As we head into warmer weather and summer is on the horizon, doctors’ offices are booming with patients looking to whip their skin and bodies into shape with the latest and greatest treatments. However, not every procedure is recommended for this time of year—the big reason being increased sun exposure on vulnerable, post-treatment skin—and it’s also a case-by-case basis per individual. So which treatments are best to get during which season? We spoke to the pros, and here’s the ideal schedule they’d recommend, so you can plan ahead.
Neurotoxin Injections (Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau, DAXI)
I’m placing this one in the spring category because that’s the time of year we’re in now, but New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD says “neurotoxins are a procedure you can get during each season, as they are usually done every three to four months.” Beverly Hills, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD also recommends seasonal neurotoxin injections to “keep fine lines and wrinkles in check.”
To prepare for summertime, Dr. Shamban likes CoolSculpting, a noninvasive fat-freezing treatment that takes a few months for the results to set in as the body naturally eliminates the fat, so it’s best to have it done in the spring. “I prefer to do it before Emsculpt treatments, if you’re doing both,” she adds.
Another noninvasive fat-reducer, which New York dermatologist Howard Sobel, MD favors, is truSculpt, which “helps you keep small pockets of stubborn fat buildup in check from the neck down, and with no downtime.”
Thought Dr. Shamban is a fan of having a series of muscle-stimulating treatments like Emsculpt throughout the year, “the initial visit should be in the spring to get ready for summer, and then a maintenance treatment in each season following.”
When shorts weather rolls around, Dr. Sobel suggests sclerotherapy, “a vein treatment to keep the legs free of varicose and spider veins that pop up during the year.”
Dr. Shamban likes QWO, the first-ever injectable treatment for moderate-to-severe cellulite on the butt (other areas of the body are currently being studied). A series of treatments is needed—usually two to three spaced weeks apart—and there may be some side effects like bruising after cellulite treatments, so it’s best to do them a few months ahead of summer if a teeny bikini is in your future.
Dewy, glowing skin is what everyone wants come summer, and Dr. Shamban says one way to get that is with a HydraFacial, a three-part facial that combines cleansing, extracting gunk from clogged pores and hydrating with potent serums.
Germantown, TN dermatologist Purvisha Patel, MD says this is a good time of year to increase your frequency of dermaplaning—exfoliating with a blade to get rid of peach fuzz—“for getting that glow, as well as better sunscreen application.”
“I recommend that my patients invest at least once a year in Ultherapy, which is an ultrasound-based skin-tightening procedure for the face and body,” says Dr. Russak. “You can do it regardless of the time of year, but I think the best time is usually the summer because during the sunny months, we are not doing as many energy-based procedures on the surface of the skin that can potentially make the skin more sun-sensitive.”
One of the newest noninvasive wrinkle treatments, Sofwave uses ultrasound energy to remodel collagen in the skin for improved fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Shamban says it can be done any time of year, Though the summer is a great time when many people take vacation from work and have more time for self-care.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
“During the fall, you want to do procedures that will reverse sun damage that was done during the summer with procedures such as IPL and fractional laser resurfacing,” says Dr. Russak. “Fall is also a good time to do treatments like these because there’s not a lot of sun exposure.” Dr. Shamban also recommends IPL during this season, “with strict sun avoidance.”
“This is the gold standard fractional technology for resurfacing the skin,” says Dr. Sobel. “It gets rid of built-up sun damage and uneven skin tone and texture with one treatment, and you can treat your face, neck, chest, arms, legs and hands. It’s a great prep for winter vacation and after-summer clean-up.”
This in-office peel helps fight pigment issues, which is why Dr. Shamban recommends it after the summer months when sun damage has left spots of all sorts behind, though “strict sun avoidance” is non-negotiable.
“Chemical peels should primarily be done during the winter because they increase sun sensitivity,” says Dr. Russak. “The surface of the skin, in terms of pigment correction, should be addressed during seasons of the year when there’s not a lot of sun exposure.”
Dr. Shamban advises her patients to do Fraxel in the winter because it’s the most intensive resurfacingand post-treatment, you can’t expose your skin to the sun as it heals.
Dr. Sobel recommends getting Vivace, a radio-frequency microneedling treatment, once a month, but winter is a great time to begin. “It improves the overall texture and tone of the skin with no downtime.”
“This uses intense plasma energy to create controlled injuries within the skin that lead to a tightening and rejuvenating effect,” says Dr. Shamban. “Because it stimulates collagen, it can also make fine lines and wrinkles less visible. Winter months are ideal for this because you have to avoid midday sun for several weeks post-treatment.”
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