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We all want to look and feel our best year-round, but did you know that some office-based treatments and procedures are best performed during certain seasons? With Memorial Day weekend, summer Fridays and a little extra time off just a few weeks away, it’s important to understand which procedures are safe to get now—and which appointments you should hold off on scheduling until the fall.
SAFE: Facial injectables
Injectable treatments are safe and appropriate any time of year, so feel free to book your appointment! Franklin, Tennessee facial plastic surgeon and president-elect of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Mary Lynn Moran adds, “Injectables are the most impactful treatment when you have little to no downtime. When performed by an experienced injector, the results can be subtle but transformative—and ideally you will look as though you’ve already been on vacation!” So that means you don’t have to wait on BOTOX, Xeomin, Dysport or Jeuveau. Ditto for Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero, Sculptra Aeshtetic or Radiesse.
SAFE: Non-invasive fat reduction
The thought of bathing suit season can be a source of stress, but non-invasive fat-reduction treatments are a downtime-free way to get a slimmer silhouette. If you’re thinking about CoolSculpting, Vanquish, truSculpt or another similar treatment, New York City dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick advises making your appointment ASAP and adds, “Some of these devices take time or multiple treatments before the full benefits can be seen.”
SAFE: Energy-based skin tightening
A great way to enhance the skin’s tautness and tone from head to toe, radiofrequency, ultrasound and other energy-based treatments are safe for summer because they target the deeper layers of the skin and leave the surface intact—which means there’s no increase in sun sensitivity. The caveat: “If you experience any redness immediately after treatment, it’s important to wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure,” Dr. Garshick says.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Chemical peels
Chemical peels are a safe, effective way to improve dullness and dark spots while maintaining your summer glow. However, Dr. Garshick warns, “Chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells, and the new skin beneath is more sensitive to the sun. It’s especially important to be diligent about sun protection for the first week following a peel, as well as beforehand since it’s best to avoid these treatments if you are tan or sunburned.”
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal can definitely be a summertime treatment option, but the key is planning. “You want to make sure your skin is not tan prior to laser hair removal, as the laser targets pigment. When it comes to hair removal, the laser is attracted to the darker color of the hair follicle, but if you are tan the laser can target the pigment in your skin as well—and potentially cause post-treatment discoloration,” Dr. Garshick explains.
WAIT UNTIL FALL: Laser skin-resurfacing treatments
“Strict sun protection is critical when undergoing non-ablative and ablative laser resurfacing treatments, which is why I generally recommend holding off until the fall and winter months,” advises Dr. Garshick. However, being patient comes along with an added bonus: Laser treatments are a great way to eliminate any sun damage that may accumulate over the summer—but that doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen. In fact, you should be extra careful about sun exposure if you’re planning laser treatments after Labor Day, as they are best performed on un-tanned skin.
The bottom line: “Sun protection should be top of mind 365 days a year, whether you’re considering professional, office-based treatments or cosmetic surgery,” says New York City plastic surgeon Bryan G. Forley, who recommends ZO Skin Health and Elta MD sunscreens as best in class. So, if you’re planning on some cosmetic enhancements (or have undergone treatments recently), you surely want to maintain the results, and the best way to do so is with regular sunscreen use.