Nude and Improved: Neck-to-Toe Skin-Care Guide

Spider veins, sunspots, saggy knees: If looking in a full-length mirror naked makes you want to buy a muumuu, then stop fixating and start fixing.

By Nikki Ostasiewski
Ilan Rubin/Trunkarchive.com
Ilan Rubin/Trunkarchive.com
Photograph: Ilan Rubin/Trunkarchive.com

What’s bothering you Lax, wrinkled skin below your jaw
What to do Muscle-relaxing injectables and skin-tightening treatments

“When it comes to skin care, the neck is an oft-forgotten body part,” says Ava Shamban, MD, a Santa Monica dermatologist. Luckily for us, there are effective treatments. For skin loosest just under the jawline (aka jowls), Botox is one way to go. A dermatologist skillfully injects it into the vertical muscles under your jaw, relaxing them enough that they loosen their downward pull on the skin. Average cost: $250 and up, and results last about six months. For the loose skin sometimes referred to as (ugh) turkey neck, Shamban advocates a skin-tightening treatment such as Thermage, which uses radio-frequency energy to heat the skin’s deepest layers and stimulate collagen production. The average cost begins at $1,200 per session, and most doctors suggest repeating the procedure yearly to maintain results. To boost the effects (for very lax skin), Shamban may pair Thermage with Fraxel, a re-surfacing laser that ups collagen production. Note: Skin tighteners are also being used on saggy knees to lift and smooth this noto-riously hard-to-treat spot.

What’s bothering you A chest that’s mottled or lined
What to do In-office peels, lasers and fillers

For mottling, Shamban uses a glycolic peel laced with retinoic acid to combat rough texture and uneven tone. Average cost is $100 to $200 per peel, and you may have some skin shedding for a week or so afterward. For best results, most MDs suggest a series of peels (two to six) spaced about a month apart. For brown spots, pigment-targeting lasers will work. They blast the melanin in each dark lesion, causing the brown area to break apart and flake off within two weeks. One to three sessions (at $350 and up a pop) should do it. As for lines, a hyaluronic acid filler such as Restylane will plump them up. Average cost: about $500 per treatment; results can last up to 18 months.

 

What’s bothering you Tiny red bumps on the backs of your upper arms
What to do Rx creams, manual scrubbers and chemical exfoliators

The medical term for those upper arms bumps is keratosis pilaris, a condition in which hair follicles on the backs of the arms get plugged with keratin (a type of protein found in the skin). Whatever you call it, there is no official cure—but regular exfoliation can help by loosening the plugs and helping to keep you from getting more. Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City dermatologist, swears by Lachydrin, a prescription-strength cream that contains super-skin-slougher lactic acid. Jaliman has also found success with at-home vibraing cleansing brushes such as the Clarisonic Mia System ($149; sephora.com) or Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System ($30; drugstore.com), which manually exfoliate the skin. Finally a number of MDs suggest using glycolic-acid pads on a daily basis to shrink existing bumps and prevent new ones from forming. Try DG Skincare Alpha-Beta Body Peel Pads ($78; dgskincare.com).

 

What’s bothering you Girth around your middle you just can't whittle
What to do Surgery-free fat-zapping treatments

First Published May 11, 2011

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