Here’s the scoop, and your options, on how all of us can embrace social re-entry looking better post-COVID than we did pre.
You are not alone in wanting to look your best come May 19, 2021, the official CT date for any and all business restrictions to be lifted, including those of capacity and operating hours, thus resuming the full functioning of establishments that we have not seen since pre-COVID. With a spike of 200%+ the aesthetics industry has been booming for quite some time now! What is unique about the aesthetics industry, and what was unexpected by many, is that its uptick was seen throughout COVID and has remained steady today. And while the boom of cosmetic and plastic surgery being booked and performed was unexpected, the surge is not unexplainable; many attributing it to two factors that were non-existent pre-COVID but were mandatory during COVID living; those being the 1.) excess of time and 2.) the disguise of the face mask. Providing the ability to disguise any recovery and with the time to properly nurse oneself back to health, COVID proved to be a time for improvement in the world of cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery.
Most recently, these last days of COVID living have many doing whatever it takes to squeeze in one last pre-emergence cosmetic treatment and or plastic surgery procedure, a final effort that they hope will have them dazzling upon their post-COVID debut.In our quest to discover what we should all be doing right now to dazzle with our personal debuts, and in an effort to catch up on what we should be on top of in general when it comes to looking our best, we spoke to Dr. Sharon DeChiara, MD, Cosmetic, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon.
Dr. DeChiara is the owner of SpaChiara, a full service medical spa with private spa rooms and an operating room to perform procedures in office, nestled in Mt. Kisco, NY and has multiple degrees from the Columbia Medical School. Dr. DeChiara also has over 27 years of experience in the medical field, making it is no surprise that she is one of the most knowledgable, experienced and highly sought after surgeons in the industry and in our area.
“….It is 100% the go-to procedure ten days before any event.“Dr. Sharon Dechiara, md costmetic, plastIC and reconstructive surgeon
Scroll and troll to discover the findings of my Q&A with the one and only, Dr. Sharon DeChiara, MD as we dive into the do’s and don’ts of several trending procedures, including the Vampire Facial, the at home skin regime we ALL should be doing now, Fraxel, how to prevent and or fix ‘Tech Neck‘ and more. Keep scrolling to join us as Dr. D divulges the details on the what, who and when of everything we should get on board with when it comes to our own aesthetic preservation and enhancement.
Let’s get started.
First and foremost, Dr. DeChiara, how can we prevent looking like the toll of the past year and a half has set in?! Between the worry, fear, stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits, whether it be diet, etc., are there any steps that we can take now to refresh ourselves, keeping the aspirations to come out of COVID looking better than ever in mind?
Dr. DeChiara begins with the basics, stressing the importance of a skin regime and adopting an at home routine. “The first must is a daily skin routine with good products and consistency,” she says, referencing the super popular and wildly beneficial product line of ZO Skinhealth. ZO Products are medical grade with 10x the active ingredients when compared to over the counter products and they are Dr. DeChiara’s go-to. In fact, Dr. D is such a fan of all things ZO that it is her favorite skincare brand to recommend to her patients and it is the only brand of product sold at SpaChiara, a testament of her trust and belief in the product line. The best part? A skin regime is something everyone can start today and see results with by next week.
So how do you get started? Just like a patient would do for a consult about a procedure, the same thing goes for any and all interested in a customized skincare regime. Simply call SpaChiara and make an appointment to further discuss ZO Skinhealth products asap. One of the nurses at SpaChiara will sit with you for 20 minutes or so, first examining your skin type and then explaining your regime in detail. The best part? Dr. ZO products are very fair in pricing (around $45-80/per product); and each one lasts for several months. The beauty of the ZO skincare line is that you really can customize each product based on your dermis needs. “Using a good cleanser, toner, exfoliant and an antioxidant, such as Vitamin C, are key in helping to reverse free-radicals in the skin from UV damage.” Going on to explain how using a product such as Dr. ZO’s Daily Defense Moisturizer is one of the most beneficial things one could do, Dr. DeChiara made a point to note its ability to reverse damage to the skin. Among the more expensive products from the ZO product line that are well worth the investment are the “Growth Factor Serum, which is ideal for anti-aging and the Wrinkle + Texture Repair product, which dives deep into the dermis and features a micro-emulsion delivery system.” Again, these products do fall on the higher price point of the ZO product line (around $145 each) but trust me when I say that both are well worth it. You will be beyond ecstatic that you got this specific product especially when you feel its ‘micro-emulsion delivery system’ working. Specifically, as explained by Dr. DeChiara, the “Wrinkle + Texture Repair product is a high-potency retinol that reactivates the process of skin renewal to restore natural hydration, visibly improving the appearance of wrinkles and refining skin texture. Plus, W + T is tolerable to continue using without stopping, unlike RetinA, which you should only use for 6 months and then go on a break for 6 weeks before resuming.” Lastly, Dr. DeChiara provides an alternate, more aggressive option from the ZO product line, “the Radical Night Repair product which can be used at home and customized in strength depending on how much you want to peel.”
Speaking of peeling, Dr. DeChiara enthusiastically chimes in with a reminder for us all, “of course sunblock is key! Patients (starting in their 30’s) should remember to use these products on their neck, chest and hands!“ Going on to express how and why “chemical peels are a great way to re-vitalize dull skin without too much downtime,” she notes one procedure that really works wonders in particular, “the Vi-peel; is a great peel to get as it flakes for about a week, helping dull skin and hyperpigmentation. It is 100% the go-to ten days before any event.”
Explaining that there are deeper chemical peels that require more downtime, highlighting that, of course, with the additional downtime come more dramatic results, she comes back to the current transition of going from COVID living to non-COVID living, touching on the fact that time won’t be on our side for long as she follows up on the Vi-Peel mention with ,” but most of us don’t have a lot of downtime.“
Making a point that the COVID face masks have helped to hide the post-op healing, it turns out that the face mask is even a great cover for the more serious procedures, like that of the Fraxel Laser (the mildly intensive skin resurfacing procedure that which can be customized to any skin type.)
When I inquired about the more intense procedure options that are geared specifically towards the texture, tightening, firming and toning of the skin. Dr. DeChiara gav this advice, “I would recommend micro-needling with radio-frequency. I would advise a series of these with PRP (platelet rich plasma) aka the Vampire Lift, a facial procedure that uses your own plasma and platelets from your blood, triggering collagen production to tighten, smooth and improve skin tone, which has has several growth factors that stimulate the skin,” and leads to results that ‘wow’.
LM: What is one procedure you would recommend that 30-40 year olds get, regardless of their familiarity with getting procedures done, etc. ?
DD: “Ultherapy. Ultherapy is a one time procedure, lasting as long as 18-24 months, that promotes collagen and elastin formation. This is especially good for Tech Neck!” (Tech Neck: term to describe the posture formed by leaning forward for prolonged periods such as when looking at handheld screens!)
LM: What have been some surprising trends you have observed this past 1.5 years?
DD: “The percentage of male patients has increased to about 10% in my practice this past year during COVID. Also, men are now interested in getting botox, fillers and treatments before they return to the office, giving them that refreshed look.”
And, last but certainly not least, Dr. DeChiara is a huge fan and advocate of botox and fillers for all, both of which are preventative and improvement oriented in the overall texture, tone and age of ones skin health.