With so many new skin treatments available to the public, it is no surprise that women are trying as many different procedures as they can. One new trend that is sweeping the skincare world is stacking, or getting many beauty treatments on the same day. Well-known dermatologist, Dr. Rebecca Euwer, wrote her thoughts on this new treatment as well as some other skincare techniques that are gaining popularity.
We have been doing combinations of chemical peels and microdermabrasions for a long time now, so this is not new. With microneedling (a poor man’s non ablative laser) and application of different products following microneedling, we are starting to hear about allergic reactions. I have seen one patient in the office who had a dermatitis for several weeks and had to be treated with a steroid cream to get it under control.
The Risks and Benefits of Stacking Beauty Treatments
So, with stacking there will be some risks of irritation and/or allergic reaction. When combining treatments, sometimes it is difficult to say which is the culprit because there are so many suspects! On the flip side, dermatologists are doing IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) procedures, which are good for reducing spider veins and brown spots, and then recommending non-ablative fractionated lasers for improving skin texture, fine lines, and acne scars, but do nothing for spider veins. Without stacking, the patient has to come in separate times for the procedures, which is time consuming and means more downtime, since most of these procedures make your face a little red. As a result, some dermatologists started doing these procedures on the same day and found that the risks and downtime did not seem greater. Patients got the expected improvement. In my office, we have done some stacking with laser and IPL, but mostly we have been doing them as separate procedures. Stacking is still a relatively new idea and makes sense mostly to save time and get the same benefit from one visit without increasing risk.
New Kinds of Beauty Treatments Are Available
Another new procedure is dermaplaning, which is nothing more than shaving the face. Really, it looks just like those old TV shows that showed a man going in to the barber shop and the barber would get out a straight blade and start shaving the face. The only difference is that estheticians like to do it dry, without shaving cream. I think you could do it at home yourself with a razor.
Another potential problem with stacking many procedures or products is that it is hard to decipher which procedure/product is doing the most good. If one procedure is giving all the benefit and the second procedure is really doing nothing then the consumer is taking on unnecessary additional cost and/or risk. Much of the cosmetic skin care industry is based on anecdotal evidence and hasn’t been studied in a scientific way, so, the truth of the matter is speculative. Your best line of defense with cosmetic treatments is to find a dermatologist you trust to advise you. Skip the day spas that don’t have trained cosmetologists and a dermatologist on staff.