Loose and sagging skin has found its cure! But with the numerous different skin tightening treatments available, which one is best for you?
Effective Skin Tightening Treatments
Gone are the days when only a surgeon with a scalpel could dramatically tighten and lift loose and lax skin. Advancements in non-invasive cosmetic technologies have provided numerous options for anyone wanting to improve the loose skin that often accumulates around the eyes, the jawline, the neck, and other parts of the body. But which skin tightening treatment is right for you? Read below for a short summary of the most popular skin tightening treatments available in the NYC area.
In order to appreciate how these treatments lift and tighten loose and sagging skin, it is important to know a little bit of what causes the skin to droop in the first place.
What causes loose skin?
Sagging or loose skin is caused by 3 factors. The first is biological. Our body’s natural production of collagen and elastin (the proteins and fibers responsible for fortifying our skin, keeping it firm, flexible, and toned) begins to deplete as we age. The second cause of loose and sagging skin is circumstantial, such as becoming pregnant or losing a lot of weight. The last factor that causes skin to lose its firmness is environmental. Photo aging, or skin damage from UV radiation exposure is a huge contributor to lax skin, especially around the face.
Skin Tightening Creams
Of all the different skin tightening treatments available these days, skin tightening creams are probably the easiest, least expensive, and most convenient, the trade off however is that these creams are also the least effective. You may see modest results over the course of several months, but they cannot compare with the results from professional skin tightening treatments.
When searching for the best skin tightening cream, make sure the ingredient list includes some of the following:
- Salicylic Acid, also known as BHA, or glycolic acid, also known as AHA. These acids firm skin by building collagen.
- Retinol, also known as vitamin A has been shown to rebuild collagen and even elastin within the skin.
Over the counter vs. prescription skin tightening creams
There are both prescription skin tightening creams, such as Retin-A, and over the counter tightening creams. The main difference in the two types of skin tightening creams is the amount of retinoid used in the formula. Prescription skin tightening creams usually yield results in 2 to 3 months.
Cost of skin tightening cream
A prescription skin tightening cream usually costs around $50, with over the count skin tightening creams usually costing about half of that.
Skin Tightening Treatment Using Cosmetic Injectables
There are two main types of cosmetic injections, Botox, which smooths wrinkles by relaxing the underlying muscles, and dermal fillers, which plump up wrinkles and fill out sagging skin by injecting a volumizer within the skin of the affected area.
Dermal fillers, also known as hyaluronic acid filler are also comonly used to lift and tighten skin. For example, fillers are employed to plump the under eyelid area, lift the area around the nasolabial folds, and add volume to a slackening jaw line.*
How much do dermal fillers cost?
The cost for cosmetic injections can vary widely depending on the type of Hyaluronic acid filler used, and the areas being treated, but generally, a skin tightening treatment using fillers costs around $600.
Non-Invasive, Professional Skin Tightening
Micro needling penetrates the skin less deeply than Fraxel or Clear + Brilliant. This means that micro needling is best for superficial skin conditions. It will cause less injury minimizing the amount of post-procedure redness, inflammation, and recovery time. This also means that Micro needling is typically better suited for treating areas with thin or delicate skin such as around the eyes. It may also be better suited for patients with ethnic skin tones.*
Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant are able to penetrate deeper into the epidermis leading to more dramatic results. Also the depths of penetration are adjustable, so the laser skin resurfacing treatment can be customized to address the unique concerns of each patient.*
Because Laser skin resurfacing uses more advanced technology than micro needling, Fraxel or Clear and Brilliant is often more expensive than micro needling.
Venus Freeze is a popular non-invasive alternative to a face lift or blepharoplasty (eyelift.) The Venus Freeze system tightens and lifts skin by using dual technologies; magnetic pulses and radio frequency, to safely penetrate the underlying skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, while also strengthening the already existing connective fibers.*
Thermage is another effective non-invasive skin tightening treatment that uses radio frequency energy to safely tighten lax skin, by improving skin elasticity and the production of collagen. One advantage of Thermage is versatility. Thermage can be used on the abdomen, the back of the arms, hands, above the knees and more.*
Thermage can cost between $1,000 to $2,000 per treatment.
Ultherapy is the only non-invasive skin tightening treatment cleared by the FDA for lifting loose or sagging skin on the brow, chin, and neck. Ultherapy uses ultrasonic energy to stimulate the regeneration and restoration of collagen.*
Check out these amazing Ultherapy before and after pics*
Learn the differences between Thermage skin tightening and Ultherapy skin lifting and firming treatments by reading the article: Ultherapy vs Thermage: Skin Tightening.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing can also lift and tighten loose or sagging skin. There are two main types of lasers used to tightening skin. The first is an Ablative Fractionated Carbon Dioxide (Co2) Laser. The second laser is a non-ablative fractionated laser, such as Fraxel. Similar to Thermage and Ultherapy, laser treatments stimulate the production of collagen.*
The Co2 laser is more powerful than Fraxel, producing more dramatic results, but also causes more injury and demands more down time. Both laser treatments are particularly good at tightening skin around the eyes.*
Surgical Skin Tightening
The most effective treatment for tightening skin is also the most evasive: surgical skin tightening. Face lifts, brow lifts, and blepharoplasties (eyelid lifts) were once the only truly effective skin tightening treatments available. But since the introduction of non-invasive skin tightening treatments (such as Ultherapy or Thermage) surgical skin tightening has become less popular.
Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid surgery, removes the excess skin that tends to sag above and below our eyes as we age. Eyelid surgery is a serious surgical procedure that requires anesthesia, scalpels and sutures. It usually runs around $3,000 dollars.