Winter isn’t everyone’s favorite season (and definitely not mine). Seeing the sun less frequently and being stuck indoors more frequently can get depressing. One way to make it all a bit better is to take the time to pamper yourself…yes, please!
Did you know there are some best cosmetic treatments you can do are actually quite well-suited to being performed in the winter months? Some lasers and peels can make your skin sensitive to the sun immediately following treatment, so a cloudy winter day is a good time to schedule in a session. In addition, procedures like body contouring are great for the winter months, so that you can reveal your new shape come spring, when it’s time to bust out the bikini! Take a look at some of the best cosmetic treatments we can do in winter.
WHAT IS IPL?
IPL stands for intense pulsed light. The IPL photofacial procedure is a light-based treatment that addresses a number of skin issues including pigmentation, age spots, sun damage, redness, and more.
One particular IPL device you may have heard of is the Cutera Limelight. This treatment uses an intense broad-spectrum light to that uses heat to target brown spots, sun damage and broken capillaries, among other issues. It’s been growing in popularity since the mid 1990’s when it was approved by the FDA.
HOW DOES IPL WORK?
Limelight works somewhat differently than other IPL photofacial treatments. It’s more precise and incorporates a green light to provide results that are particularly focused on skin tone and color. IPL is different than laser procedures. Laser is comprised of light made of a single wavelength, meaning it specifically treats one target at a time. IPL produces broad spectrum wavelengths, meaning they can treat multiple targets in one hit (goodbye pigment AND redness!).
An advantage to Limelight is that it can be customized to different skin tones and conditions as the settings are completely customizable. Does Limelight IPL hurt? It feels like a little rubber band snap! And a burst of cool air is usually used to help minimize discomfort. Topical anesthetic gel isn’t required.
HOW MANY IPL TREATMENTS DO I NEED?
IPL requires approximately three sessions for pigmentation, and 4-6 sessions for redness, for optimal results. Treatments are usually done every 4-6 weeks. Your practitioner will provide you with a treatment plan based on the size of the target area, along with your particular skin concerns.
Results vary from person to person and depend upon the issue(s) being addressed. You can expect dark spots or pigmentation to lighten significantly, though they may not disappear completely. The results will be noticeable. There are some side effects of IPL photofacial treatments to keep in mind. The treated area is likely to become red immediately post treatment, settling within 2-3 days, and the pigment will temporarily darken. This lasts about a week before the pigment flakes off and you can say HELLOOOO to your healthy looking, fresh skin!
One of the reasons this is such a good treatment for the winter months is that it works best on lighter skin. More aggressive treatment is possible with fair skin. Therefore, you’re likely to have more success with IPL during the months when you don’t have a tan. Dark-skinned folks have to be more careful with this procedure, as it can potentially lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring. Those with very dark skin should probably avoid this option.
WHAT ARE CHEMICAL PEELS?
Chemical peels are cosmetic treatments designed to improve the appearance and feel of the skin. Common areas of treatment include the face, neck and hands. Chemical solutions of various strengths are applied to the treatment area.
They exfoliate the skin, causing it to eventually peel away and reveal a new and healthier layer. You can expect the final result to show smoother, less wrinkled, and brighter skin.
WHAT DO CHEMICAL PEELS TREAT?
A variety of issues can be treated with chemical peels, and there are various types of peels. It’s often considered an anti-aging treatment because it treats wrinkles and fine lines, along with sun damage and uneven skin tone that comes with age. It can also be used to correct hyperpigmentation, acne/congestions, some types of acne scars, other minor scarring and melasma.
WHAT TYPES OF PEELS ARE THERE?
There are primarily three different types of peels you can choose from: light, medium, & deep. Superficial or light peels penetrate the outermost layer of skin only. They use ingredients like alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acid to exfoliate the skin very gently. SkinMedica Peels are a type of light peel used here at The Luxe Room.
Medium peels reach reach a bit deeper. They use stronger concentrations of ingredients, meaning a more potent peel (aka BIGGER RESULTS!). This is an effective method to choose if you need something a bit stronger to address your skin concerns.
A great peel to consider for these types of issues is the VI Peel range. These offer various benefits for skin with more damage such as sun damage and advanced signs of aging.
Deep peels completely penetrate the middle skin layer, removing damaged skin cells. These use powerful ingredients such as tricholoracetic acid. This type of procedure is so strong that it requires you to be sedated during treatment and can only be performed in 15-minute increments to avoid too much exposure. Scary, right?
Luckily, these types of peels are rarely performed these days, as similar results with much less risk and downtime can be achieved by newer laser treatments. Phew!
WHAT’S THE DOWNTIME WITH A CHEMICAL PEEL?
Obviously, this depends on which peel is used. If you are doing a light or medium peel, generally the timeline is like this:
Day of treatment (day 0): Your skin may be slightly pink and warm immediately after treatment. Rosy color may stay for the rest of the day. If the VI Peel is done, the solution stays on the skin for four hours post treatment, meaning your skin may appear a bit yellow/brown from the solution until it’s washed off.
Day 1: Skin color most likely back to normal, but your skin may feel tight.
Day 2-5: Skin starts to peel. This starts around the mouth and works its way outwards over the following days. Light peels should only have light flaking, if any. Slightly stronger peels like VI may mean peeling occurs more like ‘thin sheets’ coming off. DO NOT PICK!
Day 7: Peeling should be mostly done and skin starts looking clear and fresh!
Laser for Rejuvenation
Many issues can affect the texture and condition of the skin on the face and other places on the body. Laser treatments for rejuvenation can do wonders for improving the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, pigmentation, sun spots and large pores. These conditions can be improved whether they were caused by natural aging, exposure to sun or harsh climates, acne, hormonal changes (pregnancy or hormonal contraception), or other factors.
HOW DOES A LASER FACIAL WORK?
Specific laser energy is used to address the treatment area with light compromised of a single wavelength. The type of laser you’ll need will depend upon the specific issue at hand. Your practitioner will help you to determine the best laser treatment plan for your needs. However, there are a couple of popular options we will discuss here.
LASER FOR WRINKLES, PORES, AND PIGMENT…OH MY!
Clear + Brilliant is definitely our most popular laser. The Clear + Brilliant is manufactured by Solta. It is a non-ablative, fractional thelium laser and appropriate for all skin types.
There are two different handpieces to the laser that offer two different types of treatments:
Original: 1440-nanometer wavelength laser. Reduces pore size, fine lines, and improves skin complexion.
Permea: 1927-nanometer wavelength laser. Treats pigmentation issues as sunspots, melisma, and other sun-related skin damage.
Sessions can be customized to your needs and usually take around 15 to 20 minutes. A topical numbing gel is applied 20 minutes before your treatment, allowing for a quick, painless laser session.
Clear + Brilliant is different than other types of resurfacing lasers. It rebuilds healthy skin from the inside with non-ablative fractional treatments. This means the majority of the skin is left undamaged by the laser, leading to a speedy recovery while stimulating healthy skin cell production throughout the area treated. Its proprietary laser delivery method minimizes discomfort and maximizes safety. It works by heating the skin tissue in a controlled manner. The heat offers an added benefit of stimulating collagen, the protein that helps build healthy and strong skin.
Usually three sessions are done at 4-6 week intervals for best results, and dependent on your targeted concern(s). Treatment outcomes can be amplified by adding specifically designed serums immediately after treatments. Downtime is minimal – usually only a day or two of pink skin that can be covered with powdered mineral makeup the day after treatment. Skin may feel a bit rough for up to a week.
LASER FOR REDNESS, ACNE, AND ANTI-AGING
Gentle, fast, effective, and…NO DOWNTIME. None. Zip. Nada. The Laser Genesis is a great option that works by gently heating the upper layer of the dermis which means fighting redness and stimulating collagen production. It is a 1064nm ND:YAG laser that delivers super-quick pulses of energy into the skin. Treatments are generally only 20 minutes, and depending on what concern is being targeted, usually 4-6 treatments are required in intervals of 2-4 weeks.
Problems that can be addressed: acne (add a light peel for amplified results), general redness, large pores, fine lines, and general skin health. Oh yeah, did we mention no downtime?
No matter what your concern or want is (within reason!), I’d love to help you and work out a plan to help you feel better about it. Book in for a complimentary consultation and let’s chat!