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Treatment Downtime: The “Ugly Duckling Phase”

Updated: May 9, 2023

Transformative treatments- we love them, but we aren’t the biggest fans of the downtime that comes with them. Hiding away in our homes, avoiding the office, and saying no to the weekend party all sound familiar. Struggling to book the treatment in between social obligations? Yup, we’ve been there.

So, what are the best times to book transformative treatments, how can we speed up the ugly duckling phase, and will they really make us emerge as a beautiful swan? As always, Starlight has the 411.

What are Transformative Treatments?

They are the heavy-hitting treatments that yield the most dramatic visible skin improvements, in the shortest time. “The biggest bang for your buck”. Starlight offers Morpheus8, photo rejuvenation, microneedling, Viva nano-fractional radio frequency, intense pulsed light, and chemical peeling as transformative treatments.

How Often Should Transformative Treatments be Done?

Best results are always seen with a series of treatments. 3 consecutive treatments typically 2-4 weeks apart are generally recommended for dramatic improvement. Otherwise, transformative treatments are recommended seasonally for maintenance.

The best skincare approach is a carefully constructed blend of “Glow” treatments and “Transform” treatments throughout a lifetime, to always put your best face forward.

What are the Best Times to Book Transformative Treatments?

Quite simply: when your schedule allows it and when you are sure to be avoidant of UV exposure. The days of hiding your beauty secrets and the fact that you take measures to care for your skin are over! We’ve heard tons of funny stories about clients showing up to their workplace with a freshly microneedled face, shocking their colleagues, and clients surprising their significant other with VIVA grid marks, red and vibrant. However, if you prefer a low-key healing experience, pre-plan a work from home week, or time your treatment before the weekend. Always give yourself 2 weeks or more of healing time before a “look your best” event.

The “Ugly Duckling Phase”

The ugly duckling phase after any treatment typically lasts 1-2 weeks but is often less. This period includes the immediate appearance of the skin post treatment, and the reparative process that follows. It can include redness, pinpoint bleeding and scabbing, flaking, unevenness, acne purging, and rough texture. Here is the typical downtime expected of Starlight treatments:

Morpheus8: redness, grid-like markings, uneven skin, potential purging in acne prone individuals. 1 week. To most people, the markings would go unnoticed.

Microneedling: redness and pin-point bleeding immediately after treatment. In the following days slight peeling, pin-point markings, or potential purging in acne prone individuals could be experienced.

Viva RF: immediately after treatment there is extreme redness, which subsides in the following hours. In the following days there could be rough texture, pinpoint scabbing, or potential purging in acne prone clients.

Photorejuvenation/IPL: When treating dark marks, clients may experience a darkening of the spot in the week post treatment before it begins to fade. With superficial sunspots and freckles, an actual scab may form, and fall off in time. Capillaries being treated may collapse and cause bruising before they are absorbed by the body.

Chemical Peeling: Immediately after treatment the skin looks normal. In the days to follow superficial peeling may begin, lasting up to a week. When a client does not have excess dead skin cell buildup or has slow cell turnover, no peeling may occur whatsoever. This does not mean the treatment was ineffective, as chemical face peel always speeds up the cell turnover process while clearing out the pore and dissolving dead skin cells from the top layer.

How to Speed Up the Healing Phase

1) If you are acne prone, consider a blue light session in the days following your transformative treatment, as the intensity of them can cause more oil secretion and purging. You can come in for a free blue light session if needed, after a stimulating treatment at Starlight.

2) Using soothing, hydrating, and protective skincare in the week to follow the transformative treatment is a must. This includes a gentle cleanser, hydrating serum, moisturizer, and sun protection. In most cases, exfoliation should be put on pause, to not aggravate the skin renewal process.

3) No picking please, leave your face alone! Picking at peeling skin from chemical resurfacing, or scab wounding is going to back-track skincare success, and slow down your big reveal as that beautiful swan.

Do These Treatments Actually Work?

Yes, they are praised and popular for a reason. Transformative treatments create major results, that would be impossible to achieve in most cases, without them. They are a great investment that makes skin dreams come true.

Curious what a professional skin coach would recommend for your skincare journey? As always, Starlight Med Spa is here for you. Reach out for a free skin consultation and skin plan.


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