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Body Talk With New York City’s Treatment Experts

Three experts weigh in on the body contouring and tightening treatments you need now

As we head into fall, the evidence of seven months of gym and workout class closures is hitting its peak. Sure, some devotees have been hitting the Peloton bike or running outside in 100 percent humidity, but if you’re like us and you’ve been hitting the rosé harder than the road, we’ve got you covered. “As excited as people are to continue their regular maintenance of wrinkle reducers, fillers and other services at the dermatologist’s office, clients are also inquiring about nonsurgical body contouring procedures to help them safely spot-treat these areas of concern on their body that they would normally treat at the gym,” says Upper East Side physician’s assistant Laura Dyer.

The face isn’t over, but focusing on the body is a lot more popular these days. “Body contouring treatments are the go-to treatments right now,” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. “So many of my patients have gained weight during quarantine and are wanting to do treatments to help address problem areas. Plus, they are safe to do in the office because you can still wear a mask during your treatment.”


Dyer specializes in aesthetic and clinical skincare and can’t get enough of CoolTone, Allergan’s newest noninvasive body contouring device, which uses magnetic muscle stimulation to penetrate into the muscle layers and induce involuntary muscle contractions. The body’s response to these contractions is to strengthen muscle fibers, resulting in improved muscle conditioning on the abdomen, butt and thighs. “This is not a treatment for obesity or weight loss,” says Dyer. “The best candidate for this treatment should be at or around their ideal weight.” One painless 30-minute in-office session is the equivalent of 25,000–30,000 sit-ups. (Sessions are $500 each, with four recommended, twice weekly for two or three weeks.) It is the strongest muscle-building treatment that is cleared by the FDA. “It’s a great addition to at-home strength-building workouts and cardio work,” says Dyer. “It spot-treats these stubborn, hard-to-tone areas.”

Dyer likes to use CoolTone in conjunction with Allergan’s CoolSculpting machine, which first reduces fat. It works by freezing and breaking down fat cells beneath the skin and achieves great success on stubborn pockets of fat that won’t budge with diet and exercise. “Extra fat on an area like the abdomen can hide the muscular structure underneath,” says Dyer. “CoolSculpting addresses the fat and CoolTone targets the muscles. By first reducing the fat on the surface, you allow for the more prominent and defined abs to stand out after a series of CoolTone procedures.”

For skin smoothing and cellulite reduction, Dr. Engelman loves the new Lumenis NuEra Tight device, which uses multifocal radiofrequency energy to stimulate all three aspects of the dermal components—collagen, elastin and extracellular matrix polysaccharides like hyaluronic acid. “When you increase the density of the dermis, it improves the overall smoothness of the skin structure, thus improving the appearance of cellulite,” she explains. This noninvasive, zero-downtime treatment uses multiple handpieces to heat up the skin’s surface and is best suited for upper arms, abdomen, flanks, buttocks and thighs. Dr. Engelman recommends four to six treatments (each session is $400–$800) for clients who have cellulite or skin laxity—think post-pregnancy, when abdominal skin has been stretched to extremes.

Licensed medical aesthetician Jeannel Astarita created beauty and body sculpting lab Just Ageless with a focus on anti-aging for the face and body contouring via topical and noninvasive treatments with a speciality in laser therapies. She’s known among well-heeled clients like Elle MacPherson as “the laser guru” and uses cutting-edge technology like Cutera truSculpt iD for fat reduction and skin tightening, truSculpt Flex for muscle development and excel V+ for skin rejuvenation.

The truSculpt iD, which uses radio frequency technology on applicators to heat fat cells until they are eliminated by passing through the body naturally, delivers targeted fat reduction and skin tightening in one 15-minute treatment (treatments start at $1,000 for each session). “The completely customizable treatment is the gold standard when treating arms, localized pockets of fat and anywhere skin laxity is a concern,” says Astarita. The truSculpt Flex uses multidirectional stimulation technology to stimulate muscle contractions that could never be achieved by regular training at the gym (each 45-minute session costs around $750). You will feel noticeably stronger after your first treatment, but full results are more likely to be felt around 12 weeks.