Like our skincare, we should rotate in-office treatments according to the season to optimize efficacy and ensure long-lasting results. One blast of the summer sun can negate a perfectly good Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) service, for example. NYC-based, board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss (and newly minted Instagram personality) gives us her recommendations for rotating treatments properly so that we spend our time and money wisely.
Best Treatments for Spring
“Body treatments should be done in spring as they take a month or so to reveal results. I’m currently obsessed with the Accufit Device. It delivers electro muscular stimulation for muscle toning and tightening through electrodes that are attached to the patient. Basically, it looks like two-by-two pads stuck on through a sticky gel sheet that do not move throughout the treatment. Accufit’s waveforms produce four unique muscle movements—’Twist,’ ‘Hold,’ ‘Grip,’ and ‘Tap’—that feel exactly as described.
The session lasts around thirty minutes and has no downtime. It’s the perfect treatment to jumpstart your summer body because it mimics exercise through muscle contractions. It’s currently indicated for the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks, and you can expect to see full results in eight to twelve weeks.”
Best Treatments for Summer
“For summer, when the sun is hard to avoid, I suggest focusing your in-office treatments on maintenance procedures such as skin tightening, fillers, and botox, which are unaffected by the rays. However, it does really boil down to lifestyle and habits. If you are militant about sun protection and limiting your time in the sun, nothing is wasted. However, if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors having fun in the sun, I would advise against it and save it for the fall. And you have to be careful if you have melasma as it’s very tricky because it is extremely unpredictable. As little as ten minutes of midday sun and intense heat can trigger a flare-up, especially after a resurfacing laser such as Fraxel or Clear + Brilliant. When dealing with melisma, one must be super cautious by avoiding direct exposure to sunlight and minimizing heat exposure. My favorite treatment for this issue is the Luminous M 22 because, in my opinion, it’s the most consistent one on the market. The IPL, unlike a laser, is a light source and much more difficult to calibrate and control. Additionally, if you don’t have melasma but undergo certain resurfacing procedures over summer, then the sun can definitely slow the healing process and put you at risk for hyperpigmentation. That’s why knowing my patients’ habits and lifestyle is essential before performing any laser treatment.”
Best Treatments for Fall and Winter
“The fall and winter months should be dedicated to correcting sun damage with treatments that break your skin barrier or address pigmentation. These include popular treatments like micro-needling and ablative and non-ablative Fraxel treatments, as these break your skin barrier either microscopically or macroscopically. My favorite resurfacing device is the non-ablative Fraxel because my patients have no time for downtime, and this allows for a slow and steady build-up with great long-term results.”
Best Evergreen Treatments
“Aside from botox and fillers, which you can do year-round, I like the ulthera device for skin tightening as an ‘anytime’ treatment. It utilizes ultrasound energy that is more focused than radio-frequency heat—this is great as it can be performed throughout the year, regardless of whether or not a patient has had sun exposure.”