What are the best anti-aging in-office treatments for my money?
Treatments can be just as overwhelming as skincare! I’m here for you.
Here’s the deal: The basic daily skincare routine is for everyone over 30 who wants to prevent or maintain. By age 40, we should definitely be prioritizing in-office treatments, but why not go ahead and do it sooner if possible?
STOP 🛑 If you don’t already have a complete skincare routine and aren’t using a retinoid… start their first.
Now, that's out of the way; let’s continue…
In-office treatments are like workouts for your skin, and the two superheroes on my list are:
- BBL/IBL Lasers (Nonablative Lasers)
These treatments are essential for tackling anti-aging concerns from past sun damage: brown and red spots and fine lines- as well as large pores and other texture issues.
The frequency of treatments depends on your specific goals. Choose 1 treatment per month or commit to every other month (6 treatments/year) or simply start once a quarter.
A Mini-Vocabulary Lesson
Let me give a little explanation of ablative and non-ablative laser before we jump in, just in case you aren't familiar with these terms.
The basic difference between lasers is how deep they treat or penetrate the skin. Ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, while non-ablative lasers work by heating up the underlying skin tissue (without harming the surface) so that your body will produce new collagen.
Ablative lasers are more invasive, making them a great option for treating mild to moderate wrinkles, facial scarring, and skin discoloration.
Non-ablative lasers are best at improving skin tone. In some cases, they may also be used to improve the appearance of fine lines, mild wrinkles, and pigmentation issues as well.
Side Note: many of them also do laser hair removal as well.
Hopefully, that helps with this next part…
1. BBL/IBL Lasers
BBL (not to be confused with the Brazilian Butt Lift) stands for Broad Band Light and is also known as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or photo rejuvenation, which delivers visible and infrared light energy into the skin to target pigment, regenerate skin cells, and improve skin health.
BBL Lasers are great for skin phototype (Fitzpatrick skin type) #1-3
These lasers target pigment to treat brown spots and sun spots, even those yet to be visible, making them a must for anyone concerned about sun damage.
Expect to invest around $275+ for each treatment on the face. If your goal is to improve brown spots on the skin then plan for at least 3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart for improvement then at least 2 treatments yearly for maintenance and prevention.
Sciton BBL is considered one of the best. The goal with the Forever Young BBL research is to show that we can actually age with less brown spots in 3-5+ years rather than more.
Lasers are considered cold month treatments since you must avoid the sun two weeks before and two weeks after treatment.
Microneedling is the answer if you get botox or want to avoid Botox. And in my opinion, if you’re getting Botox, you should at least be getting 2-3 microneedling yearly
The reason it’s considered the most bang for your buck is that it induces collagen production by creating controlled micro-injuries to the skin, which peak at 4 months post-procedure.
It’s completely all-natural meaning it simply makes our skin do what it was made to do- heal! When it heals new skin cells mean increased collagen production.
In reality, with unlimited resources, time, and money, we would all do treatments once a month or every 4 to 6 weeks. You can be as busy as you want and have 12 treatments per year!
Prices can start at $275-$800, and you can level up with options like adding PRP for the "Vampire Facial" or PRX for the "Unicorn Facial."
3. Sciton HALO Laser
A HALO is an example of a hybrid laser that has a semi-ablative aspect like micro-needling to improve:
- fine lines
...as well as target brown pigmentation in the skin.
Think of it as the next step after BBL and microneedling treatments. It functions as preventive because The other aspect is a wavelength that targets brown pigmentation.
Unlike BBL/IPL, the wavelength used in HALO can be used for melasma and also darker skin tones without the risk of causing skin darkening. This fact is why It’s extremely important that you visit a medical spa for treatments so that a medical professional decides your treatments.
With a starting price of around $800-$1000 (some including post-care), semi-ablative lasers are a transformative choice with approximately 1 week of downtime.
PUTTING A TREATMENT PLAN TOGETHER
So where should you start? Look at your yearly calendar and plan these treatments:
- 1-2+ microneedling yearly
- 1-2+ BBL yearly
(If you do a semi-ablative laser like HALO, it counts as 1 of each of the above.)
Next, I would prioritize chemical peels since these have ingredients to brighten, treat breakouts, and fine lines. Chemical peels are basically the same ingredients found in toners just at a much higher percentage.
Then fill in the other months with other treatments like dermaplaning, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, hydrafacial, etc.
It’s important to know…
For most treatments you should STOP your retinoid 5-7 days before and after treatment and expect at least 1 week of not being outside in direct sun before and after the treatment.
The reality is we don’t want to be peeling all the time, and we would really like to enjoy our skin and the efforts of our labor. So in a consult, we discuss what a patient’s goals are and what is the quickest way to achieve them. Downtime is typically the limiting factor.
If you're wondering about the ins and outs of in-office skin treatments? Don’t miss my Ultimate Guide to In-Office Treatments.
Lastly, post-procedure care is IMPORTANT not to have discomfort and to experience peak results; that's why I put together a list of my list of go-to products for post-skincare treatment bliss.
Have a favorite treatment office or provider?
We’d love for you to share you favorite dermatology office, medspa, or provider in your area that you recommend for yearly skin checks or in-office treatments. Your insights can help others in the SBS community find the best places for their skincare journey.Spa Recommendation Submission Form →
Don’t want to go at the planning alone? I offer one-on-one consults to offer an unbiased opinion from a medical background and make a custom plan for you! I’m here to help guide you on where to spend your time and money based on your individual skin and goals.Learn more about 1:1 with Sydney →