For decades, going under the knife was just about your only option for sagging skin. "We tried heavy peels for a while," says Brandt. They would slightly tighten the skin but required two weeks downtime and caused hyperpigmentation, an uneven darkening of the skin.
At home: You know excess sugar is bad for your waistline, but we're now learning that it's bad for your skin too. Glycation — when glucose (sugar) attaches itself to collagen and other molecules, causing them to break down — contributes to sagging. Topical products that target glycation, such as Patricia Wexler M.D. Intensive 3-in-1 Day Cream SPF 30
, $42.50, can help prevent sagging skin. Also, peptides that increase collagen production can help maintain firmness. Try Esteé Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinkle Lifting Serum
At the Doctor's Office:
"If you look at young faces, they're not tight and pulled; they're round and full," says Bank. So dermatologists are plumping up skin by injecting fillers like Radiesse, made of calcium-based microspheres, into cheeks and between the nose and mouth. Also making waves: radio-frequency technology such as Thermage, which stimulates collagen production head to toe, creating a tightening effect on skin's surface. Good news: Thermage is a onetime treatment with zero downtime. You won't see results until four to six months later, but those results can last two or three years.
Uplifting news: Dermatologists say we'll see fillers with thicker consistencies, better for creating volume. Coming soon to the United States: Restylane SubQ and Voluma, two thicker fillers currently used in Europe.