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Cosmetic Enhancements: Your Best Bets for Summer Self-Care in Boston

As summer settles in, now is the perfect time to invest in a seasonal refresh. If you’re ready to dive into a summer of self-care, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. From nonsurgical anti-aging options, to simple steps to refresh your smile, to a list of questions to ask before your treatment, we’ve done the research so you can get started on your cosmetic enhancement journey worry free.

5 Ways to Fight Aging Without Surgery

Looking to reverse time without going under the knife?
These nonsurgical solutions can deliver the results you want with little to no recovery time, a smaller financial investment, and little maintenance. Here are five popular options that will take years off your appearance.

If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and treat eyebrow and forehead creases, crow’s feet, chin dimples, downturned corners of the mouth, upper lip wrinkles, excessive sweating, and more, Botox and Dysport are perfect for you. Both are injected directly into the facial muscles, and only require 10 to 15 minutes to administer with no need for anesthesia. Patients can notice the difference in as little as four days to two weeks, and the results last for months.

This milder treatment uses a tool (i.e. a wire brush or diamond wheel) to remove and polish the top layers of skin to allow new skin growth. Typically, the skin is numbed with a local anesthetic to avoid any discomfort and an ointment or topical cream is prescribed for a week to 10 days following the appointment. The treatment is ideal for reducing the appearance of scars, aging skin, crow’s feet, lesions, sun damage, and even tattoos for a more subtle transformation.

Another way to erase fine lines, treat stubborn wrinkles and improve skin texture is microneedling. During the minimally invasive procedure, tiny needles are used to create microwounds (or channels) in the skin to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen—radiofrequency waves can enhance the process. No need to fear the needles; a topical numbing cream is applied beforehand.

The time-tested procedure not only helps fight the signs of aging, it can also target stretch marks, acne scars, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, sagging skin, cellulite, hair loss, and excessive sweating. Even better? Microneedling boosts the absorption of serums and other skincare products, allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin. Side effects are generally minimal—swelling, redness, and flaky skin. Three to five treatments are recommended for best results.

Laser skin resurfacing
A broad term for a set of skin procedures, lasers and energy-based devices can help reduce the appearance of brown spots, redness, and wrinkles through concentrated pulsating beams of light to tighten skin and stimulate collagen production. Speak to an expert about your problem area—be it sun damage, scars, stretch marks, uneven pigmentation, fine facial lines, broken blood vessels, or more—and they can find the appropriate laser treatment for you.

Chemical peels
During a chemical peel treatment, an acid is applied to the skin to induce exfoliation to remove layers of dead skin and rejuvenate the newly emerged skin. Varying in strength, peels can reduce the appearance of fine lines, improve acne scarring and age spots, and remove precancerous lesions like actinic keratosis, revealing smoother and fresher skin with lasting results. A light peel requires very little downtime, allowing you to schedule lunchtime treatments.

Click here for our Boston-area resource guide.

Make Your Smile Brighter

A sparkling smile isn’t exclusive to A-list actors and supermodels. New advances in cosmetic dentistry have made it easier than ever to perfect your smile. So if you want to dazzle on a first date, shine at a professional meeting or simply boost your mood, try out one of these accessible options and get your smile ready for a starring role.

Tooth Whitening
Stop squinting in the mirror to check the effects (or lack thereof) of your whitening toothpaste. Instead, get help from a professional with an in-office whitening treatment. The simple procedure takes just 60 to 90 minutes and includes a thorough cleaning of your teeth, followed by an application of a powerful whitening solution by your dentist. The procedure can be repeated until you’ve achieved the exact shade of white you want.

Whether you’re suffering from unevenness, yellowing, chipping, gaps, or all of the above, veneers can be a cure-all for your cosmetic dental woes. Following an initial consultation, thin layers of porcelain are designed to look like improved (but still natural) versions of your teeth. The veneers are then placed by a dentist during a second appointment. While an instant perfect smile can be a dream come true, the procedure is permanent, so think carefully before making a decision.

Having straight teeth is an important part of having that perfect smile, and improving the alignment of your teeth can decrease general discomfort in the mouth from crowding and consequent gum disease, decay and tooth loss. Invisalign is a series of retainers that gradually align your teeth without the obvious visibility of braces—the aligners are completely clear and unnoticeable. They also can be removed when you eat, drink, brush, and floss.

Click here for our Boston-area resource guide.

Know Before You Go

A cosmetic procedure can be a life-changing decision, but before you pick the right plastic surgeon or cosmetic dentist, you’ll want to get to know them and their work. Ask around for recommendations and don’t be afraid to meet with two or three professionals in the field. And when you make that appointment, be sure to ask the following questions.

1. Are you board certified in cosmetic surgery?
In the United States, any licensed physician can legally perform a cosmetic procedure. Ensure that your doctor has the right qualifications; plastic surgeons who are board-certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery have completed a 12-month fellowship training in all fields of cosmetic surgery and a surgical residency, at minimum. For dental procedures, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has a database of dentists with accreditation information so that patients can check for themselves.

2. How frequently do you perform this procedure?
Practice makes perfect; it’s important to find a doctor who is an expert in your desired procedure. The more patients they see, the more equipped and skilled they are to operate on you. Ask to see before-and-after photos and patient reviews, as well, to understand the full scope of their clientele and ability to deliver results.

3. What should I know about my recovery?
You need to have a clear understanding of recovery time and process so you can adjust your schedule accordingly. You may be able to undergo noninvasive treatments on your lunch break, getting you back to the office the same day. More complex procedures can require a few weeks of rest. Ask about specific restrictions—are you capable of driving post-treatment? Should you avoid lifting heavy objects? Will you need to watch for any potential side effects? Make sure your doctor gives you all the information you need before scheduling your procedure.

4. What is the total cost of treatment?
With a few exceptions, cosmetic procedures are considered elective by insurance providers, leaving you responsible for the bill. Factoring in the price of the procedure, materials, anesthesia, operating room fees, and more, it can quickly add up. Have a candid discussion with your doctor about the final cost and all available payment methods to find the best solution for your budget.

5 How long will the results last?
No treatment is magic, and some procedures can provide only a temporary fix—particularly less-invasive options. Find out what efforts are needed on your part to maintain your new look, whether that means a new diet and exercise regime, daily brushing and flossing, or a revamped skincare routine. Ask your doctor what steps you need to take to get the most out of your makeover.

Resource Guide

The Boston Center for Facial Plastics
Boston | 857-350-4205
drezzatmd.com | @bostonfacialplastics
Dr. Waleed Ezzat’s philosophy is natural beauty is the best kind of beauty. He addresses each aesthetic challenge by considering the whole facial anatomy. This comprehensive approach maintains his goal of natural-looking results.

Brookline Progressive Dental Team
Brookline, MA | 617-232-8113
Brookline Progressive Dental Team is a group of highly skilled, board-certified prosthodontists who specialize in restoring oral aesthetics and function. They are proud of the personalized, patient-directed care they offer to restore your appearance and oral health.

High Style Laser Center
Boston | 617-261-7101
Services include but not limited to: vein removal, facial rejuvenation, skin tightening, hair removal, and rosacea.

Dr Jeannie Chung
Wellesley, MA | 781-235-3223
drjeanniechung.com | @drjeanniechung
Double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in head and neck procedures. Our practice offers a variety of anti-aging treatments from chemical peels, injectables, lasers, and cosmetic surgeries.

Newton Dental Associates
Newton, MA | 617-965-0060
Newton Dental Associates is an award-winning, multi-specialty practice focusing on cosmetic dentistry. NDA has every specialist in their office, making it easy for the patient to receive complete care in one location.

Premier Dermatology
Wellesley, MA | 781-304-8680
premierderm.org | @premier_dermatology
The Premier Destination for all your skin care needs, Premier Dermatology provides exceptional dermatologic care for the entire family. With more than 65 years of combined experience, their providers, Dr. Melissa Burnett, Dr. Elissa Lunder and Kristen Rivard, NP, are sought-after experts in the field of medical, pediatric and cosmetic dermatology.

PURE Cosmetic Center
Chelmsford, MA | 978-800-1680
@purecosmeticcenter | @daveleemd
At PURE Cosmetic Center, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dave Lee performs cutting-edge cosmetic surgeries with the hands of a concert pianist, producing beautifully natural results worthy of a standing ovation. Dr. Lee’s expertise include cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast, and body. Our team provides services such as facials, waxing, Botox, fillers, and laser skin resurfacing.