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How to put your best face forward for the holidays

Bring your skin back to life now


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Holiday photo shoots (including Facebook and Instagram posts) are upon us – they are inescapable. Even if you dodge the picture-taker in the family, inevitably someone catches a candid shot (or 10), and the next thing you know, there you are in all your gray-skinned/leftover-tan glory – for your sister’s 5,296 Facebook friends to gawk at.

You just saw those 2016 vacation photos and thought: Who is that woman (or gent) and where did those lines and spots come from? And look at that décolleté! Your skin looks tired; it’s still hanging onto that sorta-tan you got from the Indian summer vacation. No longer giving you a healthy glow, it now looks dull. It looks dead.

It looks old.

The time to bring your skin back to life is now. Whether anticipating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve – you have time. It may take some strategic planning, but with minimum time or cash investment, almost anyone can consult an expert, agree on a budget, set expectations, and watch for Kris Kringle without the crinkly skin.

If you already stay on top of your skin health, you are ahead of the game and simply need to keep up your regime, possibly tweaking treatments along the way. A dermaplane treatment, a HydraFacial, a quick sloughing of your summer hang-ons, and you’re probably good to go. If, on the other hand, you’re just now realizing that you haven’t touched your skin since spring (or at all), don’t worry; there are remedies.

Although I usually start with recommendations on the conservative side, you only have a few weeks to transform, so let’s get right down to it and work backwards starting with the big guns – like lasers. Those sound scary, right? Wrong! People ask me all the time, “Aren’t lasers dangerous?” My answer is, “Yes! But only as dangerous as the person who is doing your procedure.”

If your skin is prepped correctly – i.e., you are given an internal exfoliator such as Tretinoin (Retin A) or an effective, multi-purpose Retinol product such as Sente Retinol Serum (this will typically cost about $179) and a $66 prescription brown spot suppressor (Hydroquinone) ahead of time – your skin will be able to heal even-toned and bright.

Note that these professional laser treatments can be designed for different needs. You merely need a “clean-up”? Have a laser peel. Need to reduce those new lines that seemed to come out of nowhere? Get a deep resurfacing. Do you fall somewhere in the middle – maybe the top of your face looks pretty good, but you’ve had it with those lines around the mouth?

If that’s the case, a custom treatment can be designed for you. You will be hand-held through each step of the way, regardless of the intensity of your treatment – and, better yet, you typically will look amazing in one to two weeks after your treatment. At a cost of about $750 to $2,500, sweet (and pretty instant!) gratification is entirely possible.

Not ready for the lasers just yet? Ease instead into a rejuvenation process with a simple Perfect Peel. This peel results in amazingly bright, smooth skin with minimal downtime. Peeling takes three to six days, and two treatments are often recommended for maximum results. The transformation can be had relatively quickly for under $400. If acne is a skin care concern, the Perfect Peel can be combined with an acne booster, which will result in pretty skin in plenty of time for the holidays.

Treatments that take more time for results will work in advance of late-2016 holidays as well. dermaplane, hydrafacial and microdermabrasion are all physical exfoliators that can be enhanced with chemical peeling to design highly effective treatments that require little to no downtime. Begin the process now and at two-week intervals leading up to the holiday season, you’ll be able to pop in for a quick treatment, go right back to work, home or school, and no one will be the wiser.

Think of what you spend on the various outfits for the office holiday party, the New Year’s Eve bash, the get-togethers and parties. Think of what you spent on gifts last year that today no one can even remember. For the cost of an outfit and shoes, you can don we now our gay apparel – of the best sort – soft, vibrant skin.

What better gift is there than that?

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Beryl Reker

Beryl Reker, PMA, is Lead Aesthetician and Clinical Director of Aesthetics by Design at Colorado Facial Plastic Surgery, aestheticsbydesign.com, specializing in medically directed skin care. She is educator and preceptor for a number of internally recognized and FDA-cleared services and products for medical skin treatment.

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