Non-surgical skin tightening treatments involve the use of various devices and technologies to produce a range of anti-aging and skin care benefits. These facial rejuvenation treatments have several physiological effects which can improve the overall appearance of the skin and are a popular option for those seeking an alternative to cosmetic surgery. Unlike a surgical procedure such as a facelift, however, the results tend to be more subtle and not as long lasting. This means multiple sessions are often required as well as periodic maintenance in the form of repeat treatments.
Treatments of this type are often carried out on the face and neck but can be used on other parts of the body as well. They are designed to treat common skin problems associated with aging including such visible signs as sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. One of the most significant benefits claimed for therapies of this type is an increase in the production of collagen and elastin, both of which play a vital role in giving our skin a youthful, wrinkle free, appearance.
Several non-surgical treatments have been developed to promote skin tightening. While each of these produces similar effects, they differ according to the mechanisms involved. In order to determine which of these technologies is most suitable in any given case, it is necessary to consider a range of different factors. These include, the exact nature of the problem, its severity and location, and skin type. Oftentimes a combination of treatments will bring about the best result. Below is a breief overview of each of these technologies.
Micocurrent Facial Toning
As the name suggests, microcurrent therapy makes use of very small, micro, currents of electricity. In fact, the current is so tiny it causes very little or no sensation. There is also very little risk associated with this procedure.
The current generated by a microcurrent device mimics the natural flow of electricity at the cellular level. This, in turn, stimulates an increase in the levels of ATP, boosting the synthesis of collagen and elastin. A further consequence of this process is increased muscle activity which also contributes to facial toning.
Radio Frequency Facial Therapy
This is another popular method for creating a smoother and firmer complexion. RF therapy does this by targeting the subcutaneous layers of skin with the energy produced by radio waves. This energy is then transformed into heat due to the resistance encountered by the radio waves as they penetrate the skin and soft tissues. The heat thus generated stimulates blood flow, collagen regeneration, as well as the contraction of existing collagen. This process helps repair and reverse the damaging effects of aging and environmental factors such UV radiation.
RF devices are generally categorized according to the number of electrodes: monopolar, bipolar or multipolar. The significance of this is mainly a function of how deep the radio waves penetrate the skin and underlying tissues. Bipolar and multipolar devices penetrate less deeply and may be more or less suitable depending on the situation.
Light Based Therapy
Light therapy as it applies to skin care encompasses numerous modalities. These include IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), infrared and fractional based laser systems and therapies.
One of the most basic difference between various light based treatments is centered on the distinction between ablative and non-ablative approaches. The former uses precision lasers to vaporize the outermost layers of skin causing a fresh layer of skin to form in its place, while the latter generally targets the deeper layers of skin to encourage collagen formation. Infrared and IPL systems are both examples of non-ablative therapies while ablative treatments require high energy laser technologies, examples of which include CO2 pulse and YAG lasers.
Strictly speaking, many of these procedures do not always or necessarily involve skin tightening as the only or even primary goal. They may instead aim to create a more even skin tone by targeting the symptoms of various skin conditions and blemishes such as acne scars, freckles and sun spots.
Ultrasonic Facial Therapy (Ultherapy)
Ultherapy is a highly regarded procedure and is generally considered to be one of the most effective non-surgical skin tightening therapies currently available. It involves directing high frequency sound waves onto the area requiring treatment where they penetrate to the underlying layers of the skin. The effects of this treatment are similar to the other methods mentioned here and with similar benefits. These include measurable increases in collagen and elastin making your skin noticeably smoother and firmer for a more youthful complexion. Furthermore, unlike laser therapy, clients rarely experience any negative side effects and there is almost no down time involved.