Yours for the taking with these doctor-endorsed body “tweakments” and home improvement tools.
Written ByKATHERYN ERICKSON
Getting a little work used to be a confidential affair reserved for a certain type—but those days couldn’t be any further in the past. “Social sharing and pop culture have decreased the stigma associated with cosmetic procedures,” says Dr. Lara Devgan, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City and founder of luxury skin care line Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty. “The secrets that used to be hidden away in the dark recesses of your doctor’s office are now on your Instagram feed, and that’s totally flipped the script.” Now the discussion is less about whether you’re doing it and instead what to sample from an endless menu of options to lift, firm, and soften.
While tools for treating complexions were the first to evolve, the latest frontier is body, thankfully. (Despite conventional wisdom, self-tanner won’t fix every body concern.) “The body is becoming the real tell-all of your age and overall health and fitness level,” says Dr. Devgan. Brush up on the latest tech below—which targets everything from stretch marks to slack arms—and learn how to maintain and improve on the results at home…
THE TWEAKMENT: Injectables for Smoothing, Tightening, and Sculpting
THE TARGET: You know filler for its ability to restore cheekbones and lessen under-eye hollows. But doctors are using biostimulatory fillers such as Sculptra and Radiesse, which are made of ingredients that add both volume and stimulate collagen production (poly-L-lactic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite, respectively), to treat stubborn cellulite, lax skin above the knees, and crepe-y arms and décolleté. “We’re using fillers that have traditionally been developed for the face for skin tightening, smoothing, and dimple-filling,” explains Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, Madonna’s skin whisperer, and founder of PFRANKMD & Skin Salon in New York City. You’ll need several injections, but the treatment is ideal for covering broad areas. “The formulas are hyper-diluted; they’re watered down so they can spread.” Their applications go beyond basic anti-aging, too: Dr. Devgan has been using Sculptra to accentuate curves. “It’s the best non-surgical way to improve the contour, fullness, perkiness, and texture of the buttocks and hips.”
THE TIME COMMITMENT: Treatments are under an hour and cause a little bruising, but the benefits are immediate, cumulative, and last one to two years. For Dr. Devgan’s shaping technique, at least two office visits are required.
THE AT-HOME BOOSTER: Microneedling sparks collagen production to tighten and plump skin even further. Pop the Beautybio Glopro Body Microtip Attachment Head on the GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool and roll on limbs, butt, and stomach, then follow with the caffeine-spiked Kayo Better Body Care Concentrated Firming Serum for further toning.
THE MAGIC ERASER
THE TWEAKMENT: Scar Tattoing
THE TARGET: Those pale stretch marks on your hips and butt from when you were a teenager? They’re actually hypopigmented (where an area is lighter than your overall skin tone) and, unlike newer marks and scars that can be softened with lasers, there historically hasn’t been much you can do for them. Enter micropigmentation. “The advancements in semi-permanent makeup are just astounding,” says Dr. Frank, who employs an in-house tattoo artist for the cause. “Micropigmentation is a form of tattooing that can cover those old, difficult, nothing-works-on scars and stretch marks.”
THE TIME COMMITMENT: It depends on the area, but the average appointment is 15 to 30 minutes. Like any tattoo, expect a few weeks of skin healing.
THE AT-HOME BOOSTER: Work Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant Skin Finish on limbs to add glow, mask leftover marks, veins, and spots, and make skin look especially perfect.
THE SHAPE SHIFTER
THE TWEAKMENT: Laser Fat Removal
THE TARGET: The innovations for getting rid of fat are endless—there are options that freeze it, injections that dissolve it—and the jury is still out on whether some make a justifiable difference. But Dr. Gross is enthusiastic about using heat—specifically Sculpsure, a laser—to melt fat away. “From a scientific point of view, heat is a better way to [destroy fat] than freezing it,” he explains. “Because burning fat, like when you’re exercising, is the way our bodies naturally break it down. Lasers literally melt fat and kill the cells permanently.” Keep in mind that it’s not designed to remove large amounts of fat; it’s a fix for smaller, stubborn spots, like the lower belly, love handles, and thighs. Dr. Gross even uses it around the jawline to nix double chins. “Its ability to contour makes a big difference. With old technology you had to stick the patient in the machine or put the skin in a clamp. This is a device where you can contour beautifully and individualize and customize the fat reduction to fit the person’s body.”
THE TIME COMMITMENT: You’ll need a few 25-minute treatments, spaced a month apart. Fat cells are flushed out of the body over the course of 12 weeks, but you’ll notice a difference after the second visit.
THE AT-HOME BOOSTER: In Fiore Firmante Elevating Leg Tonic contains herbal actives to boost circulation and relieve heavy, bloated legs. Use it before you steam or sauna to amp up the detox element.
THE TWEAKMENT: Emsculpt for Toning Muscles
THE TARGET: The benefits of exercise are non-negotiable, but for some of us a sculpted derrière simply isn’t in the cards—no matter how many lunges and squats are accomplished. Enter Emsculpt, which uses MRI technology to contract, build, and tone your muscles in a way old-fashioned exercise can’t. “When Botox was introduced 20 years ago, it was the first thing that relaxed muscles that caused wrinkles; this is the first thing that builds muscle by stimulating it at the nerve root,” Dr. Frank says of the innovation, which feels like an intense workout. “There are three major layers of aging: the skin, the fat, and the muscle. We have things for skin and we have things for fat (whether it’s taking it out or adding volume), but we haven’t had anything for muscle. A lot of things that go south have to do with muscle laxity and atrophy—this opens up a new category of anti-aging on the body.”
THE TIME COMMITMENT: Like exercise, you’ll need regular Emsculpt treatments to keep your shape. The brand recommends starting with four 30-minute sessions spaced out a few days, then occasional maintenance.
THE AT-HOME BOOSTER: Loaded with nourishing rosehip oil and skin-tightening caffeine, Agent Nateur Holi (Oil) Youth Body Serum can help tone, firm, and smooth problem areas over time.
THE TWEAKMENT: Shock Wave Technology to Treat Cellulite
THE TARGET: Cellulite is notoriously stubborn, but a European device that uses shock wave technology could be promising for leveling dents by targeting their many causes. “Cellulite is not unilateral—it has to do with lymphatic drainage, uneven fat deposition, and loss of elasticity in skin,” Dr. Frank explains. “Shockwave technology improves circulation, breaks up scar tissue, and has been shown to dramatically improve dimpling while tightening skin.” Stay tuned for its US drop this fall.
THE TIME COMMITMENT: The process is quick and feels like “a mini jackhammer mixed with a hot stone massage,” Dr. Frank says. Expect to see changes in a month and aim to repeat a few times a year.
THE AT-HOME BOOSTER: Dry Brushing is the OG cellulite fix. Use Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Cellulite Body Brush working from feet all the up way to your butt, hands to shoulders, and finally along your torso (the key is to brush towards your heart the whole time) before showering to support lymphatic drainage.