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Instant Gratification Before Valentine's Day

Instant Gratification: 4 Pre-Valentine’s Day Treatments With Fast Results


February 2, 2017

Not that you need reminding (CVS had heart-shaped boxes of chocolate in the aisles on January 1st), but Valentine’s day is coming up. Whether you’re treating it as #meday, celebrating, or ignoring the day altogether, getting a little instant gratification can never be wrong. We mean a treatment, of course! From acupuncture to microcurrent, we made a little list of all the wonderful instant-updates you can get right before Valentine’s Day. To feel your best for you—or to look your best with someone else.

With Your Dermatologist — Clear & Brilliant

What is it? A Clear + Brilliant is often called the “mini-fraxel.” Clear + Brilliant is a non-ablative fractional laser that’s considered the most gentle option of all resurfacing lasers. We’ve tried it many times and loved it. A few days following the treatment, your skin appears smoother, clearer, brighter, and more even-toned, with a noticeable refinement in pore size, fine lines, and texture. Your skin tone will look more illuminated and radiant—just what the doctor ordered before a special event.

Downtime: “Typically, a patient will be pink for about 6 hours after the treatment. The next morning they’ll feel a little bit dry, but they won’t look like they’ve had a treatment at all,” says CB-expert Dr. Robert Anolik. While there isn’t much downtime to this treatment, we don’t recommend getting this the day of a special dinner event— and there is a chance you may get an unexpected breakout. We recommend scheduling at the end of a work day (you’d be fine to go to work the next day) or on a Friday afternoon.

Cost: $425-$800, dependent on practice

With Your Esthetician — Microcurrent

What is it? A microcurrent facial emits extremely low-voltage electrical currents (hence ‘micro’ current), which mirror your own body’s electrical currents, on a cellular level to repair damaged skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production. The intensity is so slight that it would take one million microcurrent machines to light a 40-watt light bulb. This treatment is often referred to as “facial toning” because it’s like a workout for your face, whereby skin cells are broken down and then grow back stronger, the same way your muscles do after lifting weights.

Downtime and scheduling advice: None, but results look best the day of. Microcurrent guru Shamara Bondaroff of SB Skin‘s advice? “I always say the closer the better to the event is ideal. You can do it the day of and not have to worry about a thing except how good you look.  You face will be glowing, contoured and lifted.”  So, If you only have time to get one treatment before Valentine’s day, do it day of or as close as possible to V-Day. And if you can squeeze in two treatments before V-Day? Shamara says, “For me personally, to see that extra umph,  I do two sessions in a week or at least 1 session a week for the 2 weeks before I have something major to do.”

Cost: $250-$400, dependent on practice

With Your Acupuncturist — Cosmetic Acupuncture

What is it? Cosmetic acupuncture treatment uses super-fine needles to target underlying health and skin issues. The needles are placed into problem areas on the face and neck, such as wrinkles or acne scarring, to promote nutrient-rich blood flow, stimulate muscle activity and toning, and encourage collagen growth, which all contribute to a more youthful and healthy-looking appearance. The treatment is not only stimulating to facial muscles, but it’s actually quite calming overall and might be the perfect fit for those looking for a bit of beauty and zen all in one session.

Downtime and scheduling advice: No downtime. A cosmetic acupuncture session takes approximately 90 minutes. Book at the end of the day so you can enjoy your zen and not have to go back to work.

Cost: $150 to $500

With You, Sephora, Or Your Fave Online Retailer — At-Home Peel

What is it? The at-home peel is an efficient, easy way to get derm’s-office-level results with an over-the-counter formulation. Our two favorites are the Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi-Spa PeelDrunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Facial (a favorite of CB-approved expert esthetician Jordana Mattioli).

Downtime and scheduling advice: Both of these peels are gentle enough to do the day-of. But, says CB-approved expert esthetician Jordana Mattioli, “it’s best to start your regimen now and begin them once a week!”

Cost: $80 for Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C Sukari Facial and $110 for Dennis Gross’s At-Home Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel.

Image: Stocksy


Tis the season to make the magic happen: here’s a love menu and—it’s never too late—a few online workouts to keep you fit and ready for whatever happens. (Um, divorce party, anyone?)


Read client reviews, book appointments, and get expert advice from all the experts in Charlotte’s Book. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.

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