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Holiday Beauty Already?? 5 Treatments to Book Now!

Posted on: July 28th, 2021 by Kristen Chang

This article is the first in a series to help you plan cosmetic treatments and procedures for beautiful results in time for the winter holidays. In September, we’ll cover nose jobs (rhinoplasty), eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and face, brow and neck lifts. 

“Wait, it’s still summer. Why are we talking about looking great for the holidays?” you may wonder. Well, if you want to make a big splash in those New Year’s photos or even just at the family feast, now is a good time to schedule some of the cosmetic treatments that yield the most wow factor. After all, it may take months before you see the best results, whether due to healing or the need for multiple sessions. 

Good thing you’re on it! You still have time to book any of these treatments and look your best by the time festivities roll around.

1 – Rejuvenate with deep laser skin resurfacing.

Lasers offer the ultimate in skin rejuvenation. For decades, they have been safely beautifying skin on the face, neck, hands, chest and elsewhere. Treatments can be intense, delivering extreme improvements to skin firmness, texture, coloring and wrinkles. And results can last for years.

While modern skincare lasers may be very powerful, they also give your board-certified physician or advanced practitioner unrivaled control, particularly when compared with chemical peels. They make it possible to set precise depth, strength and pattern of treatment, for less risk and superior outcomes. 

If you have darker skin or melasma, aggressive laser resurfacing risks hyperpigmentation. Instead, consider a series of treatments with a gentler laser like Clear+Brilliant.

CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

State-of-the-art CO2 lasers, like the Ultrapulse CO2 Laser, are some of the strongest and most effective for skin rejuvenation. They’re ablative, meaning they use a high-energy beam of light to vaporize the top layers of skin. This stimulates growth of fresh, organized skin cells and springy collagen. CO2 laser is the tool for the job if you have severe wrinkles, deep scars, pronounced hyperpigmentation, collagen loss, extreme roughness and more.

In expert hands, an advanced CO2 laser can hone in on old and damaged cells. This level of precision potentially reduces treatment depth and areameaning a shorter recovery period before skin becomes more soft, tight, smooth and luminous. 

Time until Recovery and Results

Because CO2 laser technology is so powerful, it normally takes only one session to bring dramatic improvement. However, this intensity also means you can expect not to show up to work or social engagements for three to 14 days. After treating a large or deep area, you may opt to stay out of public view for as long as three weeks. 

Your skin will progress for months following treatment. Optimal results arrive in three to six months, and skin improvements usually last several years! 

Fraxel Repair and Dual 

Fraxel lasers are a popular way to shed unsightly skin issues. What distinguishes them from traditional CO2 lasers is their fractional approach. Fraxel lasers direct thousands of microscopic beams into the skin in a strategic pattern. Because they treat only a select fraction of the cells in each area, they reduce healing time while still delivering impressive improvement.

The Fraxel devices that yield the most significant results are Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Dual. Fraxel Repair is an ablative CO2 laser, and the most powerful in the Fraxel family. It vaporizes old and damaged tissue and stimulates skin, ultimately plumping and resurfacing it. Fraxel Dual is non-ablative, so it leaves the skin’s surface intact. It works by using two laser wavelengths to heat up the deeper layers. One wavelength targets hyperpigmentation, while the other penetrates down into the dermis. These dual wavelengths trigger new skin production and collagen remodeling. 

Time until Recovery and Results

As with other ablative CO2 lasers, Fraxel Repair recovery depends on factors like size and depth of treatment area. It’s safe to say, however, that you shouldn’t count on making it to work or social events for up to two weeks as crusting, peeling and irritation subside. Redness can last another several weeks but is manageable with makeup. For three to six months, your skin will continuously improve as deeper layers of skin heal. If you want to go aggressive, you could follow up with a second round of Fraxel Repair after the holidays.

In contrast, Fraxel Dual recovery normally only causes several days of redness, with results starting to be visible in one to three weeks. If you’re targeting hyperpigmentation and sun damage, plan on at least two sessions spaced six to eight weeks apart. For wrinkles or acne scars, you could need up to five sessions spaced four weeks apart. 

If you schedule Fraxel Repair or Fraxel Dual soon, your skin should look amazing by the time you exchange holiday gifts.

2 – Refresh skin by starting tretinoin (Retin-A).

Tretinoin (Retin-A) started in the 1970s as an acne treatment, but soon gained fame for its formidable skin-rejuvenating abilities. With regular use, this vitamin A derivative reduces wrinkles, roughness, dullness, age spots, and other sun damage and discoloration. It works by boosting production of collagen, young skin cells and new blood vessels. Millions swear by tretinoin for more youthful-looking skin. 

Adjustment Period

Start slow. If you use tretinoin that’s too strong out of the gate, you risk redness, irritation, peeling and discomfort. The good news is that stronger isn’t necessarily more effective. Begin with a gentle concentration, like .01%, or dilute your tretinoin with a soothing face product. Even if you proceed with caution, you’re likely to endure an adjustment period of up to several weeks. You need a prescription for Retin-A, so make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to get started.

Time until Results

After three to six months of regular use, you should start to enjoy obvious improvements to clarity, photoaging and other concerns. Best results usually come at six to 12 months. Start soon to give your skin that youthful fireside glow this winter.

3 – Suction away stubborn fat with lipo.

Could you do without the extra chin in your winter-holiday photos? Maybe you plan to spend the holidays in a swimsuit, and are already worrying about extra fat? Healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to banish major bulge, but sometimes certain pockets of fat refuse to go. 

Liposuction is great for paring down common problem areas including the abdomen, love handles, back, thighs, arms, neck and chin. Your physician injects a tumescent fluid into target fat to loosen it, then suctions that fat out using tiny straws placed through micro-incisions. 

While not meant for significant weight loss, per se, liposuction does help whittle stubborn fat down. And it rids you of those cells permanently. Forever. Then it’s up to you to avoid gaining weight, which could grow new fat in those same old trouble spots. 

Time until Recovery and Results

Liposuction downtime depends on the size and number of treatment areas. Most patients are able to return to work in roughly one week. After several weeks, soreness is normally long gone and lipo results start to show. 

Bear in mind that bruises could take one to three months to fully disappear. This is especially important to consider for an area that’s hard to hide, like the chin or anywhere on the body before a beach vacation.

Liposuction offers one-and-done convenience, securing optimal results with just a single treatment per area.

4 – Slim your silhouette with CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat-removal method good for anyone averse to the idea of “going under the knife.” The device uses controlled cooling to freeze fat cells while leaving surface skin intact. Then, your lymphatic system kicks in to flush the damaged cells out of your body. 

Although not a surgical treatment, CoolSculpting has a lot in common with liposuction. For one, CoolSculpting is intended for targeted fat removal, not major weight loss. And it eliminates fat cells permanently, but if you gain weight, you risk replacing removed fat with a new batch. CoolSculpting can be used on the same troublesome areas as liposuction, from love handles to double chin.

Time until Recovery and Results

Most people can return to work the next day after CoolSculpting. Redness, swelling and discomfort should be minimal and diminish over the following few weeks. You’ll begin to see fat reduction within three weeks of a treatment, and most patients reach final results between the two- and six-month mark. 

You may need two to five 30- to 60-minute sessions to reach your goal for an area. For best results, wait one to four months between sessions. 

5 – Smooth out cellulite on your buttocks with QWO.

Plaguing an estimated 90% of women, cellulite is a condition that can make all body types bumpy. It has no place in your “rear view” over the winter holidays. QWO can help your skin look smoother through a silk dress and in a skimpy bikini. It’s a new injectable that irons out cellulitic lumps and dimpling on your bottom. 

Injected directly into cellulite, QWO uses enzymes (collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes) to attack it in two ways. First, QWO reduces indentations by releasing the fibrous bands (septae) that pull on your skin from underneath. Second, it stimulates new collagen growth for thicker skin coverage to soften cellulite’s appearance.

Time until Recovery and Results

For the smoothest outcome, in each treatment area you’ll need three QWO sessions three weeks apart. Bruising at the injection sites can last a couple weeks, and smoother skin becomes visible in as little as 10 weeks. 

It’s not too early for holiday beauty.

There are a lot of good reasons to schedule cosmetic treatments for the winter holidays now. Recovery periods, multiple sessions and time required for optimal results are all considerations to plan for. If you time it right, you can have younger-looking skin, a smoother bottom and a slimmer, better defined silhouette before winter holiday parties, trips, events, and gatherings with family and friends. 

Check back next month to learn about nose jobs, eyelid surgery, and face, brow and neck lifts. You’ll still have time to see lovely and youthful results by the holidays.