As temps rise, so does our desire to shed some clothing and show some skin. Sometimes the unwanted pounds of winter, harsh weather conditions and good ol’ gravity can make welcoming the sun a little tougher than we’d like.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective, non-invasive treatments that can help address everything from toning sagging skin to targeting unwanted fat.
Now that spring’s arrived, here are five non-surgical treatments to consider as we prep to welcome warmer days.
If you’re looking to target unwanted fat and are within 20 pounds of your ideal weight, CoolSculpting just might be your answer.
This non-surgical, FDA-approved treatment freezes fat cells by applying a handheld device to the area of stubborn pockets being treated, including the chin. When the freezing technology of CoolSculpting is applied to areas of excess fat, “the treated fat cells are crystallized, turned into dead cells, and naturally processed and permanently eliminated by the body, leaving you more toned and sculpted,” says Dr. Sheila Nazarian, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, in a RealSelf Q&A.
“We have ‘janitor’ cells called macrophages that find the damaged cells,” she adds. “[The fat] eventually gets excreted through your urine.” In general, patients can expect to gradually lose 20 to 30 percent of fat in the treated areas after just one session. Results can be permanent when patients maintain their weight post-procedure.
Average Cost: $2,375
Worth It Rating: 79%
While CoolSculpting can help eliminate fat, ThermiTight is a minimally invasive treatment that tightens the skin. “It strengthens the skin’s underlying support system using radiofrequency energy that firms and tightens sagging, loose skin to make you appear more youthful and glow,” said Dr. William Groff, a San Diego dermatologist. Though ThermiTight is often used to tighten sagging skin on the face, it can also be applied to the neck, stomach, arms, breasts and thighs.
Average Cost: $3,200
Worth It Rating: 56%
Wrinkle-fighting toxins, including Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, are one of spring’s most popular cosmetic treatments, and understandably so. The injection, which softens wrinkles and lines in the face by temporarily relaxing muscles, typically takes under 30 minutes, with no downtime for recovery.
New York dermatologist Dr. Michele Green says, “Botox can last anywhere between three and six months depending on the area. In general, the area around the eyes [crow’s feet] lasts a little shorter than the forehead. I find that patients generally when they come twice a year for Botox [every six months] will look good and prevent developing new and deeper wrinkles.”
Which wrinkle-fighter is right for you? “I often tell my patients [comparing Botox and Dysport] is a little like choosing between Coke or Pepsi,” said Dr. Myriam Loyo, Portland, Oregon, facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. “No study has shown definitive differences.”
Botox Average Cost: $550
Worth It Rating: 94%
Dysport Average Cost: $450
Worth It Rating: 92%
Xeomin Average Cost: $450
Worth It Rating: 83%
To address fine lines, broken capillaries and pigment, CO2 uses a carbon dioxide laser to remove skin layers via vaporization. The procedure can also remove age spots, acne scars and sun damage. Most sessions are 60 to 90 minutes, with just one application providing new collagen stimulation that can last for months. The treatment can also erase chest wrinkles to smoother cleavage.
In a RealSelf Q&A, New York dermatologic surgeon Dr. Ariel Ostad said, “It is not uncommon to see redness persist for up to six weeks following the procedure, with all symptoms subsiding by six months. The CO2 Laser is an excellent non-invasive procedure to smooth wrinkles, tighten skin and reduce signs of sun damage.”
Average Cost: $2,700
Worth It Rating: 80%
For glowing skin, consider microdermabrasion. The treatment uses crystals or diamond microparticles for gentle abrasion and exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and achieve a smoother complexion. There is no recovery time, and it is considered one of the most gentle, non-invasive skin procedures on the market.
For acne and scarring issues, consider alternatives because microdermabrasion only penetrates the skin’s outer layer, or epidermis. Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Turowski said, “If you’re looking for more dramatic changes, you should consider lasers, such as Fraxel, which is safe and works great for acne scars, pigmentation and fine lines.”
Average Cost: $175
Worth It Rating: 91%
Ready to book? Find a doctor near you.