Personal care treatments

In-office treatments preferred by dermatologists

Aa dermatologist, Shirley Chi, MD, has access to tons of beauty treatments. From Botox to thread lift, she’s tried it all. And because of that, she’s a great resource for anyone looking to figure out which in-office treatments are really worth it.

“I tried everything because I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing procedures on my patients that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing on myself,” says Dr. Chi, a board-certified dermatologist. 45 years old in California. Sometimes it feels like a Friday night with DIY injections (perks of being a dermatologist!), other times it means one of his fellow doctors or medical assistants giving him a laser treatment. She is a firm believer in a solid skincare routine, but also recognizes that nothing compares to the results you can get with in-office treatments. Below, she shares her five favorite in-office treatments that are staples in her routine.

The 5 favorite in-office treatments of dermatologists

1. Anti-wrinkle — every three months

“I don’t think there’s anything on this market today that has as much of an immediate anti-aging impact as Botox and all the neurotoxins,” says Dr. Chi. Neurotoxins (which in addition to Botox include other brand names like Dysport, Juveau, and Xeomin) work by relaxing the contraction of facial muscles so you can’t crease or pucker the overlying skin. This is something you need to do regularly to maintain results. “I do it quite regularly, probably at least once every three months, minimum, because I use it very little,” she says. “I use neurotoxin microdroplets because I want to look natural.”

2. Lip lift — every three months

To achieve a fuller pout, Dr. Chi does lip flipping about every three months. This involves using a tiny bit of neurotoxin, like Botox or Dysport, just along the vermilion border, or lip line, to open your lip up a bit so it looks a bit more meaty.

“I actually don’t use lip filler. I like how it looks on others, but I think I’m nervous about looking too full in my lips,” says Dr. Chi. With a lip flip, “you just relax the muscles that squeeze your lips together. And so your lip looks more relaxed and plump.” She loves that it leaves her lips natural while adding some volume and removing the lines around her mouth.

3. Microinfusion — special occasions

Before special occasions, Dr. Chi uses Aquagold make micro-infusions. Aquagold is a small glass vile that has needles on the end to deliver injectables into your skin. Your doctor can create the perfect microinfusion blend for your needs.

“If I’m coming back from a trip or preparing for an event, I’ll micro-infuse,” says Dr. Chi. Depending on your individual needs, your dermatologist can tailor a blend of ingredients to achieve the results you are looking for. Usually, Dr. Chi uses a combination of hyaluronic acid, which plumps and hydrates the skin; Restylane, an injectable liquid that adds volume and fullness; glutathione, an antioxidant that helps lighten; and some Botox.

4. Laser treatments — every two years

“I do laser treatment probably once every two years or so,” says Dr. Chi. She either does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to get rid of dark spots that accumulate over the years; or Fraxel, which works by causing a little damage under the skin to stimulate collagen production, to tighten pores.

When Dr. Chi began training in dermatology, lasers weren’t intended for people of color. “I’ve never been able to do any of the lasers, so it’s only more recently, I’d say the last 10 years or so, where lasers for people of color have really increased in technology and safety,” she says. . “So now I feel really comfortable doing lasers on myself and my patients.”

5. Sculptra — every three to four years

Every three years, Dr. Chi will do Sculptra, which stimulates your body’s collagen production, leading to firmer skin.

“We call it the ‘Liquid Lift’ because it builds collagen deep down,” says Dr. Chi. “You don’t look full. You just look a little lifted and more like yourself.” Once collagen has built up, it takes time for your body to get out of it, which is why you don’t need to consume it very often to maintain results.

Initially, Sculptra was approved to help people on HIV medications achieve a fuller face. “With HIV, when you take your meds, it causes what we call lipoatrophy, where you look very skinny on your face,” says Dr Chi. “And then other people were like, ‘Oh wait, can I just use this even though I don’t have HIV? “So it was approved for cosmetic use.”

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