Summer may yet be far away, but it’s never too early to start prepping your skin for sunnier days. The warmer months can creep up on us while we shake off the dregs of winter, so it’s essential to keep your skin in good condition.
The best thing you can do to prep your skin for summer is to keep it moisturized through the dry winter months and invest in a good quality SPF. Wearing a high SPF sunscreen every day is your best line of defense against fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots.
However, some of us may want to take things a step further to get that perfect summer skin that will turn heads at the beach. There’s only so much over-the-counter skin care products can do, so if it’s firm, tight, and lifted skin you’re after, consult your dermatologist about any of the following treatments.
Skin Tightening Procedures
There’s no shortage of methods dermatologists can use to tighten the skin. Choosing from the following options all depends on how comfortable you are with invasive procedures.
Chemical Skin Tightening
Chemical skin tightening treatments include peels and medicated creams. Most people opt for creams or peels before trying other skin tightening methods, as they are the least invasive option. Medicated creams or peels can help reduce fine lines and make the skin appear slightly tighter and plumper.
Opt for dermatologist-approved creams or have your dermatologist perform a skin tightening peel or facial for the best results. Over-the-counter tightening products can be useful, but you need to know what you’re looking for. For plumper skin, look for creams containing hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Avoid products with harsh ingredients like denatured alcohol.
You should not expect drastic results from chemical peels or tightening creams. Topical products can only penetrate the upper layers of the skin, so results are limited.
Laser Skin Tightening
Laser skin tightening can help tighten loose skin all over the body but is especially effective at tightening skin on the belly and arms. The process is non-surgical and minimally invasive, using an infrared laser to tighten the skin by heating the collagen below the skin’s surface. When subjected to laser heat, the skin begins to contract and produces more collagen.
Laser procedures vary, and some are more effective than others. For example, laser resurfacing produces the quickest and best results but has a rest period of 5 to 7 days. Simple lasering procedures have no downtime but may require 3 to 5 treatments for results to show.
Surgical Skin Tightening
Plastic surgery is one of the best ways to get tighter skin. Rather than plumping out fine lines and wrinkles, surgical procedures can remove excess skin in problem areas. If your skin is especially loose in a particular area due to childbirth or significant weight loss, plastic surgery may be the only way to get tighter skin.
Plastic surgery is more invasive and expensive than other skin tightening methods but has the highest payoff. Results are long-lasting and can be achieved in a single session. Plastic surgery is the only way to see a drastic change in the appearance of very loose and sagging skin.
Body Sculpting Procedures
Body sculpting is a name applied to any procedure designed to shrink problem areas and sculpt the body. Body sculpting can be surgical or non-surgical and can target either fat cells or muscle tissue. A common technique is to use cryotherapy to freeze away fat cells or muscle tissue. These procedures are known by their trademarked names CoolSculpting and CoolToning.
If you want to freeze away stubborn fat in targeted areas, consult your dermatologist about CoolSculpting.
CoolSculpting, also called cryolipolysis, is non-invasive and can reduce fat in areas like the abdomen, thighs, and upper arms. CoolSculpting is particularly popular among people looking to lose fat in the belly region to give the appearance of toned abs.
During a CoolSculpting procedure, fat cells are subjected to freezing cold temperatures, causing them to die and eventually be excreted through the body’s natural process. Most CoolSculpting patients see results after 1 to 3 months.
Unlike CoolSculpting, which targets fats cells, CoolTone is used to freeze away muscle tissue. The result is a more contoured, specific body shape. CoolTone uses a process called magnetic muscle stimulation to shoot electromagnetic energy into the muscles. Electromagnetic waves cause the muscles to contract and relax repeatedly, resulting in strengthened and more toned-looking muscles.
Some people prefer CoolToning to CoolSculpting as there is less of a recovery period between sessions. Multiple CoolSculpting sessions can be performed in one week.