Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


8 High-Tech Beauty Treatments to Gift Yourself for the Holidays

Posted on: November 1st, 2021 by Kristen Chang

This is article four in a series to help you plan cosmetic treatments and procedures around the winter holidays. In the October article, we explored some popular face treatments requiring no downtime, and also breast lift and augmentation surgeries. 

Make an appointment to look your best this winter and beyond.


As we enter the holiday season, with its photos, social gatherings, flashy party clothes and talk of New Year’s resolutions, you may be giving more thought to ways to refresh your look. 

Fortunately, the holidays don’t just create pressure to look your best. You can also use them as a handy excuse to give yourself the gift of treatments that deliver lasting, gorgeous results. (After all, you’ve been very good this year!) You can now pick and choose from advanced technologies that effectively reduce fat, smooth cellulite, tighten muscles, or get rid of wrinkles, discoloration and acne scars. No surgery required. 

The following eight high-tech treatments can help you get an early start on your appearance goals for 2022.

1) CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing — Blast away wrinkled, damaged skin.

When you’re determined to eliminate medium or deep wrinkles and severe sun damage in just one session, CO2 laser treatment may be the solution for you. Ultrapulse and other advanced CO2 lasers are ablative, meaning they use high-energy light beams to vaporize your problem layers of skin. 

Your body takes over from there. It generates fresh new skin and collagen, free from the same acne scars, brown spots, roughness and wrinkles. You see more youthful skin on your face, neck, chest, hands or other target areas on your body. Improvements last for years to come!

How about the holidays?

CO2 lasers are powerful technologies that can go as intensive with ablation as you want. One session should be enough to do the job. Depending on how aggressive the treatment, you should plan to stay out of public view afterwards for anywhere from three days to three weeks. Then, your skin will be rosy and smooth and ready for makeup. 

CO2 really starts paying off at about month three. That’s when your healing processes have had the chance to build back enough new skin and collagen for you to see dramatic improvement. 

2) Fraxel Lasers — Plump and smooth skin inside and out.

Like traditional CO2 lasers, Fraxel Repair is ablative, vaporizing wrinkled and sun-damaged skin at the top layers. However, rather than removing entire strata of skin, it directs thousands of microscopic beams in a strategic pattern. By removing a fraction of the cells, Repair still noticeably improves skin just about anywhere on the face or body, but cuts down markedly on healing time.  

Fraxel Dual also works on a portion of skin but is non-ablative. It leaves the skin’s surface intact as it passes through to treat the deeper layers. As the name implies, Dual employs two laser wavelengths. One lightens hyperpigmentation. The other penetrates to the dermis, where it spurs your skin to produce new, younger-looking skin and firming collagen. 

How about the holidays?

Number of sessions and amount of healing time depend on factors like your goals and treatment area. With Fraxel Repair, give yourself up to two weeks of private healing time. For another two weeks, inflammation should be manageable with makeup. After three to six months, you start to see final, beautiful results. If you’re aiming for improvements that rival traditional CO2, consider going back for a second round of Repair.

Fraxel Dual recovery is much easier, with normally only a few days of redness. You should also start seeing results faster, in one to three weeks, but multiple sessions are recommended. For sun damage and hyperpigmentation, schedule two or more sessions, spaced six to eight weeks apart. Wrinkles or acne scars normally require up to five sessions, four weeks apart. 

3) Clear + Brilliant Laser — Even out skin texture and color.

If you have a darker skin tone or prefer a more gradual approach to skin rejuvenation, Clear + Brilliant might be right for you. It’s very popular for diminishing acne scars, fine lines, dark spots, large pores, rough spots and wrinkles. Sticking to an ongoing Clear + Brilliant treatment regimen, you can further improve these issues and also help prevent them from worsening over time. Think of it as a skin-fitness and improvement program.

The Clear + Brilliant laser works using a fractional approach, but is gentler than Fraxel lasers. It treats millions of microscopic zones in the upper skin layers, stimulating collagen production and dead-cell turnover. Skin looks fresher, brighter and more even with every treatment.

How about the holidays?

There’s normally no need to plan around Clear + Brilliant treatments. Each session lasts about 30 minutes and, if any recovery at all, you’re unlikely to experience anything more than minor roughness, peeling or redness. 

Improvements come a few days after each session. Once you’ve had three to six treatments, with one-month breaks in between, they become more obvious. After that initial series, most experts recommend switching to one treatment three or four times per year to maintain the gains and continue to rejuvenate your skin.

4) Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) — Get rid of blemishes, redness and signs of photoaging.

Intense pulsed light, also called a “photofacial,” uses surges of light to give you creamy, dreamy skin. Rather than applying one single wavelength, like laser does, IPL floods your skin with multiple wavelengths to target a variety of issues. Its photoflashes penetrate your skin to destroy unwanted hyperpigmentation, kill acne-causing bacteria, and trigger collagen production. IPL can help with age spots, freckles, acne, fine lines, broken capillaries and more. It has intensity settings good for just about anywhere on your face and body. 

IPL works best for lighter skin. If your skin tone is in the medium to dark range, talk to your licensed practitioner about alternative treatments.

How about the holidays?

IPL is easy to squeeze in during the busy holiday season. Treatments usually take 30 minutes tops, and they require no downtime. Your skin might look slightly pink immediately after IPL, but some people actually enjoy the post-session glow. For the most obvious results, book a series of three to five IPL treatments about one month apart for cumulative improvements to your skin.

5) Profound RF Microneedling — Reduce wrinkles, sagging and cellulite. 

Perhaps you’re familiar with microneedling? It uses microscopic needles to rejuvenate skin by pricking and stimulating it. Profound RF microneedling intensifies the tightening effects of traditional microneedling by adding radio-frequency sound technology to reach deeper down into the skin. It reduces wrinkles, cellulite and sagging by triggering your reticular dermis to generate up to five times the collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. It works on face and body, and can even help define the jawline, firm the skin above the knees and smooth vertical lip lines.

Fans of Profound RF Microneedling often boost results by following treatment with a nourishing face mask or products rich in actives.

How about the holidays?

Immediately after each Profound RF microneedling session, mild inflammation can make your skin look extra plump and luminous for up to a couple weeks. However, the deeper, firming gains accumulate for months. You may need only one or two treatments per area.

6) Emsculpt — Tighten your body, zero sit-ups.

The last time you did sit-ups or squats, how many did you do? Ten? Twenty? Dozens?? How about thousands! Emsculpt gives your muscles a workout that rivals Superman’s personal best. In one 30-minute session, you kick back while the device gives your muscles a workout equivalent to doing 20,000 sit-ups or squats. No crunches. No sweat.

Emsculpt applies high-frequency electromagnetic technology (HIFEM) to make your muscles fire like they do when you exercise. And, since it also stimulates the lymphatic system to remove lactic acid, there are no cramps, fatigue or nausea. Imagine tighter, more defined abs, glutes, arms, thighs and calves for New Year’s Eve — not to mention how far ahead you’ll be on your fitness resolutions for 2022. 

How about the holidays?

You can easily fit Emsculpt into your busy holiday-season schedule. Each treatment is quick and there’s no recovery time. You’ll notice tighter muscles right away, but plan on four treatments spaced two weeks apart for the best results. Your muscles will continue to build and tone after each session, with maximum effects showing at the three- to six-month mark. 

7) CoolSculpting — Freeze away fat.

While Emsculpt helps you shred those muscles, CoolSculpting can eliminate diet-proof pockets of fat, for good. Bra-strap bulge, belly pooch, love handles, double chin, you name it. The device destroys fat cells by freezing them, while leaving your skin’s surface intact. Then your body’s lymphatic system disposes of them. This sleekening tech is very New Year’s resolution friendly!

How about the holidays?

Each CoolSculpting session lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and you should be able to return to work and socializing the next day. You might notice minor redness, swelling and discomfort, but it should ebb for the next few weeks. Fat begins to disappear within three weeks of CoolSculpting, and after two to six months your exciting final results show. Most people reach their fat-loss goals after two to five sessions spaced one to four months apart. Patience pays, beautifully and permanently! 

8) QWO — Goodbye cellulite.

Even after losing weight, toning your muscles with Emsculpt and CoolSculpting away holdout fat, you may still have cellulite. An estimated 90% of women do, including some of the fittest. Don’t give up! 

QWO is breakthrough injectable technology containing an enzyme (collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes) that irons out a bumpy booty in two ways. First, QWO softens pitting by weakening the fibrous bands (septae) that tug on your skin from underneath. Second, it causes new collagen growth for thicker, more smoothing coverage of the lumps. Then bust out the tangas, silk nighty and hotpants.

How about the holidays?

Any bruising should be easy to cover over the holidays unless you’re heading somewhere warm to relax in a revealing bikini. You’re also unlikely to experience any discomfort. Just make sure to schedule three QWO sessions three weeks apart — 2022 could be the year you leave cellulite behind (instead of on your behind).

Put high-tech treatments on your self-gift list. 

Get ahead of the game on your self-improvement resolutions for 2022, while also rewarding yourself for a year well done. Make your appointment with an expert at California Skin Institute. You’ll be surprised at what the latest cosmetic technologies can accomplish — towards your appearance goals and around your holiday schedule.

News, Research and More

Stay current with California Skin Institute