The Best Cosmetic Treatments And Procedures To Give As Gifts

Whether you’ve been personally coveting a cosmetic procedure or it’s on the wish list of someone special, you'd probably like to know: What are the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ when it comes to asking for and gifting aesthetic procedures and treatments?
Written by Krista Smith
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The Best Cosmetic Treatments And Procedures To Give As GiftsLore Schodts/Unsplash

Whether you’ve been personally coveting a cosmetic procedure or it’s on the wish list of someone special, you'd probably like to know: What are the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ when it comes to asking for and gifting aesthetic procedures and treatments? Is there any special etiquette for giving and receiving such a personal service? Never mind if you’ve been naughty or nice, is it even safe to ask Santa for plastic surgery?

To better understand the ins and outs of gift giving, The AEDITON talked to New York City-based dentist Alina Lane, DDS, of All Smiles Dentistry, facial plastic surgeon Lesley Rabach, MD, of LM Medical in Manhattan, and Los Angeles plastic surgeon Jason Roostaeian, MD, about the growing trend and what they've seen in their own practices.

Trend Alert: Gifting Cosmetic Treatments Is on the Rise

Just take a quick peek at reality TV or social media and it’s obvious: Americans are more open than ever about going under the knife or needle. Given the ever-growing social acceptability of cosmetic surgery, it’s only natural that giving (and receiving) these services is an increasingly popular practice. Case in point: Kris Jenner partnering with Botox® to satisfy her holiday shopping list.

“People are always trying to think of new ways to find personalized and meaningful gifts,” says Dr. Rabach, who has seen an uptick at her practice in the number of patients calling to inquire about purchasing gifts during the holiday season.

Dos and Don'ts for Gifting a Cosmetic Procedure

No matter how far we've come in discussing aesthetic medicine, giving the gift of a cosmetic treatment or surgical procedure is still highly personal. Here, a simple set of guidelines to make both giving and receiving easier (and safer!) this holiday season.

Guidelines for Giving

DO be 100 percent certain the treatment or invasive procedure is on the recipient’s wish list. Surprises are a major no-no — especially if you're considering a monetary donation toward plastic surgery. Unless you want your present to fall flatter than last year’s fruitcake, this is no time reading into possible hints. Hearing your spouse complain about putting on a few pounds, for example, does not translate to “please get me liposuction for Christmas.”

DO your research. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to cosmetic treatments, nor is every provider up to snuff. Make sure you seek out a reputable practitioner, preferably via a referral from someone you trust. Ideally, the provider would be someone the gift recipient already approves of.

DON’T use a holiday gift as an excuse to pressure your partner. Rewarding your loved one with a body lift after major weight loss or a mommy makeover as a belated push present, for example, may be well-intentioned — but can be too easily misconstrued. “Even in the types of scenarios where the person has expressed some interest in the procedure, it’s still too risky, in my opinion, to suggest it,” warns Dr. Jason.

DO opt for gift certificates, rather than specific services even for something as seemingly simple as injectables. Dr. Rabach says gift cards are a good idea since treatment plans can’t be predetermined. “Unless we already know the patient being gifted, we cannot always accept another patient’s wishes to purchase a ‘microneedling package’ before we know if that treatment is the correct one for the patient,” she explains. Before purchasing, make sure the facility you're considering has a wide variety of offerings that are appropriate for a range of concerns and clientele.

DON’T blindly purchase crazy cyber deals — especially treatment packages — from unfamiliar med spas. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The last thing you want is your family member or loved one feeling obligated to follow through with an unwanted treatment at a questionable facility well into the new year.

Rules for Receiving

DO your homework. As always, a successful result depends upon finding the right provider for your needs. If you’re going to ask friends or family to contribute to your procedure (be it something surgical like a rhinoplasty, facelift, or breast augmentation or less invasive like a chemical peel or facial) give them the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve made a well-informed decision.

DO be forthright about what you’re requesting. Dropping a vague hint like “I hate my muffin top” will probably get you nowhere, whereas, “I’m going to ask Santa for this new fat-reducing procedure at my sister’s med spa” is crystal clear.

DON’T hold the giver accountable if you’re unhappy with your results. “Any procedure has risks, including the fact that patients are sometimes dissatisfied,” says Dr. Jason. Having an open, honest conversation about it ahead of time is a must to avoid blame games.

The Best Cosmetic Procedures to Give as Holiday Gifts

Now that you're acquainted with the ground rules, here’s a roundup of what our experts believe to be the best cosmetic treatments to gift for the holidays no matter your budget:

1. Teeth Whitening

“For those loved ones that are time-conscious and want a white smile immediately, I like to recommend Philips Zoom Whitespeed,” Dr. Lane explains. The 60-minute in-office procedure has an extra whitening boost thanks to an LED light and is a good option for patients with sensitive teeth.

On a budget? Dr. Lane suggests over-the-counter strips. “For less than $50, Crest 3D Whitestrips can provide a brilliantly white outcome,” she says, noting that the results are often comparable (and sometimes even longer-lasting) than in-office whitening procedures.

2. Skincare

For those looking to give (or receive) the gift of glow, Dr. Rabach says alternating a mild chemical peel with a microneedling treatment each month is a popular — and successful — protocol. “The two treatments work on the skin in different ways and have an extremely youthful result when combined,” she says.

On a budget? Dr. Rabach and her dermatologist sister, Morgan Rabach, MD, sell an array of medical-grade skincare products tailored to patients' concerns and skin type.

3. Botox®

All of the physicians we interviewed mentioned neuromodulator injections (think: Botox®, Dysport®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®) as a safe and effective cosmetic procedure for holiday gifting. When administered by a board certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or other highly trained professional, it’s a low-risk, high-reward treatment option with temporary results.

On a budget? Dr. Lane suggests gathering friends for a Botox® holiday party. “Botox® can be very expensive and has a very short shelf life,” she explains. That combination can elevate the cost for physicians, but, “as a group, you might be able to find a better deal,” she shares. Dr. Lane points out that, regardless of the circumstances, seeking treatment from a certified provider is still a must.

The Takeaway

Finding the perfect present for everyone on your holiday shopping list is no small feat, and cosmetic treatments and procedures can be a great gift for the right person. While the doctors we spoke with have seen people successfully gift or help finance surgical procedures (think: tummy tucks, breast implants, etc.) under the right circumstances, it may be easier to start with less invasive treatments (i.e. chemical peel or facial packages) or a gift card that the recipient can put toward the service of their choice. Finding the right provider is also key, so be on the lookout for referrals whenever possible.

Ultimately, if you're planning to give a cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery procedure this holiday season, make sure the gift is actually on your loved one's list — and check it twice!

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KRISTA SMITHis a contributing writer for AEDIT.

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