No matter what your specific skin care concerns or your product preferences, it’s a great idea to use potent ingredients regularly. That may mean using them every morning or every night. Or, maybe once or twice a week. Regardless, using well-formulated products is a key part of effectively addressing the dryness, acne, pigmentation, or texture issues you’re trying to eradicate. After all, one of the most persistent skin care myths is products that don’t give you fast results aren’t right for your skin.
Most of the well-formulated products we use regularly won’t have an immediate effect (positive or negative). A chemical exfoliant, for instance, may sting slightly when you apply it at night. But with the right moisturizer, your face will be back to normal by the morning. But you may want to consider occasionally trying out a more intense skin treatment. These intense beauty treatments can give you dramatic results in the long run. Still, you’ll probably need to cope with some redness, flakiness, or other side effects that are better dealt with at home than covered up with makeup.
Read on to check out a few of our favorites, and to begin plotting your beauty agenda for your next long weekend.
1. Chemical peels
Chemical peels are an incredibly effective way to treat a variety of skin care concerns. (Fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, clogged pores, texture issues, and excessive oil production are just a few.) There are almost as many different formulations of chemical peels as there are estheticians and dermatologists offering them. The kind of light peels you’re probably considering contain alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid).
You may be able to have one of these peels done in an afternoon and see no adverse side effects by the morning, but it’s a great idea to give yourself more time to deal with any redness or flaking. And if you’re talking to your dermatologist about medium or deep peels, which contain TCA or phenol, you’ve probably been warned that those require some serious downtime.
Whether you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation or signs of aging, you’ve probably considered dermaplaning. The treatment is a new way to exfoliate your skin, and involves a dermatologist shaving the layers of dead skin off of your face with a scalpel. The treatment doesn’t hurt (which can’t be said of some other ways to exfoliate your face), and it has the convenient side effect of removing the vellous hair, or peach fuzz, that may or may not actually bother you.
You may experience some negative effects, too, beyond the redness and puffiness you might expect. The treatment may even be too aggressive for you if you have sensitive skin. Your skin may peel after the procedure, especially if you’re having it done frequently. And if your skin is acne-prone, dermaplaning may even cause a breakout.
Going to your esthetician for extractions is a great way to unclog your pores and get a smoother complexion in the long run. But in the short term, you’re probably going to have some redness and swelling to deal with. (That’s especially true if you’re doing extractions yourself, without the help of an expert.) Do yourself a favor and schedule those extractions for the start of your next long weekend. That way, you’ll be able to focus on treating the swelling and babying your skin, instead of adding more irritation by covering up any adverse effects.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a facial at a spa or at your esthetician’s. In fact, a great facial can cleanse your skin, remove blackheads and whiteheads, improve dehydrated skin, gently exfoliate, and even help to fade discoloration. Good estheticians can evaluate what your skin needs and ask you questions to make the right treatment decisions to avoid irritating your skin unnecessarily.
But if you aren’t seeing a great esthetician, they may be too aggressive. They may use the wrong ingredients. And they may not really know what they’re doing or how to deliver the benefits you want. Particularly if you have sensitive or reactive skin, you may even experience some negative reactions to a facial that seemed relaxing at the time. The moral of the story? Don’t get a facial from an esthetician you don’t know the day before an important meeting.
5. Laser skin care
Not everything people refer to colloquially as laser treatments actually involve lasers. (Laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, and refers to a specific wavelength of light.) But in short, there are ablative lasers, which target the surface, and non-ablative lasers, which transfer energy through the skin to target the dermis. Both can treat pigmentation issues, stimulate collagen regrowth, and texture issues.
Other treatments that people refer to as lasers, but are actually separate, include intense pulsed light and ultrasound treatments. The techniques, and the issues they address, differ. They can have real results — but also come with some side effects that you may want to wait out at home. (Think pain, redness, sun sensitivity, and even bruising, depending on the technology you choose.)
6. Microcurrent facials
Microcurrent facials are becoming increasingly popular. And you’ve likely heard of them thanks to the growing assortment of devices that let you approximate the results at home. Microcurrent treatments, Allure explains, promise to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which is great for reducing fine lines, countering dark circles, and reducing the appearance of pores. The esthetician or dermatologist will use two wands on your face. Many people have no side effects after a microcurrent facial, but some dermatologists warn that you can experience nausea, drowsiness, and fatigue for up to 24 hours following the treatment.