Consider all of the habits you form to maintain a healthy (and happy) life: eating clean, drinking plenty of water, making it to your go-to fitness classes and cutting yourself off on your second binge-watching episode to get some shut-eye. But what about taking care of your skin? Even if you follow the advice of your dermatologist and moisturize on the daily, apply sunscreen and make sure that you wash off your makeup at night, there are additional treatments to make your skin even healthier.
From facials and massages to peels and injectables like Botox, here’s how often you should give your skin (and your body) a little more TLC:
Think Botox is just for your mom? Think again. Not only can these injectables be used to treat migraines, but they can also help get rid of forehead and between-the-eye lines before they deepen and become more pronounced. Sounds great, right? It is, but the only catch is that you have to have recurring appointments to ensure the line doesn’t make a reappearance. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu recommends an appointment every four months, on average. “If you maintain these in-office treatments, your creases may not come back. The dose and pattern of Botox may change over time, so your doctor should carefully reassess your face and facial movements before each treatment,” she explains.
More intense than a facial and designed to help treat pigmentation, acne scars and imperfections, peels are a go-to service for many A-list celebrities. Why? Peels are great for shedding a layer of skin and revealing a younger, smoother and fresher layer. Recovery and frequency depends on the strength of the solution, Dr. Wu explains. “Light peels, like glycolic acid, can be done monthly, but deep chemical peels like trichloroacetic acid are only needed once a year,” she says.
From deep-cleansing your pores to hydrating parched skin, facials come in a variety of forms. Dr. Wu says if you have acne-prone skin that is sensitive to blackheads and breakouts, a facial can change the overall appearance and glow of your face. If your budget allows, Dr. Wu suggests booking a facial every month and to make sure you pay attention to your skin’s reaction. “A facial shouldn’t leave you looking worse or breaking out more,” she explains. If you notice a negative side effect, consider shopping around for a new spa that uses natural ingredients, or decrease your visits to every six weeks to two months.
Real talk: when was the last time you got a massage? For most people, it would probably take them a hot second to figure out when they last had a professional massage to knead out their aches and pains. But while it’s usually a pricey endeavor, for those who are avid exercisers or sit at a desk for long periods of time, Dr. Wu explains that a message will not only get rid of that stubborn neck and back pain, but also regulate your circulation and leave you feeling more balanced, relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. For a budget-friendly way to enjoy more rubdowns, reach out to the local massage school in your area. Oftentimes these academies will offer discounted rates so students can earn their practice hours.
Though you might only have your nails professionally tended to before a big event or when you’re about to head to the beach, Dr. Wu says that manicures and pedicures are a warranted weekly indulgence, especially if you have tough calluses and hangnails, to keep your skin and nails healthy. Though most nail salons are mandated by state health standards, she adds that you might want to consider bringing your own tools to avoid infection.