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7 Quick Beauty Products and Treatments That Are (Relatively) Painless

A younger-looking face may only be a cream, patch, or laser away.

You want tighter skin? There’s now a patch for that. How about a little collagen boost? A laser might do it. Banish under-eye baggage? That could be as simple as applying a double dose of cream.

These days, when it comes to anti-aging, there are more quick and (relatively) painless options than ever.

1. Neotensil

The idea that a blend of topical creams could erase wrinkles and bags under the eyes in an at-home treatment sounds almost too good to be true. But with the arrival of Neotensil, a product unveiled earlier this year by Living Proof, some became believers.

The easy-to-apply Neotensil pack comes with two tubes of gel-like creams, which you apply one on top of the other. When combined, they form an invisible, firming layer, which fans have dubbed “Spanx for your eyes.” For the next 16 hours, while Neotensil is on, you’ll look well rested and free of tiny wrinkles.

A bonus is the moisturizing effect Neotensil has on this sensitive part of the skin. I slept in my Neotensil, woke up, peeled it off, and had the softest skin I’d felt in months.

Cost: About $475 for a seven-week supply, at Amazon.

2. Clear & Brilliant

While lasers such as Fraxel are often used for major skin resurfacing, Clear & Brilliant is now considered a good choice for those not quite ready to bust out the big guns.

It relies on the same concept as more intense lasers—using heat to stimulate collagen growth as well as to slough off dead cells, resurface skin, and treat sun damage—but is said to be far gentler. Some patients feel just slight discomfort after the 30-minute treatment, similar to a minor sunburn, and there’s a lot less peeling than what happens with more powerful laser treatments.

Also good news: Though dermatologists generally recommend a series of at least four Clear & Brilliant procedures—one every four weeks—the results of the first are immediate. Patients rave about an instant glow.

Cost: Approximately $300 and up for one session in a dermatologist’s office.

3. Belotero Balance

One of the newer dermal fillers on the market, Belotero Balance promises a significant reduction in nasolabial folds, the lines that can extend from the outer edge of the nose to the mouth, as well as other deep to very deep wrinkles around the mouth.

Unlike popular filler injections such as Juvéderm and Restylane, Belotero Balance is also able to penetrate shallower surface areas and very fine lines—so wrinkles that present a “feathering” pattern can be tackled with more precision.

Doctors also say that the gel consistency of this hyaluronic acid means it’s less apt to form lumps under the skin, which can be one of the unpleasant side effects of fillers. Results last about six months.

Cost: About $600 and up per syringe; one syringe is usually enough to achieve the desired effect. Available at most dermatologists’ offices that offer filler treatments.

4. Micro-Needling

Most of the newer treatments in anti-aging are based on the idea that gently damaging the skin causes it to create new cells in order to heal—resulting in a fresher, more youthful face. This is the notion behind micro-needling, in which a dermatologist uses an instrument, often the Collagen P.I.N.—or percutaneous induction needling device—to make tiny wounds or pricks in the skin’s surface in an effort to stimulate new growth. Doctors sometimes call this practice “controlled injury.”

While it might seem counterproductive to visit a physician’s office to be “injured,” many dermatologists now offer micro-needling to combat the signs of aging.

Cost: About $500; patients generally get a series of procedures.

5. Furlesse

If having a dermatologist micro-needle or laser your face isn’t your idea of a good time, you might consider Furlesse—patches designed to smooth skin and keep it taut.

First, you use your hands to smooth out wrinkled areas—around the mouth, under the eyes, above and between the brows. Then, while the area is smoothed, you peel off a patch and apply it to your skin. The patches are translucent but not invisible, so nighttime use is suggested—you can sleep with them on.

Fans claim that, over time, their skin becomes smoother where the patches are applied, but there’s no good science to back up that assertion.

Cost: $19.99 for a box of 30 patches, at Amazon.

6. Roloxin Lift

Roloxin Lift is a new cream-to-powder treatment that comes in packets and promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores. Allure magazine gave Roloxin Lift a 2014 Beauty Breakthrough Award for innovation in quick-fix, youth-inducing skin care.

Users massage one of the packets for ten seconds, then open it and apply the contents to the face. At first it feels like a lotion, but the thin layer morphs into a drier, powdery substance. You leave it on for about seven minutes and rinse off. Skin should feel tighter, thanks to a blend of silica and glycolate. Alas, the results, like Cinderella’s, wear off—in this case, in about 12 hours.

Cost: $110 for a box of ten packets, at roloxin.com.

7. Contours Rx Lids by Design

There are several new tape-based, anti-wrinkle products now out—one of them, Contours Rx, is marketed as “instant eye-lift tape.”

You carefully apply a tiny strip of contoured, medical-grade clear tape, with included tweezers—generally to the upper crease of the eyelid—ostensibly taping smooth any sagging or drooping. The strips keep the excess skin taped into the crease, which creates the appearance of a more youthful, tighter eyelid. While the tape isn’t invisible, it is hard to detect. You can also apply makeup over the strips for extra camouflage.

Cost: $29.99 for a box of 80 strips, at contoursrx.com.

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

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