Skin, Technology


Who’s not busy these days? Between work, errands, kids, exercise, sleep and figuring out how to feed ourselves, we’re surprised we had a moment to write this post. Spas, dermatologists and even hotels understand their customers and patients are pressed for time, and are putting more accelerated skin care services – 30 minutes as compared to 60 to 90 minutes is popular for express options, but service durations are shrinking to as little as 10 minutes – on their menus to help squeeze sessions into crowded schedules. “Today, we live in a world that is fast-paced, yearns for instant gratification and strives for time efficiency. Offering quick, yet effective treatments allow clients to feel we are catering to their increasing daily demands, while still offering a brief moment of ‘me’ time,” says dermatologist Dennis Gross, whose New York office completes an Alpha Beta® Peel in under 30 minutes. Not every skin care service, however, should be done before you’ve finished watching the latest episode of “Younger.” We asked Gross and Angelina Umansky, a medical aesthetician and co-owner of San Francisco’s Spa Radiance, to advise us on which services to get over short stretches and setting our expectations for the truncated treatments.

Gross and Umansky agree speedy skin care services comprised of powerful ingredients and tools can perform well. Gross isn’t a fan of facials that are less than an hour because the abbreviated facials tend to skip steaming, a step he favors for hydration and priming the skin for topical solutions. However, he argues masks and VBeam, a laser designed for red skin, broken blood vessels, rosacea and birthmarks, are valuable in limited bursts. “Ingredients found in masks do not need to stay on skin more than 30 minutes or you increase the chance of irritation,” explains Gross. He stresses that downtime is definitely a consideration for patients in a rush. Gross says, “If you’re popping out on lunch with the intention of returning to the office, you’ll want to stick to a gentle treatment with minimal side effects such as the VBeam laser.”

Umansky pays close attention to product strength in fast facials. She elaborates, “If you use a product that is very concentrated, you can get great results in 30 minutes.” How do you know if product is very concentrated? Umansky recommends relying on skin care lines you trust and quizzing your aesthetician about the products they are picking. She likes applying the ingredient-packed products in True Nature Botanical’s anti-aging collection Pacific in her condensed services, and she adds LED treatments are quite beneficial in 25-minute increments. “If your skin is just going to be cleansed and you are out of there, it’s not worth it,” surmises Umansky. “With the LED lights, you get a lot for your money because it’s such a great collagen stimulant.”

Umansky emphasizes half-hour facials aren’t optimal for people with acne, severe rosacea or other serious skin issues. “With acne, 30 minutes is almost impossible. It’s not even enough time to do extractions,” she notes. The compressed services are terrific, on the other hand, for those who generally have clear skin and are seeking a boost. “If you are using good products and getting facials, you don’t necessarily need an hour-and-a-half facial every time,” she says. “If you want to look nice for an event or hot date, a mini facial can be great. You can look good for that evening and maybe the next day, but don’t expect to change your skin with a 30-minute facial once a month.” Umansky contends express facials net the best results when received once a week for four to six weeks. For women with fine lines and wrinkles, though, quick treatments are probably not going to alter much. “Sorry, but you’ll have to do more,” states Umansky. I guess we’ll be trying to carve out a significant chunk of time in our calendar soon.

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