Why Do Cosmetic Treatments Spike in the New Year? January Surge, Explained


Dermatologists and plastic surgeons tell us that the first week in January is the busiest time of year for aesthetic procedures. Just as the first week of the year notoriously draws crowds to the gym, doctors’ waiting rooms are packed with people making good on their New Years’ resolutions. Aesthetic procedures — even common ones like fillers or Botox — are major considerations, and we asked doctors to weigh in on why “get Botox” is a more common resolution than you might think.

The “Makeover” Mentality

“There is something psychological not only about [entering] a new year, but a new decade,” says Gretchen Frieling, a dermatopathologist in Wellesley, Massachusetts. “People make resolutions, and often those resolutions include their physical appearance,” she tells Allure. “We have patients who had their January appointments booked months ago because they had in mind what they wanted to tweak in 2020.”

Denver-based plastic surgeon Manish Shah sees an influx of patients with a “bucket list” of procedures to try in the new year. This time of year is so busy that New York City-based, board-certified plastic surgeon David Shafer holds extended office hours to accommodate the extra demand.

While the January “makeover” mentality may be part of the push, practical reasons also play a role in the bump. December often means travel, kids home from school, and encounters with friends and family you haven’t see all year, or in other words, not the ideal time to book an appointment with your dermatologist. Friedling’s patients often wait until January to undergo “big ticket” procedures that require lengthier recovery times.

The Procedures

Peels, Lasers, & FacialsFor East Coasters, early January weather is also an impetus to finally get that skin treatment. “January is an ideal time for dermatologic procedures such as chemical peels and many laser procedures that require patients to stay out of the sun for a week or two after treatment,” says Friedling. “Our Boston winter wardrobes keep us covered up, exposing less skin and allowing for the greatest post-procedure success.”

In her practice, the most popular early January treatment is the Clear and Brilliant Laser, an Food and Drug Administration-approved laser-resurfacing treatments that “helps to prevent aging and treat early signs of it,” she explains. “It treats fine lines, reduces the appearance of pores, enhances firmness and elasticity and improves skin tone, texture, and overall appearance.”

Dermatologist Dendy Engelman office sees a rise in Vbeam, a laser treatment that tackles redness and rosacea, in her New York City office. Over at Shafer’s office, the medical-grade Diamond Glow Facial (formerly known as Dermal Infusion) was so popular that his practice ordered a second machine. Diamond Glow is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a diamond-tipped device to insert a serum infused with an active ingredient like vitamin C below the surface of the skin.

RefreshersAccording to our experts, there’s no one typical treatment that spikes in the beginning of the year. New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman sees lots of appointments for Botox, Voluma, and lip fillers, all of which she performs all year long. “People who came in for Botox prior to the holidays also come back for just a sprinkle more so they’re ‘fresh’ for the new year,” she says.

There’s also the patient who views the new year as a skin reset button. “One of my patients who rarely gets pimples came in for cortisone shots, [which rapidly shrink zits],” Engelman says. “The truth is no matter how diligent you are with your skin care, the alcohol and sweets during the holidays will catch up to you — and that’s OK.”



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