Cosmetic Surgery By Season: Invasive And Non-Invasive Procedures For Spring
If winter weather has you slacking on self care, you’re not alone. The most skin we’ve exposed in public since New Year’s Eve involved sneaking off our gloves for a second to scroll through a text thread. But while we’ve been curled up on the sofa, covered in a cashmere throw, catching up on The Crown, winter has been waning.
News flash: Soon it won’t be sweatpants season anymore. Soon it will be spring break, and, before you know it, time for short shorts. So, what are the best cosmetic treatments and procedures to get while March is coming in like a lion and out like a lamb and April showers are bringing May flowers? The AEDITION asked board certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons to share the most popular procedures for spring.
At-Home Springtime Skincare
As winter gives way to spring, the mercury rises and humidity increases — as does our time in the sun. In response, our skin begins producing more oil, which can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, and dullness. Plus, more sunlight means more potential skin damage, as well as greater sensitivity (especially if you’re using retinol and/or certain in-office facial treatments). It’s imperative that we adjust our skincare routine to compensate.
“Our skin and bodies go through a period of adjustment when the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors change from season to season,” explains Beverly Hills-based board certified facial plastic surgeon Jonathan Cabin, MD. “For springtime, I recommend a regimen that increases exfoliation along with oil reduction.”
To address both concerns, he favors a “getting skin ready” protocol by ZO Skin Health that can be customized by skin type and season. “When spring comes, I will make sure patients are more extensively exfoliating with the ZO Exfoliating Cleanser and Dual Action Scrub, along with the maximum-strength ZO Oil Control Pad, which contains high levels of oil-fighting glycolic acid,” he shares.
Board certified dermatologist Adriana Lombari, MD, of Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center of New Jersey is also a proponent of glycolic acid for springtime exfoliation, and she also encourages patients to be mindful of the texture of their products. Instead of rich creams, she recommends introducing a lightweight moisturizing gel packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and topical antioxidants “to help protect the skin from UV damage.”
Speaking of UV damage, if you’ve been using winter’s hibernation period as a chance to beef up your anti-aging skincare routine, Dr. Cabin suggests toning it down for spring. “Skin is made more sensitive to sun by products containing maximum-strength retinol and hydroquinone — ingredients that are otherwise powerful in age prevention,” he says.
Instead of removing the ingredients from your routine all together, he recommends introducing gentler alternatives. Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream (a milder retinol) and Even Tone Correcting Serum (a non-hydroquinone toner) are two of his go-to swaps. “This combination preserves great skin in the spring and summer months, without risk of damage from more intense UV rays,” he shares.
While you should be rocking sunscreen all day, every day no matter the weather, getting back on track with your SPF application is especially crucial in the spring and summer. Dr. Cabin suggests EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 for the job. For men who don’t have an extensive collection of lotions and potions, board certified plastic surgeon Jacob Unger, MD, of Maxwell Aesthetics in Nashville, recommends a lightweight moisturizer with SPF — the multitasker makes it easier for guys to cover their skincare bases.
Professional Skincare Treatments for Spring
“Spring is a time of renewal,” Dr. Cabin says. “It’s a great time to give the skin a little jumpstart, so it can start off fresh.” He recommends microneedling with PRP (i.e. platelet rich plasma) to give a glow to dull, tired complexions. The multi-functional cosmetic treatment uses a fine, vibrating needle pen or dermal roller to infuse a patient’s skin with stem cells and growth factors for immediate and long term results. “The skin is naturally stimulated to produce more collagen and elastin,” he explains. “This serves to soften fine lines and wrinkles, and give the skin an extra glow.” Microneedling does make skin more sensitive, so be sure to use extra sun protection.
In keeping with the radiance-boosting trend, Dr. Lombardi recommends a series of chemical peels and/or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. Superficial and medium-depth chemical peels improve skin tone and texture, while IPL can treat complexion concerns ranging from acne to sunspots to broken blood vessels. Dr. Lombardi likes that “these modalities lighten and brighten the skin” with minimal downtime, though it should be noted that IPL works best on patients with fair to medium skin tones.
For anyone seeking to slow down the signs of visible aging, it’s not too early (or late!) for Botox®. Dr. Cabin generally recommends preventative neurotoxin injections for patients beginning in their late twenties and early thirties because “it can smooth the skin in the short term, but — more importantly — prevent those pesky etched in lines from developing over the long run,” he says.
Cosmetic Surgery for Spring
If the thought of swimsuit season has you feeling like Punxsutawney Phil (six more weeks of winter, please!), subtle changes to your daily wellness routine can have a big impact come summer. “Start exercising now,” Dr. Lombardi says. “Nothing can take its place." Dr. Cabin agrees that “diet and exercise” are the two most important components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “But, if you need a little help, there are surgical and non-surgical options for body contouring,” he shares.
Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures to Try for Spring
Say ‘so long’ to veins, freeze fat, and address your abs without going under the knife (or hitting the gym!) with these minimally invasive procedures.
- Body Contouring: Devices like EmSculpt® and CoolTone™ stimulate muscle contraction to tone and define the abdomen and buttocks. “One 30-minute session is equivalent to tens of thousands of crunches,” Dr. Lombardi says. A series of sessions is typically recommended to start, with periodic maintenance over time.
- CoolSculpting®: The popular fat-freezing technique treats and removes stubborn fat deposits. Most patients require multiple sessions, with results appearing over the course of six to 12 weeks.
- Laser Vein Removal: According to Dr. Lombardi, this in-office treatment to close and eliminate spider veins takes one to three sessions spaced about a month apart for best results. Patients must have untanned skin and avoid the sun both before and after the procedure to maximize success while minimizing complication risk.
Surgical Cosmetic Procedures to Try for Spring
While there has been an advent of non-surgical body sculpting techniques, certain cosmetic surgery procedures stand the test of time. While liposuction or breast surgeries may have longer recovery times, the results are longer lasting with little to no maintenance. Booking more invasive procedures in late winter or early spring will ensure you are enjoying the results by summer.
- Hi-Def Liposuction: “I prefer the term ‘soft-def’ liposuction,” says Dr. Unger, who advocates a less aggressive, more natural-looking approach to the body sculpting trend. “For people whose BMI and weight is already in the ideal range, this technique allows for a more toned look that can be difficult to obtain through diet and exercise alone,” he shares. Downtime is about a week, with results visible in about three months.
- BodyTite™: Dr. Unger often uses this radiofrequency (RF)-based technology in conjunction with both traditional and hi-def liposuction “to help shrink wrap the skin.” He says the technique decreases bruising, so there’s less downtime. “Instead of a week or two of bruising, it’s more like three to seven days,” he explains. A popular warm weather procedure is a “bra roll” reduction, where Dr. Unger combines a bit of liposuction with BodyTite™ to tighten up that stubborn area. “I had a patient confess to me after her procedure that she’d posed for pictures in a strapless dress at her sister’s wedding just five days later,” he shares. “While I recommend waiting at least a few weeks, she had no bruising whatsoever.”
- Breast Augmentation: While it remains the most popular plastic surgery procedure for women, the options here have moved well beyond choosing between saline or silicone implants. Patients looking for subtle changes to their chest may opt for fat transfer for added volume and/or a radiofrequency-assisted (RFA) liposuction procedure like BreastTite™ for firming and lifting. Recovery time for any breast procedure is about six to 12 weeks, so spring is the perfect time for anyone seeking a curvier summer silhouette.
Plan Ahead for Summer Surgeries
It should come as no surprise that summer vacation is an extremely popular time for cosmetic surgery, since it’s easier for patients to take time off. “Summer is a transitional time — between schools or jobs — and it is frequently a perfect time to do procedures that may lead to changes that are more noticeable to peers,” Dr. Cabin says. If you’re considering a surgical procedure this summer (think: rhinoplasty, facelift, or tummy tuck), now is the ideal time to start consulting with board certified plastic surgeons.