme is around $300-$800.

Recovery and Downtime

Since Refirme is a non-invasive treatment, and no incisions are made on the skin, there is little to no RECOVERY or DOWNTIME. Patients can immediately return to all activities immediately after Refirme without compromising the results. Patients may experience some mild redness or swelling but these side effects rarely last longer than a few hours. Contraction of the skin can be felt just after Refirme, and will last for the first couple of days, due to the mild inflammation created by the laser energy. Patients should avoid the sun during healing and use sunscreen with SPF 30 daily.


Collagen stimulation can trigger the skin to become firmer but new collagen production can take some time. Patients may be able to see some results after the first session but they will not be dramatic. Patients may notice fine lines becoming less visible and recessed areas of skin that have slightly risen. However, patients with deeper lines and wrinkles may not see noticeable results until after the second or third session since the recessed areas might be too deep for the collagen to immediately make a noticeable effect. As the treatment plan is continued, the collagen production will continue to improve skin tone and provide more visible results. Improvements will continue for several months after the final session as the collagen continues to firm the skin.

Final results will be visible at about 4 to 6 months after the initial Refirme treatment. The final results can last up to 2 years. To preserve the results, patients will need maintenance treatments, once or twice a year, in order to keep up the same level of collagen. Adopting a healthy skin care regimen is also a good way to maintain longer lasting results.

Limitations of Refirme Skin Tightening

The limitations of Refirme skin tightening include:

  • The total amount of skin tightening it can accomplish
  • Patients who are much older, or those who have very deep wrinkles, will not gain the same results as someone who is younger with mild to moderate aging
  • The degree of improvements that can be accomplished with fewer treatments

Risks of Refirme Skin Tightening

The risks involved with Refirme skin tightening include:

  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Skin burns
  • Blistering of the skin in the treatment area
  • Unsatisfactory results

Appropriate for all Skin Tones

Refirme skin tightening is not painful, has no downtime and includes minimal risks.  Refirme skin tightening is appropriate for patients with any skin tone. These are the main aspects that appeal to prospective patients who want improved skin tone and an improvement with their skin laxity. Patients who are considering Refirme skin tightening should consult with an experienced doctor to see if this type of treatment is a good option to address their skin needs.

Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Sunnyline Vendiola, MD in Chula Vista, CA