There's no doubt that a facelift will achieve dramatic results, but not everyone wants to undergo surgery, and not everyone can afford the cost. But there are lots of other skin tightening options available today - from the gradual to the dramatic, with less downtime and a lower price point. Non-invasive skin tightening treatments are called non-invasive because they leave the surface of your skin unharmed. They work by inducing a wound response that triggers collagen production and remodeling over time.
Let's take a look at some of the more effective skin tightening options currently available:
Radiofrequency heats the skin tissue beneath the epidermis. A visible tightening effect can be seen right away and collagen production continues over time. Most clients report seeing best results in about 3 months - this is after a series of 6 to 10 treatments.
Radiofrequency with Microneedling
Fractional RF, such as the INTRAcel works by providing RF energy via microneedles exactly where it is needed to stimulate collagen production and tighten loose skin. This allows you to see results faster — usually in about 1 month. Best results are seen after a series of 3 treatments and results last longer - up to a year. There is no downtime. INTRAcel can be used on all skin types, it is also an excellent modality for treating acne scars, surgical scars, stretch marks and photoaging.
Cosmetic lasers can send heat deep into the skin without wounding the top layer of your skin. These lasers are non-ablative lasers that work deeper in the skin without removing or otherwise damaging the top layers and create a superficial tightening because the heat produced encourages collagen production. Treatment is usually recommended as a series of 3 to 6 procedures (depending on your skin condition) approximately 3 or 4 weeks apart. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes and there is no downtime.
This is a more intensive procedure with an ablative laser such as a CO2 laser, that actually vaporizes the top layers of damaged skin. This kind of Laser resurfacing does require some downtime. Usually 7 to 10 days. This type of laser treatment is very effective for tightening loose skin. It can also diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin, such as age spots.
Infrared treatments utilize a pulsed broadband infrared source to heat deeper layers of the skin without compromising the surface of the skin. This heating activates fibroblasts signaling new collagen production and creating a tightening effect over time. Best results are usually seen after three to five treatments and continue to improve for up to 6 months.
This is another modality that uses energy to deliver heat deep into the skin simulating a wound effect - which in turn can boost collagen production. Ultrasound is noninvasive but some side effects of treatment can include swelling, redness, soreness, bruising, and numbness. These effects are usually short-term. Ultrasound energy results can be seen after 1 treatment, and most people see a modest visible tightening after about 3 months.
A chemical peel such as the Institut' DERMed Supreme Lifting Peel (a TCA -Trichloroacetic Acid Peel) usually requires 5 to 7 days of downtime with peeling skin depending on the peel depth. TCA peels do tighten skin as well as even out skin color, remove sun damaged skin cells and soften fine lines and wrinkles.There are a variety of chemical peel depths, based on the concentration of the peel. A superficial peel will affect the epidermal layer only. A medium-depth peel will affect the epidermis and the upper dermis, and a deep chemical peel will go as deep as the dermis. Most chemical peels impact the surface layer of the skin, the epidermis, so results will vary depending on the individual skin type and condition.
OTC skin firming Serums and Moisturizers
There are a lot of over the counter products out there that promising a myriad of skin tightening results. Realistically you will see a change if a product contains a retinoid, such as retinol, (Institut' DERMed Vital A Serum, and Institut' DERMed Renewing Moisturizer) which can help your body make more collagen. Keep in mind that topical ingredients for skin-firming have subtle (but visible) results for diminishing the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles. Topical skincare products work best when used as an at home maintenance treatment that continues to support the professional treatment results.
Moisturizing Strategies for Fall and Winter
As we transition from Fall into Winter our skin can be difficult to deal with. Products that just yesterday were working great for your complexion just don't seem as effective today. Anyone with sensitive skin prone to irritation can find that their skin can erupt overnight. This is also true for oily/acne prone skin types. For some, the colder months can be helpful in that your skin will be less oily, but on the other hand a buildup of dead skin cells can create congestion leading to breakouts and a very dull complexion.
Exfoliation is necessary for both oily and dry skin types in winter. It removes the dead skin and allows serums and hydration to penetrate. Conditioning your skin once a month with a professional facial treatment using cosmeceutical organic acids such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic will work to break down oils (lipids) in the skin allowing for accelerated cell shedding. Adding a topically applied skin exfoliator to your home care regimen, such as the Institut' DERMed Enhancing Micro Crystal Polish that contains corundum crystals and jojoba beads will polish away dead skin cells and when used once a week will provide a mild exfoliation without risk of over exfoliating. After any exfoliation follow with a serum and moisturizer recommended for your skin type to restore the epidermal barrier for maximum hydration and protection.
Tips for avoiding dry and dull Winter skin
1. Wash with a creamy cleanser like the Institut’ DERMed Enhancing Creamy Cleanser with Milk Proteins to remove makeup, dirt and oil without stripping skin of precious oils that bond water to the cells. Always use tepid water and a soft wash cloth to remove cleansers.
2. Balance your skin’s pH after cleansing with a corrective toner to hydrate and prepare your skin for better penetration of your serum and moisturizer.
3. Cosmeceutical ingredients treat and hydrate skin. The Institut’ DERMed Anti-Oxidant Peptide Serum with Spin Trap Proteins bond nutrient rich water to the skin and provide the first layer of hydration and protection for dry skin types. For oily skin types the Institut' DERMed Totarol Serum formulated with Totarol Extract and Tea Tree Oil is a much gentler alternative to benzoyl peroxide in the winter months and will help you to maintain a clear, clean complexion.
4. The Institut’ DERMed Renewing Moisturizer will provide maximum skin protection for those with dry skin, protecting against environmental aggressions and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For excessively oily skin types the Clarifying Moisturizer with plant derived Squalene Oil and Tea Tree Oil will restore the skin's ideal moisture balance while maintaining a clear complexion.
5. Keep some intensive moisturizing cream on hand such as the Enhancing Protective Cream for the face, and the Enhanching Lactic Hand and Body Lotion for the body to handle those problematic areas whenever necessary, especially if you live in a very harsh winter climate.
Fruit and vegetable enzymes are proteins with the ability to target and break down dead skin cells. When used in skin care products, the enzymes speed up chemical reactions on the skin's surface, increasing skin cell turnover to reveal healthy, glowing skin. The enzymes take the place of manual exfoliation with an added bonus: they're also full of antioxidants! Pumpkin enzymes naturally contain vitamin A, making them the most effective enzyme for refining the skin's surface. This miracle enzyme helps to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as to combat oily acne breakouts.
Skin care products that achieve this "healthy glow" without the downtime are available for home-care as well as professional use. Five minutes at home is all you need to transform your skin with the Institut Dermed Clarifying Peel. Formulated with oil controlling Pumpkin Enzymes and L-Lactic Acid this weekly treatment accelerates the release of dead cell build-up, fades the appearance of skin discoloration, decongests clogged pores and helps to prevent the appearance of blemishes for a clear, clean complexion. Contains 5% Pumpkin Enzymes.
For professional use, the Institut Dermed Pumpkin Peel facial treatment combines enzymes and fruit acids to accelerate exfoliation without the oxidative and free radical stress associated with most peels. The mild retinoic acid benefit helps the exfoliation process and this peel is also packed with Vitamin C, an antioxidant to strengthen your skin’s defenses and prevent the signs of aging. The Pumpkin Peel treatment takes approximately 30 minutes. There's no downtime with this peel which makes it an excellent lunchtime treatment.Contains 15% Pumpkin Enzymes. For Professional Use Only.