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Your Essential Guide to Skin Tightening and Body Shaping

Skin tightening and body shaping treatments both work to slim and shape your figure. But they work in different ways and offer different kinds of results.

Wading through medical jargon to decode the differences between skin tightening and body shaping treatments can sometimes seem like learning another language. So let’s bring the conversation back to the basics, and make it easy to pick the perfect treatment.

How Do They Work?

There are three main types of skin tightening treatments: radio frequency, intense pulsed light (IPL), and ultrasound. All three non-surgical treatments deliver heat to below the skin’s surface through different modes of delivery. This targeted heat delivery to deeper layers in the skin stimulates the body’s natural collagen and elastin production process. Consider collagen and elastin the key ingredients for smooth, firm skin; boosting their production helps to firm up sagging skin and achieve a slimmer, smoother shape.

Similar to skin tightening, many body shaping treatments use radio frequency technology to deliver targeted heat through the skin’s surface. But instead of just stimulating collagen and elastin production, like skin tightening, body shaping treatments use this heat energy to break down the volume of fat cells below the skin’s surface. Body shaping tends to be used for reducing body circumference, rather than firming and smoothing the skin.

Why Choose Skin Tightening?

Skin tightening treatments work to tighten and tone sagging skin and wrinkles on the face and body. Skin tightening typically targets drooping skin under the chin or along the jawline, worry lines on the forehead, and laugh lines around the mouth. For the body, skin tightening is commonly done along the underside of arms and legs, and to reduce the appearance of loose skin on the chest and abdomen (such as after pregnancy).

Why Choose Body Shaping?

Body shaping—which is sometimes called body contouring—targets challenging body concerns, like cellulite and circumference. In other words, these treatments work to tone and slim the contours of the body. Body shaping reduces body circumference by shrinking stubborn fat cells in common problem areas like the thighs, arms, derriere, or abdomen, while skin tightening works by firming up and smoothing out excess skin—often in those same areas. Unlike skin tightening, body contouring is rarely (if ever) used on the face.

Tightening and Toning

Some practices will offer both treatments for those looking to achieve more comprehensive body slimming goals. In these cases, skin tightening is useful for firming up and smoothing loose skin during and after body toning treatments; these treatments use advanced radio frequency technology, combined with Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields, to deliver uniform heat below the skin’s surface to kick start collagen and elastin production. Some treatments also use gentle suction technology to achieve deeper radio frequency penetration and reduce the appearance of cellulite and fat cells in the targeted area.

To learn more about skin tightening or body shaping treatments, and what they can do for you, locate a certified treatment provider in your area: