Plastic surgery. For some, the term prompts one image to flash before their eyes. Visions of a woman being wheeled out the back door of an unmarked clinic and off to a recovery center with a wad of gauze wrapped around her face and bandages on her nose. For the next week or so, her diet will consist of anything that can be consumed through a straw. Newsflash: Times have changed! Today, there are dozens of cosmetic procedures that are performed daily at dermatologist offices across the country with little to no downtime. That means no pricey stay at a rehab facility, and no time off from work. Here, we consulted with top dermatologists to reveal the non-invasive procedures that can change your look in an instant.
“If you want instant rejuvenation with no downtime, I recommend light chemical peels,” says anti-aging specialist in aesthetic medicine Yelena Yerestky, M.D. Dr. Yerestky recommends heading to your dermatologist’s office for a light chemical peel every 28 days, the amount of time it takes for skin cells to turn over. “As we age, our cell renewal process slows down, which leads to buildup of dead skin. Getting peels once a month will exfoliate the top layer of skin and help stimulate collagen production, leaving you fresh and fabulous.” Just be sure to book a light peel. Unlike medium to deep chemical peels, which tend to leave skin red and blotchy, after a light peel, you should be able to carry on with your day as usual. Try Clinique YFT Red Carpet Peel ($200-$300; cliniqueyft.com).
Likely the most commonly known cosmetic procedure, Botox is a cult-favorite amongst dermatologists and patients alike. Commonly referred to as a “lunchtime procedure,” patients can schedule an appointment during their lunch break and head back to the office without anyone noticing. As NYC-based dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D. puts it: “A few pinpricks and within a week, an angry frown is erased, a heavy eyelid is lifted, and a cordy neck is tightened.” In other words, one quick Botox session will clear up your case of BRF (“Bitchy Resting Face”) within minutes. “The majority of patients have heard of [Botox] for the lines between the brows—the elevens—and crow’s feet because that is what it is FDA-approved for,” says dermatologist Cybele Fishman, M.D. “But it is great for other things patients may not know about.” Some of the areas that Dr. Fishman mentions include the forehead, tip of the nose, corners of the mouth, chin, and jaw. “I have also injected small amounts of Botox all over the face for facial sweating. It is even being studied to help the redness from rosacea. It’s just so versatile.” Dr. Fusco, who injects less amounts of Botox to achieve a natural effect, says that her patients schedule appointments as soon as every two months.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
By now, the term “filler” has been popularized thanks in part to Kylie Jenner, who admitted to achieving those full lips that she’s become known for by way of the cosmetic procedure. (Her big sis’ Khloe Kardashian shared that she too has experimented with facial fillers on an episode of FYI’s “Kocktails With Khloe.”) But what’s to love about the skin-swelling treatment? “You see instant effects and can go back to work and life immediately looking better,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, who administers the procedure up to 10 times a day. “There are numerous types of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers to correct various [areas] of the face, whether it's the mid cheek, smile lines, lips, tear trough, marionette lines, or elsewhere.” Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. favors HA fillers particularly for plumping the cheek area. “As we age, our cheeks drop and what was once a smooth contour, breaks into noticeable upper and lower cheek compartments,” he says. “Replacing lost volume and lifting the cheek back into a youthful position makes a huge difference in the appearance of the face.” Of course with all cosmetic procedures, any sign of having work done is always a concern. The doctors confirm that patients may experience some swelling up to five days after injections, but should be “minimal with proper injection technique,” according to Dr. Zeichner. “Most people will not even notice,” he says. Dr. Engelman recommends taking arnica montana tablets three to five days before the treatment to minimize side-effects and applies numbing cream and ice packs to eliminate pain post-injections. Try Boiron Arnica Montana, ($8; walgreens.com). The true pain might hurt your pockets more than anything. According to Dr. Zeichner, fillers can cost up to $1,500 per syringe. Ouch.