Nobody’s Got Time for That
You did your homework and you wrote down your questions. You made an appointment and now you are in your initial consultation for the newest hottest trend in skincare (as described by Celebrity of the week). You are stoked that this will give you perfectly glowing skin. This is going to be great! Then your provider tells you that results vary by person, and no guarantees can be made. And oh, by the way, you will look like a face full of road rash for at least a week. Say what now? A week of downtime? You suddenly feel like all of the wind has been taken out of your sails. You can’t take a week away from life to recover, you have a job and a family and obligations! Our industry recognizes the need for less downtime and more visible results in treatment. We hear you! You are busy and your time is valuable. We have so many fun and effective tools, but the really exciting stuff almost always comes with a good bit of downtime. Nobody’s got time for that…NOBODY!
The hard fact is, with technology where it is, big corrective skin procedures require time to heal. Sometimes your expectations of timing, cost, discomfort, and outcome are not reasonable through no fault of your own. Magazines and celebrities paint a really rosy picture of what it takes to get the results you want. It never fails, one celeb mention of a procedure brings droves of inquiries about it when often it is not a good fit for the patient. All skin is different. The famed “Vampire Facial” touted by Kim Kardashian will not do you any good whatsoever if you are 62 and used to lay in the sun with baby oil and iodine slathered on your body for hours getting a “healthy tan.” Let your provider guide you. We see things differently than you do. When we look at your face, we see it in sections and layers. We know that in order to give you a good result we may need to address herniated fat pads and structural elastin fibers. We know that just building collagen won’t be enough, but we need you to understand that too. Being open, honest, and flexible in the consultation room will get you a better experience.
Story time! A few years ago, four to be exact, I saw a patient who brought a magazine article about Chelsea Handler and the Profractional laser treatment she had recently done. Accompanying the article was a picture of Handler on the red carpet looking stunning! Her skin was absolute perfection (so was her camera-ready makeup). I took a deep breath and began asking questions. As it turns out, the patient (52 years old) is a smoker, has a history of acne and presents with a good deal of scarring, she was a sun worshiper and has only ever had one facial in her life. She doesn’t have a skincare routine because she is “just not high maintenance like that” she washes her face with Dove soap, and sometimes uses a drugstore brand moisturizer that she has had for several years and isn’t sure if it’s still good. FYI…It’s not. Throw it out or use it on your body so it doesn't go to waste. This patient also made it clear that she has no ability to weather any downtime. Let me be clear, there is no procedure or device on the planet that will make up for the years and years of neglect and abuse this patient has shown her skin. And, if I had just done the profractional laser treatment that she was so gung-ho for, she would have had a minimum of 4 days downtime and little visible result. This patient needed to start by prepping her skin for a long road of treatments. She needed to get a good skincare routine and be consistent with it. She needed some professional skin treatment to thoroughly clean, exfoliate, nourish, and protect her skin. Then, and only then, should she be considering corrective high energy treatments, and she needs to figure out what she wants to work on changing first. Is it going to be sunspots, skin laxity, acne scars, pore refinement? When all was said and done, the patient opted to get another opinion. I completely respect that! Unfortunately, her second opinion caved to her request for the Chelsea Handler profractional procedure, and she walked away looking pretty much the same as she did prior to treatment, but with $2500.00 less in her bank account and a week of downtime.
She was back in my office about 6 months after her initial consultation to tell me about her experience, and to tell me that she is ready to start at the beginning and work toward her skin goals the right way. Today, she has smooth beautiful skin that looks better and better every time I see her. Four years later and her total investment in her skin is roughly 5200.00. That’s $1300 per year or $108 per month. Remember, she spent 2500.00 for one treatment that did nothing but take up precious time. My point in telling this story is to impress upon you that sometimes the slow route is the better way. It takes time to build up damage and it will take time to repair it. Sometimes, if it's truly a priority, you’ll need to take the time. Everyone has different budgets and expectations, but if you trust in your provider, he or she will maximize your results and streamline your spending.
Having said all of that, we are entering an exciting time for aesthetics as new technologies are being brought to market daily! We are seeing so many more options, and guess what? Most of them are focusing on less downtime and greater efficacy. Laser is more elegant than ever, but there are other energy-based therapies becoming the hot trend in medical aesthetics. Devices that utilize radio frequency in new innovative delivery methods are popping up all over. These devices can do everything from curing acne (yes, I said “curing”), to destroying small herniated pockets of fat, to giving a true non-surgical face lift by contracting connective tissues that give your face structure. Plasma is another exciting development in our industry that produces game-changing results with minimal down time. Check out my post "Plasma for Skin." This amazing machine addresses skin laxity, tone, texture, vascularity, pore size, and fine lines and wrinkles…what more could you ask for!
Please know that we respect your time and we know that you have a world outside of skincare that you can’t just take a break from without planning, but also know that we don’t want to do rush a process that takes time and patience if it's going to be done correctly. We want to have you as a lifetime client not just a one time drop in. We know that your trust in us is paramount, and that we can’t afford to lose that trust. You may need to postpone a treatment until the timing is better (we know there’s never a good time) but if that’s what will get you the best possible outcome, that is what we will suggest…even if you don’t have time for that.