Time flies when we’re having fun. I looked at the calendar and realized it’s mid March already, which made me do my own internal checklist for getting myself ready for summer and all the events that come with it. Being “ready for summer” can mean many different things to different people. For some it’s products to stop before going in the sun, to “how much downtime do I need for my new bikini-baring BBL?”
I compiled a list of common treatments and questions that I get, but is not an exhaustive list of all that is available these days. Summer is approaching fast, so take note to plan ahead. I caveat this with the fact that you can do these treatments anytime. There is no hard and fast rule. But if you plan on being in the sun or showing some skin, those two factors can play into when you want to get started (or finish) your treatments.
Great treatments for Summer
|Laser Hair Removal||Diminishes hair from the face and body with minimal required touch ups after treatments are completed. Great for those with light skin and dark hair. It can also improve the look of ingrown hairs or folliculitis.||Most areas requires 4-6 treatments, 4-6 weeks a part. You cannot have sun exposure 1 month before or 1 month after each treatment for risk of hyperpigmentation.|
|Skin laser treatments||Helps with skin texture, fine lines and discoloration. Summer is a time when less makeup is more, and SPF is in! Lasers can help prep the skin to be no-makeup ready.||This depends on the treatment and the strength of the laser but typically lasers are 3-4 treatments one month a part with maintenance yearly. Plan to have no sun exposure 1 month before and 1 month after treatment. Lasers used for discoloration help to obliterate excess melanin (dark spots). While this improves the look of skin, it is also our skin’s natural defense. SPF, hats, shade and protection are a lifestyle change required for those embarking on laser treatments. After all, you want your skin to be its healthiest, and more sun exposure will just undo your investment into clearer skin.|
|Chemical Peels & Microneedling||Other great tools in the box to help with discoloration, texture and collagen induction.||Similar to lasers, chemical peels and microneedling help to exfoliate the top layers of the skin while creating collagen. They can vary in strength and depth of treatment. Aside from the deepest peels, both peels and microneedling are typically 4-6 treatments one month a part. You should stop these 2-4 weeks before and after sun exposure. The skin also needs time to heal, which may cut down on your use of antioxidants and stronger skin-barrier builders for a few days which would aid in skin protection (e.g. vitamin C). Peels and microneedling can be used almost anywhere on the body. Think glowing backs for that deep back summer dress, toned legs after the winter dryness, lighter stretch marks, or a clear behind if you suffer from breakouts. SPF and proper sun protection is a must!|
|Sunless Tanning||Gives your skin a faux tan without the damaging rays of the sun. Get your glow on the go.||First thing’s first. There is no safe sun tan, and getting a base tan is not healthy nor a safe prep for a trip. A tan is skin damage, period. Especially if you are using retinols, lasers or peels, getting a tan can be dangerous. Sunless tanners are great options for an aesthetic look, but they do not provide protection from the sun. There are so many great options on the market, from lotions, at-home kits, spray booths and 1:1 hand spraying specialists. The personal specialists are great; sometimes they come right to your house. They can customize your tan much like a makeup artist creates highlights and contours. Make sure you shave/wax/laser beforehand, exfoliate well and bring some old clothing. You might also want to paint your nails afterwards if you’re like me and didn’t put the barrier cream on properly…I looked, well, jaundiced. Some takes weeks to build, others provide a base within hours. I’d try it out a few times before your big day to make sure the color and timing is right. Those with sensitive skin may find sunless tanners irritating so make sure you try it before you go all in. I found that the initial base was too dark for me and accentuated my pin-point pores and fine lines. I looked best after 2 washes.|
|Lash Lift & Tint, Brow Tint||Gives you a “I woke up like this” polish that lasts 4-6 weeks. Curls and darkens your natural lashes leaving you with a fuss-free fluttery look. Get beautifully shaped brows and leave the pommade at home. Both are pool & sweat-approved without the waterproof mascara, sticky brow products, or uneven application going out for dinner after a few (?) day drinks at the swim-up bar.||These appointments take 30-45 minutes and are so beneficial when done by a talented lash and brow artist. They are mess-free, you don’t have to worry about fill-ins or maintenance like false lashes, and it looks natural. Make sure you go to a reputable place that uses the right type of dye and perming solution for the eyes.|
|QWO||Anti-cellulite injection treatment that breaks down the fibrous tissue that pulls skin down, creating dimpling.||This treatment is quick and very tolerable. It requires 3 treatments 21 days a part. There is considerable bruising that happens with this treatment (you absolutely cannot hide it), so plan for 2-3 months of downtime. Wearing compression, arnica and bromalin, and laser treatments can help speed this along, but your healing will depend on how quickly your body clears pigment from bruising. If you’re that person that bumps their arm and has a bruise for months, you need to take that into consideration.|
|Injectables: Wrinkle Relaxers, Fillers||Injectables can help give a refreshed look to the skin while improving the look of fine lines and replacing lost volume.||Injectables like wrinkle relaxers and HA fillers should be done at least 2 weeks before your trip or event, preferably 6-8 weeks before should any tweaks need to be made. It takes about 2 weeks for these treatments to settle, with any tweakments to take an additional 2 weeks. Asymmetry, bumps, bruises and lumps are all possible for 2-3 weeks after treatment. Plan ahead to look your best.|
|CoolSculpting||A non-invasive treatment that helps to destroy fat cells by cryoliposis. Applicators are placed on the targeted areas, and fat is frozen over the course of 30-40 minutes. Results are 30% or more reduction in fat in conjunction with proper diet and exercise. This requires a consultation to determine how many applicators you’d need.||A gold standard in body contouring, CoolSculpting is non-invasive, which is great for those with minimal to moderate areas of fat that do not want to undergo liposuction. While it doesn’t replace surgery, it can provide impressive results and has little-to-no downtime. It takes about 90 days for results of one cycle to be realized, as the body must break down the fat, process it and eliminate it. Areas typically require 2-3 treatments per applicator site for full results. Start 6 months ahead.|
|Morpheus8, Profound, RF skin-tightening technologies||These technologies use radiofrequency to heat and stimulate collagen remodeling and fat destruction. Some like Morpheus and Profound use microneedles as well to deliver skin resurfacing, and others like BodyTite, InMode’s Tite & Trim, and BodyFx (among others) target fat with radiofrequency alone.||There is such a wide array of treatments in this category. Some like Morpheus8 require 3 treatments for full results, whereas Profound is one and done (for most). Others require up to 6-12 treatments. Check with your provider on what the expectations are. Typically with RF treatments it will take 2-3 months to begin to see improvement with full results after 6-12 months. The benefit is being able to target areas like above the knees, flanks, saddle bags, back of arms, etc, that need tightening with resurfacing. Bruising, swelling and risk for post-inflammatory pigmentation is possible, so you need to be out of the sun 1 month before and 1 month after your treatment for those that incorporate microneedling.|
|BBL||BBLs (Brazilian Butt Lift) encompasses both injectable and surgical butt augmentations. There are very different levels of downtime and results between the two, so make sure you discuss this with your provider. |
A Sculptra BBL uses Sculptra in multiple treatments (typically 5-10 vials per treatment) to grow collagen in the buttock area. A butt augmentation with fat transfer is a 1-time surgery that includes liposuction and transferring that fat to the buttock area.
|BBLs are one of the most popular treatments today. A Sculptra BBL takes 2-3 months to start seeing results, with full results seen 90 days or so after the last treatment. There is minimal to no downtime with possibility of minor discomfort and soreness, or bruising at the injection site. The collagen induction helps the look and firmness of the backside, and can help camouflage cellulite. This treatment is also great when combined with QWO. A Sculptra BBL is for minimal to moderate skin laxity and for those who do not want surgery. Results last from 2-5 years.|
A surgical BBL requires a plastic surgeon and general anesthesia. The benefits are that it is a one-time surgical treatment and liposuction is used to help contour other areas of the body. You essentially get a two-for-one! There is more downtime and limitations with this procedure, but can produce more dramatic results. Surgical BBLs aren’t always more expensive, depending on the need of syringes and treatment of Sculptra. You’ll need at least 4 weeks of taking it easy, and may experience swelling in the lipo’d areas for up to 6 months. The fat acts the same as it does from the area it was taken. You’ll want to be at a stable weight as extreme dieting or weight gain can change the results.
|Surgical Augmentations such as Breast, Abdominoplasty, Brachioplasty and Body Lifts||For those looking for more dramatic changes, you can opt for breast augmentations such as implants, mastopexy (breast lift), or reduction. Common surgeries for the abdomen are liposuction, abdominoplasty (which includes tightening the muscles), or reverse abdominoplasty (lifting loose skin up). Body lifts such as thighs, buttocks and arms (brachioplasty) can help remove and lift excess skin.||These procedures require a consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Cost, expectations and downtime vary considerably with each procedure. While healing time for getting back to a normal routine is important to note, there can also be residual soreness, bruising, restrictions from submerging in water, swelling and discoloration after these surgeries as your body heals that you may want to factor into your summer plans. If you’re planning an all-inclusive golf trip, backpacking in Europe or laying at the beach, you want to make sure you can swing that club comfortably or float your cares away worry-free to enjoy your well-deserved trip.|
Create your vacation-ready regimen
You may need (or want) to streamline your products while you’re traveling. Think about cleansers appropriate for the environment that you’re in (hydrating for cold/blistery areas, deep cleansing for hot/humid areas) and especially if you’re somewhere that you’ll be sweating and SPF, something that can deep clean without stripping or being harsh. Think about protection. Increased SPF, hats, sun shirts and sunglasses. Hydration which may need to be gel or lotion vs cream if you’re in a sweaty environment. Increase antioxidants like vitamin C to provide extra environmental protection. You might want to cut down on harsh exfoliants, retinols and acne treatments (unless your dermatologist says otherwise) and switch to nourishing, hydrating and protecting the skin barrier. You’ll see benefits from the increased oxygen, a little bit of sun and increased rest from the inside, out.