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The holy grail of lasers are tightening and brightening. After all, who among us does not want a little extra snap to their skin, less sagging and dragging, and a more vibrant glowy complexion? The answer – no one!
Coming off the winter doldrums with an eye towards sunshine and blue skies, now is the perfect time to consider getting some work done for your skin. But with all of the energy-based treatments on the market, it’s hard to know which will do the trick and are clinically proven to really work, have minimal to no downtime, and can actually make a difference.
So, we asked 5 experts to give us their personal take on some of the best devices on the market. Here’s what they told us.
Thermage from Solta is a brand that has been around for eons and has been touted as the answer to slack, crepey skin of the face, neck and sagging body parts. Enter the next generation of Thermage FLX, an update of the classic skin tightening technology with some new bells and whistles.
Dr. Vic Narurkar, a dermatologist in San Francisco, is a big proponent of the new Thermage system. “The Thermage FLX uses a new energy algorithm called acu-rep which automatically measures and tunes the amount of radiofrequency with each pulse- allowing for a much more uniform and predictable delivery of RF. A larger spot size has been developed which enables the treatment to be performed much faster- my average time to treat the face and neck is less than 60 minutes. The FLX is a single treatment that uses the vibration to enhance patient comfort. We do not need to use any medications for anesthesia or analgesia. More immediate off the table results are seen which continue for several months. Thermage is the only FDA approved RF device cleared for the treatment of eyelids, full face and neck and body,” he says.
BodyTite, with its sister handpiece FaceTite, from Inmode Aesthetic Solutions are a unique Bipolar Radio Frequency system. These devices heat the skin to get contraction and to stimulate new collagen for surgery-like results without the sutures or scars.
According to Plastic Surgeon Dr. Bob Basu in Houston, the ideal candidate is someone who has loose skin on the tummy or under the chin, for example, but who isn’t really a candidate for a tummy tuck, face or necklift. “This system fills the gap. There is an internal probe the size of a little pen tip that goes thru a 2mm skin opening to reach under the surface of the skin. The external probe goes down to the superficial dermis, so the energy is hitting the tissues from both sides. The dual action results in about a 10% improvement in skin tightening and contour in one week, up to 30% over 3 to 4 months, with maximum improvement at 8-12 months. The results can be impressive,” says Dr. Basu.
Ultherapy uses a high-intensity, focused version of ultrasound energy to deliver heat deep into the skin, where it works to remodel existing collagen and stimulates the body to naturally produce more collagen. An advantage of this downtime-free treatment is that your doctor can visualize the deeper layers of the skin before the energy is discharged precisely where it needs to go. “Most patients begin to see visible improvement in sagging, skin laxity, crepey appearance and horizontal wrinkles across the neck in about a month,” says Dr. Stanley Kovak of Kovak Cosmetic Center in Chicago, IL. “Keep in mind it can take three to six months to see the final outcomes, and some patients may require two treatments for optimal improvement,” he says. Note: You may want to ask your provider for some form of pain management (Tylenol or something stronger) if you are not used to having laser treatments, or if it is your first time with Ulthera.
\What is unique about the HALO laser is that it combines two technologies in a single treatment, so you can get the best of both worlds, so to speak. It is also a fully customizable treatment, so if you need to be back at work in a day or two, you can do that. If you have a little extra time to spare, opt for a more dramatic result. HALO can be dialed up to down to fit perfectly into your busy lifestyle. Even a lighter treatment will deliver a glowy look with a softer, smoother texture to the skin. HALO can be repeated as needed
According to New York City dermatologist Bradley Bloom, “Sciton’s HALO is the next generation of fractional lasers. It has transformed the way I can treat patients. It is the first hybrid fractional laser which means we can deliver two wavelengths of light in a single treatment to target superficial and deep skin complaints. With Halo, I can customize each treatment to address every patients’ unique concerns while minimizing downtime.
The Enlighten system from CUTERA features Picogenesis, which is highly touted for its ability to obliterate pigmentation, brown spots and discoloration, along with a wide variety of tattoo ink colors. These treatments can go far to revitalize your skin through a process often referred to as ‘laser toning.’ Your skin will look brighter and younger in a few sessions as pigment fades away. As New York City dermatologist and laser guru Macrene Alexiades explains, “Enlighten is light years ahead in laser technology, providing the best ever device removal of pigment and tattoos offering nanosecond and picosecond pulse durations at a variety of wavelengths.”
NOTE: Sciton is a brand partner of Beautyinthebag.com. Opinions are my own and those of the experts interviewed.