Skin Rejuvenation: 9 Effective Products and Treatments
Skin rejuvenation refers to skin resurfacing and revitalizing techniques to give skin a more youthful, healthy appearance.
These techniques aren’t limited to the face, as in facial rejuvenation, but can be used on other areas of the body such as the chest and legs.
Laser skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion are noninvasive treatments.
Botox and dermal fillers are minimally invasive treatments.
Over-the-counter (OTC) and natural products found in your kitchen can be effective home treatments.
Aging, genetics, sun exposure and acne can contribute to changes in your skin’s texture and appearance. Skin rejuvenation is a broad term that includes methods of revitalizing your skin to help it look healthier, firmer, smoother and younger.
What Is Skin Rejuvenation?
Skin rejuvenation techniques include noninvasive procedures such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing, as well as minimally invasive treatments such as Botox injections or microneedling. Some skin rejuvenation products can be bought OTC and used at home.
Skin rejuvenation treatments and products treat such skin issues as:
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.)
Uneven or dull skin tone
Facial rejuvenation treatments improve the appearance of mild to moderate skin concerns and help the face to regain a youthful appearance. You can pursue facial rejuvenation through both surgical and nonsurgical methods.
Surgical methods of facial rejuvenation include facelifts, neck lifts and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). Some skin rejuvenation options such as Botox and dermal fillers are also considered nonsurgical facial rejuvenation treatments.
Skin rejuvenation vs. skin resurfacing
Skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing are used interchangeably, however skin rejuvenation is broader than skin resurfacing. In general, skin rejuvenation is any treatment or method that is used to improve and refresh the skin.
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 such as 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 OTC skin rejuvenation products rather than choosing a prescription or expensive procedure. Skin rejuvenating creams, serums and masks are all available.
Creams and serums
OTC skin rejuvenating creams and serums are moisturizing formulas that contain active ingredients commonly found in anti-aging products. 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 such as retinoic acid and retinol, reduce wrinkles and fine lines and minimize the signs of aging.
Hydroxy acids such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and polyhydroxy acids gently exfoliate the outer layer of skin and encourage new skin cell growth. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) promotes moisture retention in the skin.
Niacinamide, an antioxidant closely related to niacin (vitamin B3) improves the appearance of wrinkles, helps encourage skin elasticity and promotes moisture retention.
Peptides are naturally-occurring molecules that help stimulate the production of new collagen and promote a smoother skin texture.
Grape seed extract contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants; it also promotes collagen production.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) protects skin from wrinkles and surface damage.
Green, black and oolong tea extracts have anti-inflammatory characteristics and contain antioxidants.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, ia 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, 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. Face masks contain many of the same active ingredients as creams and serums; they are a potent delivery method for active ingredients that rejuvenate the skin.
Noninvasive Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
Some people have more pronounced skin issues that would benefit from noninvasive 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 use an acidic solution to address surface damage to the skin such as mild scarring.
Your cosmetic surgeon will apply a solution such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or trichloroacetic acid to your skin. The acid solution breaks up old skin cells and removes the 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.
Potential side effects include stinging, swelling and redness that could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how strong the peel is. Medium and deep chemical peels can potentially lead to bacterial infections.
Laser skin rejuvenation use a laser to either remove the surface layer of skin or heat the skin and promote new collagen formation.
Ablative laser treatments remove surface skin and require one to two weeks of recovery time. nonablative 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 skin care routine afterward.
Home laser skin rejuvenation kits have nonablative lasers that can stimulate collagen production; however, they tend to be less powerful than their clinical-use counterparts.
Side effects of laser skin resurfacing include stinging, itching, peeling, swelling and redness. Your skin might feel sunburned or stay pink for a few months; it might also ooze or blister.
Microdermabrasion treatments use 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 to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin.
Both types of microdermabrasion encourage new collagen production.
You may want to start with two treatments per month, 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.
Side effects of microdermabrasion include bruising, redness, swelling, tenderness or even petechiae (dark-colored spots indicative of bleeding under the skin).
Minimally Invasive Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
People who have sensitive skin and are unable to pursue skin resurfacing may consider minimally invasive skin rejuvenation techniques.
Microneedling is a technique in which your cosmetic surgeon uses an instrument called a dermaroller on your skin.
The dermaroller’s tiny needles prick your skin, stimulating collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin tighten and firm skin, helping to restore a youthful appearance.
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 available but are generally not as effective as professional microneedling.
Side effects of microneedling include peeling, bruising, bleeding and bacterial infection.
Botulinum toxin type A injections, including Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, are a popular, minimally invasive way to treat a variety of facial wrinkles.
The active ingredient blocks nerve signals to the facial muscles where wrinkles occur. This causes the muscles to relax and the wrinkles to smooth out.
Results appear within a week and last between three and four months. Wrinkles return once the Botox wears off.
Possible side effects of Botox injections include headache, flu-like symptoms, swelling, bruising or pain at the site of the injection, muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, drooling, crooked smile, dry or watery eyes.
Dermal fillers are injected under the skin to restore your face’s natural contours.
Soft-tissue fillers such as hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid, or formulations such as Juvederm, Restylane or Voluma can help plump and smooth out skin.
Filler injections are often used to plump lips and cheeks and address deep lines and wrinkles, under-eye circles 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.
Common side effects include pain, swelling, redness, rash, bruising and itching.
At-Home Skin Rejuvenation
Low-cost treatments are available for home use, including skin rejuvenation kits, machines and natural products for skin rejuvenation, as detailed below. It’s possible to make your own face masks at home, but the ingredients you use aren’t as likely to be effective as a mask you’d purchase commercially.
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.
Skin rejuvenation kits and machines
You can purchase chemical peels, microdermabrasion kits, nonablative 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 product or 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 rejuvenating the skin. Some believe that all-natural ingredients are more wholesome and nourishing for the skin.
Some of these natural remedies include:
Argan, avocado and coconut oils to replenish moisture
Vegetables and fruits applied directly to the face to soften and smooth skin
Rosehip to moisturize, brighten and encourage collagen production
Egg white face masks to tighten the skin and remove dead skin cells
Green tea and honey face masks for an antioxidant boost
Aloe vera and chamomile to soothe inflammation
Coffee scrubs to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin
Green tea bags under the eyes to combat puffiness
Always patch-test a small area of skin first to ensure you don’t experience irritation or an allergic reaction.
Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Cost
Costs for skin rejuvenation procedures vary. Factors that add to the final total include the procedure cost, your cosmetic surgeon’s fee, costs for anesthesia and the facility and fees for prescription medication.
Elective cosmetic surgical procedures aren’t usually covered by insurance. Neither are the potential complications associated with them
NonInvasive skin rejuvenation
Laser skin resurfacing
$1,150 to $2,100
Can last for years
$600 to $900
Months to 10 years
$75 to $200
Requires monthly maintenance
Minimally invasive skin rejuvenation
$100 to $700 per session (average $300)
Takes months to see full results; may require multiple sessions
$350 to $500 per area
Lasts up to 4 months
$700 to $2,100
Immediate results; lasts months to years
Skin rejuvenation products and procedures are appropriate for a wide range of skin types and tones. These include noninvasive, minimally invasive and home-use techniques that vary in cost and efficacy.
These procedures are effective in addressing a wide range of skin concerns including sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loose skin and uneven skin tone.
Recovery and aftercare vary from one technique to another, from no downtime to two weeks or more. It’s important to talk with your dermatologist about what’s right for your unique needs, particularly if you have sensitive skin or a very dark skin tone.