We’re desperately waiting for a breakthrough that’ll completely change the anti-aging game. But some of the current treatments work well enough to delay surgical procedures for a good few decades. Even though there hasn’t been an extraordinary discovery for a while, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have certainly improved the outcomes of these anti-aging treatments. Think about how people looked after getting Botox a decade ago. And compare that to how natural the results look today. The treatment is the same but the results have improved dramatically.
So if you’re like me and a little bit worried about treating or preventing wrinkles and you want to learn about what your options are, relax. I did the research. To help you tackle aging skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, below are the best anti-aging treatments for a younger-looking face.
Before, I wrote about different types of facials to maintain healthy skin. But here, I’ll be covering slightly more targeted treatments for anti-aging purposes. So these non-surgical treatments can be more aggressive than getting a regular facial. And some types of anti-aging treatments are literally damaging to the skin. But don’t be scared because that’s the whole idea.
Because as we age, the skin becomes slow at renewing itself. And sometimes, it keeps the good stuff in until something aggressive comes up. When that happens, the skin brings out the big guns, so to speak. These treatments aim to push the skin to start healing from the controlled damage inflicted by the treatments.
While trying to heal from those controlled damages, the skin erases other irregularities as well. Additionally, this process promotes collagen and elastin growth. That’s why they’re very helpful in treating age-related skin issues.
Personally, I haven’t been able to move past injectables. I’ve tried Botox and fillers and I indulge in an occasional facial but I’m hesitant toward other treatments. But still, I like to know they’re there. So keep reading to learn about the best anti-aging treatments.
A quick disclaimer first! I’m not qualified to give you any dermatological advice. This is for informational purposes only. I was looking into the topic for myself and thought to let you in on it.
The Best Anti-Aging Treatments
1. Wrinkle Relaxers
When I say wrinkle relaxers, I mean Botox and Dysport, and other not-so-common brands. Wrinkle relaxers like Botox are the most commonly performed non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. (1).
These injections give faster results compared to other treatments. They’re used to relax the muscles in a specific area. That way, wrinkles, and lines disappear as they’re not as active as they were prior to the injections.
These injections can be used to delay the formation of wrinkles as well as the treatment of existing ones. You can get these injections to get rid of the lines on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes.
These are the most common cosmetic uses of these injections. But you can also use wrinkle relaxers to soften neck wrinkles or get Botox for jawline slimming.
The most important thing to know about Botox is that compared to other anti-aging treatments below, it’s not really a ‘treatment’ in the sense that it doesn’t erase the cause of wrinkles.
For example, Botox doesn’t stimulate collagen production. Your wrinkles disappear because they’re not visible anymore. When Botox wears off, they come back. That’s not a bad thing. It just means Botox requires regular maintenance.
Personally, I get Botox for lifting hooded eyes and to soften my forehead wrinkles, and lines between my brows. I’m in my late 30s. And according to my dermatologist, injectables are complementary treatments.
And as long as I take care of my skin with a skincare routine that involves sun protection, I don’t have to go out of my way to try out more aggressive treatments.
You must’ve heard of common brands like Juvaderm and Restylane, which are the most popular facial fillers. Basically, facial fillers are injected into the skin to smooth out wrinkles.
Depending on the area, the injected products can be hyaluronic acid or collagen. Fillers are perfect for lifting the face and replacing the loss of volume.
They work so well that you can change your profile dramatically. There are many anti-aging benefits of fillers. You can plump up your cheeks, and define your cheekbones and jawline.
You can also lift up or shape your nose, and fill in the smile lines around the mouth. When Botox fails to soften very deep lines, you can use dermal fillers to get rid of those wrinkles.
Fillers are also used to give volume to the under-eye area if you have under-eye hollows or dark circles. Fillers are temporary as well. So, if you don’t like the outcome, you don’t have to live with it.
They’re tiny tweaks on your overall appearance and one of the best anti-aging treatments that can even give the illusion of a surgically lifted face.
Fillers can also be combined with Botox to customize the effects. Again, just like Botox, fillers require maintenance. And they don’t erase the cause of wrinkles.
Kybella is another injectable treatment to reduce the excess fat under the chin, aka double chin (3). As we age, the fat pad under the chin grows and can make the neck look saggy. This can make you look older than you actually are.
Kybella is designed to dissolve the fat in that area. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might need more than 1 treatment. But the good thing is if you achieve the desired result, it doesn’t go back unlike Botox or fillers.
Once that fat dissolves, it doesn’t come back. The procedure is painless but you may experience discomfort for a few days.
4. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels rejuvenate the skin by resurfacing it using chemical solutions (4). There are several types of chemical peels. But as the technology improved, there’s been a less invasive version where you can get it done in half an hour.
Chemical peels are very effective in getting rid of hyperpigmentation, lines, congestion, dullness, and loose skin. You can even get one for your neck or your hands. After your treatment, the outer layer of your skin starts to peel.
This resurfaces a healthier layer of skin that’s smoother and younger. Peels are also effective in stubborn acne scars and enlarged pores. The downtime and the results depend on the type of peel you’re getting.
If you’re following an anti-aging routine, you’re probably already using some type of exfoliant such as a glycolic acid serum or a lactic acid toner.
That’s the at-home version of a chemical peel on a much, much smaller scale with much smaller results compared to the one you get from a professional.
5. Laser Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing works similarly to chemical peels in the way it resurfaces the skin. The difference is that this time, it’s not a chemical solution but lasers.
Commonly known as Fractional CO2 Laser, this procedure shoots out laser beams into the skin in a pattern (5). These beams damage the skin and force it to start healing itself with new and healthier skin cells.
It’s effective because it accelerates skin turnover and collagen growth. The result is fresh skin with less visible lines, age spots, and other impurities.
For severe sun damage and mature skin, you usually need more than one treatment. But the results are very impressive.
6. Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
When we don’t protect our skin from sun exposure, our skin produces excess melanin. This causes the formation of dark spots all over the face. These are usually called age spots. In our 30s, these spots become more visible and increase in number.
IPL treatment is super effective in eliminating these spots (6). IPL treatment is performed using a device that shoots light beams that directly target melanin pigments.
The dark spots become more visible after the first treatment. Usually, they start to disappear after a week. The procedure can be a little painful for some people.
And you may need more than one treatment. But this is one of the best anti-aging treatments to get rid of hyperpigmentation issues that cause the face to look dull and uneven. So, it’s definitely worth considering.
Microneedling is the process of inflicting tiny punctures into the outer layers of the skin using a device (6). As I mentioned in the beginning, these punctures are controlled wounds to the skin to stimulate cell regeneration.
This anti-aging treatment helps with collagen and elastin growth to achieve tighter and younger-looking skin. Microneedling also helps to soften lines and wrinkles and remove scars, and even stretch marks.
This treatment can be a little painful. So, they usually put numbing cream on your face before the treatment. But these days, micro-needling is basically an at-home practice.
There are micro-needling kits. Of course, you can’t expect the same results you get from professional treatment. But for the faint-hearted, an at-home kit may be a good way to test the waters.
Even though I’ve never tried a professional micro-needling treatment for my face, I tried it for my hair loss. I got 12 treatments on my scalp. It’s not very pleasant but it’s not too much either.
So these are the best non-surgical anti-aging treatments out there. I can only speak for the procedures I’ve done. And I can say that both Botox and fillers are absolutely worth it. People call these ‘tweakments’. And sometimes, dermatologists suggest ‘combination therapy’ where they utilize different types of treatments.
Let me tell you, injectors are artists! They combine a buccal fat removal procedure to slim down the cheeks with facial fillers to basically give you a more sculpted, defined look. The possibilities are endless.
But to get the best result out of your treatment, make sure to find a certified dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, and follow their instructions. As these are relatively invasive treatments, you shouldn’t risk irreversibly damaging your skin.
- Biello, A., Oney, R., & Zhu, B. (2023). Botulinum Toxin Treatment of the Upper Face. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
- Shamban A. T. (2016). Noninvasive Submental Fat Compartment Treatment. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 4(12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp), e1155. https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000001155
- Samargandy S, Raggio BS. Chemical Peels for Skin Resurfacing. [Updated 2023 Oct 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547752/
- Omi, T., & Numano, K. (2014). The Role of the CO2 Laser and Fractional CO2 Laser in Dermatology. Laser therapy, 23(1), 49–60. https://doi.org/10.5978/islsm.14-RE-01
- Alster, T. S., & Graham, P. M. (2018). Microneedling: A Review and Practical Guide. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 44(3), 397–404. https://doi.org/10.1097/DSS.0000000000001248