Looking for a non-invasive way to tighten up the skin on your face or body?
There are now more options than ever to choose from, ranging from potent skin care products to professional treatments. Each option has its own pros and cons, so, to make life a little simpler, here is a brief guide to the many non-surgical skin tightening methods out there.
Tightening Skin Care Products
Let’s begin with the easiest and most convenient way to tighten up your skin – with the use of topical skin care products.
Topical products are great for bringing about a number of skin improvements, but they do take their time to have an effect when it comes to tightening loose skin.
Because loose skin signifies a loss of collagen and elastin. These are the two structural proteins that pretty much hold your skin together, giving your skin its firmness, smoothness and tightness. Elastin is the main one responsible for tightness and elasticity, and while your skin produces plenty of this while it is young, the amount that it creates declines rapidly with age.
Topical tightening skin care products work in two ways:
- Immediate effects – these are usually down to the moisture and hydration that a topical product provides. This helps to give the skin a more lifted appearance, while minimizing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles
- Long-term effects – it takes the skin around 90 days to produce new collagen and elastin, meaning that this is how long you will need to wait to witness the true tightening effects that your products have
The Amber New Age Syringe is one such product with immediate effects, which is why it’s such a favourite for special occasions and events. Those who have used it have also reported longer-term effects with consistent use…
Wondering which ingredients you should look for when selecting your topical tightening products?
The most powerful skin tightening ingredients that you should look out for include:
- Caffeine – has an instant effect on the skin thanks to the way in which it constricts the blood vessels, which then makes the skin appear firmer and more lifted
- Coenzyme Q10 – an ingredient that the body produces naturally, coenzyme Q10 is vital when it comes to the production of collagen and elastin
- Green Tea – encourages collagen and elastin production while preventing your existing proteins from breaking down
- Retinol – this vitamin A derivative works well in the long run to tighten and firm up the skin
- Peptides – helps to strengthen the skin, which then makes it firmer and tighter. Peptides tend to have both an immediate and long-term effect
One more thing to keep in mind when looking for those ingredients in skin care products…
Make sure that your chosen ingredients are featured high up on the ingredients list. This means that they have been used in a high enough concentration to actually make a difference. Ingredients that are at the end of an ingredients list will have only been used in the product at a very low concentration.
Regularly exfoliating is a must for everybody, as this really is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy complexion. However, if you are trying to tighten your skin up, then regular exfoliation becomes even more important.
How does exfoliation help with skin tightening?
In a couple of ways…
Firstly, it clears away the dirt and toxins that lie deep within your pores. If these were left as is, they would end up causing significant damage to the collagen and elastin fibers that are already in your skin, meaning that your skin would become even looser and more saggy.
Exfoliation also encourages skin cell turnover, which stimulates the skin into increasing its natural collagen and elastin production. This will give you much smoother and tighter skin in the long run. A great exfoliant to start with is the White Pearl Facial Peeling, as it is gentle enough for all types of skin.
Keep in mind that exfoliation on its own will likely not have that much of a skin tightening effect. However, it is a fantastic way to complement the other treatments on this list, and will make each one of them even more effective.
Ultrasound Skin Tightening
While ultrasound treatments are usually associated with pregnancy, they can actually make a significant difference when it comes to skin tightening too.
How does ultrasound skin tightening work?
It makes use of a hand-held device that emits ultrasound energy, and this is delivered about 5mm into the skin. This may not sound like much, but it is actually quite deep, reaching the second layer of the muscles that lie underneath your main facial muscles.
This depth is key when it comes to the effects that the treatment has, since this is the depth at which your skin actually produces new collagen and elastin.
Once the ultrasound energy reaches that deeper layer of your skin, it causes the cells there to heat up. This then stimulates collagen and elastin production.
How is this different from the topical skin care products that also stimulate collagen and elastin production?
Because those ingredients still need to make their way deep into the skin, to reach the skin cells that actually produce those proteins. Not all ingredients can penetrate so deeply, and only a very small concentration of the products that you use will be able to reach this layer. This is why topical products can take a while to have a tightening effect, whereas ultrasound treatments bring about results faster.
How many treatments will you need?
Most people only need one, although some do opt in for two or three if they have very specific results that they want to achieve. The laxity of your skin also has an influence on this – the looser your skin is, the more treatments you will likely need.
Since ultrasound skin tightening is completely non-invasive, and does not cause any damage at all to the top layer of your skin, there isn’t any downtime, meaning that you can return to your daily routine immediately after your treatment.
Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
Just like with ultrasound skin tightening, radiofrequency skin tightening is another non-invasive treatment that makes use of a hand-held device.
However, instead of emitting ultrasound waves, radiofrequency skin tightening uses, as you can tell from its name, radiofrequency energy.
This treatment works in a similar way to ultrasound skin tightening, in that the radiofrequency energy is used to heat up the skin’s layers in order to directly stimulate an increase in collagen and elastin production.
You are probably wondering how radiofrequency skin tightening differs from ultrasound skin tightening…
Well, other than the energy that is being used, the main difference lies with the layer of skin that each treatment targets. Ultrasound sends its energy deep down into your skin, whereas radiofrequency tends to focus more on the outer layers.
For this reason, you will likely need a few radiofrequency skin tightening treatments in order to notice a difference. On average, one treatment a week, carried out for a couple of months, should be enough to bring about your desired results.
Microneedling is a procedure that is commonly carried out to target fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a much smoother and firmer effect.
However, this treatment can have a tightening effect too, but it may take a few more sessions in order for these results to become apparent.
What exactly is microneedling?
It is a procedure that is also referred to as collagen induction therapy, because its main aim is to increase the skin’s natural production of collagen.
It does this with the use of very small and fine needles, which are inserted systematically into the skin to create hundreds of near-invisible punctures. These punctures, which are known as micro-injuries, then stimulate the skin’s healing process, which involves the production of both collagen and elastin.
Your skin produces this collagen and elastin to replace the proteins that have been damaged during the microneedling process. This then means that the entire area of skin that has undergone the treatment will take on a firmer and tighter appearance.
How many treatments would you actually need to experience skin tightening results?
It could be anything between four and eight. If you were only tackling fine lines on our face, you would only need two or three treatments, but in order for skin tightening effects to take place, you will need more, especially if you are targeting a large part of your skin.
Wondering if there is a downtime to this procedure?
Again, since this is a non-invasive treatment, there isn’t really a downtime to it. However, you will likely notice some redness around the treated area for a few days after your treatment, but this will usually clear away on its own.
If you like the sound of microneedling, it may interest you to know that this treatment can be combined with other skin tightening treatments for even better results.
For example, microneedling is commonly combined with radiofrequency treatments. This encourages your skin to produce even more collagen and elastin, which will enhance the tightness of your results, while also speeding them up a bit.
Laser Skin Tightening
Laser skin treatments have become extremely common in recent years, largely because they are able to deal with such a wide array of skin concerns, including loose and sagging skin.
The treatment makes use of an infrared laser light to target the areas of skin that need tightening.
The light causes the deeper layers of the skin to heat up, which then stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Not only that, but the laser light also metabolizes any older and weak collagen fibers in your skin, enabling them to make room for the new and strong collagen that your skin is creating.
Does it hurt?
No, although you will feel your skin heating up. If you have a very low pain tolerance, then your practitioner can always apply a topical numbing cream to your skin, so that you do not feel anything at all during the treatment.
There isn’t any downtime to this treatment either, meaning that you can get back to your daily routine straight afterwards. However, you will likely be advised to take extra care of your skin in the 24 hours following on from your treatment, which would include:
- Avoiding excessive exercise
- Avoiding excessive sweating
- Being gentle with the skin and not rubbing it
You will also need to protect your skin from sun exposure even more than you already do in the two weeks after your treatment, so make sure that you have stocked up on the SPF.
How many laser skin tightening treatments would you need?
It takes about six treatments for maximum results to be obtained, and these need to be spaced out every four to six weeks. This may seem like a long treatment course, but the actual treatments themselves do not take very long. They usually last for between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the area you are treating, meaning that you could even book yourself in for one during your lunch hour.
Don’t forget that your results will also continue to improve for a few months after your final treatment, as your skin needs this time to build its new collagen and elastin fibers.
Wondering if laser skin tightening is the same as laser skin resurfacing?
No, the two are quite different. Laser skin resurfacing basically removes the outer layers of skin in order to encourage the growth of healthier new skin cells.
The fact that it removes this outer layer means that laser skin resurfacing is best used to treat wrinkles, scarring, age spots and pigmentation. Although some tightening effects will be seen too, a dedicated laser skin tightening treatment would be better for you, and comes with fewer risks, downtime and discomfort too.
Although loose and sagging skin is pretty much an inevitable part of aging, this change can be a difficult one to accept. Fortunately, with the many different skin tightening treatments now available, you will be able to keep your skin looking tight, smooth and firm for many more years to come, without the need for any invasive surgery!