‘Tis the season to look fabulous. After nearly two years of lockdowns, zoom calls and putting our feet up at home with a box (or two) of chocolates in our pjs, the party season is finally back (fingers crossed). With work celebrations, Christmas Day festivities and New Year’s Eve fun upon us, many people choose to “indulge” in an ‘tweakment’ or two to help them look and feel their very best at this time of year.

And we all know that looking your best starts with great skin.

I frequently get asked when to have aesthetics treatments before an event, whether its Christmas parties, birthdays or even weddings, and my answer is always the same – it’s crucially important to book your procedure, whether that’s anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers or even, a facial, at just the right time to ensure your skin has fully healed and any potential bruising and swelling has settled down.

Let’s start with Dermal Fillers, and this covers everything from lip enhancement to cheek or jaw filler. Fillers are super versatile and great for refreshing your look prior to party season, plumping and perfecting your features. At Natasha Lucy Clinics, we are renowned for, and proud of, our gentle touch so bruising and swelling is often minimal (although this obviously varies from person to person). If bruising and swelling does occur, we advise that this should have fully gone down within 1-2 weeks but to ensure enough recovery time before an important event, I would recommend leaving 2-4 weeks to be sure. Filler also takes time to settle so it’s important to remember that how you look when you leave the clinic is not the end result – lip fillers for example, take approximately 2 weeks to settle to their new shape.

Next, let’s take anti-wrinkle (Botox) injections. Typically, anti-wrinkle injections have very little downtime and bruising tends to be minimal however, much like dermal fillers, the desired result is not immediate, and it can also take between 7-14 days for maximum results and those pesky fine lines and wrinkles to disappear leaving a smooth, youthful look. After two weeks I like to see patients again for a quick check and a top-up if required. I also recommend having anti-wrinkle injections a minimum of 3-4 weeks before an event.

For facials, my recommended times vary slightly depending on the treatment. Chemical Peels such as the Obagi Blue Skin Peel for example, require a little more time and I advise at least a couple of weeks for any redness and sensitivity to subside. For non-invasive treatments such as HydraFacial where skin appears immediately refreshed and glowing, there is no real downtime and treatment can be had anytime. However, I’d always leave a couple of days just to be sure, especially if you are prone to sensitive skin. HydraFacial is a great option for cleansing, exfoliating, and infusing your skin with potent serums in a gentle way before a big event. Treatment can also be tailored to each individual and all skin types.

In addition, facials such as AQUAGOLD Fine Touch, which is a great option to leave you looking and feeling party ready, are mild and kind to sensitive skin; irritation is therefore unlikely. You may experience some short-lived redness after any treatment, but this will likely subside within a few hours.

There are a few tricks you can do to speed up recovery time after any of the above treatments. To help reduce swelling, especially after having dermal fillers, you can apply an ice pack (or frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the treated area. Arnica cream or tablets are also an effective method to combat bruising, and you can even start taking these in advance. Remember to avoid reaching for Ibuprofen and other blood thinners pre and post treatment as these actually INCREASE your risk of bruising, swelling and bleeding. If you require pain relief, I suggest Paracetamol instead. In addition, avoid alcohol for at least 24-hrs (ideally 48-hrs) pre and post treatment.

In short, it’s always best to plan a couple of weeks in advance for any treatment before a big event but skincare and aesthetics treatments are a great way to ensure you’re photo ready for the holiday season.