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Here’s how you should prep your skin before a treatment

Everything you need to know about prepping your skin before trying three of the industry’s most popular aesthetic treatments

With a host of skin perfecting treatments available, just like a kid in a candy store it’s tempting to try as many as possible. But it’s not as simple as booking an appointment, there’s usually a lot more prep that’s needed to ensure you’re eligible.

And it’s not just waiting a few weeks in between–there’s skincare regimes to follow, medications to avoid, and even your skin tone to consider. Read on to discover how to prep for some of the most popular aesthetic treatments…

Radio frequency microneedling

Radio frequency (RF) therapy is a highly effective collagen boosting treatment that uses energy waves to heat the dermis (the middle layer of the skin), which stimulates the production of collagen to smooth lines and wrinkles.

A microneedling treatment uses very fine, sterile needles to puncture the skin and create microscopic channels that trigger the skin's natural repair responses, which include boosting collagen. Plus, it’s generally very effective at clearing hyperpigmentation too–no guesses as to why this is such a popular treatment.

But you can’t just turn up to a clinic and expect to try radio frequency microneedling without prepping your skin first. You’ll need to press pause on acid-based skincare and retinoids at least four days before. Avoid sun exposure, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen to minimise bruising. And for those with Black and brown skin, it’s preferable to add four per cent hydroquinone to your daily skincare routine at least two weeks before as this inhibits melanin production, ensuring that the initial trauma doesn’t trigger hyperpigmentation.


While there are a plethora of injectables to choose from, including hydration boosters, polynucleotides, muscle relaxers, dermal fillers and more, there is a general rule of thumb for prepping your skin pre an injectable treatment.

Don’t drink alcohol at least 24 hours before your injectable treatment (or 24 hours after), as booze can thin the blood and lead to more noticeable bruising and swelling. Also, unless prescribed by your doctor, a week before your treatment take a break from any supplements that thin the blood too–think the likes of evening primrose oil, ginko, and curcumin.

It's also wise to book your injectable treatment as early in the day as possible so you’re not laying down to sleep shortly after, as in the case of muscle relaxing injections, laying down can spread the toxin, while accidentally sleeping on your face or the side of your face can cause your dermal filler to shift or migrate. You should avoid sleeping in this way for 24-48 hours, and having an early appointment gives you a head start.

If you’re having platelet rich plasma injections, polynucleotides, or any other injectable cocktail administered to your scalp, practitioners tend to advise you don’t wash your hair for at least 24 hours post treatment. It’s best to wash your hair and scalp before your treatment so that it’s nice and clean, and won’t need a wash for at least a day post injections.

Chemical peels

Using a chemical-based solution to mimic the skin’s natural exfoliation process but at turbo speed, is what chemical peels are all about. They break down the bonds between the dead skin cells on the outer layer of the skin to reveal smoother, clearer, more even toned skin beneath.

They're available in various strengths from light, medium to deep peels, and performed at a range of increments from once a month to twice a year, or once every few years for the strongest varieties. The strength you choose will dictate how you prep your skin, but it’s generally advised to stop using exfoliating acids and retinoids three to four days before a peel, and for melanin-rich skin tones a course of hydroquinone is a smart choice.

Depending on your skin tone you should start anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks before your peel, stop a couple of days before, and resume use 2-3 weeks post peel and remain using hydroquinone for three months.

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