Your Guide to In-Office Treatments

Ever wondered about the ins and outs of in-office skincare treatments? I've got you covered with a sneak peek into the world of professional skincare that goes deeper into the skin. 

As a Dermatology PA, one of the reasons I started Skincare by Sydney (SBS) and 1:1 consults is so we could talk about these in-office treatments because they ARE preventive. Unfortunately I found they aren’t often mentioned in clinic unless we’re talking about treatment options to improve a skin concern.

There’s plenty of medical research showing the efficacy in preventing and maintaining healthy, radiant, clear skin not only in improving past damage.

So after establishing your daily skincare, particularly the retinoid at night, you can add treatments as often as every 4-6 weeks. Frequency depends on goals, skin type, the treatment, products you’re using and past sun damage, so with that - Let's dive right in!

Where to Start: A Guide for Beginners

These treatments are like like skincare in that there are not that many technologies/ingredients but there are many devices/products. 

Based on my medical research and experience, I strongly recommend that everyone aged 30 and above prioritize in-office treatments alongside their daily skincare routine. These treatments are essential for both preventing and improving sun damage, giving your skin that radiant boost it craves.

If you have never been to an esthetician, the best place to start is dermaplaning or microdermabrasion. These are both very superficial, exfoliating, and safe in pregnancy.

Another good option to begin with or step up your routine is the powerhouse duo: BBL laser and microneedling. These treatments lay the foundation for stunning skin and should be 100% prioritized.  Then you can fill in the gaps with less intensive options like dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, hydrafacial, and light chemical peels that can be done year-round even in warm months.

First, let's talk about the layers of the skin

Daily skincare affects the Epidermis, but during treatment season, we can go a little deeper into the skin - the dermis. This deeper you go into the dermis means more downtime, more expensive, and also better results.

The dermis, situated between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue, acts as a vital connecting layer - this is where we really remodel the skin because it’s where many important structures live. This fibrous structure houses peptides like collagen and elastin, hyaluronic acid, plus other elements, such as blood vessels, nerve endings, hair follicles, and glands.

By affecting the dermis we can see anti-aging improvement from scarring, fine lines, brown discoloration, and uneven texture.

Note: Not all the treatments are featured in this graphic, but it gives you a little overview by depth.

Getting to Know In-Office Treatments

Let's break down the treatments from the most superficial to the deepest so you know exactly what to expect:

  • Dermaplaning: Your go-to starter, this treatment uses a surgical blade to gently remove the outermost layer of the epidermis, dead skin and peach fuzz hair, leaving you with fresh, glowing skin. It's the perfect starting point if you're new to esthetician treatments. Not only is it safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but at-home dermaplaning can also be done once weekly for a radiant complexion. Starting at around $75, it's an excellent investment for a rejuvenated appearance. NOTE: If you have active breakout - DO NOT DO THIS.
  • Microdermabrasion: Looking for physical exfoliation? Microdermabrasion's diamond-encrusted tip lifts away dead skin cells while vacuuming them away. It's an excellent option for fine lines, wrinkles, congested pores, and hyperpigmentation. Starting at around $100-$175.
  • Hydrafacial: Priced around $200+, the Hydrafacial is your all-in-one solution for a deep cleanse, exfoliation, extraction, and hydration. It's worth considering a package of 3 for maximum benefits.
  • Chemical Peels: Chemical exfoliants offer a range of options for brightening your complexion and improving breakouts or hyperpigmentation. Guided by your esthetician, superficial, medium, and deep peels cater to different needs. Starting at around $75-$295, committing to a package of 3 is often the best way to go.
  • Microneedling: Using controlled micro-injuries, microneedling stimulates your body's natural collagen production, making it ideal for scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, and even pores. 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."
  • Radio Frequency (RF): This treatment employs radiofrequency energy waves to heat the deep layers of your skin, triggering collagen production. RF treatments can start at around $150 per session. If mixed with microneedling then expect around $500+.
  • Nonablative Lasers (BBL/IPL): These lasers target and prevent 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 $300 per treatment on the face.
  • Semi-Ablative Laser (HALO): Combining microneedling-like and BBL-like treatments, HALO works wonders for all skin types. With a starting price of around $800-$1000 (some including post-care), it's a transformative choice with approximately 1 week of downtime.
  • Botox: Expect to invest a minimum of $300 for Botox treatments sold per unit.
  • Ablative Lasers: These treatments, including microlaserpeel, profractional, and CO2, target deeper layers of skin for significant results. While the downtime is longer, the outcomes are remarkable.
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The Power Duo: BBL Laser and Microneedling

In-office treatments are like workouts for your skin, and the two superheroes on my list are the BBL (Brown & Red Spots) laser and microneedling. These treatments are essential for tackling brown and red spots, pores, texture issues, and fine lines. The frequency depends on your specific goals, but they're your ticket to skin transformation.


Frequency: Your Roadmap to Radiance

The timing of these treatments varies, but most can be done every 4-6 weeks. Here's a general guideline to recommended frequency:

  • 1-2 times yearly for prevention and maintenance.
  • 2-3+ times yearly for improving fine lines and sun spots.

Where to have your treatments? Share Your Favorites with the SBS Community 

Is there a dermatology office, medspa, or provider in your area that you recommend for yearly skin checks or in-office treatments? I'd love to hear your recommendations! Your insights can help others find the best places for their skincare journey.

Spa Recommendation Submission Form → View SBS Community Office/Provider List →

Remember, a solid skincare routine with cleansing, treating, and moisturizing is the first step before diving into in-office treatments. Your skin deserves the best, and together, we're on the journey to radiance.

And don’t forget gentle products and a complete routine are all essential for AFTER receiving an in-office skincare treatment.

Want to know my top anti-aging skincare tips? I’ve also got a blog where I discuss derm secrets for anti-aging.  

Don’t forget, as a board-certified Derm PA and skincare enthusiast, 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 →