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How To Best Budget Your Beauty Dollars – Part II – Services

I am a total penny pincher…I truly love to get the best value for my money and when I’m working on you guys I like to do the same for you. In some cases I’ve spent YEARS evaluating machinery/products to find the optimum results for the lowest value. I thought I’d collect the best of the best values in beauty services and share my thoughts with you and also let you know what services to not waste your time (or money) on!

Services That Are An Amazing Value

dermaplaningDermaplaning – Dermaplaning is a simple service with a big result. In it we use a medical utensil to scrape dead skin cells and peachfuzz from your face leaving your skin soft and smooth like the skin of your youth. It’s a great value because you get hair removal, exfoliation and a mask to balance the skin for just $55. Additionally, you get the benefit of better product penetration at home afterwards for WEEKS. You truly can’t beat this as an easy, cost efficient way to budget your beauty dollars. Want to learn more about Dermaplaning? Check out my whole blog about it here.

Microdermabrasion – Need a significant facial result? Microdermabrasion is a great solution. Microderm can lift surface age spots and tighten the skin from neck to forehead. No downtime at all in this service, you can go straight to work or out for drinks afterwards! It gives you great results around the eye area, mouth and forehead and in our office includes dermaplaning and a mild peel if you need it as well. Throw in extractions and a great mask and this is a great value at $150.

IPL Photorejuvenation – IPL is a laser (Intense Pulsed Light Laser.) When done in the hands of aipl before after skilled technician IPL removes significant brown spots in a single treatment and can knock down rosacea and face/nose broken capillaries in a matter of a couple treatments (depending on the severity of the redness.)  If your age spots, redness or melasma plague you, this beauty value can make you look significantly better quickly and efficiently. It runs $75-500 per treatment depending on area size. I want to caution you to find the best technician because in the hands of a novice or with outdated equipment you won’t get the results as quickly. Want to learn more about IPL, read more here.

venus wordsRF Skin Tightening – I have searched high and low for something that could truly tighten the skin. There are a zillion devices out there that claim to work and net very little result. But recently I found the Venus RF Skin Tightening Machine. This device uses radio frequency waves to give you true skin tightening quickly and efficiently with no down time and virtually no pain. The truly amazing part of RF Skin Tightening is it’s cost, at only $150-200 per treatment you get significant results for your dollar. It does take a few treatments to ramp up results but most of the time you see benefits relatively quickly. If you are struggling with sagging skin in the face, neck, eyes, legs, arms or more you should come check this amazing service out!

Filler – Need to look great fast? Filler is an unbelievable way to quickly conquer wrinkles. Juvederm, Voluma and many other fillers can make you event ready in just days. A little pricier service ranging from $300-1200, however, some of these fillers will hold for 2 amazing years so it’s well worth the expense for the result. Most fillers are very safe too, they are made from the same substance (Hyaluronic Acid) that you are losing in your face. One more thing on fillers….if you are in the hands of an expert you don’t have to look like a chipmunk or the Real Housewives of wherever. It can definitely be done softly and subtly and give you an amazing result!

TCA Single Peel Results

VIPeel – If you battle melasma, acne and are losing elasticity in your skin then you should try a VIPeel. When someone is looking for an amazing result quickly it is one of my favorites. Results in 1-2 weeks with a hold out for 6-8 months! There’s a few days of peeling (usually 3) but planned well, you don’t even have to miss work to gain your result. At $250-300 you get a significant benefit in a short amount of time.


Services That Are A Good Value

BOTOX – I know BOTOX scares a lot of people but at the end of the day, it is a pretty good beauty value. Ranging from $150-500 on average for a single treatment you see results in crows feet around the eyes and heavy forehead wrinkles within 10 days. Most folks hold their results (depending on metabolism) from 4-8 months. For forehead issues, there’s really nothing that works better for the money!

how does lhr work

Laser Hair Removal – If you fight ingrown hairs, a 5 o’clock shadow on your legs or underarms or more, you can’t beat the value of Laser Hair Removal. Done by an expert with a quality machine (stay away from Groupon for this service) you can have a great result in just 5-6 treatments. A little pricier for a quality treatment ranging from $50-500 depending on area treated but well worth pitching your razor for especially if you have issues! Want to learn more about LHR? Read on here…

biocelluloseMicropeel – A simple, effective service, the Micropeel is a facial plus more. It give you a combination of Dermaplaning, a peel chosen specifically for your skin issues, extractions, serums, a mask and more. At a mere $120 for this service you will leave the office clean, tight, bright with a significant reduction in acne. With no downtime at all it outperforms the traditional spa facial by a long shot and if done regularly will make your friends jealous of your beautiful skin and keep you away from more aggressive cosmetic services.

Non-Ablative Fractional Lasering – Mouth lines and eye wrinkles a battle? You should check out non-ablative fractional lasering. This low-cost service has 3 days of downtime that’s relatively easy to cover but a nice result in skin tightening without multiple services. Ranging from $300-500 per area it usually lasts a year. Please don’t confuse this with Fraxal lasering which has significant cost and downtime with a high risk for dark areas setting in. Read more about it from the Mayo clinic here.


Services NOT Worth The Money

CoolSculpting – Squeezing your skin into a device and sitting for an hour for a minor result and no skin tightening is definitely not worth the money. You’ll find cool sculpting available all over the place but this fat freezing technology is just ok. Minor result (1/2-3/4″ reduction) and only a small area at a time with repeat treatments. My major complaint about CoolSculpting is the lack of skin tightening afterwards so even if it works it leaves you with loose left over skin that needs repair. Better to just do RF Skin Tightening with suction for a similar result plus the positive benefits of skin tightening too in just half the treatment time with a significantly larger area treated.

cheek after microneedlingMicroneedling/DermaPen/SkinPen – If you’ve read my blog called Micro Needling (DermaRolling): Effective or Dangerous you know I’m not a fan of Microneedling. With downtime, discomfort and a significant risk of infection this is a treatment you should stay far, far away from. Depending on the intensity of the service it ranges in price from $250-$1000 and yields only a moderate result. So save your beauty dollars and spend them elsewhere than this service.

samantha peel

Fraxal – Fraxal (which is the brand name most folks know it by) or ablative fractional lasering is a costly service with significant risk and downtime. This laser punctures holes in your face to increase collagen production. Usually it nets 8 or so days of ugly downtime like a burn victim with significant maintenance. It can be effective but I personally don’t find that the results are worth the down time. But the real reason I dislike ablative laser services is that there is a high risk of getting dark spots all over your face for MONTHS after the service. Even the most careful sunscreen user can have terrible spotting after this treatment. So it works but it’s expensive and not worth the down time and risk in my professional opinion. Try a non-ablative version for less without the risk, cost and downtime.

Ultherapy – Ultherapy is an ultrasound laser that tightens the skin of the neck and face. It is VERY expensive ranging from $2500-3500 per treatment and VERY painful. The results are moderate at best. I’ve seen it work well on some folks and then not on others. My major complaint with Ultherapy is that it doesn’t last. Most folks hold their results for 1 year to 18 months and then need to repeat it. Additionally, it takes 6 months to even see the results of each individual treatment. It is by far one of the most painful non-surgical treatments I’ve seen and hurts more each time it is repeated. With the development of RF Skin Tightening there is no need for this level of cost or discomfort to get the results you are looking for so save your beauty dollars!

I hope that helps you budget your beauty dollar better! If you haven’t had a chance go back and ready my first blog in this series: How To Best Budget Your Beauty Dollars – Part I – Products

Jennifer Warmann-Bloss

-Jennifer is a blogger, mom and owner of Elemental Esthetics in St Louis, MO

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