Many women would love to look younger, but don’t like the idea of invasive facial treatments, such as Botox or filler injections, full-blown facelifts, or liposuction. The cosmetic surgery industry has recognized this, and now there are many alternatives for you to consider. Here’s a brief overview on what’s new in the non-invasive anti-aging marketplace.
Ultherapy is an FDA-approved procedure designed to lift the skin on your face, your neck, and your décolletage. Ultherapy uses ultrasound imaging to allow practitioners to view the layers of tissue beneath the skin. A series of ultrasound therapy treatments are then used to stimulate the skin cells into producing more collagen, thus reducing wrinkles and tightening the areas treated.
The procedure is advertised as being totally safe and non-invasive, with no side-effects and no downtime. The effects can be seen within a few months of the treatment and last for a year or so before you’ll need a refresher.
Cost: $1,500 to $2,500,
Laser skin resurfacing is the latest popular treatment for reducing the signs of aging in facial skin. A highly-focussed, fractional laser beam is used to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin in order to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. Laser treatment can also be used to correct sun-damaged areas and acne scarring.
You’ll need up to six treatments, which are usually spread out over eight weeks. You can expect skin reddening and swelling for a week or so after your treatment and the effects last for up to six months.
Cost: approx. $2,500
GentleWaves uses low-intensity, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate your skin into producing more collagen, whilst suppressing the enzymes that cause collagen to break down. The ultimate result is that your skin looks younger and smoother.
The treatment is very quick and painless, and there’s no recovery time. You’ll need four to eight treatments before you begin to see results, and top-ups will be required every year or so to maintain the effect. LED skin treatments are available at some health spas or through a dermatology clinic.
Cost: around $225
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL uses wavelengths of light in order to treat skin blemishes, and to correct wrinkles and fine lines. It can also be used to remove facial hair. The clinician applies intense bursts of light to the target area using a handheld device. The skin cells respond to this by shedding old skin cells and producing new ones.
You may experience a small amount of pain during the procedure, but there is no down time. You may need to have up to 12 sessions before you begin to see results, and top-ups will be required approximately every six months.
Cost: around $475
Thermage is promoted as a totally safe, FDA-approved, single-session treatment for reducing wrinkles on pretty well any area of your body or face. The procedure is also apparently extremely effective in the treatment of cellulite, leading to improved definition around the jaw line. Thermage uses radio frequency to heat the deepest layers of your skin, tightening existing collagen and stimulating the production of new cells.
You can expect to see results within a couple of months of your treatment, there’s no downtime or recorded side effects.
Cost: around $2,000
If you’d prefer the freedom and flexibility of home skin treatments, you may be interested in checking out some of the latest DIY facial skincare devices that are now available.
Many of these products provide the same effects as you could expect to get from a salon or clinic treatment, i.e. heat, light and vibration. Prices start from around $90 for a facial massaging device that comes complete with a range of skin gels, right up to $1,500 for a “professional” standard, microdermabrasion kit.
It’s always advisable to check independent reviews of products that involve the use of heat on your skin before you invest in them, as there have been incidents where skin damage and scarring has actually occurred through their use.
For those who don’t want to undertake invasive cosmetic facial surgery or injections there are many alternatives. However, you should always carry out thorough research on any skin treatment or procedure before you undertake it, and use an experienced practitioner from a reputable clinic. This is particularly important if you have very sensitive or thin skin.
Have you tried any of the treatments outlined above, or perhaps you’ve found a wonderful ‘fountain of youth’ that other readers could benefit from trying? Why not share your experiences in the comments section below?