If you’re not a winter person, then cheer yourself up with this news: some beauty treatments are actually better taken during the colder months. What better way to wait away the winter than with some well-timed pampering treatments? The lack of sunshine (and the fact we’re hibernating under layers of knits and waterproofs) can actually work in our favor when it comes to treatments like laser facials, peels, dermablading and body sculpting. Without the sun beaming down, we can use the time to blitz our pigmentation with lasers and while our bikinis are packed away, we can tackle our body hair with IPL (or not—to epilate or not to epilate is totally up to you). Keep scrolling to find out which treatments are better taken from now until March.
Book It: Laser for Pigmentation
The winter months are a good time to tackle any pigmentation that may have occurred during the summer months, since it's tricky to make a dent in a melanin flare-up when you're out and about in the strong sunshine. Not only that, but some lasers don't play nice when it comes to pre- or post-treatment sun exposure.
"When you have an active tan (meaning you have tanned within six weeks), even if it is very light, the skin is more reactive towards certain laser lights," says Debbie Thomas, laser specialist. "This means when trying to treat a specific pigment spot, the surrounding ‘tanned’ skin will also absorb some of the energy, which can result in an avoidable burn, swelling or redness."
On the flip side, certain laser treatments can cause your skin to become sun-sensitive, so if you head out into the sun afterwards, you could get a rash or pigmentation issues. "Some laserse are safe to use year-round while others need much more caution when it is sunny," notes Thomas. "Going to an experienced laser expert who has multiple machines will ensure the best and safest treatments, whatever the season."
Want to try an at-home laser this winter? The Tria SmoothBeauty stimulates collagen production using non-ablative fractional laser technology to plump the skin and smooth the appearance of fine lines.
Book It: IPL Hair Removal
There is no rule that says you have to remove all your body hair before hitting the beach, but if you want to embark on a course of IPL hair removal then you'll probably like to be hair-free when you strip off—which means winter is the best time to undertake a course of IPL hair removal. Why? Well, before each IPL hair removal treatment, you need to avoid sun exposure or fake tan, waxing or epilation cream for two weeks prior, which is why prepping for an IPL treatment during the colder months is easier to do.
Want to try at-home IPL hair removal? The Silk'n Infinity uses intense pulses of light to permanently remove hair. Unlike many hair removal gadgets, this works on most skin tones.
Book It: Body Sculpting
If you're looking to book a body sculpting treatment, like CoolSculpting or Emsculpt, then now is a good time.
CoolSculpting involves freezing unwanted fat pockets to "kill" the fat cells. Once the treatment has taken place, the area gets quite bloated and can feel quite solid before your metabolism kicks in and sets to work working the unwanted fat out of your system. "Following a CoolSculpting procedure you may start to see changes after a couple of months, but results typically take up to three months to become fully apparent, which is why arranging a consultation and treatment plan before the summer is ideal," says Tracy Mountford MBBS MBCAM, founder and Medical Director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic.
Emsculpt, on the other hand is a treatment that utilises HIFEM (high-intensity focused electromagnetic) technology to induce 20,000 supramaximal muscle contractions in 30 minutes. Essentially, that means that the machine can get your muscles contracting as they would if you were to do a crunch or a squat, but thousands of times over and while you lie there on a treatment bed. Just as with exercise though, you won't see results straight away (as you'll discover in this very honest review of EMsculpt). In fact, it can take anywhere up to six months to see a real change, which is why it's worth starting a course of treatments now.
Want to tone your body at home? The NuBody Skin Toning Device takes just five minutes to use each day. The microcurrent-fueled gadget can be used to tone the skin on notoriously stubborn areas like the backs of the arms, the stomach and the butt.
Book It: Skin Peels and Dermablading
Any in-clinic treatments that promise to resurface your complexion are best factored in during the winter. "Skin peels, dermaplaning and other resurfacing techniques tend to strip away the upper layers of the epidermis of the skin to help brighten and renew," explains aesthetic doctor David Jack. "However, the upper layer is responsible for protecting the deeper layers of the skin from UV damage by virtue of the melanin that's stored within these cells."
Jack continues to explain that in the summertime, the higher exposure to UV and higher temperatures mean that the skin is more at risk of damage. Wintertime is the ideal time to book in for these treatments since the skin can be more easily covered up during the recovery period.
Want to try a peel or dermaplaning at home? Dr. David Jack has launched a new trio of face paint peels. This blue one exfoliates the skin, but also piles it with hydration, making it the perfect choice for this time of year.
As for dermaplaning, if you're tempted to try it at home, we rate the Stacked Skincare Dermaplaning Tool because it gently sloughs away at the dead layers of skin to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion beneath. It's also great for removing peach fuzz and unwanted facial hairs.