- Skin rejuvenation involves skin resurfacing and revitalizing techniques that lead skin to a more youthful, healthy appearance
- These techniques aren’t limited to the face, as in facial rejuvenation, but can be used on areas of the body like the chest and legs in addition to the face
- Methods of skin rejuvenation involve non-invasive in-office treatments, minimally invasive in-office treatments, and home treatments.
- Costs and recovery times vary based on procedure.
Skin rejuvenation is a broad term that includes methods of revitalizing your skin to help it look healthier, firmer, smoother and younger.
Aging, genetics, sun exposure and acne can contribute to changes in your skin’s texture and appearance over time. Skin rejuvenation products and procedures reduce the appearance of mild to moderate skin concerns. Many skin rejuvenation practices also encourage new collagen growth to firm and tighten the skin.
What is Skin Rejuvenation?
There are many ways to rejuvenate your skin. Some of these include procedures like chemical peels and laser resurfacing. And, some skin rejuvenation products can be bought over-the-counter and used at home.
Skin rejuvenation treatments and products treat minor blemishes and skin issues like:
- Sun damage
- Scars from acne, chickenpox, or injury
- Wrinkles (both static, unmoving wrinkles and dynamic wrinkles that are influenced by facial movements)
- Hyperpigmentation (darkened skin, freckles, etc.)
- Loose skin
- Uneven or dull skin tone
Skin rejuvenation products and procedures are appropriate for a wide range of skin types and tones. It’s important to talk with your dermatologist about what’s right for your unique needs, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Facial rejuvenation treatments help the face to appear youthful again. You can pursue facial rejuvenation through both surgical and non-surgical methods. Surgical methods of facial rejuvenation include facelift, neck lift, and cosmetic eyelid surgery.
Some skin rejuvenation options like Botox and dermal fillers are also considered non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments. Skin rejuvenation does involve restoring a youthful appearance to the face, but it extends beyond the face to other areas of the body like the chest and legs.
Skin Rejuvenation vs. Skin Resurfacing
“Skin rejuvenation” and “skin resurfacing” are regularly used as interchangeable terms.
But, skin rejuvenation is broader than skin resurfacing. In general, skin rejuvenation is any treatment or method that helps your skin look refreshed and healthy.
Skin resurfacing is one method of skin rejuvenation. It involves removing the top layer of skin to encourage new skin cell growth and new collagen production. Methods like laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels are two approaches to skin resurfacing.
Topical Skin Rejuvenation Products
People with mild skin concerns who would like to refresh their skin’s appearance might seek out over-the-counter skin rejuvenation products rather than getting a more expensive prescription or procedure. Skin rejuvenating creams, serums, and masks are available for OTC purchase.
Creams and Serums
OTC skin rejuvenating creams and serums are moisturizing formulas that contain active ingredients commonly found in anti-aging products. Home use products tend to be less potent than the products used during in-office skin treatments. They are also classified as cosmetics, and therefore not required to be scientifically tested for efficacy. Effectiveness depends on your skin type, the active ingredients, and the concentration of those ingredients.
Ingredients commonly found in skin rejuvenating creams and serums include:
- Retinoids, or vitamin A compounds, like retinoic acid and retinol to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and minimize damage.
- Hydroxy acids like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids to gently exfoliate a thin layer of dermis and encourage new skin cell growth. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid.
- Hyaluronic acid (HA), which promotes moisture retention in your skin.
- Niacinamide, an antioxidant closely related to niacin (vitamin B-3) that could improve wrinkles, help encourage skin elasticity and promotes moisture retention.
- Peptides, naturally-occurring molecules that help stimulate the production of new collagen and promote a smoother skin texture.
- Grape seed extract, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. It also promotes collagen production.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which protects from wrinkles and surface damage.
- Green, black, and oolong tea extracts, which have anti-inflammatory characteristics and contain antioxidants.
- Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, an antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage and free radicals. It also helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by encouraging collagen production.
- Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, which functions hand-in-hand with Vitamin C to promote skin repair and smoothing.
Skin-rejuvenating face masks are made using active ingredients that have anti-aging properties and help encourage collagen production. It’s possible to make your own face mask at home, but the ingredients you use aren’t as likely to be effective as a mask you’d purchase commercially.
Skin Revitalizing Routine
It’s important to follow a daily skin revitalizing routine, whether or not you choose to use skin rejuvenation procedures or products. Here’s an easy daily routine to follow:
- Start your day with a gentle, water-based cleanser to soothe and clean your skin. Choose a cleanser with a low pH to keep your skin in balance.
- Gently exfoliate your skin to keep fresh, new skin cells developing and slough away old, dead skin cells. You can use a soft sponge, washcloth, or even a mild over-the-counter chemical exfoliant if your skin isn’t sensitive. (If you have sensitive skin, be cautious when you exfoliate, as you don’t want to irritate your skin.)
- Apply a skin-rejuvenating serum.
- Follow up with a skin-rejuvenating moisturizer.
- Apply sunscreen (at least broad-spectrum SPF 30).
Non-Invasive Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
Some people have more pronounced skin issues that need to be treated with non-invasive resurfacing techniques. A cosmetic surgeon can perform the following treatments in-office to remove the top layer of skin and promote new skin and new collagen growth.
Chemical peels are procedures that utilize an acidic solution to address surface damage to the skin like mild scarring. Your plastic surgeon will apply a solution like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or trichloroacetic acid to your skin. The acid solution breaks up old skin cells and removes a thin, top layer of skin. Results will vary depending on the strength of the acid and the depth of your peel (i.e., how deeply the acid solution penetrates your skin). Results of a deep chemical peel can last for up to 10 years.
Laser skin rejuvenation involves using a laser to either remote the surface layer of skin or heat the skin and promote new collagen formation. Ablative laser treatments remove surface skin and require 1-2 weeks of recovery time. Non-ablative treatments use heat to encourage collagen production and require no downtime. (All types of laser rejuvenation treatments promote collagen formation.) Laser skin rejuvenation results can last for years if you protect your skin from further sun damage and follow an anti-aging skincare routine afterward. Home laser skin rejuvenation kits have non-ablative lasers that are much weaker than their clinical-use counterparts.
Microdermabrasion treatments involve using gently abrasive sanding techniques to remove the outer layer of skin. Crystal microdermabrasion is performed with a handheld device that uses tiny crystals to break up, then suction, the top layer of skin. Diamond microdermabrasion involves a handheld, diamond-tipped wand that gently exfoliates your top layer of skin. Both types of microdermabrasion encourage collagen thickening.
You may want to start with two treatments per month at first, then once a month for maintenance. Results vary based on the amount of skin damage you had before you began treatments, but should ultimately be long-lasting.
Minimally Invasive Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
People who have sensitive skin and are unable to pursue skin resurfacing might turn to minimally invasive skin rejuvenation techniques. However, Botox and dermal filler injections must be performed in-office by a cosmetic surgeon.
Microneedling is a technique in which your doctor uses an instrument called a dermaroller on your skin. The dermaroller contains many tiny needles that prick your skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production to tighten and firm. Over the days and weeks following microneedling, your skin may look more radiant. It takes several months for full results to appear. And, it can take multiple sessions to achieve ideal results.
Home dermarollers are not as effective as professional microneedling. Some anecdotal evidence indicates that a healthier-looking glow is your best bet from a home roller.
Botox injections are a popular, minimally invasive way to treat a variety of facial wrinkles. The active ingredient, botulinum toxin type A, blocks nerve signals to the facial muscles where wrinkles occur. This causes the muscles to relax and the wrinkles to smooth. Results appear within a week and last between three and four months. Wrinkles return once the Botox wears off. (Other brand names include Dysport and Xeomin.) Botulinum toxin type A injections may not be performed at home–only by a certified cosmetic surgeon.
Dermal fillers can be injected under the skin to restore your face’s natural contours. Soft-tissue fillers like hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid, or formulations like Juvéderm, Restylane or Voluma can help plump and smooth skin. Filler injections are often used to plump lips and cheeks and address deep lines and wrinkles, hollow eyes and cheeks, vertical lines on the face and more. Results are immediate and can last for months to years, depending on the filler used and the individual. You may not inject dermal fillers at home; your cosmetic surgeon should only perform the injections in-office.
At-Home Skin Rejuvenation
With the exception of Botox and dermal filler injections, all of the above techniques can be performed at home. Active ingredients also come in lower concentrations that are safe for you to apply yourself.
Lower concentrations mean your home-use skin rejuvenation products won’t produce results as dramatic or long-lasting as an in-office procedure. But, if you’re only dealing with minor skin issues and want to save on costly procedures, rejuvenating your skin at home could be a great option for you.
Skin Rejuvenation Machines
You can purchase chemical peels, microdermabrasion kits, non-ablative laser skin resurfacing tools and microneedling rollers for home use. Keep in mind, the home-use versions of these treatments are much milder and gentler than in-office procedures. You might need to use your skin rejuvenation machine more often than you’d visit an office for a procedure. Read the device’s instructions carefully before use and talk to your dermatologist if you have concerns.
Natural Products for Skin Rejuvenation
Some beauty gurus are proponents of natural remedies for skin tightening that are purported to rejuvenate the skin. Some people believe ingredients that don’t contain dyes, parabens, or fragrances believe that all-natural ingredients are more wholesome and nourishing for the skin.
While they haven’t been medically proven to do so, some of these remedies include:
- Argan oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Aloe vera
- Egg white face masks
- Green tea and honey face masks
- Coffee scrubs
- Essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, lemon and clary sage
- Vegetables and fruits applied directly to the face
- Green tea bags under the eyes
At best, the efficacy of these home remedies is temporary and minimal, even though some of the ingredients can support skin tightening.
Skin Rejuvenation Risks
Like most treatments, skin rejuvenation procedures and products carry risks and side effects. Some of these include:
- Bacterial infection
- Light or dark spots on the skin (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)
- Irregular skin surface
- Changes to skin’s texture
- Greater sensitivity to sunlight and sunburns
- Higher susceptibility to allergic reactions
- New cold sore breakouts
If you have sensitive skin, a condition like rosacea, very dark skin tone, or other concern, talk to your cosmetic surgeon about what options carry the lowest risks for you.
After your cosmetic surgery, your cosmetic surgeon or practitioner will give you aftercare instructions for your recovery. Some rejuvenating procedures require downtime, like ablative laser skin resurfacing. Others require no downtime but still require aftercare.
Depending on your rejuvenating treatment, your skin could look anywhere from pink to red, flaky and peeling, blistered and scabbed. Your recovery could take anywhere from a day to four weeks, based on your treatment. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your individual needs and what your recovery might look like before you go through with the procedure.
Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Cost
Costs for skin rejuvenation procedures vary. For at-home treatments, the costs are limited to the products and devices you purchase. But for in-office procedures, you’ll have to consider all the factors that add up to the final cost like the procedure cost, your cosmetic surgeon’s fee, costs for anesthesia and the facility, or even fees for prescription medication.
Non-Invasive Skin Rejuvenation
|Laser Skin Resurfacing||$1,144 to $2,071||Can last for years.|
|Chemical Peel||$669||Months to 10 years.|
|Microdermabrasion||$131||Monthly maintenance needed.|
Minimally Invasive Skin Rejuvenation
|Microneedling||$100 to $700 per session (average $300)||Takes months to see full results; might require multiple sessions.|
|Botox Injections||$397||Lasts up to 4 months.|
|Dermal Fillers||$682 to $2126||Immediate results; lasts months to years.|
Additionally, elective cosmetic surgical procedures aren’t usually covered by insurance. Neither are the potential complications associated with them. Be sure to call your insurance company to find out whether your selected procedure is covered. Financing your procedure may also be an option. Your cosmetic surgeon’s office can give you further information about special financing programs for procedures.
When it comes to skin rejuvenation, preventing the signs of aging as much as possible is the best medicine. Following a daily skincare routine, applying sunscreen every day, and establishing good skincare habits early on is your best bet.
A wide variety of skin rejuvenation techniques, procedures, and products are available to help fight the signs of aging. These include non-invasive, minimally invasive, and home-use techniques that vary in cost and efficacy. Recovery and aftercare vary from one technique to another, from no downtime to two weeks or more. Ultimately, the best medicine for skin rejuvenation is aging prevention.