Maybe your skin isn’t as smooth as it was 10 years ago. Maybe wrinkles are beginning to appear around your eyes and on your forehead. Maybe your skin tone is just a little uneven. And really, that’s OK. It’s what happens to us naturally as we age. Our skin loses some of its suppleness and character. But we don’t have to shrug our shoulders and admit failure anymore. Technology has come a long way in helping our skin regain some of the vibrancy of our youth.
There are a variety of options currently available to help “revitalize” our skin, ranging from at-home approaches that require minutes a day to minimally invasive, office-based procedures. It all depends on your goals, budget, and time.
Today’s rejuvenation techniques are designed to help your skin recover a smoother, clearer state.1 These can be used to treat any or all of the following conditions:
Let’s take a closer look at the more popular rejuvenation options available in today’s marketplace.
At-home skin rejuvenation treatments have their advantages, including cost and convenience. Some products and devices can be purchased at your local pharmacy, beauty shop, or online.
One note of caution: Always be sure to read the instructions provided with over-the-counter skin rejuvenation products. When used incorrectly, these products can cause significant skin damage. Even when used appropriately, some patients may experience temporary redness, dryness, and skin peeling.
Derma rollers involve specially designed kits with short, fine needles (microneedles) that penetrate the skin to create tiny pathways. This process activates the skin’s healing process, stimulating the production of collagen, elastin, and new, healthy skin cells.2
Microneedling can be effective for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and textural issues. Typically, the needles on derma rollers are not as long as those used in clinical settings, so the results you get may not be as dramatic as professional microneedling treatments, which typically use longer, ultrafine needles to penetrate the skin.
Depending on the size of the needles, you can use derma rollers as frequently as 3-4 times a week. Maintaining a consistent schedule is key – you will typically see results with derma rollers after 4-6 months if they are used on a regular basis.3
Light therapy devices are another popular at-home option for some patients with skin issues. These devices vary in design and function, but typically involve the delivery of intense red or blue LED lights to affected areas of the skin.
Red light therapy is currently the most popular light therapy option. This approach boosts energy production within the skin cells, leading to production of new collagen and helping smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Red light therapy may also improve blood circulation in the skin and minimize overall inflammation.4
Blue light therapy is another popular light therapy option. It is often used to kill the acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which can clear a patient’s complexion. Blue light therapy can also help treat sun damage that may eventually become cancerous. It removes damaged skin layers and uncovers more youthful skin underneath.5
As with derma needles, it is important to do your research and read instructions carefully when purchasing a light therapy device for at-home use. Some products can cause side effects such as redness and pain. While likely more expensive, it is highly recommended to use a device that is FDA approved or has a CE mark.
Again, consistency with utilization of a light therapy device is key. Some can be used 5 times a week or more.
A variety of over-the-counter creams, lotions, and serums are available that may hide common signs of aging and make your skin look more supple. Common ingredients found within these products include the following:
If you have not shopped for topical rejuvenating agents before, you might be amazed at the variety of products that are available. Shop with caution – some products will promise more than they can deliver. Most serums and creams are cosmetic in nature and simply make wrinkles or skin imperfections less noticeable by moisturizing the skin or hiding blemishes in the short term.10 Only the use of drugs and devices can change the underlying structure and function of the skin.
Professionally administered skin rejuvenation treatments are the most effective and durable solutions to help your skin look and feel smoother, firmer, and more youthful. These treatments work by amplifying the body’s natural processes to turn back the clock on aging.
In-office rejuvenation treatments are performed at medical spas or doctor’s offices under the supervision of a licensed dermatologist, aesthetician, nurse, or other skin care professional. You may only need a one-time procedure to achieve your personal goals, or you may opt for multiple procedures over the course of several weeks or months.
Here is a brief overview of the most popular skin rejuvenation treatments offered in today’s practices.
Professional microneedling devices use longer needles than at-home derma rollers, reaching deeper into the skin. At-home derma roller needles are typically less than 0.15 millimeters (mm) in length while the most effective professional needles are between 1-3 mm in length. While derma rollers are designed to create microscopic punctures in the skin, professional microneedling goes beneath the skin surface to stimulate the body’s natural wound healing process.11 This results in smoother, more radiant skin.
Candela offers two different microneedling systems — Exceed* and Profound — which both rejuvenate the skin in approximately 12 weeks. The Profound system adds the use of radiofrequency waves to its microneedling capabilities. These radiofrequency waves heat the skin, further stimulating collagen production to reduce fine lines on the face, wrinkles, and cellulite.
Most patients will schedule a series of 3-6 microneedling treatments spaced every 4-6 weeks to achieve the results they desire. Your goals, and the best approach to achieve those goals, should be discussed with a skin care professional prior to starting treatment.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy uses different wavelengths of light to improve the appearance of the skin. There are a variety of types of IPL therapy that can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, minimize freckles and sun spots, and heal vascular (blood vessel) problems such as prominent facial veins, spider veins, port wine stain birthmarks, and rosacea.12
During IPL therapy, a machine such as the Candela Nordlys delivers light energy into the deeper layers of the skin. Your skin cells absorb this light and transform it into heat energy, creating targeted tissue damage that destroys built-up melanin and other unwanted pigments.12
IPL photorejuvenation is an excellent option to renew your skin and improve its overall elasticity.13
While some patients will opt for at-home application of creams or emollients, medical spas and aesthetic centers offer more comprehensive services. This may include facial cleansing, exfoliation, blackhead or pimple extraction, facial massage, a mask, or any combination of these.
However, while these services can have beneficial surface-level effects, they do not penetrate into deeper skin layers, making their impact short-lived. For instance, a facial massage may be an effective stress-relief service, but it does not alter immune cells or affect deeper skin tissue.14 Patients looking for long-lasting skin improvement would benefit more from other in-office services.
Dermal filler injections can be an effective way to help round out the face and reverse age-related changes that make the skin thinner and more prone to sagging. These injections have the ability to improve wrinkles, add volume to the lips or cheeks, and give your face a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Most medical spas and aesthetic centers will offer a variety of dermal filler options. Some, such as hyaluronic acid, are naturally occurring molecules that sit underneath your skin. Injections of these molecules add volume to the surrounding tissue, hydrating the skin and making it appear more plump. Others, such as poly-L-lactic acid, are molecules developed in a laboratory that can work within skin tissue to rebuild collagen and make the skin itself tighter.15
Other types of cosmetic injections – most notably Botox® – are drugs that change the way in which underlying cells and tissues work.
Botox® is a toxin that temporarily prevents nearby muscles from contracting and blocks nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. Facial muscles near the eye or forehead that are temporarily paralyzed by Botox injections won’t wrinkle the skin.16
Dysport® is another cosmetic injection option that is used most commonly for larger areas such as the forehead and around the eyebrows. Because of the way it is formulated, Botox can typically be used across a broader range of small areas where wrinkles may be commonly found.
see what just a few treatments can do
All of the in-office skin rejuvenation methods discussed on this page, including those developed by Candela, are non-invasive in nature. The specific Candela devices – which include the Exceed and Profound microneedling systems as well as the Nordlys Ellipse IPL device – use advanced technology to stimulate the skin’s natural healing processes. There is no surgery involved with any of these methods.
Results will often depend on the method of skin rejuvenation you choose. Some treatments typically show results more quickly than others. Some won’t be effective (or as effective) without regular use or application. This is an important topic to discuss during your initial consultation so that both you and skin care professional are working toward the same goals. Maybe you have a wedding coming up in 2 weeks and you need fast results. Maybe you have 3 months until beach season. These sorts of variables can play a big role in the type of approach that will be best for you.
The best skin rejuvenation solution for you will depend on many variables. These can include skin conditions/issues, skin type, sensitivity, and overall goals of treatment. Based on these variables, your skin care professional will be able to help you determine which treatment or combination of treatments is best for you.