Feel like you're fighting a war with your wrinkles? We know they're not part of your wedding day beauty plan. If you feel like all the moisturizers, serums, and the like aren't doing the trick, consider these four options — pros and cons and all.
Retinoids are made from Vitamin A and promote faster skin turnover. However Retinol is a natural derivative and found in many over the counter creams, moisturizers, and serums, while Retin-A is made synthetically and available through prescription only. Retin-A is the stronger of the two and has a direct effect on the skin, whereas Retinol must first be converted into retinoic acid, which varies among some individuals. Clinical studies have proven that Retin-A has an effect on skin smoothness within a month.
However, side effects include dryness, peeling, redness, and skin irritation, so it's not something you'll want to start a month before your wedding. It'll also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Retinol is a good option for those with more sensitive skin — just make sure vitamin A is listed as one of the top five ingredients and has an airtight package.
Botox relaxes underlying muscles that cause skin to fold, creating a more relaxed look. They're an immediate fix, but not as long lasting — results last on average up to three or four months (sometimes more). The procedure is short, lasting 5-15 minutes.
However, Botox isn't cheap, costing anywhere from $300-$1,000, which can rack up if you get more than one session done. Because slight swelling or bruising may occur after receiving Botox, this also isn't something you want done right before your wedding. You'll also want to consider how you'll look after the injections — Botox paralyzes your facial muscles, and some aren't always happy with the results. The most important part is to do your research and get it done at a legitimate medical doctor — one who specializes in plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, dermatology, or oculoplastic surgery.
Fractional Laser Resurfacing
This technique uses tiny beams of light to target deep tissues below the skin's surface, destroying dead skin cells, encouraging a natural healing process, and boosting collagen production. Because it works below the epidermis, this is most effective for wrinkles caused by sun damage. Bonus — it also helps with acne scars and dark spots. Laser resurfacing has proven results in a smoother skin appearance and reversing sun damage, which usually develops in the two weeks following your treatment.
To achieve these results though, you usually need more than one session, which come with a price tag in the four figures. Different types of lasers can be used for laser resurfacing, so you'll want to talk to your derm about the best option for you. But beware; the more aggressive you want to be, the higher the potential for side effects such as hyper or hypopigmentation and pain. The amount of downtime following the procedure also depends on how intense the laser is, but is usually minimal.
Chemical peels remove the skin's outermost layers to reduce damage on the surface. They can reduce wrinkles, but the process is gradual, and if it's your first chemical peel, you shouldn't see much of a difference. Wrinkle reduction also depends on which type of peel you choose — medium and deep peels are more effective than a superficial one.
But no matter which one you choose, you won't see a full correction of wrinkles. You'll need extra protection from the sun and wind following your treatment, and recovery time will depend on the aggressiveness of the peel; an intense one can take up to ten days to resolve.