Cosmetic medicine

Stefano Lunardi

You have an hour, and then it’s back to the office. What can you do during that time to improve your appearance without needing to hide afterward while you heal from the procedure? Surprisingly, quite a lot.

“In my mind, for a procedure to be an effective ‘lunch-hour treatment’ it needs to meet certain criteria,” says Dr. Brock Ridenour, a facial plastic surgeon at Ridenour Plastic Surgery. “The treatment should result in a noticeable improvement in the appearance of virtually all patients, while simultaneously permitting most patients to resume their normal activities and work schedule with minimal interference.” Exactly.

Among the most popular options is Botox, a quick series of injections that leaves little to no immediate evidence. Two similar products, Dysport and Xeomin, also work “by smoothing lines and wrinkles that result from overactive facial muscles,” Ridenour explains. “The agents also can be used to perform a quick ‘chemical brow-lift’ that lessens the appearance of a tired brow and diminishes the amount of excess upper eyelid skin.”

While coworkers won’t know you’ve been to the doctor’s office for Botox over the lunch hour, neither will they see an immediate improvement since these products’ benefits take several days to become apparent.

For a quick fix that will improve your appearance right away, Dr. Mike Nayak, director of facial plastic and cosmetic surgery at Nayak Plastic Surgery, likes dermal fillers. “If you have an hour and you want to be able to go back to work looking better, the single best option is injectable fillers. They’re far and away the winner,” he says.

Injecting these viscous products beneath the skin can result in a visible improvement to the area beneath the eyes, the mid-face, smile lines, cheeks, lip lines and jawline, Nayak says. Fillers come in various consistencies, so physicians can choose the best product to address a specific area. For instance, thinner fillers are used for the delicate areas around eyes and lips, while cheeks and jaws are treated with thicker products.

Although Nayak prefers fillers, he adds that women shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good facial, which can brighten and tighten the skin. “The difference between the two is the injectables will look good for nine to 12 months afterwards, while a facial will look good for a week or two afterwards. But people undervalue what a really good facial can do to make your skin look nice,” he says.

Kelly Wilcockson, a licensed esthetician with Synergi MedSpa, echos Nayak’s praise of facials. She advocates ‘ultrasonic, hydrating therapy,’ a facial that uses a machine to deliver ultrasonic waves to the skin. The one-hour treatment exfoliates, hydrates, stimulates and provides a degree of skin firming, she says. “It helps with pore size and skin texture. It can actually help heal your skin, and we use it a lot if someone has had a breakout to heat it up and kill that acne bacteria,” she adds.

Another one-hour option Wilcockson recommends is the ‘uplifting microcurrent,’ which results in a “bright, lifted appearance.” This treatment is popular the day prior to or morning of an important event where a client wants to look her best. “It’s subtle, but your skin just looks much more bright and refreshed,” Wilcockson says of the effects of the microcurrent applied to the facial muscles. “We’re training those muscles to remember, Hey, we’re not supposed to droop!” she says, noting that the treatment helps battle the effects of aging and gravity.

So make the most of your lunch hour and return to work looking rested, refreshed and rejuvenated.