Skin Tightening “Deals”–A Dermatologist’s Advice


at home peelPart of being savvy is knowing how to recognize a real deal from one that promises more than it delivers. In the area of beauty and skin care, there are “deals” and offers on every corner–especially in the area of skin treatments.

Family Savvy’s contributing dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog has firsthand experience with multiple laser devices. She shares the bottom line on what to expect from such devices and how to ensure you get the best “deal” for your own wants and needs. This post was prompted by the following question from a Family Savvy reader…

Dear Dr. Jo,

I got an offer in my inbox this week for discounted skin tightening sessions with a device called SkinTyte. The deal offered steep discounts, but I don’t want to purchase any of these sessions unless I will really see results. Have you heard of this device, and what do you think… or no deal?


Bargain Hunter in Birmingham


Dr. Jo Herzog

Dear Bargain Hunter,

A deal is only a deal if it gives you the results that you expect. That being said, if you have minimal expectations, you may likeDr. Jo this “deal.” There are skin tightening devices around every corner. There are probably so many around because there has not been one that has been so great that it was able to dominate the market.

Skin tightening treatments that can be done in a spa with little discomfort and no down time have minimal results that may be barely discernible and not long lasting. Those treatments that deliver obvious and lasting results would require turning the device up to a level that would be painful enough to need sedation of some type.

I have personally tried multiple “tightening” devices (Thermage, Cutera, Ulthera, Pelleve, etc…) looking for one that would be good enough for me to promise my patients results for a reasonable investment. I have had them all done ON ME. I have used devices with almost no pain (minor warming and some discomfort) to those that were so painful (Ultehra) that I wished that I had had some anesthesia other than the three toradol that I took. (I did have five babies without anesthesia, so I consider myself tougher than some.) None of the devices that I tried gave me results that impressed me or that lasted.

Some of the devices (such as SkinTyte) will heat up your skin and cause some swelling. While swollen, you will be wrinkle free. When your skin gets back to normal, you might have some tightening, but not like it was before. SO, you can go back for another treatment to get back to where you were before, and another and another. After multiple sessions, people will actually get a gradual bit of tightening, but those that expect a shrink wrap effect will be disappointed. I have yet to seen any of these devices really tighten a neck or jawline or yield the results that their photos allude to. However, the industry continues to work on this, and I hope to find something that will tighten my neck. When I do, I will post it everywhere for all to know.

The bottom line here is that if you will be satisfied with minimal change and you like the price, these treatments are relatively safe and don’t have down time. You might be happier spending your money on this rather than on a fancy dinner out. On the other hand, if you have the time and the money, you might get more results from one good laser session, such as a fractional CO2, or a really good, deep TCA peel.  Knowing exactly what is best for you and your face is something that can best be ascertained after a consultation with your doctor. You might be far happier spending a bit more for your specific needs rather than “saving money” on something that in the end, won’t deliver.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Jo

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