Beauty Breakthrough Treatments

These days, it’s easier than ever to enhance your appearance — be it temporarily or permanently. While there’s a host of pros and cons to this ease of changeability, it’s no doubt exciting for the beauty and skin pros behind the scenes who are helping people (hopefully) find happiness and satisfaction with what they see in the mirror. Some may take the all-natural route, but others see no issue addressing a little wrinkle here and lifting a little sagging there, and there’s something to be said for the speed at which these advancements are becoming available. Here are some of the breakthrough beauty treatments dermatologists are most excited about for 2018.

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

The concept of the “vampire facial” has been around now for a few years (remember that episode of KUWTK when Kim gets a face treatment that causes her to be covered in her own blood?), but according to experts, the technology has seriously advanced in the last year. Now, it’s being used to improve skin texture as an adjunctive treatment following laser resurfacing or microneedling (with or without radiofrequency). “It can be injected in traditionally no-go areas, like just below the lower eyelid to improve skin quality and rejuvenate the area around the eye” explains Melanie D. Palm, MD, San Diego-based dermatologist at Art of Skin MD. “PRP can also be used effectively as a series of injection treatments in the scalp to help with female and male pattern hair loss and baldness,”


Otherwise known as fractionated skin resurfacing, this revolutionary, non-invasive treatment has seen a new light in 2018. During the treatment, microscopic columns of injury are created, which cause tiny perforations in the treatment area, while leaving zones of healthy surrounding tissue intact and untouched. “The specific zones of injury trigger the patient’s natural neocollagenesis, or collagen rebuilding process. This new collagen rejuvenates the skin and improves its appearance, from erasing fine lines to diminishing age spots, resulting in an overall more youthful appearance,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York. The best part: Improvements will continue over time (up to 6 months post-procedure) as new collagen continues to rebuild.

Collagen boosters for body contouring

“Products like Sculptra Aesthetic and low concentration Radiesse are being used to tackle cellulite, improve wavy textural changes on the thighs, and improve skin quality and crepiness in areas such as the arms and knees,” explains Dr. Palm. “For more impressive results, these injectables are combined with cellulite treatment, such as Cellfina, or noninvasive skin tightening procedures like radiofrequency for an additive effect in toning thighs, smoothing dimpled buttocks, tightening knee skin, and toning upper arms.”


One of the first procedures to non-invasively address around the jawline, this is what the selfie nation has been asking for. “Kybella, a deoxychoic acid, is an injectable that is FDA-approved for the treatment of a double chin, often referred to as ‘submental fullness,’” says Dr. Palm. “However, many of us are using it off-label to smooth small jowls along the jawline and to create a more defined jawline.” It is highly effective and only requires in most cases around one or two treatments, she explains.

Anti-pollution skin care

The most recent annual report from The American Lung Association revealed that more people have suffered from unhealthy ozone pollution than ever before, with approximately 128.9 million people living in 185 counties that earned an F grade for ozone. The worst city offenders? Los Angeles and NYC — two of the most populated in the nation. “Not only does pollution have serious repercussions for our lungs, but also our skin, increasing hyperpigmentation, inflammation, aging lines and wrinkles,” explains Dr. Engelman. “As a result, we are seeing many new skin care products becoming available to combat pollution related skin issues.” One of her favorite lines to fight environmental skin aggressors is Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage line, which has a ENA Enzyme Complex. “I love their City Smart SPF, which not only protects and prevents damage, but corrects damage already done,” she adds.

Non-surgical nose jobs

Whether you have had a botched rhinoplasty in the past or don’t want to go under the knife, now there is a noninvasive way to reshape the nose, explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Just as we inject fillers into other parts of the face, we are now putting them directly in the nose to hide a prominent bump in the bridge or even lift the nasal tip.” Pretty impressive.

Over-the-counter prescription-strength retinol

At this point, we’ve all heard about the wrinkle-reducing and blemish-blasting benefits of the wonder ingredient retinol. But now it’s more available than ever before — and without a doctor’s prescription. “Retinoids have historically been limited due to access of care since they required a prescription from a dermatologist,” explains Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, a board-certified NYC dermatologist and clinical instructor at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai. “Now, Differin, a prescription-strength retinoid with anti-inflammatory properties as well, is easily available over the counter and online which is truly the backbone of treating acne.”


This first-of-its-kind, non-invasive muscle and fat body shaping procedure is offering patients a revolutionary way to tackle tummy fat and tone muscle. “This tool uses magnetic fields to activate supramaximal muscle contractions and break down fat while building muscle,” explains Dr. Engelman. “It’s impossible to achieve through voluntary muscle contractions alone, since fat responds to the metabolic reaction of the muscle contractions by breaking down.” In other words, this procedure is not only results-driven, but painless. It’s also been tested in five clinical studies.

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