Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty consistent skincare routine. Don’t be fooled, it was a long road to get here. There were trials, there were errors, there were retinol purges, breakouts, and damage to my skin barrier that I’d rather not repeat. But those days are over. And now? I know what my skin needs. Even if I switch out the occasional serum or mask for the latest buzzy beauty release, I stick to the ingredients my skin likes to nourish and protect it. But I’m starting to realize there’s only so much my refined routine can do. To supplement it, I’m looking into new solutions to take my whole beauty regime to the next level. Step One: Find the best skin tightening treatments.
Our skin stops producing collagen at 25. After that, we’re on our own to keep our skin healthy and tight. But this is no small task—thanks, gravity. Collagen body creams and retinol face creams are becoming more common to help skin regeneration, but there are other skin tightening treatments you should look into, too.
Feature image by Belathée Photography.
One common misconception is that all skin tightening treatments are surgical. Non-surgical treatments range from at-home devices to radiofrequency and lasers. What is the best treatment for skin tightening? The one that’s right for you. According to Roberta Moradfar, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner and owner of EFFACÈ Aesthetics, when considering treatments, you should always do your research and consult a professional. “Do not rely on TikTok and social media to influence what product or treatment you should seek,” Moradfar warns. “Always consult with a skin expert first who can assess your skin and determine the best treatment plan for your skincare needs and goals.”
Moradfar gave us all the info on the best skin tightening treatments, how to pick one, and what products she recommends. Read on—and get ready to defy gravity.
How does skin tightening work?
Different types of treatments have different results. Over-the-counter products use active ingredients like collagen, retinol, and antioxidants to stimulate collagen and speed up cell turnover for a firming effect.
Other treatments go a step beyond to target the collagen production underneath the skin in specific areas. These use either specific tools or the latest technology. Most of them employ radiofrequency to “wake up” lost collagen. Procedures like Thermalift, Thermage, and Exilis send radio pulses to the skin for an instant tightening effect. The other set of treatments uses intense pulsed light to destroy or shrink fat cells. Whatever treatment you choose, skin tightening is most effective after multiple sessions.
What at-home beauty tools help with skin tightening?
At-home devices use ultrasound therapy to target looser areas of the skin. With consistency and proper use, you can get results all without leaving your home.
Moradfar recommends the ZIIP Nano Current Skincare Device, which you can personalize for your specific needs. “This handheld device has programmed routines in an app that you can utilize based on your current skin status— whether you have acne or just want to use it for anti-aging benefits,” she says. You’ll notice results after the first use, and the effect will be more profound each time. “It delivers nano current waves to the skin that are cumulative with consistent use. The results are healthier, plumper, tighter and glowing skin with preprogrammed settings anywhere from 2 to 12 minutes.”
Can peels be used for skin tightening?
Chemical peels are most commonly framed as solutions to hyperpigmentation or fine lines. They’re effective at removing the top layer of skin to reveal clearer, smoother skin.
“Chemical peels can definitely help deliver tightening results thanks to ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinoic acids,” says Moradfar. These acids polish the skin and help stimulate collagen production. So, if you’re considering that full-body peel you’ve been curious about, here is yet another reason to take the plunge.
What lasers and other treatments can be used for skin tightening?
“In general, laser treatments offering radiofrequency are the best choices for skin tightening,” says Moradfar. “I love the Lutronic Genius micro-needling with radiofrequency. It has insulated gold plated needles and smart technology that delivers precisely the energy needed to produce collagen stimulation without the risks of over-treatment or burning. Patients can see great results after a series of 3 treatments over time.”
Are there any injectables for skin tightening? What exactly do they do?
With botox and filler becoming commonplace for beauty maintenance, people are becoming less scared of injectables. Some fillers use superstar skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid to strategically give the appearance of tighter skin. Additionally, botox is also a familiar alternative that can make your skin look tighter.
With injection treatments, says Moradfar, you get the satisfaction of “instant tightening and see subtle lifted results.” She continues, saying that, “Using hyaluronic acid fillers when strategically injected can definitely help achieve more defined jawlines and help fill volume loss that results in a more sculpted and contoured appearance. Botox treatments can also help achieve tighter areas around the eyes by softening fine lines and wrinkles and a chemical brow lift can be achieved. There are also injection treatments offering microdoses of botox that can be placed all around the face to help with instant tightening.”
What is the newest skin tightening procedure?
New skin tightening technologies are emerging more and more to innovate the process and deliver results. According to Moradfar, the Loving Genius Microneedling with RF is one of the industry’s latest and greatest. “Another tightening treatment is Ultra by Lutronic that helps deliver anti-aging results by smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, diminishing pore size, and helping with skin tone and texture. We have three different treatment modalities: one called Ultra Melasma intended to treat a skin condition that presents with hyperpigmentation usually hormonally produced, another called Ultra Glow that is for those with normal skin, and Ultra Resurfacing for those with more problematic skin like acne, PIH, and scarring.” With new options, you can target multiple issues at once. Whatever you choose, you’ll be in good hands.
What ingredients should we look out for in products to help with skin tightening?
To supplement the treatment of your choosing, add skin tightening products to your lineup. Moradfar recommends that you “look for collagen-boosting peptides. Retinol is a gold standard for tightening as well. And of course, good old hyaluronic acid.” Together, these staple ingredients work in tandem to keep your skin as elastic as possible.
Keep scrolling for the best products to supplement your skin tightening journey.
Skinmedica TNS Advanced+ Serum
Moradfar couldn’t recommend this serum more. “I personally am the biggest stan for Skinmedica’s TNS Advanced Plus Serum. Not only does it have collagen-boosting peptides but it also includes growth factors. The combination is amazing and it’s the only FDA-approved product that is clinically proven to tighten sagging skin.”
Skinmedica TNS Advanced+ Serum, $295
Kayo Body Care Remodeling Serum
This remodeling serum is as nourishing as it is effective. It’s loaded with actives like copper, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants to dramatically lift your skin while also brightening and hydrating for a visibly smoother, softer, and tighter complexion.
Kayo Body Care Remodeling Serum, $42
Kate Somerville Dermalquench Liquid Lift Retinol
This skin-lifting cream utilizes both hyaluronic acid for instant plumping, and retinol for deeper anti-aging power. The combination of retinol and bio-retinols leaves you with tighter, smoother skin without any irritation.
Kate Somerville Dermalquench Liquid Lift Retinol, $110
ORA Iluminage Youth Activator Infrared LED Radio Frequency Anti-Aging Device
This serum encourages collagen and elastin production to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. To improve tone and texture even more, this LED skin tightening device makes its radio-frequency waves sink even deeper for more effective tightening.
ORA Iluminage Youth Activator Infrared LED Radio Frequency Anti-Aging Device, $199
Silk’n Titan Skin Tightening and Lifting
This device is a powerful anti-aging tool that works to increase collagen production while also reducing sunspots and blemishes. Their signature technology delivers energy to precise areas beneath the neck and face to activate your body’s natural restoration process.
Silk’n Titan Skin Tightening and Lifting, $269
ReFa ReFa CARAT FACE
This unique 360-degree, multi-angle design is a clean-energy powered powerhouse that delivers indoor, solar-derived energy as gentle micro-currents boost circulation. The physical stimulation and microcurrents combine to enhance firmness and improve delicate skin.
ReFa ReFa CARAT FACE, $220
TriPollar STOP X Device
This radiofrequency device promises professional-level results deep into the dermis layer of the skin. It stimulates, increases, and accelerates the natural production of collagen and elastin safely and effectively, resulting in a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, tighter and smoother skin, and improved skin tone and texture.
TriPollar STOP X Device, $399.50
What skin tightening treatments have you tried and loved?
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