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Online “deals” for cosmetic treatments

Doris Day, MD, is a board certified dermatologist who specializes in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology on the Upper East Side in New York City. Her private practice includes national and international celebrities. Dr. Day is affil...

To buy or not to buy?

Buying cosmetic treatments can be a scary venture for some women. In a world filled with treatments for this and for that, how do you choose the one that is best for you? Dr. Doris Day, a board-certified dermatologist, is here to help. Day has provided us with a few tips to make sure you're getting what you need while at the same time minimizing risk to your body.
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What should you know before buying a cosmetic treatment online?

Everyone wants to get the best deal possible, and with online deals clogging our inboxes, it’s often hard to ignore them, especially at times when our wallets may be a little thinner than normal. When it comes to “deals” promising a cosmetic treatment, you may want to think twice before you cash in on them. Keep the following in mind to ensure that you have a positive and safe treatment.

First of all, and I hope this does go without saying, if the deal looks too good to be true, then you can bet it is. I strongly advise my patients to never cut corners when it comes to your health and beauty routines. Treat a cosmetic treatment like you would any medical procedure, only more so because it is elective. You should only seek treatment from a qualified medical physician and don’t skimp on doing research on their credentials.

Have your friends visited the practitioner you are considering? If so, get their opinions on the experience. As a next step, confirm that the physician is listed on the manufacturer's website of the product you are considering. It is always a good indication that the physician is purchasing product direct from the manufacturer.

How can you make sure you're getting what you paid for?

Don't be afraid to ask about the treatment and confirm what brand of product the physician is going to use. It’s very important to know that there are no generics. You should ask for the brand by name because not all products are the same and should not be used interchangeably.

For example, when it comes to treatment with BOTOX Cosmetic, you might see a deal for "Botox,” yet you may get something different when you redeem your treatment. BOTOX Cosmetic is the brand name and there are no substitutes or generics. It is the only product that has been on the market for 10 years in the U.S., and as a result, physicians have a great deal of experience with this product. Also, ask to see the vial of the product to see if it is the real thing. For example, BOTOX Cosmetic vials will have an Allergan hologram right on the bottle.

How can you maximize your time with a new physician?

Many cosmetic treatments are not a one-time quick fix. I encourage you to seek out a physician that you would be comfortable with using for the long-term. To really improve the overall appearance and health of your skin, you should consider partnering up with a reputable skin care physician who can map out a personalized plan for you to follow.

Never hesitate to ask the physician what products they use on themselves. While everyone’s skin is different, you’ll be able to take an up-close and personal look at the physician and find out what works and why they recommend them. I encourage my patients to be vocal with me about their skin care concerns, and I approach each of them with a customized, gentle and easy-to-follow plan. It’s never too early to plan for successful aging!

More on skin care

Skin care secrets from Beauty Bootcamp
12 Must-have skin care products
Letter from the editor: Why you shouldn't be afraid of clinical skin care

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