The best cosmetic treatments to get before summer
While winter seems to drag on forever, summer always arrives with a jolt. In New York, the transition from April showers to May flowers may come with insufferably hot subway stations. Still, it also means weekend escapes to the beach and jogging along the Westside Highway in something barely there. Summer looks different in every city, but no matter where you are, it tends to be the season in which everyone is most social.
The old adage says summer bodies are made in the winter, but looking and feeling your best for the most social season can happen with slightly less planning and foresight, thanks to science and technology. From body contouring to laser treatments, here are five procedures to consider while it’s still spring to reap their benefits for summer.
1. For fat loss, CoolSculpting
Even if you stuck to all of your New Year’s resolutions and adhered to dry January, you’re bound to have a few stubborn fat pockets you wish would disappear. CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared to address visible fat bulges in areas such as the thighs, abdomen, flanks, bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks, and the upper arms. The treatment works by crystallizing (freezing) fat cells, only for your body to process and expel them over time. While results may start to be visible in two to three weeks, the final results typically don’t appear for two to three months. But fear not, there’s virtually no prep required for this treatment, so you can decide to do it in the morning and have it done in the afternoon. Schedule in April and see the results by the Fourth of July!
2. For tighter skin, Thermage
While the primary benefit of CoolSculpting is fat loss, Thermage is a skin tightening treatment designed for people who want to tighten loose skin on their bodies, such as the buttocks, thighs, knees, stomach, neck, and face. Best of all, Thermage is non-invasive so there's no downtime involved. It uses radiofrequency energy to heat the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin, which causes the collagen to contract and gradually reform. You may notice a temporary appearance in skin tightening right away, but results tend to appear gradually in the three-to-six months following a Thermage treatment.
3. For a brighter complexion, Clear + Brilliant
One of my favorite things to ask a dermatologist is what they do to keep their skin in great shape. It’s the equivalent of asking a waiter their favorite dish on the menu. Almost universally, Clear + Brilliant comes up. The “mini-Fraxel” laser treatment micro-damages the skin to trigger cellular repair and reveal, well, a clearer and more brilliant complexion. The treatment improves texture, and tone and addresses concerns like fine lines, pores, and hyperpigmentation. Not only does the treatment work great, but results are also visible in just about a week. And unlike Fraxel, it doesn’t require much downtime or massive peeling. A series of treatments maximize the effects, and Clear + Brilliant makes for a great maintenance treatment, too. (Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen before, after, and always!)
4. For erasing the prior summer, IPL
While Clear + Brilliant is a quick-acting treatment for all-around great skin, IPL is an excellent treatment to treat specific problems with the skin, such as mild sun damage and brown spots, and broken capillaries. It’s the perfect treatment to address the prior summer or the day you forgot to put on sunscreen while on spring break. Like with Clear + Brilliant, there’s minimal downtime, and you see results almost as quickly — in about two weeks with full results in a month. It’s important to avoid sun exposure before and after this treatment, and given a lot of what it addresses happens in summer, it’s perfect to schedule a series for the early spring (three to six treatments are often needed for maximum results).
5. For smooth skin, Laser Hair Removal
Last but not least is laser hair removal. While it can be done on the face, most people opt for treatment in areas exposed in swimsuits, such as the armpit, bikini area, or back. Laser hair removal is a popular alternative to waxing and sugaring because it’s more permanent and can be less painful. Once your series is complete, maintenance is super easy, and you can say goodbye to ingrown hairs. The only kicker? The best results can be seen from six to eight treatments spaced several weeks apart, so this service — like that “summer bodies are made in the winter” adage — requires a bit more planning than everything else on this list.
Want to learn more about these treatments? Then check out LaserAway, the nation's leading aesthetic dermatological provider. Using innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology, LaserAway aims to make every experience comfortable, enjoyable, and satisfying. Plus, all treatments are performed by registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or physician associates.
Khalid El Khatib is a Brooklyn-based writer and marketer who tweets too much.