If you’ve got to that stage in your life where you’ve started to look a little less ‘fine-tuned’ shall we say, around the cheeks, neck and jawline, it may be time to think about addressing that dreaded double ‘s’ phrase: sagging skin.
Yes, you could look to skincare to help address ‘the sag’ and, unlike their substandard drugstore counterparts, many medical-grade options offer incredible skin tightening benefits (hello ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense). But as effective as some of them are at helping firm and lift the skin, their success is always going to be limited. Sorry, but they just are. Otherwise, the multi-billion dollar aesthetics and plastic surgery industries would cease to exist.
But, let’s take a step back a second to think about what sagging skin is and how it happens.
As skin ages, the fibroblast cells in the dermis that replenish the skin’s collagen and elastin slowly cease functioning. This results in a loss of elasticity. Similarly, the lymphatic system also starts to slow down, which affects the way in and speed at which your body gets rid of toxins, and means your skin has a diminished ability to repair damage from environmental aggressors. That means it’s constantly under attack from free radicals, which robs the skin of essential cells and means it’s a big fat ‘sayonara’ to firm, youthful skin.
Your daily skincare routine should always include a medical-grade antioxidant and hyaluronic acid treatment to combat dryness and fight the aforementioned free radicals, but what else can be done when things start to get serious? Thankfully, with an easy-to-manage aesthetic subscription you can afford to fix and maintain this inevitable loss of firmness at the doctor’s office…
Three Of The Best: Minimally Invasive Skin Tightening Options
Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen production and non-surgically lift, firm, tone and tighten your skin. One of our favorite things about Ultherapy is that it targets the deep layers of the skin’s tissue, meaning it leaves the surface well alone – promising a fresh and rejuvenated look with very little downtime. Ultherapy has been FDA-cleared to treat skin on the neck, chin, eyebrow and décolletage area and, although it offers immediate benefits, the best results usually appear two or three months later when collagen regeneration really kicks in.
“Ultherapy is ideal for people who seek a gentle lift for their minimally to moderately saggy skin,” explains HintMD partner Dr. Stephen Ronan, owner of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and MedSpa in Danville, California.
“Most of our Ultherapy clientele are in their thirties or forties who do not yet require surgery, or are older patients who would like to revitalize a facelift or necklift from a few years ago to maintain the best results.”
2. Thermage FLX
After receiving clearance from the FDA at the end of 2017, Thermage FLX is a non-invasive treatment that uses radio-frequency energy to kick start the body’s regeneration process. Through a combination of heat energy to penetrate and treat the tissue, coupled with cooling effects to protect the skin, the procedure works by boosting collagen production to return your skin to that smooth, youthfulness you used to take for granted.
More good news: all this comes from just one fairly comfortable, 45-minute sitting – with benefits continuing to improve for up to six months later.
Sagging skin is often the result of a loss of volume in the skin, when not only collagen and HA levels deplete, but fat pads below these layers also start to flatten and drop. Often, if skin is then tightened, rather than plumped, a kind of ‘pulled back’ appearance is seen.
If your aesthetic physician believes plumping is going to benefit your skin more than tightening, you can’t go wrong with an injectable filler such as Voluma XC. Voluma was the first non-surgical, HA filler to be FDA-approved for filling and plumping hollowed cheeks. HA fillers like Voluma are derived from a hyaluronic acid compound and typically don’t cause adverse reactions because they boast the same chemical and molecular structure as hyaluronan, an enzyme that’s already present in your body.