The Eight Best Cosmetic Procedures for Men That You Can Get During Lunch
Shakespeare said clothing “oft proclaims the man.” But what about your face and body?
No, you can’t swap out the ones you’ve been born with—and have worked so hard to maintain—the way you would a sweater or watch. But guess what? Through cosmetic dermatology, you do have the power to make yourself look, and potentially feel, better.
While men aren’t hitting up dermatologists with equal fervor as their female counterparts (just yet), more and more are going. Washington (D.C.)-based dermatologist Dr. Terrence Keaney, the founder of W for Men, the world’s first clinical practice dedicated to male dermatology, says he experienced a 20 percent increase in male patients from 2013 to 2014 alone.
Dr. Robert Anolik noticed a similar trend, with a 25 percent increase in male patients year over year. He practices at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, and his colleague is the one and only Dr. Fredric Brandt, Madonna’s dermatologist. Anolik believes the numbers will continue to grow. "Every year I have more men coming into my office for cosmetic treatments,” he says. “These dermatologic procedures are becoming viewed by men as a method of self-enhancement, like eating well, wearing nice clothes, or going to the gym.” Keaney agrees: “Men are becoming what I call ‘cosmetically conscious,’ because of social media and knowing women who’ve done similar procedures.”
But what’s the key difference between the genders, according to Keaney? “Men are more gun-shy.” Translation: They’re more comfortable trying procedures that aren’t invasive, won’t require too much time, and have minimal side effects.
Here, we share eight highly effective (but minimally invasive) procedures that treat everything from thinning hair to love handles to saggy jaw lines. Even better? You can do all of these during your lunch break and return to work immediately. Who says you can’t turn back time in under an hour?
Love Handles and Front Belly Fat
The fix: CoolSculpting is a process that takes advantage of the fact that fat has a slightly lower freezing point than water. The applicator uses vacuum pressure to target fat cells—you’ll feel a cold sensation for the first five minutes, then go numb—which get frozen, then eliminated naturally by your body. Consider it “controlled cell death,” says Keaney, as it’s only the fat cells that are affected. Just be reminded that “it’s not a weight-loss treatment, but something great for guys who are in shape and exercise, but have a trouble spot.” Also: Don’t expect miracles, but about “a 20 to 30 percent improvement in your bulge after one treatment.”
Time: 60 minutes per cycle
Cost per cycle: $750
The fix: Illumiwave uses “low-level light therapy, so you can actually slow the hair loss process without exposing yourself to oral or topical medications,” says Keaney. The technology increases blood flow to the hair follicle, in addition to decreasing the effects of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the hormone that causes hair loss. In short: You can stabilize hair loss and grow new hair at the same time. It requires a bit of a commitment, though. You’ll need to get treated three times a week for the first couple of months, twice weekly for the following two months, then weekly for maintenance. Treatment is so relaxing, you can catch up on your reading or e-mails, or even nod off.
Time: 20-30 minutes per treatment
Cost per treatment: $100, and many practices offer package deals.
Broken Capillaries, Redness, or Rosacea
The fix: With the Excel V laser, “I’m able to target multiple forms of redness, which typically includes pink discoloration and dilated capillaries,” says Anolik. This particular laser “targets hemoglobin in a blood vessel, and creates heat to close the vessel off so it eventually goes away.” There are no health risks, since the targeted vessels are “superficial and not medically necessary.” You’ll see the best results after three to five treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart.
Time: 10 minutes
Cost per treatment: $600
Facial Wrinkles and Sun Spots
The fix: Clear+Brilliant “refreshes your skin from the inside out,” says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, cosmetic dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center, but won’t cause any major swelling or scabbing, like Fraxel, another popular resurfacing laser. In fact, Frank refers to Clear+Brilliant as “Fraxel light.” The laser delivers heat within the skin, which triggers damage, then “subsequent replacement of damaged skin by microscopic exfoliation (via tiny scabs that eventually slough off).” Meaning: Post-treatment, your skin will feel like sandpaper for a few days, and look red for a couple of hours (as if you’ve been in the sun, but nothing dramatic). You’ll see results after one treatment, but most dermatologists recommend four to five additional monthly treatments.
Time: 10 minutes, in addition to 15 minutes of topical anesthesia/numbing cream
Veiny or Mottled Hands
The fix: A combination of Radiesse and PicoWay. Like your face, your hands also lose volume and elasticity over time, making underlying veins look even more prominent and obvious. To restore a more youthful appearance, New York City dermatologist Dr. Neil Sadick injects multiple amounts of Radiesse (a volumizing filler) under the skin on top of the hands, and gently massages it in. A single treatment can last anywhere from nine to 18 months. For age spots and sun damage on hands, Keaney enlists PicoWay, a laser that targets pigment and injures it (while leaving the surrounding skin intact). The dark spots will turn even darker and rougher as the skin turns over, but will eventually come off (like scabs). “You can get great results in one treatment,” says Keaney, “but you may need one more.”
Time: 10 minutes for Radiesse, 10 minutes for PicoWay
Cost: $900 per syringe (two are typically used) for Radiesse, $500 for PicoWay
The fix: Your face isn’t the only place for the injectable Botox. Says Frank, “This procedure is one of the safest and most effective standards of care for excessive perspiration, and for those who are sensitive to deodorants and antiperspirants.” Simply: It works by blocking nerve signals that lead your glands to sweat. A single treatment can reduce sweat for six to eight months and has no negative side effects.
Time: 15 minutes, in addition to 20 minutes of topical anesthesia/numbing cream
Cost per treatment: $1,200 for both arms
Under-Eye Bags or Hollows
The fix: The injectable filler Juvéderm is mostly made up of hyaluronic acid, which your body produces naturally—it’s what keeps your skin smooth and plump (read: young-looking). As a result you’ll note differences immediately after the procedure. Anolik “injects it fairly deep, underneath where the bag is, to help lift it in a broad way so there’s no visible lumps or bumps.” If you want to keep up appearances, you’ll need go back every six months or year. (Juvéderm does not endorse this procedure as it’s not FDA-approved, but it's a common practice among dermatologists.)
Time: 10 minutes
Cost per treatment: $800 per syringe, and your doctor will use up to one syringe for both eyes.
Sagging Jaw Line, Turkey Neck
The fix: EndyMed is a radio frequency technology that helps tighten slack, loose skin. According to Sadick, “EndyMed heats deep layers of the skin, 1) to tighten the collagen you already have; and 2) to stimulate new collagen production.” Depending on your needs, one to three treatments may be performed for optimal results, with a maintenance session every year or two. Numbing isn’t required beforehand, and there’s little discomfort involved.
Time: 15-20 minutes
Cost per treatment: $450
*Treatment cost depends on your city and dermatologist. The prices in this story are averages provided by our featured dermatologists.