What is it?
This small, handheld device sends electrical current at radio frequencies into your skin’s dermis layer. It’s so fast you can’t feel it. However, where the current encounters resistance in your tissues it creates gentle heat. This heat tightens your collagen fibres and stimulates fibroblast activity to gradually remodel the collagen & elastin structures in your skin. After the regular start-up schedule, they’re clinically proven to tighten and lift your skin, and smooth wrinkles. The healthier collagen also firms, plumps and brightens too. Use them with Tripollar or CurrentBody RF prep gel. Learn more about Radio Frequency here.
These Tripollar VX models also have a special mode for use on the jawline. It’s called Dynamic Muscle Activation (DMA) or ELV in the US models. It works alongside the RF and sends a mini-Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) pulse down to your SMAS layer facial muscles (below the dermis and hypodermis) where it causes small contractions. Tripollar says DMA strengthens muscles to build volume and tone and works with the RF to enhance lift and contouring along your jawline. Phew!
The available models are the STOP VX, STOP VX Gold and the latest and top-spec STOP VX Gold 2.
The Tripollar STOP devices are beautifully packaged in mostly cardboard, with a little plastic to protect the contents. The boxes are small but robust and fit in a draw so you can store the device, power cable and gel in it when not in use.
The Tripollar VX box contents:
- Tripollar STOP VX device
- Power cable & UK, EU, US plugs
- 50ml tube of preparation gel
- User guide & warranty booklet
The Tripollar VX Gold box contents:
- Tripollar STOP VX Gold device
- Power cable & UK, EU, US plugs
- 50ml tube of Gold preparation gel
- User guide & warranty booklet
Quality & design
The Tripollar models are small, lightweight, handheld devices decorated with striking geometric shapes. They stand upright on the protective cap. I think they look like bottles of expensive perfume. The models come in various colours; black, white, pink, rose gold and as pictured below, smokey-metallic-grey and gold. The Gold 2 model is gold-coloured with a white cap.
The mains-power devices come with a 2-metre-long flexible power cord and a choice of mains adaptors. Depending on how close you are to a socket, the cord may be long enough. However, I like to sit on my bed and there’s not quite enough slack, so I use a small extension cable too.
However, I think this white cable doesn’t match and somewhat spoils the overall striking look. Perhaps a black cable would complement the design a little better.
On the treatment head, all models have four RF electrodes spaced 1 cm apart, with a temperature sensor in the middle. However, the STOP VX models have larger electrodes than most other STOP models. The larger electrodes are more efficient at heating your skin, and so sessions are easier and faster.
And you must use the Tripollar prep gels (or an RF gel alternative) with the Tripollar devices. This gel overcomes the electrical impedance of your outer skin (stratum cornea) and passes the RF current down to the dermis skin layer. Older models came with a 50ml tub. Replacement gels and the latest models have tubes of gel, so there’s less plastic waste.
The STOP VX models are the most advanced models from Tripollar. All feature Multi-RF and DMA (called ELV in the US). The STOP VX Gold and Gold 2 also have a feature called 3D Thermal Mapping Algorithm. And the Gold 2 also has Turbo RF. Here’s a quick reference table of the features of both models, and then more info on each of those features.
|Feature||STOP VX Gold 2||STOP VX Gold||STOP VX|
|Thermal Mapping Algorithm||✔️||✔️||❌|
(ELV US models)
Tripollar explain the STOP VX models not only have bigger electrode-nobbles versus the older models, but they also have advanced RF energy. They call this advanced RF ‘Multi-Radio Frequency’ or Multi-RF.
Multi-RF means more than one frequency of RF current flows into your skin. The frequencies travel to and create heat at different depths in your dermis. So, it’s much more thorough and faster at heating your skin. It also stimulates more fibroblasts so you get extra collagen and elastin. In short, it promises stronger and longer-lasting results.
Yes, please 🙋♀️.
This is versus the single RF frequency in the older Tripollar models. This creates comparatively less heat in your dermis, and so is slower to treat your skin. But it still works.
👉 Although the manufacturer (Pollogen Ltd) say results with the STOP VX are better, they don’t say by how much and there’s no available clinical comparison of the results from each.
But in terms of ease and speed of use, I can confirm there’s a BIG difference between the STOP VX and the older models. Learn how the other Tripollar models compare here.
3D Thermal Mapping Algorithm
The STOP VX Gold and Gold 2 models also have what Tripollar call 3D Thermal Mapping Algorithm.
This is a smarter, more responsive temperature sensor which continuously reads your skin temperature and adapts the RF power as it’s needed. This is good because you have different types and depths of tissue all around your face. The sensor gives a more even and accurate RF delivery around your different facial contours.
The STOP VX doesn’t have 3D Thermal Mapping Algorithm.
This is the latest RF feature released in the STOP VX Gold 2.
It still sends the multi-RF interchanging frequencies of 1 to 1.25 MHz into your skin. But the Turbo part heats your skin twice as fast. Tripollar says it gets your treatment area skin up to temperature in as little as 35 seconds. Wowser.
So, you need only treat each face and neck zone for 3 to 4 minutes, (versus 4 to 5 minutes for the other STOP VX models). That means treating your full face and neck in 5 zones takes just 15 to 20 minutes. That’s the fastest at-home RF device there is.
Dynamic Muscle Activation (DMA / ELV)
The STOP VX models also have an additional type of energy called Dynamic Muscle Activation mode (DMA). In the US they call it ELV. It’s designed to work alongside the RF for even better results.
You use it on your jawline only. As well as warming your skin with RF, it also sends a mini-Electro Muscle Stimulation pulse down to your SMAS layer facial muscles.
WHAT IS SMAS?
SMAS stands for superficial musculoaponeurotic system. It’s a thin layer of muscle beneath your skin and subcutaneous tissues (hypodermis). It’s an organized fibrous scaffold of collagen fibres, elastic fibres, and fat cells. It connects the facial muscles with the dermis. The SMAS is a facial area which surgeons alter for a SMAS facelift, resulting in lifted sagging of the lower face and neck.
The DMA pulse causes small contractions in your SMAS along your jawline. Tripollar say these contractions strengthen this thin muscle layer to build volume and tone. So, alongside the RF skin tightening it further enhances contouring and lift along your jawline.
Before you start
Before you start, read the user manual. It’s a quick and easy read with helpful diagrams. It explains how it works, the treatment areas and plan, what to expect and how to use it.
Pay close attention to the warnings, risks and contraindications. Common reasons you can’t use the STOP are being under 18 years old, pregnant, having diabetes, a pacemaker, metal implants (dental implants are ok) skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, cold sores, over permanent fillers, or if you’ve had Botox, laser resurfacing or a chemical peel within the last 3 months. There are more listed in the user manual.
Do a skin sensitivity test too. On your inner arm, apply a small amount of gel and treat with the STOP. Wait 24 hours, and if you have no skin reactions you can crack on with your first full treatment.
Next, how to use the Tripollar STOP devices.
Radio Frequency routines
First, find a comfy spot and get yourself set up.
You can do it at any time of the day, but I prefer an unrushed, quiet evening as a relaxing wind-down before sleep. I have a snug set-up in bed, which requires a small power extension cable, and an adjustable mirror on a small laptop tray in front of me.
First, apply the conductivity gel. It’s easier and much cleaner to do this with a foundation brush.
The gel’s consistency is thick and tacky so the brush helps keep your mitts clean. A headband keeps your hair back and clean, and try not to get the gel in your mouth because it tastes sickly sweet. On the plus side, I love it doesn’t dry out at all, so I happily apply it to most of my face and neck in one go.
Next, remove the protective cap and plug the mains cable into the device and then into the mains socket. Then power on the STOP.
Start LOW until you’re used to the sensation. The aim is to heat your skin in small sections with slow circular motions until it’s all reached the target temperature. Tripollar advises you to divide your face into 3 separate treatment areas. They don’t include the neck, but I do, which makes 5 treatment areas in total. Here they are (in my preferred order);
- Left side of neck
- Left chin and cheek
- Right side of neck
- Right chin and cheek
Avoid the centre line of your neck, above your thyroid.
Place the electrodes firmly against your skin and draw a small circle, then another next to it, both the size of the treatment head. Overlap is fine. Move it slowly and feel the gentle heat build in your skin.
The green light stays on as the RF current flows. The temperature sensor monitors your skin so soon after you’ll see an orange light too, closely followed by a beep. This means your skin has reached the target temperature. After another slow circle or two, move slowly to the next spot and repeat.
If you don’t move on, the RF green light turns off so as not to overheat your skin. So, you must pay attention 😳! Ideally, you want to see both the green RF light and orange indicator light for most of your treatment.
TIP: Sometimes that pesky beep just doesn’t come! So, if the orange light is constant and you’ve been circling a while, move on.
And keep your eye on that green light 👁🟩. If it flickers on/off your skin is hot enough and you’re wasting time circling the same area! Move on to the small area next to it.
Follow this technique until you’ve warmed all your skin in the treatment area, then move to the next section. Once all treatment areas are warm, slowly glide the electrodes upwards along your skin for a few minutes more.
DMA for your jawline
Once you’ve finished the RF routine, you can use both the STOP VX in DMA mode on your jawline.
Jowl zappage commence!
From RF mode, press the power button again until the indicator lights show one blue light for LOW RF and DMA mode. Press it again for HIGH.
Start on LOW to see how you find the DMA sensation. Slowly glide the electrodes along your jawline area, from chin to ear. Start gliding at the bottom of the jaw bone and gradually move up to the top of the bone. Don’t treat your cheek or the mouth area.
You’ll feel heat from the RF and see the orange light. And there are short DMA pulses too. Keep going slowly for 5 minutes. Then, repeat on the other side.
Once finished, you can remove the gel from your face. It’s a bit slimy, so I prefer to wipe it with a face cloth then rinse or wash away the residue. It feels lush to drench your skin with a nourishing sheet mask, serum and/or moisturiser.
The DMA mode feels quite different to the soothing RF, so let’s cover this next.
What does it feel like?
First up, the gel is thick and sticky. This is messy to apply with your fingers so a cosmetic brush is best. However, the advantage of the sticky formula is, you don’t need a lot and it doesn’t dry out. So, you won’t need to reapply. Make sure your hair doesn’t get stuck in it!
Some users report they break out if the gel stays on too long. So, ensure you wash your face thoroughly after use. There are no added anti-ageing skincare benefits from the gel (it’s just glycerin and salt, see the ingredients here).
The RF routine is easy and the STOP VX gets my skin up to temperature quickly. My skin also stays at the target temperature with the slow circling action, so 4 minutes is ample time to heat each area. Both models feel much warmer than other rival brands, and the older STOP models too. They feel much more efficient. And I do find the Gold model is that little bit faster and easier again. I guess that’s the 3D Thermal Mapping Algorithm feature at work. So, I imagine the Turbo RF feature with the Gold 2 is better still.
I love how the RF warmth feels. It’s extra lush with the STOP VX versus other models because it feels much hotter and super-soothing.
You must continuously move the electrodes! If not, they create a small area of intense heat. It’s uncomfortable and intense. But it doesn’t build quick enough to cause a burn before you feel and then move it.
I also like how the large RF nobbles feel on my skin, especially on my scar, and weirdly around the corners of my nose. Here’s proof because look what happens to my face…
Some facial areas are hard to treat with the large treatment head. Such as under the eyes and on the nose. But crow’s feet are easy to cover.
TIP: if your primary concern is your under-eye area, look at the smaller STOP EYE device specifically for around your peepers.
You can certainly feel the RF & DMA mode! It’s like tiny pinpricks causing teeny contractions in the muscles along your jaw. It feels a bit zingy and can involuntarily pull your lips if you get too close to your mouth. Take care not to zap it on your lips as this is quite a startling sensation. I feel it closer to my mouth, and I can’t feel it much on my jaw area towards my ear. I find it an odd sensation but totally bearable.
But some people don’t like the sensation at all. If so for you, use it on LOW or psyche yourself up to use it just once a week.
I like how my skin feels after each session. It looks pinky-to-red and is slightly plump and swollen, but in a good way. Scientists call these skin reactions edema and erythema 👩🔬. It also feels pleasantly warm and invigorated, as after a workout.
These skin reactions gradually fade a few hours after the session. But the next morning my skin feels exceptionally smooth and soft.
Schedule, effort & results
The start-up treatment schedule is the same for all Tripollar models. You do an RF session roughly every other day (2 or 3 times per week) for 6 to 8 weeks. So, this schedule requires commitment.
For both RF and DMA, you’ll need around 30 to 35 minutes per full face and neck session with the STOP VX. This won’t vary too much between users because you time each treatment area. But it takes longer with the STOP V. I need a good 50 minutes for my full face and neck.
Therefore, it’s best to set aside a quiet and unrushed hour every few days. And if you have this time and motivation, it’s a pleasant way to pamper your skin. You can also do it whilst watching TV.
After 6 to 8 weeks, you then switch to less regular maintenance sessions. Tripollar suggests them either weekly or once every two weeks (so, 2 to 4 times per month). These sessions are much easier to fit in, and it’s one of the least effort maintenance schedules. But it’s so easy to skive off! So, you must remember to schedule the time with yourself. Saturday mornings are my favourite time.
What they fix: Smooths texture, tightens pores, plumps skin reducing fine lines & wrinkles, tightens loose skin around facial contours jowls, chin, jaw & eyes, and refreshes for firm, supple, glowing, younger-looking skin.
Although most feel plump and smooth skin immediately after a session, you must allow at least 6 weeks to see noticeable results. It’s during the first 6 to 8 weeks of concentrated use that your collagen and elastin gradually rebuild and strengthen, to tighten and rejuvenate your skin.
Some users do feel changes in their skin before 6 weeks such as smoothed texture, tightened pores, and brighter skin. Then, wrinkles gradually soften, scars fade, skin plumps and tightens, but with best results at 6+ weeks. And I like that there’s no “false summit” where you’re encouraged to keep going to see even better results (ahem, Nuface).
For some, their results are a subtle tightening and brightening. For others, a dramatic lifting of sagging skin around the jawline and brows, or plumping of nasolabial lines and wrinkles. Therefore, results vary in significance and by individual. As with all devices, home beauty tech can give you a healthy “I’m not wearing make-up” confidence boost, but they aren’t overnight mini miracles!
Take before vs after photos! 📸
Take before and after photos so you can see your progress! Changes are usually gradual and may be difficult to spot if you scrutinize your face every day!
User trial results
I want to try DIY Radio Frequency because it’s one of just two home technologies which can tighten your skin, lifting saggy areas.
I’ve already tried the other – at-home microcurrent and nanocurrent devices – and I committed to them for 14 months. I used the Nuface and ZIIP devices which lifted my mouth and jowl area and gave me the best skin of my life, but they didn’t tighten my under-chin saggy skin. So, I quit and now I want to see if at-home RF can help instead.
Before starting this Tripollar STOP trial, I also quit my easy-peasy CurrentBody Skin red light mask. So, note my skin is already in tip-top condition. I’m curious to see if the STOP will maintain this whilst also tightening my chin-sag and jawline.
Here are my before photos:
I hope the STOP will maintain my healthy, supple, smooth, bright and hydrated skin. I’d like to maintain my small pores too. I’m really hoping the STOP can tighten and lift my small jowls and under-chin sag, smooth my under-eye area, and perhaps reduce my forehead lines a bit more.
So, I use the STOP mostly 3 times per week with a total of 21 sessions over 8 weeks. Each evening session leaves my skin pinky-red and feeling invigorated, plump and smooth. But the next day it’s SUPER smooth. It takes around 4 weeks to see changes in my skin 👇.
4 to 6 weeks
After 10 sessions (almost 4 weeks) the immediate aftereffects are much more pronounced. My skin is visibly smoother, plump and glowy after each session. And I’m starting to see lasting improvements in my skin too. My pores still look tiny, and the few small bumps and textural imperfections on my forehead are smoother and much less obvious. My scar is softening too. Then, over the next 2 weeks, my skin feels bouncy and it’s slightly plumper under my eyes too. It’s encouraging!
Now the STOP RF doesn’t help prevent or clear blemishes as other devices can. And since quitting microcurrent my spots and under-the-surface bumps have returned. And especially those pesky reoccurring hormonal zits. They spoil my otherwise healthy complexion so at week six I decide to treat myself to a Tripollar Geneo facial.
This oxygenation facial won’t interfere with skin tightening results from the STOP but with weekly use, it does clear congested skin and blackheads and keeps it clear. So, now I do my Geneo facial weekly, usually as a pampering treat on a weekend.
You do either a 6 or 8 weeks start-up with the STOP. I’ve decided to do a total of 8 weeks, and during week 7 my skin is exceptionally smooth, firm, and now radiant. I loved my bright unified complexion from the CurrentBody Skin red light mask, but this glow is LUMINOUS. And I love it too.
Also, when I look in the mirror, I think my under-chin sag looks tighter. It’s more noticeable for 24 hours after a session. But I’m trying not to get too excited and complete my eighth week.
So, here are my comparison photos at 8 weeks:
After 8 weeks of using the STOP, I still have healthy, supple, smooth, bright and hydrated skin and my pores still look small. It smoothed out a few bumps and imperfections on my forehead and softened my scar too. Result.
I don’t see any change in my forehead lines. But my lower cheeks feel fuller, and my under-eye feels a little plumper. But the skin is still rather crêpey with several fine lines. But who cares because…
…I’m buzzing that my jawline and under-chin sag is a bit tighter! It’s still not perfect, but I’m impressed! 🥳
And now I start my maintenance sessions.
Top-ups & after 11 weeks
A week feels long enough to wait for me to do a top-up session. I like to pamper myself on an unrushed Saturday morning. I let my skin cool and then follow with a Geneo oxygen facial. My skin looks and feels so alive afterwards.
And I notice further improvement after three top-up sessions (at week 11):
My skin is still radiant, supple and hydrated. It looks very healthy. It feels even smoother and much meatier on my forehead, but my forehead expression lines haven’t really changed. My under-eye area is slightly thicker and smoother so the fine lines are much less noticeable (unless I smile!).
And there’s a further improvement on my neck and lower face too. The skin on my neck is now super smooth and soft, and it feels tighter too. My lower cheeks feel fuller and my under-chin sag has lifted a little more too. Yay!
Yup. I’m a happy bunny.
There are a few negatives to consider with the Tripollar RF devices.
First, as mentioned earlier, it takes a while for a full face and neck session. However, the VX models are three of the fastest from Tripollar. And it’s not complicated once you know what you’re doing. You can do it whilst relaxing and watching TV too.
Second, the shape is not as comfy and ergonomic as other devices. It’s a tad awkward because you must hold the Tripollar device at a right angle to your skin. This means holding your arm up at an uncomfortable angle, especially on the forehead. Or lifting your head high to get under your jaw. And moving your head to various angles to see in the mirror too. Rival devices have angled treatment heads so you can hold your arm more naturally, lower, and closer to your body as you treat your neck and face.
Some users also suggest a cordless design would be better. However, cordless means a heavy rechargeable battery inside so making it tiring to hold for longer periods of time. Plus, the battery may not last long enough to complete a full face and neck session. Therefore, with this particular design and length of routine, mains power is best.
Next, the Tripollar preparation gel is rather expensive at £30 to £39 for 50ml. On the plus side, it lasts aaaages. The 50ml tub lasts way past the start-up schedule if using it 3 times per week. So, it’s pretty good value compared to other device consumables (such as those from Nuface). But you do have a cheaper alternative RF gel from CurrentBody.com too. You get double the amount (100ml) for £30. It’s almost identical and works just as well.
And finally, the STOP devices are shockingly expensive. The STOP VX is £479, and, I almost had a nosebleed when I saw the price of the STOP VX Gold 2 at £679! Yikes! You’ll find 20% discount codes below, but still. WOWSER.
And unfortunately, most of us don’t you don’t get a money-back guarantee period to try out the STOP. But if you live in the US you do get 30 days, which is better than nowt. But considering it’s rather pricey, I feel a longer money-back guarantee for everyone would be a welcome and reassuring addition. No such luck.
Tripollar STOP VX review summary
I really like the Tripollar STOP VX models despite the upfront committment, because they work and lifted my under-chin sagging skin. They feel lush and warm, and the maintenance sessions are super-easy to stick to. But boy are they pricey for the latest Gold VX models with all the fancy features.
Here’s a summary of my test scores, and pros and cons for the Tripollar STOP VX radio frequency devices to help you decide:
Ease of use
Easy RF sessions on face & neck, pleasant warming sensation. Requires a sticky conductive gel. DMA mode feels like teeny pinpricks but is totally bearable. Use morning or night, can watch TV. No pain or irritation. Leaves skin invigorated, red/pink & plump, which fades quickly.
A high-effort device with 2 to 3 sessions per week for 6 to 8 weeks. RF takes 20 to 25 mins plus 10 mins DMA. Then, a much more manageable maintenance plan with sessions either weekly or 1 every 2 weeks.
Skin feels smoother & firmer after just a few sessions. Collagen & elastin slowly rebuild to smooth, firm & brighten your skin, softening wrinkles & fine lines too. Skin also gradually tightens for lift around the chin, jaw & eyes. Best results after 8+ weeks maintained with regular top-ups.
- Simple routine, painless & pleasant warming sensation
- Leaves skin invigorated
- Low-effort maintenance schedule
- Gel lasts aaaages
- Lower-cost gel alternatives available too
- Compact & lightweight
- STOP VX, Gold & Gold 2 are the fastest and easiest of the STOP models
- US 30-day money-back guarantee
- Clinically proven & CE certified
- Very sticky prep gel
- No money-back guarantee outside the US
- High up-front effort during start-up
- It’s unclear what clinical evidence there is for the DMA mode
Tripollar STOP VX deals
When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (your price stays the same). I really appreciate your support 🙏!
20% off code at Tripollar
Radio Frequency Prep gel deals
👉 CurrentBody Skin RF prep gel £30 / $50 for 100ml
👉 Tripollar Prep gel £45 / $59 for 50ml