Sagging skin and decreased elasticity are just a few signs of aging that can stand in the way of getting a younger look. Choosing the right firming products or treatments is hard enough, but knowing if and when you can expect results can be even more frustrating.
A major factor in how fast you see a firming product or treatment work is how lax your skin is to begin with. Generally, those with just a little loose skin will see their treatment work a lot faster those those with more severe cases of sagging. Dermatologist Dr. Vermen Verallo-Rowell says, “I find that those with wrinkled lax skin see and feel their results faster because their starting point is so obvious—improvement is noticed immediately. While those with just a little laxity will not notice a difference until a more marked change is in place.”
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Retinoic acid, an exofliant found in some skin care products that gets down into skin to stimulate the grown of collagen, can deliver better looking skin within two weeks of use. However, a “better” appearance doesn’t necessarily mean firmer. It can take a few months to fully appreciate its firming effects. We should also have realistic expectations of the many products that claim instant results. “Immediate de-wrinklers that are touted on infomercials usually include some kind of polymers which ‘work,’ i.e. provide visible improvement, but only until they are washed off,” says Dr. Carl R. Thornfeldt, CEO and founder of Episciences, Inc. and Epionce Skin Care. “They don’t address the long-term changes or needs of the skin for a true benefit.”
But what about popular, noninvasive in-office procedures? With those that use ultrasound, radio-frequency and/or infrared technologies to tighten skin (like Ultherapy, Thermage, and ReFirme), improvement can be seen between two and three months, continuing on until six months before another session may be necessary.
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