As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, there’s one thing we’re all looking forward to: winter holidays! It’s a time to celebrate with friends and family, many of whom you may not see throughout the rest of the year. To ensure you can put your best face forward, November is the perfect time for skin care treatments. We reached out to Jackie Carr, R.N., ANP-BC, LE, owner of Pur-One Medispa in Des Peres, to learn about what procedures are popular during the pre-holiday period.

✦ winter woes ✦
Winter comes with its own skin care concerns. “Generally, the skin is constantly adjusting to its environment,” notes Carr. “Winter often brings about dryer skin for many. Being sure to hydrate with adequate amounts of water is helpful, and moisturizing more during this time may be required.” She recommends products that help to restore the skin’s lipids, which are natural fats that prevent damage, promote moisture retention and aid in healing. Moisturizers that restore lipids can also improve the appearance of wrinkles, firmness and fine lines. Skin care ingredients like ferulic acid and hyaluronic acid also can be useful to protect the skin from environmental factors and provide additional hydration.

✦ ‘tis the season ✦
Holiday parties will soon be on everyone’s minds. Early preparation is key to ensuring your skin glows all season long, according to Carr “Hydrafacial is a great way to gently exfoliate the outermost layer of skin and help increase the absorption of at-home products to get enhanced results—plus, it is generally well tolerated and requires no downtime,” she explains. “Microneedling and chemical peels can help improve texture and tone as well as reduce the appearance of sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles.” These treatments often require people to stay out of the sun, so fall is a great time to consider them.

If you’re looking to treat deeper lines, wrinkles or sagginess, Carr suggests considering injectables, such as Botox, Scultpra or dermal fillers. “Botox is impactful for treating crow’s feet and areas like the forehead and between the brows,” she notes. “It relaxes the muscles to produce a smoothing effect in the related areas. For volume loss, it is helpful to use dermal fillers to lift the cheeks or soften smile lines.” She adds that all of these projects require two to four weeks to settle and achieve best results.

✦ on the nice list ✦
Carr’s dos for getting a skin treatment before the holidays include:

  • Stopping the use of any anti-inflammatory products. These include fish oil, turmeric, cinnamon and flax seed. “This can help reduce the chance of bothersome bruising following a treatment,” Carr says.
  • Taking arnica montana if tolerated. The herbaceous plant is part of the sunflower family and is used in many homeopathic treatments. Carr notes that it can help reduce swelling and bruising. For the best response, she suggests starting a few days prior to your scheduled treatment.
  • No sweating the pain from injections. “While they can be considered painful, we do attempt to reduce this by utilizing topical numbing for about 30 minutes prior to any treatment,” Carr says.
  • Discussing allergies with your provider. If your are allergic to products such as salicylic acid, it can alter the direction of care.

✦ on the naughty list ✦
Carr’s don’ts for holiday treatments include:

  • Scheduling injections less than two weeks before any important event. It takes time for dermal fillers to settle, and Botox’s maximum effect won’t be seen until 10 to 14 days after treatment. If you want optimal results, schedule your appointment with that timeline in mind.
  • Not taking seven to ten days for chemical peels to fully heal. For light chemical peels, you can expect a sunburn-like reaction to occur afterward. You will see redness followed by scaling that lasts a few days. You can wear makeup starting the day after the procedure. For stronger chemical peels, there can be more severe side effects, and your provider will advise you on how to handle recovery.
  • Using cover-up makeup less than 24 hours after having microneedling done. “Redness and swelling may last for up to two or three days, but after the first day, you can use concealer,” Carr explains.