Getting ready for the holidays is never easy, but if your plans involve injectables or other treatments don’t put off making those appointments.

“Bookings take off during the holiday season,” said Dr. Dara Liotta, a New York facial plastic surgeon. “I would advise patients to plan ahead and know that they need to book treatments in advance to avoid disappointment.”

Here are the top 10 treatments RealSelf doctors are seeing in advance of this holiday season, with the recovery time they recommend for each.



Recovery: None

Results: 3-4 days

Treatments that you can put off until the last minute, like Botox, have no downtime, but it does take a few days to see effects. Increased demand also means it will be more difficult to sneak in for a “lunchtime” procedure.

Botox is king,” said Dr. Anthony Youn, a Detroit plastic surgeon. “The number of people undergoing Botox injections rises significantly before the holidays. We are seeing a huge increase.”


Juvederm Voluma

Recovery: None to a week

Results: Immediate to 2 weeks

In other fillers, Dr. Youn says that Juvederm Voluma is “an easy way to plump up the cheeks and take off five to 10 years in 15 minutes.” Most patients will see volume-boosting effects right away, but doctors tell us on our site that it can take up to two weeks to see the full results. Depending on bruising and swelling, you might need up to a week of recovery time.


Juvederm Volbella

Recovery: 2-plus days

Results: Immediate to 1 week

Approved by the FDA this year, Volbella is an injectable filler that uses hyaluronic acid to increase lip fullness and soften lines around the mouth. Dr. Liotta suggests at least 48 hours to allow the swelling to subside. Results can last up to a year.



Recovery: None to 2 weeks

Results: 4-12 weeks

CoolSculpting is still one of the hottest treatments out there to destroy fat. Dr. Sheila Nazarian, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, says that this fat-freezing treatment is in high demand at her practice.

While CoolSculpting has no downtime, you should allow at least two weeks recovery time. Patients can see 20-30% fat reduction in a few weeks to three months, so it’s not a quick fix to fit into that cocktail dress either.


Zoom Whitening

Recovery: 1-2 days

Results: Immediate

Bright smiles are in demand this time of year, and so is the increase in requests for tooth whitening. New York City dentist Victoria Veytsman says that Zoom Whitening is a popular in-office treatment.

“About one in 10 people have minor sensitivity either during or up to 24 hours following the procedure,” Dr. Veytsman said. “The maintenance for this procedure is a diet consisting of clear or white foods for up to 24 hours. After about 24-48 hours, you can resume a normal diet.”


Home Fix: Crest Whitestrips

Results: 3-4 weeks (if worn for 30 minutes a day)

Don’t have time for an office visit? Dr. Veytsman said that Crest Whitestrips is a quick fix. However, these results will not be as fast or dramatic as in-office whitening. It’s a good maintenance treatment, too.

“I love the ease of use of these and the ability to maintain a bright smile at home,” Dr. Veytsman said. “This definitely has its place in a whitening regimen.”


ProFractional Laser Peel

Recovery: 5-7 days

Results: 3-plus weeks

Call it the celebrity social effect, but this time it doesn’t involve a Kardashian or a Jenner. As a result of Chelsea Handler posting her ProFractional laser peel to Instagram, Dr. Liotta has seen a huge bump in requests for the treatment.


Home Fix: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel pads

Results: 6-8 weeks 

“Available in several strengths for different needs, this line of two-step peels uses varying levels of alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate skin and rejuvenate the complexion,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, an Omaha, Neb., dermatologic surgeon. “These safe at-home peels will help you achieve some immediate results like an instantly brighter complexion with a healthy glow.”



Recovery: 1-2 weeks

Results: 4-8 weeks

Kybella continues to be a popular option to fight fat under the chin, but results are far from immediate. Dr. Liotta says recovery time is at least one to two weeks for the swelling to come down. This varies by patient, and for the best results, you should get Kybella before Thanksgiving. Absolutely do not have Kybella done a few days before a big event. Many people experience the dreaded “bullfrog” swelling effect.



Recovery: 2 weeks

Results: Up to a year

Surprisingly, Dr. Liotta told us that requests for rhinoplasty heat up around the end of the year. “My surgical calendar gets super busy before the holidays as people want to schedule their recovery time when the office is slow over the holidays,” she said. “It always surprises me that patients want surgery right before the holidays, but I guess it gives them time to lie low before going back to work with their new look.”


Breast surgery and augmentation

Recovery: 2-4 weeks

Results: 3-plus months

The holidays are popular for more invasive surgeries, too. “Everything is busier this time of year, especially surgery,” Dr. Nazarian said. “People like to have surgery just before a work holiday so they can take advantage of that time to recover.”

Breast augmentations are especially up this time of year. Dr. Youn advises at least two weeks recovery, and Dr. Nazarian says to give yourself a month. “Anything worth doing requires some downtime,” she said. “That may be swelling, or bruising, or pain. They should plan their treatments accordingly.”



Recovery: 2-plus weeks (wait until January)

Results: 3-6 months

I typically recommend people avoid major facial surgery, such as facelifts, until after the holiday season,” Dr. Youn said. “It’s a perfect time to get away for a couple weeks to recuperate and allow swelling and bruising to resolve.”


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