“Microneedling RF devices, like EndyMed Intensif, poke tiny holes into the skin and then deliver RF heat to the deep layers of the skin to stimulate skin tightening over time,” she says. Dr. Ingleton does caution us, however, that “special precautions must be taken when performing Microneedling with RF on darker skin” due to greater susceptibility of hyperpigmentation among those with more melanin. Regardless of skin tone, Dr. Frank adds it is best to avoid direct sun exposure within weeks after microneedling, or any procedure where there is likely to be inflammation.
Microneedling starts at around $300 per session.
For those of you who like to be on the cutting edge, Dr. Geronemus says that micro-coring is “a new method just introduced that can also lead to skin tightening.” According to Practical Dermatology, dermal micro-coring involves making tiny punches in the skin guided by a grid using a non-electric, fine-gauge needling device.
A fine-gauge needle refers to one that is very thin, and, therefore, generally less painful to the patient. This procedure removes a small amount of skin from the surface area without scarring, and enables the skin to shrink and tighten while also stimulating collagen and elastin production.
One micro-coring device, called Ellacor, made its debut after gaining FDA approval last year. Dr. Frank previously told Allure that the price ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 per treatment, and a series of two to four appointments are recommended.
The experts I spoke to say that laser treatment is a beneficial skin treatment, though they are not all in agreement that it is effective for skin tightening. Laser – which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation — uses a small, focused beam of light to stimulate collagen production.
On the side of laser-for-skin-tightening advocates, we have Dr. Devgan, who says that Erbium laser “can tighten the skin envelope.” Erbium laser beams are absorbed by water inside your skin, vaporizing the tissue inside the skin. Heat created by the laser stimulates the formation of collagen, which is said to help tighten the skin.
While Dr. Frank sees value of using lasers for other skin improvement therapies, he remains skeptical on their efficacy for skin tightening, “Lasers are best for removing sun damage, broken capillaries, and melasma, not necessarily firming the skin,” he says. “However, removing sun damage can help with the overall quality and texture of the skin.”