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5 Ways to Look Your Holiday Best — from Face to Cleavage 

Posted on: September 27th, 2021 by Kristen Chang

This is the third article in a series to help you plan cosmetic treatments and procedures for beautiful results in time for the winter holidays. In November, we’ll cover glycolic peels, Clear+Brilliant laser and other ways to freshen up skin on short order.

Make an appointment soon to look your best this winter.


The winter holidays are here! Okay, not quite yet. But when it comes to pumpkin spice everything and gifting yourself cosmetic procedures for a more beautiful face and bosom, the season is upon us. 

October is a good month to grab appointments for Botox, dermal fillers and IPL so you can look extra amazing by the holidays. All are extremely popular and difficult to book, with competition highest around the holidays. Plus, IPL typically requires a series of sessions for best results, so starting now means a better complexion for the season’s festivities. 

Now through November is also optimal for breast augmentation surgery or a breast lift. The cooler weather makes it easy to keep your bust hidden during recovery. And the sooner you do it, the better to ensure that you look and feel your buxom best when holiday party time rolls around. 

1 — Botox (Botulinum Toxin Type A)

Botulinum toxin injections are the #1 cosmetic procedure in the United States, with four million to five million treatments performed each year. There are several brands, including Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau, but Botox is so well known that its name is commonly used as shorthand for all. 

Botox does a beautiful job of not only smoothing out existing wrinkles but also preventing new wrinkles. It works by relaxing facial muscles, so they can’t bunch up and wrinkle the overlying skin. It’s popular for the forehead, between the eyes (the “11s”), around the mouth (vertical smoker’s lines), for eye wrinkles (crow’s feet), and on walnut chin and a downturned mouth. Time your treatment right and you may not feel the need to edit wrinkles out of your holiday photos!

Time until Recovery and Results

You can easily fit Botox in during a lunch break, and recovery takes no time for most people. If you bruise easily, you should allow for a couple days of coverup and light healing. Payoff comes in 3 to 5 days, when you begin to see the effects. Full results should show 2 weeks after treatment and last 3 to 4 months. 

Around the holidays, it can be harder than usual to secure your desired timeslot for Botox. Don’t worry (it causes wrinkles). Just book your Botox appointment now, even if it’s for the end of November or later.

2 — Hyaluronic Acid Facial Fillers

Dermal fillers can correct a wide range of cosmetic concerns on the face — from fallen temples to laugh lines to thin lips. The ones made from hyaluronic acid are the most popular, with almost three million treatments administered per year. Hyaluronic is a gel substance found naturally in the body, so is readily accepted by the skin. It provides a soft, flexible, natural feel and is hydrophilic, so attracts additional, plumping moisture into your skin.

Hyaluronic fillers come with a variety of molecular sizes, structures and viscosities, and some contain lidocaine for greater comfort. Each formula is designed to solve a different problem. For instance, Restylane Kysse and Juvederm Ultra XC are super silky and flexible for enhancing lips. At the other end of the spectrum are thicker, denser, deep-injection fillers, like Restylane Lyft (Perlane) for increasing volume in your face and hands and Juvederm Voluma XC for contouring your chin and cheeks. In the middle, Belotero Balance addresses etched-in wrinkles like lines in your forehead and around the mouth. To address multiple concerns, you could go with a generalist filler, like Restylane or Juvederm Ultra Plus XC.

Meet with your facial filler expert ahead of time to determine which formulas best meet your goals. If you want to correct serious facial-volume loss, your provider might even suggest a soft-tissue injectable that goes beyond hyaluronic acid. For instance, Bellafill, Radiesse or Sculptra can deliver long-lasting, dramatic volume increases. All of these require a more lengthy process, so could work if you don’t have to be perfectly photo-ready by the holidays. 

Time until Recovery and Results

Many people experience no swelling or bruising with hyaluronic facial fillers. However, if you have sensitive skin or are receiving a generous amount of filler, plan for that possibility. Talk to your provider about ways to reduce the chance of unsightly side effects. They’re likely to recommend measures like avoiding strenuous physical activity, alcoholic beverages, too much sun, and aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for the first 24 to 48 hours after treatment.

You’ll see some initial results immediately after dermal filler injections. They will continue to develop over the next 2 to 3 weeks, as the hyaluronic acid settles and pulls moisture into treatment areas. Improvements normally last 6 to 12 months or more. In some cases, they’ll last all the way through to New Year’s Eve 2023!

3 — Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

This time of year can be one of the worst for your skin’s appearance. The sunny months often leave damage. At the same time, colder weather parches, reddens and deadens skin by subjecting it to dry air, wind and heated rooms. 

IPL, also known as a “photofacial,” can correct sun damage, freshen your skin, and refine color and texture. It works similarly to laser, except that it releases multiple wavelengths of light rather than just one. It sends photoflashes deep into your skin, destroying hyperpigmentation, killing bacteria and stimulating new collagen production. 

IPL can get rid of:

  • Freckles, age spots, brown spots 
  • Broken capillaries, redness
  • Enlarged pores, some acne
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines and wrinkles 

Because IPL has various intensity settings, it can effectively treat a sun-toughened face as well as delicate skin on the neck, chest and backs of the hands. IPL does work best on lighter skin tones. If you have medium to dark skin, talk to your practitioner to find the right alternative for you.

Time until Recovery and Results

There’s no downtime with IPL, and you’re likely to notice a difference after one session. However, for more obvious results, you may need three to five sessions spaced one month apart. Consider starting an IPL series now for more even, younger-looking skin by year end.

Talk to your physician or advanced practitioner about IPL do’s and don’ts. For instance, close to treatment time you should avoid retinoids, exfoliating products and certain injections. And remember to protect your skin from the sun afterwards to keep it healthy and maintain your improvements from IPL.

4 — Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)

Breast enlargement surgery runs neck and neck with liposuction as the most common cosmetic surgery for the body. It is a potentially life-changing procedure, which can open up your wardrobe to a new world of fun possibilities. If you’ve been considering a so-called “boob job,” the cooler months are a great time to do it. Those roomy seasonal sweaters offer excellent cover while you heal and get used to your new shape. Go for implants no later than the beginning of December to look better than ever in a New Year’s Eve dress!

Breast augmentation surgery has been successfully increasing women’s cup sizes since the 1960s. Now, in the 2020s, the technology gives you much greater control in achieving the best look and feel for you. Work with an expert, board-certified plastic surgeon to decide on details like incision location, silicone breast implants vs saline, over-muscle position vs under, and implant size, texture and shape. In the end, you get the breasts you want, whether subtle and natural or extra buxom and head-turning.

Time until Recovery and Results

The length of the road to recovery after breast augmentation surgery has a lot to do with the options you choose. For instance, large implants placed under the muscle using an armpit incision will require more time than small, over-muscle implants positioned through an under-breast incision (inframammary). 

In general, however, you can expect to move around independently by day two and return to work in 5 to 7 days. You could experience some swelling and mild soreness for some weeks, but you can minimize this by following your surgeon’s instructions. Most women can confidently sport a tank top soon after the 14-day mark. 

5 — Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Gravity, lost elasticity, weight changes and childbearing can cause breasts to stretch, sag and lose fullness. You can reverse these changes with a breast lift. It surgically removes excess skin from your breasts and reduces the size of your areolas (raised circle surrounding each nipple). It leaves your breasts looking more youthful, round and firm, with nipples in a more perky position. If you have a mastopexy soon, you’ll have enough healing time to comfortably share winter holiday meals with family and friends.

Time until Recovery and Results

First, meet with your board-certified plastic surgeon to decide on the specifics of your breast lift. During this consultation, you could discover that what you actually need is breast augmentation or reduction surgery instead. Among the questions to answer are: 

  • Do you want implants with or instead of the lift? What are your implant preferences? 
  • Do you need two surgeries — lift then implants? 
  • Do you need breast reduction surgery? 
  • Should your areolas be moved? 
  • What type of lift incision makes the most sense? 

The choices you make with your plastic surgeon will have a major impact on recovery time. For a mastopexy only, however, it’s safe to count on a couple weeks of breast swelling and bruising, incision soreness, and avoidance of sex, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. For another month, you will need to wear a special soft-support bra, which is easy to hide during colder months. You should see your final breast shape in 2 to 12 months.

Ring in the new year, beautifully

Botox, hyaluronic fillers, breast implants or a breast lift — results are still possible for the holidays. Meet with an expert, licensed practitioner as soon as possible to discuss beauty goals for your skin and bust. They can help you decide on details and have you looking your loveliest before you count down to 2022.

Check back in November to learn about glycolic peels, Clear+Brilliant laser and other ways to rejuvenate your skin for the holidays. 

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