While there are many factors that can influence aging of the skin, a popular study of identical twins in 2009 revealed an interesting relationship between facial aging and body weight. In cases where one twin was plumper than the other, the heavier twin typically appeared to be younger. It’s no surprise then that when it comes to anti-aging products and treatments, those that plump the skin are in high demand.
The loss of volume most people experience as they age is caused by a variety of factors, including genetics; hormonal changes; loss of bone mass; Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL); and a decrease in the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid (HA).
While some of these factors may be more challenging to address, skincare manufacturers are focused on minimizing TEWL and boosting collagen, elastin, and HA in the skin. Skincare products aren’t the only solution to achieving plumper and firmer skin, though. Aside from dermal fillers, which provide a quick fix to treat lines caused by a loss of collagen and fat, technology is also being used to restore volume to the skin.
Celluma, LightStim, and Lightwave all manufacture LED light therapy devices that increase circulation and enhance cell activity. “It is well-known that when used regularly, LED therapy helps build collagen to plump and firm the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says LightStim's Amy Gardner. “This is a cumulative process, and it generally takes approximately eight weeks to begin to see the results of actual collagen production. What many people don’t know is that LED has been shown to temporarily ’plump’ the skin after a single treatment due to an effect that is not collagen dependent.”
Instead, the LightStim device creates a mild therapeutic warmth that helps improve blood circulation. It’s this increased blood flow that produces a visible plumping effect on the skin as oxygenated blood circulates through the capillaries and tissues. According to Gardner, analyses on clean, dry skin using the Visia Complexion Analysis System revealed a 40 to 65 percent reduction in wrinkles after just one 20-minute LightStim treatment. “This effect has been known to last for anywhere from a few to 24 hours, depending upon variables like individual physiology, adequate hydration, and relative atmospheric humidity,” says Gardner.
Another popular plumping treatment is the HydraFacial, which infuses skin with super serums designed to address specific skin concerns. According to Mara Tsoronis, a licensed esthetician and laser technician at Shafer Plastic Surgery (New York City), the HydraFacial is ideal for plumping the skin, as the last step in the protocol involves an application of super-serum Antiox-6, a cocktail of antioxidant ingredients and HA, which helps plump the skin. The Hydro Wand by Altair Instruments also gives skin a boost after exfoliation. Giving estheticians the opportunity to infuse skin with any type of serum, the wand provides for better product penetration. A hydrating serum with HA can help plump and repair skin.