woman touching her face

Skin Tightening Options

Do you ever find yourself staring in the mirror, pulling back the skin on your body, and wishing it would stay there? You’re not alone.

There are many changes that our bodies will go through as we age. One of the most noticeable changes is the loss of firmness in our skin. This loss of definition can happen almost anywhere on the body – particularly on the face, neck, abdomen, and arms.

The loosening of the skin occurs when the dermis’s supply of collagen, fat, and elastin diminishes. However, several factors can contribute to the loss of firmness in the skin.

  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Smoking
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Significant weight loss
  • Prolonged exposure to UV rays

While the loss of definition in the skin is a natural occurrence that happens to everyone, you may wish to tighten the skin for a more youthful look. There are several options available to those who want to tighten their skin. These methods include topical product application, noninvasive procedures, and surgical procedures.

Before deciding which route to take, it’s essential to educate yourself on the different treatment options available and the pros and cons of each.

Treatment Options

There are three main categories of skin-tightening treatments: topical products, non-invasive treatments, lasers, and surgical.

Topical Products

woman applying creamTopical products are the most accessible and are a cost effective option available to most individuals. These products can range from serums, creams, and moisturizers, and they can be purchased at most drugstores or cosmetics counters.

Many of these products contain a high percentage of hyaluronic acid, elastin, and growth factors that can plump the skin resulting in a more youthful look.

However, the impact of these treatments can be limited because they can only penetrate the skin superficially. While you’ll see some results, are sometimes fleeting. To continue seeing results, the product must be applied every day. They work best when paired with treatments like radiofrequency. If you’re looking for facelift-like results, you’ll be disappointed.

Non-invasive Tightening

Laser skin tightening is a popular treatment on the market. Because it is minimally invasive, it requires little to no recovery time. 

The costs for laser skin tightening will depend on the experience level of your provider, location, and size of the treatment area. The average falls between $500 to $2,000. 

At the moment, there are several different non-invasive treatments on the market. 

Radiofrequency (RF)

This treatment uses focused radiofrequency energy to penetrate up to 3mm deep into the skin tissue. The energy delivers heat that stimulates the body’s collagen and elastin production. 

Because it only reaches the epidermal layers of the skin, it’s the best choice for treating loss of volume and delicate areas such as upper or lower eyelids.

This treatment can also be combined with microneedling for slightly intensified results. 

Because it’s noninvasive, recovery time is minimal. Results can be seen immediately and will continue to unfold as collagen remodels. You may need several sessions over the first few months and one session every 6-12 months for maintenance for best results. 

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

woman getting HIFU treatmentHigh-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), also known as ultrasound skin tightening, is a newer procedure on the market. The most widely used HIFU brand is Ultherapy.

It works similarly to RF. The major difference is that it penetrates deeper, up to 5mm, and past the facial muscles. This deeper penetration into the lower levels of the dermis allows for a more impactful stimulation of collagen.

This treatment is ideal for individuals seeking to reduce deeper lines, wrinkles and reduce moderate skin sagging. This is not the best option for individuals with severe skin sagging. 

Results can be seen within two to three months and can last for up to a year with a good skin care regimen. 

Both of these treatments will provide natural-looking results without resorting to surgery. While they’re both relatively safe procedures, they are not without possible complications. The most common risks and side effects of the procedure include, but are not limited to:

  • Skin sensitivity or tenderness that may persist up to a week after treatment.
  • Swelling
  • A light tingling sensation of the treated area
  • Changes in skin color

In rare cases, you may experience palpable nodules under the skin or partial paralysis of motor nerves. If this occurs, contact your healthcare provider immediately.


If you have a significant amount of loose skin or deep wrinkles, surgery may be your best option to achieve your desired results. 

Surgery will give you the most immediate and permanent results. However, the recovery time will be more extensive. Depending on the area of the body that is being treated, recovery can range from several weeks to several months.

When choosing a plastic surgeon, be diligent in your research to ensure your safety. Surgery also comes with more risk as it is more taxing on the body and invasive. 

The risks will be thoroughly discussed with you before your operation. However, the most common risks and side effects of the procedure include, but are not limited to:

  • Complications to anesthesia
  • Infection during and post-procedure
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Scarring
  • Facial nerve injury

The cost will significantly vary based on the area that will be treated. The average price of a facelift in the US can range from $7,000 to $15,000.

Which treatment is best for you?

It may be challenging to determine the correct treatment to address your needs with so many options available. Where do you start?

The first step is to identify your main skin concerns. Is it a loss of volume? Sagging? Or wrinkled, crepey skin?

After you identify your biggest concerns, you must objectively analyze the severity of your skin’s condition. Are your wrinkles fine or deep? 

This will give you a starting point. After you have an idea of your needs, schedule a consultation with a professional that can guide you to the best course of action.

You’re not alone!

If you’re struggling with loose skin and ready to rejuvenate your look, there are options available! 

Schedule a consultation with a professional that can help you choose the right course of action today.