In the past, looking younger usually meant you would have to go under the knife. Thank goodness those days are gone because not only do you have more options, but they aren’t as invasive either!
Whether you want a tauter, firmer, more youthful look or a better tone or texture, you can have it all without surgery.
In this post, I will discuss some of the most popular treatments along with their benefits and risks. Just keep reading to find out if any are worth the hype.
Yes, these require the use of needles and can be for lines and wrinkles around your eyes, lips, eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, jawline, neck, and even your hands.
Neurotoxins (Wrinkle Relaxers)
These “wrinkle relaxers” do exactly what the name says. They relax the muscles around the injection area which prevents the skin from creasing and causing wrinkles.
You would benefit from these in areas where your facial expressions have caused lines and wrinkles such as your forehead, Crow’s feet, smile lines, and in between your eyebrows.
The brand names you may be familiar with include Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau (Newtox), and Xeomin. Each of these is a certain prescription formulation of Botulinum Toxin Type A and works in its own unique way to smooth lines and wrinkles.
Fillers are used for volume loss, such as around your eyes or under your cheeks, plumping up lines and wrinkles, and enhancing the shape of different areas.
Collagen used to be the filler of the market, but now there are other options, such as hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid, and hydroxylapatite.
The different brand names for fillers include Belotero, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Juvederm Volbella, Juvederm Vollure, Juvederm Voluma, Restylane, Restylane Refyne, Restylane DeFyne & Lyft, Bellafill, Radiesse, and Sculptra.
Each brand name filler has its own specific purpose and area can it can be used. Your unique desires or issues will determine which filler will be used.
Kybella is an injectable that destroys fat cells and is used for “double chin“, on bra fat, and what is called banana roll. Results are usually acquired in 2 to 4 treatments and will last for years.
How long do the results last?
Neurotoxins- Depending on which relaxer you get and how severe your lines and wrinkles being treated are, the results typically last around 3 to 4 months.
Fillers- The results of these last longer than the relaxers. They can range from 1 year up to 2 years before needing another treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Even though injections are minimally invasive, there can be some rare side effects. Possible side effects include headache or flu-like symptoms for the first 24 hours, bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection site. With fillers, you can have little bumps appear under the skin, but this usually goes away.
If too much botulinum toxin is used, you may not be able to move the muscles in your face, resulting in a “frozen look”.
In very rare cases, side effects may include drooping of eyelids or spreading of the injections, causing trouble swallowing, speaking, or breathing because of muscles becoming weak. This can only occur if too much neurotoxin is used, though.
Even though you can do this at home now, professional treatment is going to be more effective and can deliver the results desired in just one treatment.
First, the professionals use more advanced devices. The needles in their devices are between 1mm to 3mm whereas the ones for home use are less than 1mm.
Second, professionals combine microneedling with other procedures such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or medical-grade topicals to help regenerate and promote new collagen.
Side Effects of Microneedling may include bruising, bleeding, tightness, redness, swelling, itching, and peeling. These are temporary and usually, go away within a few days.
Most only require one treatment every 3 to 6 months.
Laser resurfacing uses light energy to penetrate the lower layers of your skin to remove damaged skin and repair and regenerate skin cells. This has also been referred to as a laser peel or laser vaporization.
This treatment stimulates collagen, promotes circulation to the area, improves lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling, and also improves your immune system.
Side effects may include crusting, swelling, pain, scarring, infection, and skin discoloration. Professionals have ways to minimize the risks, though.
Dermabrasion & Microdermabrasion
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Microdermabrasion resurfaces your skin by spraying it with tiny crystals. Have you ever seen something cleaned with a sandblaster? It’s pretty much the same concept. Working at the surface level of your skin, it gets rid of all the dead skin cells.
The mirodermabrasion tools you can use at home don’t spray tiny crystals, but they can be very effective. These tools usually have a round abrasive head and suction, which will remove the outer layer of skin. This rejuvenates your skin while also minimizing the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots.
Dermabrasion is more abrasive and works at a deeper level of your skin. It’s like taking a sander to your face and sanding layers of skin away. Your face will be cooled and they will apply a numbing agent before the procedure.
Dermabrasion improves your skin contour along with treating wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, age spots, and other skin lesions. It also stimulates collagen production.
With microdermabrasion, you may have some redness and irritation that will fade that day.
Since dermabrasion goes deeper into your skin, it will bleed. It causes the skin to crust and requires downtime. In about one week, your skin will heal but will still be red. Your skin may be blotchy and sensitive for a few weeks and it could take up to 3 months for your normal skin tone to return.
Swelling is also possible with dermabrasion, and in rare instances, keloids have developed. Acne breakout is also a possibility.
As you get older, the dermabrasion results may wear off.
This is another skin resurfacing procedure that uses different acidic chemicals. With the chemical application, there is blistering of the skin, which then causes the skin to peel away. There are three major types of peels that penetrate the skin at different depths.
1. Mild or Superficial- This peel uses a mild acid, such as alpha-hydroxy, and removes the outermost layer of skin and will provide a subtle improvement over time. Often done in a series, this one works best on fine wrinkles, uneven color, and acne.
Healing can take 1 to 7 days and you can repeat the treatment in 2 to 5 weeks for desired results.
2. Medium-Depth- This peel uses trichloroacetic or glycolic acid and removes the outermost layer and the upper part of the middle layer. For fine to moderate wrinkles, minor hyperpigmentation, and minor acne scars, this one is the best choice.
Healing with this peel takes 7 to 14 days and will include some downtime. You can repeat this one every 6 months to a year if needed.
3. Deep- Using trichloroacetic or phenol acid, the peel will fully penetrate the middle layer of your skin. They will sedate you for this procedure. This is a one-time procedure to treat moderate lines and wrinkles, along with deep acne scars, blotchy skin, extensive sun damage, and precancerous growths.
Getting ready for this one can take up to 8 weeks and healing can take 14 to 21 days.
Superficial Peel- During the peel, your skin will whiten and you will feel some stinging. Afterward, it will feel more like a sunburn and there will be redness and peeling that will last from 3 to 7 days.
Medium Peel- During this peel, your skin will whiten, and stinging or burning may last for around 20 minutes. If the professional uses trichloroacetic acid, they may add blue coloring, which can last for a few days after the peel. You can also expect redness, stinging, swelling, and flaking from your skin. Your skin will also crust and peel for 7 to 14 days.
Deep Peel- As stated before, the professional will sedate you. They will apply the chemical in 15-minute portions and your skin will turn gray or white. After the peel, your skin will be bandaged and you will have severe swelling and redness with burning and throbbing. Your eyelids may also swell shut. Pain meds, along with antivirals, are usually prescribed.
In about 2 weeks, new skin will develop with white spots and cysts lasting for several weeks. Redness may last for several months.
Did you know you can do your own chemical peel at home? Take MedPeel’s quiz to find out which one you need!
For more about chemical peels, go here.
Ultrasound & Radiofrequency
Ultherapy (Ultrasound Therapy) is where the professional uses a handheld device across your skin, which emits a short burst of energy (heat). This targets the deeper layers of your skin, causing them to heat rapidly, which stimulates collagen production. Over time, your skin becomes lifted and more firm.
The procedure is relatively painless, though some have experienced some discomfort so they may apply numbing cream prior to treatment.
One treatment usually gets the job done but some may require 3 or more sessions.
Radiofrequency involves using low-energy radiation to heat the deeper layer of your skin. Once again, heating this layer stimulates the production of collagen. As you know by now, stimulating collagen production will tighten your skin and diminish lines and wrinkles.
It will take an initial 3 to 4 professional treatments to see desired results. If you have deeper wrinkles or scarring, it may take more.
Of course, if you have a tight budget, you can save a bit of money by getting your own radiofrequency device for home use.
You no longer have to go straight to surgery to look younger. Cosmetic procedures are more common now and the ones listed above are the most popular.
Just be sure to do your due diligence and go to a licensed professional and be sure they have the credentials for the procedure they are performing.
Let me know your experience with any professional treatments!