After months of being quarantined at home with most cosmetic dermatology practices temporarily closed, many are now wondering how to jump back into the skincare game after months of sitting on the bench. “With all the stresses of COVID-19 quarantine and people taking a break from home and office skincare routines, people are going to need to supercharge their skin to get it back to pre-COVID state,” says Dr. Anne Chapas, director at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. But fret not: Post-COVID skincare is placing a heavy focus on quality versus quantity, which means you’ll be back to your glowing self in no time. With the launch of many new treatment procedures this summer and fall, there’s a lot to look forward to in the scope of beauty maintenance.
At celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas’s namesake spa in Manhattan, she’s busy curating specific protocols for each individual depending on the state of their skin post-quarantine. One of her top recommendations? The new minimally invasive Twilight Facial, if you’re looking for an option without much downtime. “All other facials I offer are noninvasive, meaning they don’t break or damage the surface of the skin,” she says. “In the Twilight Facial, the main technology is microneedling combined with radio frequency. Once the needles go into the skin, we apply radio frequency to the needles that go into every layer of the skin. It completely remodels your collagen. It’s seriously the most amazing treatment I’ve ever done. It’s honestly like having a facelift.”
After the microneedling, Vargas applies a Twilight Face Mask in addition to facial cryotherapy to calm inflammation and inject the epidermal growth factor deep in the dermis. The mask is followed with an oxygen treatment. “I use my own professional oxygen serum made from green tea and aloe,” she explains. “It’s antibacterial, collagen-stimulating and anti-inflammatory.” The facial finishes with an LED light session to get skin into peak shape. To get skin back into shape, she recommends a combination of Twilight Facials and Clear + Brilliant laser treatments to jump start skin. “Clear + Brilliant completely retexturizes the skin, evens out pigment and diminishes the appearance of your pores,” she says.
Another trend you’ll see this summer? A global approach to facial rejuvenation, says Lauren Abramowitz, founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions. “When you come to see me or any of our highly skilled injectors, we take the whole picture into consideration before injecting just a lip, just eye troughs or just forehead lines,” she says. “The days of focusing on and injecting one area of the face are over! It’s all about taking a hybrid approach using different types of dermal fillers along with lasers, chemical peels and micro-tox to achieve full face globalization.”
If you’re getting back into the beauty game and are O.K. with a little downtime, Abramowitz recommends starting with a medical-grade chemical peel (one that actually takes a layer of skin off) to brighten and freshen up the skin. “Once the skin has peeled, I would recommend an intense pulsed light treatment, followed by a microneedling and radiofrequency treatment to boost collagen, followed by a CO2 micro laser treatment infused with platelet-rich plasma,” she says. “One cycle of this and your skin will bounce right back. This regimen would be effective to do 2-4 times a year.”
If you prefer a one-and-done approach to facial rejuvenation, Dr. Chapas recommends laser layering: a series of varying treatments done in one office visit to quickly restore skin health. First, reduce inflammation with a vascular laser such as the V Beam Prima or Excel V+. Redness from underlying skin conditions like acne and rosacea flares and allergic reactions can be greatly improved with these lasers that specifically target redness and broken blood vessels. Next, Chapas recommends Secret RF needling to firm and tighten the deeper layers of the skin. “After this quarantine, patients are going to need extra treatments to tighten the eyelid, lower face and neck skin,” she says. Finally, you can restore the glow with skin resurfacing procedures like the Fraxel Dual laser. This is performed to brighten the skin and smooth texture. “All of these procedures performed together would cause a few days of redness and swelling post-procedure but can easily be covered by tinted sunscreen or makeup,” Dr. Chapas says. Plus, patients who receive injections could have their Botox or filler done during the same visit. “Patients could continue this program every six months as maintenance,” she says. And voila, your skin is reborn.