Hot Forever: Best Skin Tightening Treatments To Tighten Sagging Skin
Anti-aging is kind of a weird word. It makes aging out to be a bad thing. But, who wants to stay 23 years old with a 23-year-old salary and 23-year-old roommate situation forever? On the other hand, it’s kind of tempting to keep the 23-year-old metabolism and collagen production levels.
Those collagen levels are what keep us looking “young” aka having less crepey and loose skin and more tightness and bounce. What if we told you you could keep up those collagen levels up and show off right-and-tight skin without dealing with a roommate who never changes the toilet paper roll? Enter: heat treatments.
How to Tighten Skin on Face without Surgery
The basic products in your medicine cabinet — your night creams, eye creams, oils — will generally target issues on the surface level layers of your skin like fine lines, dark spots or acne. But, tightening involves working on the structure and volume of your skin and for that, you’ve got to get down to the deeper layers.
If you really know your stuff you might be thinking: “Okay, but aren’t my peels and retinoids enough?” It’s true both those things do target deeper layers of your skin, but even the powerful ingredients in those products won’t get you as far as heat treatments.
How Does Skin Tightening Work?
These kinds of treatments delver energy via heat deep down into the skin which essentially activates a controlled healing response that fires up collagen and elastin production. That sounds super intense, but now that science has got the hang of this there’s hardly any downtime. As in, you might be a little red maybe even a little peely, but you won’t need to completely hide from the world. Just hide from the sun because you’ll be extra-sensitive to UVAs.
How to Prepare for Your Treatments
Depending on the type of energy and brand name your session can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. You should come to the appointment with a clean face and take the day off work if you can. Make sure to avoid the sun and use lots of SPF in the weeks leading up to your treatment.
What Happens After Your Treatment
You’ll likely see results right away — but don’t be fooled, repetition is key. If you only go get one heat treatment, you’re probably wasting your money. You’ll need several treatments and several months to see long-lasting results that are worth the spend.
There are super powerful heat treatments like Fraxel that deliver long-lasting results with just two to five sessions, but this requires more downtime and a little more discomfort.
The Best Skin Tightening Treatment For Your Face
There are a couple kinds of popular heat treatments: laser, radiofrequency and ultrasound. They all work to tighten your skin, but they each harness a different kind of energy and therefore have slightly different effects.
On top of that, there are multiple brand names for each kind of treatment. So which one should you try first?
Pros and Cons of Heat Treatments
Obviously, everyone’s skin is different, so even if you have a friend who is basically an evangelist for a certain treatment, it could leave you wondering if it was worth it. Nobody wants to feel meh about investment skincare, so here’s some pros and cons for the most-common types of heat treatments. That way, you can know the details before you ask your dermatologist which one to go with.
Lasers for Skin Tightening
The best part about lasers is that they are able to target both the deep layers of your skin and simultaneously focus on resurfacing the top layers as well. Because of this, lasers are very effective for skin tightening and, in some cases, can help a number of different issues like scaring or discoloration.
You’ve probably heard of laser treatments like CO2 and Fraxel. These are intense lasers that target deep layers of your skin. But, there are other less intense lasers to consider as well. Why, you ask?
Here’s the catch: not all lasers are great for every skin tone. The darker your skin tone is, the more melanin you have, which makes you more prone to hyperpigmentation post-treatment. If this sounds like you, ask your dermo about lighter laser treatments like Clear and Brilliant versus something more invasive like CO2 and Fraxel.
Radiofrequency for Skin Tightening
Radiofrequency (RF) treatments are the oldest and most-clinically-tested heat treatments in the market. These treatments heat up to between 42 and 43 degrees celsius. You’ll usually need two to six treatments and you can do them about a week apart from one another. They broadly target deeper layers of your skin to boost that collagen and elastin.
The most popular radiofrequency treatment is Thermage® which is known to be best for wrinkles and loose skin on the face, around the eyes and on the body.
While radiofrequency has the power to get to the deep layers of your skin, it does not work on resurfacing like laser does. This means it probably won’t help with problems discoloration or scarring.
But don’t worry: If you have those issues, but you can’t do laser you’re not sh** out of luck. Pairing radiofrequency treatments with microneedling will give you those uncompromising skin tightening and resurfacing results (check out the Morpheus8 to learn more).
Ultrasound for Skin Tightening
Ultrasound offerers results that are similar to radiofrequency but it utilizes a different type of energy that’s hotter — it’s temperatures get all the way up to 65 degrees celsius. With this means you won’t need to go in as often. You can get results in as little as two sessions, but you’ll have to wait about 3 months in between them. Ultrasound is also a more targeted treatment.
The most common brand name for ultrasound is Ultherapy®. It’s great for tightening skin around the neck, chin and eyebrows. It also is great for reducing wrinkles on the chest. Ultherapy® is awesome because it can reach your SMAS layer which is the muscle underneath your fat.
Same as radiofrequency, it doesn’t so any resurfacing. Also, it isn’t as good for certain areas like around the eyes.
Heat is basically the enemy of saggy skin. There are two popular kinds: radiofrequency and ultrasound which both work to accomplish the same goal of targeting the deep layers of your skin to tighten from the inside out by triggering collagen and elastin production.
These are a great next step for you if you aren’t getting the results you want from retinol and acids, but they are a time commitment and can cost anywhere from $500 to $6000. Apparently, that’s the going rate for eternal youth without all the youth.