Treatments That Come With Downtime — And Some That Don't


When considering what cosmetic treatments you would like to try, the amount of downtime and extensiveness of recovery can be two of the largest deciding factors. If there are lasers, body sculpting procedures, facial treatments, or injectables that you have been considering but you aren't sure of what impact it will have on your daily life, we have helpfully outlined the most popular ones below based on the amount of aftercare your skin or body will need in the weeks after.

Laser Treatments

They are notorious for both their jaw-dropping results—and sometimes their downtime. But the days of clearing your calendar for a laser treatment are long gone. Below are some of our most popular technologies, as well as how long you should give your skin time off from the sun, makeup, and socializing.

Clear + Brilliant: No Downtime
While some patients may experience some light texture changes, sunscreen and makeup (we recommend a combination of both in one product) can be applied right after and you can go about your business as usual without anyone being aware. Because it is a lighter version of Fraxel, skin types 3 and 4 can also enjoy this laser without concerns of hypopigmentation. It will require a series to see results, but if your social calendar is packed, it is the most advisable of all laser options.

48 Hours
Primarily used to treat rosacea and vascular discoloration, VBeam comes with a quick recovery that minimally affects daily life. You will have to be cautious and wear sunscreen, but makeup can be applied immediately after the treatment.

Forever Young BBL:
1-3 Days
BBL treats age spots, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation, and you can expect some slight darkening of the treated areas following treatment. You should protect with sunscreen for a few weeks, however, makeup can be applied immediately after BBL.

5-7 Days
This largely depends on how aggressive your treatment is, but during this time, you are advised to stay out of the sun, slather on lots of moisturizer and sunscreen, and avoid touching your face. Your skin will peel and darken during recovery, so it is best to leave it clean and moisturized while it heals. 

CO2: 2 Weeks
This is our most aggressive laser, and while there are different ways to deliver the beams of light (superficial, deep, or a fusion of both), the typical downtime is approximately 2 weeks. That means no sun exposure, lots of sunscreen and moisturizer, and very gentle cleansing. The positive side? The results from CO2 are dramatic and it is unlikely that you will need more than one treatment. 

Body Sculpting

Non-invasive body sculpting has grown in popularity because very few of us are willing to suffer the required weeks of downtime that come with many invasive options. Below are three popular options.

Emsculpt: No Downtime
With zero side effects, you can transform your abdomen and buttocks in just two weeks of 4 sessions. There is no interruption to your daily life at all.

CoolSculpting: No Downtime
When the CoolSculpting device is detached, you may notice some slight swelling and numbness in the treated area, but for the most part, patients immediately resume daily activities without any issues. 

Kybella: A Few Days
Kybella is great at reducing or eliminating double chin, however, it does come with some minimal downtime. Most patients experience swelling and bruising the day after injections, which can take a few days to subside, but this depends heavily on how many syringes of the product you receive. 


Botox & Filler: Little to None
Injectables like botox and filler are the best way to get anti-aging results instantly without downtime. At most, you might experience bruising and swelling with fillers, but this can be resolved with arnica, ice packs, and following the proper pre- and post-treatment advice.

Facial Treatments

While HydraFacials (or just regular facials) come with zero downtime, some procedures require a little extra care.

Microneedling: 72 Hours
While it won't be noticeable that you've had any treatments, your skin will still need some aftercare. Sunscreen and no strenuous exercise for 72 hours following a microneedling treatment is highly recommended, and you should gently cleanse and moisturize your skin in the days following treatment.

Chemical Peel: None to 2 Weeks
If that sounds confusing, we should specify that your chosen peel has a lot to do with how long you'll be recovering. Some superficial peels have no downtime at all and you can slather on the sunscreen and makeup immediately after. Medium depth peels come with a few days of peeling and redness, with the same aftercare you'd require following a light laser. Deep peels, such as a modified phenol peel, are going to require weeks of recovery. Phenol peels are similar to CO2 laser, both in results and aftercare, so plan accordingly if you want to try the deeper peels.

For a more uniquely tailored plan on what works best for your skin and schedule, contact us for a consultation and find out what treatments work best with your lifestyle. 

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Posted by Supriya Dermatology | Sarah Kubrick