Ahhh youth! When we’re young, our skin is rich in two vital proteins: collagen and elastin. These proteins are what gives our skin its elasticity and firmness. But, as we get older, the production of these proteins starts to slow down, and wouldn’t you know it, our skin loses some of its elasticity. Sob.
But don’t use up all your Kleenex just yet, and don’t book any skin tightening or plastic surgery procedures right away, either. At least, not before you read this post, and what I learned first-hand about non-surgical skin tightening treatments after experiencing them for myself at Dr. Authur Handal’s Plastic Surgery Center in Boca Raton, Florida. I’ll also give you my two cents on whether I think they are worth it or not.
Tightening Skin Treatments – Without Surgery
Before we dive into my own experiences – and results – at Dr. Handal’s office, let’s not forget that aside from skin losing its firmness due to aging, other factors can also affect our skin, such as pollution, stress, and gravity. Pregnancy and weight loss can also change the elasticity of our skin. Add to that what we know about losing collagen and elastin, and well, let’s say that the odds of keeping your skin in the shape it was in, in your twenties and thirties, are not in your favor.
And despite exercise, sunscreen, and drinking those eight glasses of water a day (I still can’t do that!), the undeniable truth is our skin loses its youthful appearance unless we intervene. And yes, a good skincare routine, using special masks and exfoliators (I love them!) can help with our skin’s texture, but they can’t really tighten it. Home devices, such as the NanoSkin-C can also help with facial redness, fine lines, wrinkles, and some firming and toning of facial skin. I swear by some of these types of devices, but some women don’t want to use them regularly. For many, the idea that you can get a series of treatments and be done with it (except for maintenance) has its appeal.
Not too many years ago, surgery was the only route to turn to if women (and men) wanted to restore their skin’s youthful appearance. A visit to a cosmetic surgeon for some invasive procedure was the only option. But today, non-surgical skin tightening treatments can help restore some of that elasticity.
Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Treatments and How They Work
Several different non-surgical skin tightening procedures – and body contouring procedures – are available today, such as intense pulsed light (IPL), ultrasound skin tightening, and laser skin therapy, but for this post, I’m concentrating on the type of treatment I experienced – Evolve Tite.
Before I get into it, let’s take a quick look at the technology behind these nonsurgical skin tightening treatments. And let me preface this by saying I don’t think there’s anything wrong with opting for surgical skin tightening procedures. There may be a treatment area that won’t respond to noninvasive treatments. In the hands of an excellent plastic surgeon, loose skin can quickly become a distant memory. Whether it’s on the face or body, a surgical lift is sometimes the only answer to tighten skin.
For example, I have a friend who lives in New York, who years ago had a fat reduction procedure and was left with loose skin. Her only option was a trip to an aesthetic plastic surgeon to fix it. Let’s face it – results last much longer with plastic surgery. However, surgical skin tightening may not be necessary in every case. Maybe you are still years away from an invasive skin procedure. And that’s where non-surgical skin treatments, like ultrasound, or laser skin tightening, come in.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah – the technology available to us these days.
Radiofrequency procedures use radio frequency (RF) energy to heat the skin. This heat helps stimulate new collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin to make the skin firmer. RF energy is applied directly to some of the most troublesome areas of the body, including:
With RF procedures, you don’t have to worry about anesthesia, and there’s no recovery period. You go about your day after your appointment. There are a few different options utilizing RF:
- Evolve (Trim, Tite, and Tone) (I had Evolve Tite at the doctor’s office)
What’s the Difference Between Non-Surgical Skin-Tightening Treatments?
Actually, most of these treatments work more or less the same way because they rely on the same technology. But they each have their little unique features. The beauty of RF treatments is that they’re non-invasive. They don’t interrupt your life (aside from a quick appointment – which you can take on your lunch break, which is what I did).
Do Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Treatments Work?
Are skin tightening treatments really that effective? Let’s look at the science, and some before and after photos of patients who’ve undergone treatment with Evolve Tite at Dr. Handal’s office, administered by Clinician Josh Wheeler. Then we can get into my personal experience and results.
- A 2017 study found that RF-based treatments delivered results after 5-8 treatments.
- A 2015 analysis found that 96% of studies related to RF treatments delivered significant results.
- Another study from 2011 found that RF treatments were effective at reducing facial wrinkles, but the sample size was tiny (6 participants).
Below are several sets of before and after photos of Evolve Tite patients. All were treated by Clinician Josh Wheeler.
Fighting Bat Wings
Here’s another Tummy Case:
What Were My Results With Evolve Tite Skin Tightening Treatments?
Before I get into my results, let’s talk about the procedure itself. I can tell you it was a breeze. Easy peasy. No muss, no fuss.
For each of my three treatments, before and after photos were taken. And no, you ain’t seeing my arms! After applying a gel, which served as a conductor, Josh attached the panels to my arms, turned up the heat, and then left me to do some work and catch up on emails. And while Josh explained that I could control the temperature if the treatment became too hot with the self-administering button, I never pushed the button once. I was never uncomfortable – even when he turned up the heat.
As a matter of fact, the sensation was actually pleasant—kind of like a warm, radiating sensation around my arms. Think hot stone massage. Nice, right?
Josh reminded me several times how important it is to stay hydrated, both during and after the treatment. Heat loves water, as water is a good conductor of heat. The more water you drink, the better the heat travels.
So, Let’s Get Back to Those Results
What about my experience with Evolve Tite? Well, here’s the truth. After undergoing three Evolve Tite treatments, I began to see results. I definitely saw more muscle definition. But Josh explained that while the usual number of treatments is three per area (mine were administered weekly), I would benefit from a fourth. After seeing the results thus far, I eagerly booked my fourth lunchtime appointment.
And then… Covid. Quarantine. Furlough. Couch-sitting. Carbs.
Within about six weeks, my results dissipated. Through no fault of Josh’s (he was wonderful) or the procedure, my skin lost the tightness it had gained. Three months (the amount of time I was furloughed) of sitting on the couch, with no exercise, and not eating properly negated the promising results of the treatments – not to mention what it did to my waistline.
Josh made it clear at the time of my treatments that my results would need to be maintained by a healthy lifestyle, meaning keeping up with exercise, drinking plenty of water, etc., and I had every intention of heeding his advice. In fact, After beginning to see an improvement, I was determined to up my exercise routine to make the most of my results.
That is, until Covid. While many people used quarantine time to up their own fitness games, go on longer walks, discover new hobbies, or take up yoga, I did the opposite. Being furloughed threw me for a loop, and I just sat on the couch, day after day, googling anything and everything and wondering what to do to pass the time each day. I was depressed. I couldn’t even see my new grandson, Jack, for much of that time.
To be perfectly transparent, while my furlough status is a thing of the past – I returned to work at the end of June, I still haven’t started up my usual exercise routines. I definitely lost my mojo – and I am just now working on getting it back. Stay tuned on that front.
Are Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Treatments Worth the Price?
Is Evolve Tite (or any RF treatments) a miracle treatment? Is it worth the price? Well, it depends on whom you ask. It certainly is for the many happy clients that step out of Dr. Handal’s office. But the truth is, RF is not an exact science. There are a lot of variables at play, and each client will have a different experience.
Genetics, activity levels, and a healthy lifestyle are all part of the equation. As Josh mentioned, you have to put in some effort to maximize your results. If you decide to try Evolve Tite or any of these non-invasive tightening treatments, know that the maintenance – in other words – going back to the office – usually requires a single visit every six months or so.
Pricewise, Dr. Handal’s office is very competitive and fair. While some offices are charging outlandish rates, Dr. Handal’s office offers a friendlier price package. Whether your treatment of choice is muscle toning, skin tightening, or fat destruction, It’s $500 for one session. However, the recommended treatment package is $1,200 for a series of 3-6 treatments. The reasoning behind their pricing? Because RF therapy is not an exact science. It’s not cookie-cutter, and Josh says that their goal is patient satisfaction. He is upfront and tells clients that while many patients require only the three sessions recommended, others with looser tissue may require four, five, or six treatments.
The office is happy to work on pricing so clients can continue treatments if desired. If you’re local to South Florida, I highly recommend Dr. Handal’s office. Everyone was friendly and very accomodating.
The Million Dollar Question
The question is, will I go back to Josh and Dr. Handal’s office when this Pandemic is over? The answer is yes; I will. It’s not that I can’t go now. Business is booming for Dr. Handal’s office. People are booking their appointments as usual. I’ve just made a personal decision not to go back at this time, as we are new grandparents (you may have heard!), so we are still sticking to doing only essential things.
I did see a difference after undergoing Evolve Tite, and I am a definite believer. See you again, Josh and Dr. Handal! Save a spot for me and a bottle of water.
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FYI, I received this treatment on the house, but all opinions are absolutely my own.
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