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Skin

How to look after your skin before and after cosmetic treatments

Should you use a retinol, scrub or peel before a laser treatment? How soon after Botox can you book a facial? And can you massage over your sheet mask if you’ve just had filler? For the answers to these and more pre- and post-clinic skin queries, NEWBY HANDS gets the lowdown from two of the world’s top doctors

Beauty

Before your treatment…

“Use arnica topically and orally,” advises dermatologist Dr Dendy Engelman. Arnica montana and helichrysum oil both “help reduce swelling and bruising”, and so are good for any invasive treatment like thread lifts or filler. Stop taking aspirin and ibuprofen for up to eight days pre-treatment, as “anti-inflammatory medication decreases blood clotting, which exacerbates bruising,” says Dr Engelman. Plastic surgeon and 111Skin founder Dr Yannis Alexandrides suggests staying out of the sun and steering clear of peels, scrubs and retinol the week before skin-resurfacing or rejuvenating treatments. “It’s also good to prep skin by using a repairing serum pre-treatment,” he says. Look for hydrating and soothing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant serums. “111Skin’s Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2 started life as a healing serum that we gave to patients post-surgery,” says Dr Alexandrides.

Immediately after treatment…

Drink lots of water, particularly after having any hyaluronic acid treatment, whether injected deeper as filler or more superficially to treat the skin (such as with Volite or Prophilo treatments). “Hydrated skin always responds better to any treatment,” says Dr Alexandrides. Cool packs can help take the heat out of post-laser or radio-frequency faces, or try using a hydrating sheet mask, taken chilled from the fridge. The 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask and Joanna Vargas Euphoria Face Mask are all good to keep cold and to hand – even gently using a chilled rose quartz face roller can help take the heat out of the ‘sun burn’ feeling of post-treatment skin (and help drain puffiness). But do keep your face pretty much ‘hands free’ after Botox and filler, avoiding all facials or face massages for at least one week, as you don’t want either to move in the face.

In the period following your clinic session…

Switch up your skincare regimen. Post-treatment skin can get extra dry and flaky, while any rejuvenating radio-frequency treatment or resurfacing laser can make this worse in the short term. Plus, skin is often left inflamed, sore and tender, so using more nurturing creams and soothing anti-inflammatory serum makes good sense; Sarah Chapman’s excellent Skinesis Ultra Recovery Booster or the classic La Mer Moisturizer are my go-tos. Look for richer, ‘clean’ moisturizers that won’t cause irritation as they have fewer active ingredients, and it’s important to wear sunscreen as your skin heals. Upping your skin hydration is key, as is building up a strong skin barrier, as “both prevent more dehydration,” says Dr Alexandrides. “Using antioxidant-rich formulations will also help recovery time.”

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.