Therabody TheraFace Pro Review: Expensive but Versatile

TheraFace Pro he intimidated me Made by Therabody, the company behind the popular Theragun devices, the 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 skin care treatments, from microcurrents and LED light to percussive facial massages. You can also purchase additional heads for heating and cooling treatments.

But you need all this if you are not, for example, launched Top Gun 2? The answer is, maybe. The skin is the first line of defense against external bacteria, so most people could probably use a little better care. It’s hard to know exactly how well the TheraFace Pro works (if at all), but I really enjoyed my time with it. Despite my initial concerns about the non-contact thermometer device, it made high-end skin care feel accessible and easy.


Photography: Therabody

The TheraFace Pro features six detachable magnetic heads for four different types of skin care treatments: facial cleansing, microcurrent, LED light, and percussive massage. These heads are controlled by two buttons, the percussion button and the bell button, each with three settings that equate to low, medium, and high. Except during cleaning, it beeps every 15 seconds to let you know how much time you spent on each treatment.

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

To use microcurrent, apply TheraOne Conductive Gel to your face to lubricate the area and create a barrier between your skin and the electrical current. Then touch the two metal buttons to your face, slide them over your skin, and control the current with the ring button. In theory, the electricity stimulates the facial muscles to strengthen them and increase the production of collagen, a natural protein your body makes 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 with infrared light. Red light and red plus infrared 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 avoid potentially spreading acne-causing bacteria to your face, so light treatments only start when they’re within half an inch of your skin. You’ll know it’s working because the light will intensify. While you can combine the percussion treatment with the red light setup, you don’t want to pair a percussion session with a blue light session, because the percussion will override the bacteria-killing effects of the blue light.

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

Fact finding

The TheraFace Pro has been cleared for use by the US Food and Drug Administration, meaning the FDA tested the LED light and microcurrent treatments and found the device safe to sell. Therabody’s clinical trial claims the device showed 80 percent or more efficacy and satisfaction across several skin care categories. That said, the trial was 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 currents.

I spoke with dermatologist Jeffrey Hsu to ask if these treatments really work. For the most part, yes, but it had some caveats. For starters, percussion therapy can remove dead skin, but it’s easy to overuse it, and people with thin or sensitive skin can develop irritation. This is why Therabody does not recommend combining an exfoliating cleanser with the cleansing head.

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