From body-contouring and fat-blasting to skin rejuvenation and erasing unsightly age spots, many aesthetic professionals are reporting that speedier, non-invasive procedures continue to rise in popularity as people squeeze treatments in between hectic schedules and busy lives.
While non-invasive procedures require much less downtime and have speedier recovery rates than surgery, it’s important to remind clients that the body still requires time to heal after any procedures.
Of course, with many of our clients, time is at a premium already, so how can you best advise on the best and speediest recovery after non-invasive procedures?
There are, of course, a large variety of different non-invasive procedures, and in some cases, the aftercare instructions may vary, but, in general, we can acknowledge the following to be true:
PREPARATION IS KEY
While non-invasive aesthetic procedures require less downtime than invasive procedures, it’s important to remind clients that, in many cases, preparation prior to treatment is as important as aftercare.
Dr Georgia Ratta of Generation Aesthetics, a specialist in facial threading procedures, says:
“It’s important that clients are fully versed in the aftercare advice before the procedure takes place. With facial threading, for example, or even with Botox, if a client sleeps on their side or front, I always advise them to work out how they will sleep on their back after the procedure. This might involve buying a special pillow in advance or practising sleeping on their back for a few days prior to the treatment.”
Even if recovery time is minimised, it’s a good idea to advise patients to increase their intake of foods that have the nutrients the body needs for recovery. Foods rich in protein and healthy fats will aid new blood cell creation and collagen.
Protein is also vital for a strong immune system. A variety of fruit and vegetables, including plenty of green, leafy vegetables, will benefit an individual’s ability to fight free radicals.
Equally important is what they don’t eat in the lead-up to a cosmetic procedure. Patients should avoid consuming high doses of omega- 3s because they can thin the blood; foods high in sodium should also be avoided.
WHAT TO AVOID
Clients should also try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before and after some procedures.
Prior to undergoing cosmetic surgery, it’s good to advise patients to stop consuming any alcohol and to avoid drinking it 24 hours afterwards, too. While the risks may be fewer for clients having non-invasive procedures, many clients undergo facial and skin procedures to help turn back the clock, and their hard work can be undone by consuming alcohol as it can cause the skin to dehydrate. Alcohol also causes blood vessels to expand, which can increase the time it takes for swelling to go down.
To ensure the speediest recovery, you want to ensure your client’s autoimmune system is not compromised. Alcohol can have a negative impact on this, thinning the blood, which can result in complications related to wound healing.
For procedures such as laser hair removal, advise clients to skip their morning caffeine fix on the day of the procedure.
As well as dehydrating the body, caffeine can make the skin more susceptible to pain, and if consumed in excess, it can cause shakiness, making it difficult for the practitioner to do their job.
It’s worth reminding clients that caffeine is in a variety of food and beverages – things like energy drinks, protein bars, some cold and flu remedies and chocolate should all be avoided.
After treatments such as facial fillers, it is recommended that clients wait for at least 24 to 48 hours before resuming exercise.
Laying off the exercise can significantly reduce bruising in the aftermath, shortening recovery time and allowing patients to show off their treatment in the shortest time possible. However, mild activity like walking is a good way for clients to get their steps in for the day, without hindering the recover process.
You’ll be well versed in advising clients to refrain from booking any facial treatments such as Botox or fillers in the days following treatments.
Staying away from direct sunlight as well as excessive heat in the immediate aftermath (things like saunas and hot showers) is also widely advised, but it’s important to remind clients to avoid any activity that puts the face or body in excessive heat. This can be as simple as cooking over a hot stove while boiling water.
EAT FOODS TO AID OPTIMAL RECOVERY
After the body experiences trauma, adequate nutrition helps it heal and recuperate. Properly fuelling your body with food is more important than ever. Depending on the treatment, patients may understandably crave comfort food, but most of all, they will desire convenience, especially if they avoid cooking over steam or heat.
With my clients, we often pre-plan personally tailored meals in advance of treatments, so that meal plans are taken care of, and clients can feel confident they are eating the right types of foods to aid the best recovery
FOODS I WOULD RECOMMEND FOR A SPEEDY RECOVERY:
Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale and cabbage, are brimming with vitamins, minerals and fibre. They also contain nutrients including lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, folic acid and glucosinolates – all of which have been associated with lowering the risk of cancer. They are often also packed with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which will speed up the recovery time of many procedures.
Berries are rich in phytonutrients and plant compounds, which will help support your patient’s recovery. They are particularly high in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give berries their characteristicly bright colours. Anthocyanins are known to promote anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer benefits. Berries are rich in vitamin C, essential for stimulating the production of Collagen, the protein most involved in wound healing. This can help speed up the healing of any scars following a treatment. Blueberries and blackberries are considered to be the highest in antioxidants.
Protein can be beneficial in aiding a speedy healing process. Eggs are a great source of easily absorbed protein (providing, on average, 6g protein per large egg). They also contain a variety of nutrients that support wound healing and immune health, including vitamins A and B12, iron, zinc and selenium. They are a versatile ingredient and can be prepared ahead of time for maximum convenience.
Salmon is packed with protein and essential omega-3 fats. “Essential”, meaning these fats cannot be synthesised by our bodies and must be obtained through diet. These omega-3s are particularly beneficial for reducing inflammation, as well as promoting wound healing and enhancing immune response. However, salmon and other sources of omega-3 fats (other oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds & chia seeds) should be reserved for post-treatment rather than pre-, as high doses of omega-3s can thin the blood, which can have an impact prior to many non-invasive procedures.
Che Godfrey-Harper, Nutritionist at The Pure Package, who specialises in advising clients with special nutritional needs, says, “Inflammation is a natural immune response and the body’s way of protecting itself from harm. It’s normal to experience some inflammation following a treatment or procedure, but reducing levels before they become chronic is key. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, so foods rich in these fats are an excellent choice post-treatment. Oily fish, nuts, and seeds are all great sources”.
Food that are rich in zinc
Since studies show a positive correlation between long-lasting results from some injectables and high zinc levels in the body, recommending foods that are rich in zinc to your clients could be beneficial. Zinc is an essential mineral forming a component of more than 300 enzymes in the body, with functions including wound healing and immune system function. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, chicken, tofu, pork, nuts, seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, and mushrooms.
Staying hydrated is essential for optimal health at all times, as well as helping to improve the skin’s appearance. It is, of course, also essential for optimal wound healing and care.
Clients often opt for non-invasive procedures because they require very little downtime, and it’s possible to squeeze them in amid hectic schedules.
Ensuring clients are fully prepared before and after procedures can help them achieve the best results. We also know that if there are tips and suggestions that we can offer to make their busy lives easier and their recovery smoother, our clients will thank us.
Making sure that our clients maintain optimal health at all times, as well as following non-invasive procedures, is of optimal importance. The value of nutrition should not be underestimated, but for those who are time-poor, this can be daunting.
Healthy meal delivery services can be a real saving grace for many. Patients can rest assured that they are receiving nutritionally balanced meals tailored to their individual needs.
Maintaining vital nutrients needn’t be one more thing to worry about. Patients can get the most from their treatments and optimise their results with a commitment to their nutrition and overall health.
The Pure Package offers clients the opportunity to consult with a trained Nutritionist and devise a plan that is tailored to their needs, depending on their treatment.
Whether they are looking to prioritise protein and collagen levels to optimise recovery and wound healing, or boost their immunity, The Pure Package has a suitable plan.
Knowing that their diet is in tip-top condition will give clients the confidence they need before heading into a new procedure, and, with rest and recuperation being the key to a successful recovery, The Pure Package gives clients the opportunity to do this by delivering prepared nutritious and balanced meals each day, directly to their door.
Jennifer Irvine is a food entrepreneur, author, spokesperson, and founder of The Pure Package, which she launched in 2003, having recognised that those leading a busy modern life in London often found it impossible to source and prepare the best, nutritionally balanced food. Her unique concept has developed into an award-winning business, and, in January 2013, she successfully launched The Pure Package’s sibling, Balance Box. Jennifer is also the creator and chair of The Wellness Awards, which she established in 2016, designed to honour and celebrate the British health and wellness industry.