As fans of all things beauty, skincare, and medical aesthetics know, I’m always on the hunt for new treatments and technologies to test — and those who are active on Instagram® know how easy it can be to find inspiration from major celebrities. Case in point: Kim Kardashian recently shared in her Instagram® Stories that she was testing a brand new laser that uses a combination of radiofrequency and ultrasound for facial tightening. Eager to learn more, I consulted with the practitioners who administered her treatment: board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Deepak Dugar and Dr. Raj Kanodia in Beverly Hills.
The Exilis® Ultra 360 isn’t just for the face — it can be used from head to toe to help tighten the skin and muscles, while simultaneously killing unwanted body fat. What separates this laser from others on the market is its penetrative technology, which enables it to reach deep into the layers of the skin to tighten it with heating and cooling energy. (And, of course, if it’s good enough to grace the jawline of Kim Kardashian, then it’s good enough for me.)
Dr. Dugar is a proponent of minimal, noninvasive, and subtle treatments that enhance the face and body without making big changes that everyone will notice. This device in particular fits under that umbrella, and his excitement for it is infectious. “The Exilis Ultra 360 is a radio frequency plus ultrasound energy laser, so it’s a coupled laser with two different energies in one,” he explains. Its strength is what makes it a new celebrity favorite.
The dual radio-frequency ultrasound laser stimulates collagen in the skin to tighten problem areas. The entire treatment is non-invasive and effective without any pain or downtime. (Side effects are uncommon, but tend to consist of redness and potentially irritation in the area treated. Consult with your provider to see if this treatment is right for you.) Some patients will start to see results after just one session, but Dr. Dugar stresses that two to four sessions may be required to see optimal results. With that knowledge in mind, I was ready to test the Exilis for myself.
The procedure is as straightforward as it sounds. First, a grounding pad was applied to my lower back. This accoutrement is designed to control all of the laser’s energy in the hand piece, not allowing it to arc anywhere else in the body. Next, a thick coat of cool, conductive gel was applied to my face to act as a barrier between the device and my skin.
Dr. Dugar began the heat therapy laser treatment, which I felt almost as soon as it touched my skin. “The method behind this laser is to keep it in constant motion so that you don’t emit too much heat energy into one spot, and to do equal mapping zones, measuring every single part of the skin square-inch wise and covering them equally,” Dr. Dugar explains. (Basically, you want to give the whole area you’re treating an equal amount of love.)
It typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes to treat any area on the body and face, but we decided that since I was a my newbie, with sensitive skin, just 10 minutes on each side would do the trick. In my opinion, the laser was very tolerable, although there were areas where I felt the heat more intensely — like my jawline. “It’s a strong and aggressive [laser] to tighten and tone the external layers of the skin [from deep in the tissue all the way up to the superficial layer],” Dr. Dugar notes. “You’re tightening from the outside in — it’s not like other lasers.”
The Exilis Ultra 360 is recommended for those 21 and up with skin tightening needs. Dr. Dugar says that the lower face is something people don’t often treat aggressively with lasers, and he is a proponent of this treatment in that area if you are determined a candidate. He adds that at-home radiofrequency devices, which tighten and stimulate collagen, may become trendier in the next few years.
After the full 10 minutes of the laser, my pale, ginger skin had had enough. That said, I was immediately hooked! Despite the (very!) quick treatment, I noticed that my lower face and jaw looked — as promised — taut and sculpted. With such dramatic results in so little time, it’s easy to see why celebrities invest in treatments with this mega-tightening laser.