As the first few weeks of the New Year pass, many people look for ways to improve their health and wellbeing, whether that’s by making a New Year’s Resolution or simply throwing themselves back into their daily routine with more enthusiasm than usual. The craziness of the holiday season can take a toll on our health and restfulness, and by the time January rolls around, it may begin to show on our faces. One way to start the year off on the right foot is by scheduling a therapeutic treatment to refresh and rejuvenate your skin.
If you want to maintain a healthy, fresh-faced complexion, one of the best habits to develop is moisturizing your skin daily so that it stays hydrated throughout the year. That said, the hectic holiday season can throw off even our best efforts, with late nights and holiday cocktails drying out our complexion. Add cold winter weather and sugary treats to the mix, and by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, many of us are due for a little bit of hydration rehabilitation.
One way to pamper dried-out skin is by booking a hydrating facial. These facials focus on moisturizing the skin with humectant-rich products and hydrating masks, according to Allure. You’ll leave with supple, ultra-hydrated skin and a post-spa sense of zen.
Laser resurfacing is a treatment that decreases the appearance of fine lines and discoloration on aging skin. It can help reduce the appearance of scars, age spots, uneven tone or texture, and sun damage, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are two types of lasers used for the procedure: an ablative laser, which removes a thin outer layer of the skin, and a nonablative laser, which doesn’t remove skin but stimulates collagen growth. While the non ablative procedure is less-invasive, it’s not as effective as the more aggressive laser, the Mayo Clinic clarifies.
If you’re considering one of these treatments, winter might be the best time of year to book your appointment. One perk of scheduling your laser resurfacing treatment at the beginning of the year is that the shorter winter days mean less exposure to sunlight. The treatment includes a recovery period, during which patients need to avoid any unprotected exposure to sunlight. By planning the procedure for the winter months, you minimize your skin’s exposure to UV light and avoid irregular pigmentation.
Another option for people looking to rejuvenate their skin in the New Year is microneedling, a minimally-invasive procedure in which very thin, short needles are inserted into the surface of a patient’s skin. The practice improves the look of scars, boosts collagen in the affected area, and can even encourage hair growth.
Not only does microneedling have immediate results, making the skin fuller and more luminous for the first couple of weeks, but it also increases collagen production and improves skin’s elasticity over time, Elle magazine reports. The article cites a 2008 study in which “skin treated with four microneedling sessions spaced one month apart produced up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing treatment.” If you plan your first session in the next few weeks, that means firm, fresh skin just in time for summer!
For anyone looking for a more aggressive approach to their skin concerns, a chemical peel is a great choice for rejuvenating a lackluster complexion. This procedure involves applying a solution to the surface of the patient’s skin that causes a mild blistering sensation similar to a sunburn. The top layer of the skin then “blisters” off and reveals a healthier layer of skin underneath.
According to WebMd, chemical peels have been shown to reduce fine lines, treat wrinkles, improve the appearance of some scars, treat some forms of acne, reduce age spots and discoloration, and improve the overall appearance and texture of skin.
Most people feel a burning sensation for five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation that can be eased with cold compresses. It’s important to know that you’ll need to avoid the sun for several months after a chemical peel, meaning that scheduling it in the early months of the New Year is best for clients in the Northern hemisphere, who benefit from shorter daylight hours and cold temperatures that often keep us cooped up inside anyway. It’s also crucial to wear daily sunscreen after the procedure, according to WebMd.
One of the most popular new trends in skincare is the hydrafacial, a treatment that was created to help clean out pores, rejuvenate aging skin, and treat acne, among other uses. In Style estimates that one hydrafacial is performed every fifteen seconds worldwide, a testament to the treatment’s cult status in the industry.
The hydrafacial—not to be confused with a hydrating facial—is a treatment that uses a spiral suction of water to remove dead skin cells. It’s considered a medical-grade resurfacing treatment, just like chemical peels and laser resurfacing. One of its most popular uses is to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to the Resurge Clinic.
Some patients opt for the treatment over a chemical peel or laser resurfacing because of the minimal downtime associated with it. If your schedule won’t allow you to avoid sunlight and sport a blotchy or blistered face for a few days, then the hydrafacial might be the way to go.
Thermage is a non-invasive skin tightening treatment that uses heating and cooling to stimulate collagen production on a deeper level. Celebrity devotees of the treatment include Gywneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, according to the Huffington Post. Like the hydrafacial, many proponents appreciate the lack of downtime after a thermage treatment, with a slight pink shade of skin disappearing after about an hour, according to Doctor A. John Vartanian.
Another perk is that it’s a one-treatment procedure, meaning the results build gradually and can last for as long as six years. One study found that 92% of patients had an increase in collagen production within the first six months and that all patients had an increase eventually, according to the Huffington Post piece. The procedure is safe, researched, and non-invasive, making it a great option for skincare buffs who are looking for a natural, research-backed option.