Over-The-Counter and Home Treatments
Retinol or Retin-A
Made from vitamin A, retinol or retin-A is a topical solution that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and skin blemishes by helping the skin renew itself. It’s available over-the-counter by manufacturers like Skinceuticals, ROC, Dermalogica, and REN, and you can find them at brick-and-mortar drug stores, department store makeup counters, and online retailers. Retin-A is also available as a prescription from your doctor or dermatologist. The average price for the over-the-counter version is $20 per bottle. The average price for the prescription strength varies based on your coverage and other factors.
Also known as amino acids, peptides are the building blocks for proteins in the body. When used as a skin treatment, peptides reduce the appearance of wrinkles by helping the skin make collagen. Like retin-A, products that contain peptides are available over-the-counter from a variety of retailers, and through a variety of manufacturers. The average price for these products is $20 a bottle.
Mechanical Facelift Devices Facelift devices are products that lift or stretch the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in one or more areas of the face. These products may be worn all day, or worn for specific periods of time to “train” the skin. They may also be used alone or with wrinkle creams to achieve the desired effect.
All of the over-the-counter treatments require you to apply the products several times a week, sometimes as often as once per day.
Microdermabrasion uses friction to rub away the uppermost layers of skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin blemishes. It’s kind of like sanding scratches out of a wooden surface, except the skin is stimulated to produce more collagen and grow back healthy cells. However, just like sanding, deeper lines and wrinkles could require deeper buffing. Because the procedure requires proper training and skill, it must be done in a clinical setting. Microdermabrasion lasts approximately one week and the average cost of each session is $150.
Chemical Peels Chemical peels are similar to microdermabrasion, except that the process uses a mild acid instead of friction to remove the uppermost skin layers. Chemical peels come in different strengths depending on the nature of the problem. Generally, light lines and wrinkles use milder acid while deeper lines and wrinkles use stronger acids. Because the procedure requires proper training and skill, it must be done in a clinical setting. Chemical peels can last several weeks and the average cost is $650 per session.
“Dermal filler” is a blanket term for a variety of products designed to plump up the skin to fill in creases, reduce wrinkles, or replace lost tissue volume. These products could be natural, such as collagen or fat, or synthetic. The product is generally injected into skin in a clinical setting. Dermal fillers can last several weeks to months, with synthetics generally lasting the longest. The cost for dermal fillers vary by product with the cheapest being injected collagens at an average of $500 per session, and the most expensive being fat at $1,682 per session because it involves an additional procedure to harvest the fat.