When we are young, our skin is firm, supple, and tight. It creates attractive contours and helps us to feel confident and beautiful. Although we might take that for granted when we’re young, the truth is that everyone’s skin starts to sag and lose that glow as we get older.
The good news is that cosmetic skin tightening treatments have come a long way. You don’t necessarily have to have surgery to get a refreshed and rejuvenated complexion. But how do these treatments work? Can they actually help the skin retract? Are they too good to be true? Let’s find out the truth about these popular procedures.
Why Does Our Skin Start to Sag?
So why doesn’t our skin stay beautiful forever? The glow of youthful skin is mostly due to collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, substances that are produced naturally in the skin. As we get older, changes start to occur. New production of these important components slows down and the skin starts to get thinner and lose volume. It no longer has the support it needs to stay firm and supple–so it starts to sag. That’s a bummer, but luckily, many of the modern skin treatments can “trick” the skin into producing more collagen again, giving the skin that coveted glow.
How Skin Tightening Treatments Work
There are several different types of minimally-invasive and non-invasive treatments, and they rejuvenate the skin in different ways. Some work by adding volume directly, while others involve encouraging the body to repair and rejuvenate the skin from within using heat or light energy. Here’s a rundown of the main skin tightening treatment types:
Skin tightening treatments like Thermage or TriPollar work by using radiofrequency energy to boost collagen. Once the energy is directed into the deep tissues of the skin, the body’s healing responses are activated. Collagen production gets to work whenever we get a cut, scrape, or burn, and it does the same when controlled energy is delivered directly into the skin. Some types of energy, like the radiofrequency energy used in Thermage treatments, do not affect the upper layers of skin–they just “trick” the body into producing more collagen. This eventually improves the skin’s quality and firmness, which can produce impressive skin tightening results.
Laser treatments can often do double duty by treating superficial skin issues and sagging skin at once. Treatments like BBL™ (BroadBand Light) and PicoSure use light energy to destroy unwanted pigment while encouraging collagen production. Sometimes, laser treatments require some downtime because the upper layers of skin are damaged in a controlled manner when an ablative laser is used. However, lasers have gotten much gentler over the years and non-ablative lasers are now very popular and effective.
Although fillers don’t prompt the body to produce collagen, they can sometimes help with mild skin sagging and they’re fantastic for filling in wrinkles and folds. Hyaluronic acid fillers actively fill in wrinkles and replace lost volume for subtle skin tightening. They look very natural and last 6-12 months on average. Eventually, the body absorbs the filler and the skin returns to its pre-treatment laxity.
The Best Skin Tightening Treatments For You
Although these treatments might seem very similar, their differences are important. Only an expert can help you figure out which treatment or treatments can help you restore your skin’s youthful glow. Sometimes, a combination of procedures is the best option. Since everyone has unique skin concerns, it’s important to get the opinion of a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or other skin professional.
Dr. Ruth Hillelson, a renowned plastic surgeon, is an expert in non-invasive skin treatments and skincare. In addition to being a sought-after Thermage provider, Dr. Hillelson created the line of Iridesse skincare products, a high-quality line created from natural ingredients and based in science.
To schedule a consultation with the expert staff at the Hillelson-Whipple Clinic and learn more about your options, call the Richmond, VA office at 804.290.0060 or fill out the contact form on the clinic’s website. You don’t have to live with sagging skin forever!