Skin firming or tightening is a broad spectrum treatment area. Whether you have loose or ‘extra’ skin following weight-loss, or you’re looking to reduce facial skin sagging – there are many options available. Skin tightening technology is fast evolving and it can be hard to keep up with the treatments on offer. Here are just a few:
Radio Frequency Treatment
Radio Frequency (RF) treatment is a non-invasive aesthetic procedure which tightens loose and sagging skin on both the face and body. Radio frequency energy is used to heat the sub-dermal tissue – strengthening existing collagen fibres and kickstarting their increased production. As we age our skin both sags and thins – collagen induction improves both tension and ‘thickness,’ simulating a more youthful skin contour. Over a series of treatments RF generated heat can effectively contract loose skin on the lower face, jowls and neck – and is suitable for larger areas such as the arms, legs and abdomen where ageing and weight fluctuation can cause significant skin sagging.
Micro-Needling (Dermaroller or Dermapen)
Micro-needling is another non-surgical skin firming treatment which works by stimulating collagen production. Otherwise known as Collagen Induction Therapy (or CIT) micro-needling stimulates collagen growth by ‘micro-wounding’ the skin and initiating the healing process. After a session of small needle punctures the skin effectively knits itself back together with collagen, elastin and fibroblast cells – strengthening and tightening the surface. By mimicking the high turnover of young skin cells this controlled healing process can create a more youthful skin appearance – especially when used with Radio Frequency, a combined treatment gaining in popularity.
Facelift surgery or ‘rhytidectomy’ still yields the most dramatic skin tightening effects but has fallen out of favour, eclipsed by an increasing roll-call of non-surgical alternatives. Options such as Radio Frequency Treatment and Micro-Needling have reduced the demand for an invasive and complex surgery with significant recovery time. In some cases surgery is the appropriate option – when skin drooping or sagging is too dramatic for superficial firming a traditional facelift can remove excess skin and tighten the underlying muscles and tissue. Body skin lifts or ‘body lifts’ are effective but feature significant pain, downtime and potential scarring. Non-invasive treatments, however, are less effective on significant areas of sagging body skin and so surgery is often recommended.
At the other end of the spectrum is topical application of skin-firming products. At the most basic level skin will look firmer when it is sufficiently hydrated. Beyond that, active ingredients like Retinol (a vitamin A derivative) and ascorbic acid (a high concentrate formulation of vitamin C) can tighten skin and also reduce pigmentation and fine lines. If a more gentle approach is desired, antioxidant-rich creams and products can help to minimise loose or ‘crepey’ skin. Vitamins A, C and E are all rich in antioxidants which neutralise free radicals and effectively slow the visible ageing process – keeping skin firmer and better protected.