Top 8 Dermatological Procedures You Can Fake at Home

How well do in-office treatments work for erasing wrinkles, smoothing under-eye circles, and reducing cellulite? Read our reviews before you book an appointment! Scroll down to find out what hurts, what works, and what to ask for in order to get the result you want.


Botulinum InjectionsBotulinum Injections
Procedure: Botulinum Injections

What it is:
Botox, Dysport, and the new Xeomin-all made from variations of botulinum toxin type A-erase wrinkles by blocking the nerve impulses that cause muscles to contract. (Approximately $400 every three to four months. After 20 minutes, you may be able to return to work; within a week, you'll see full results.)

Editor's take:
★★★★★
"Hands down, Botox is the easiest way to get rid of wrinkles. I'd tried everything: laser, Retin-A, chemical peels. Four days after my first injection, the stubborn lines were gone for good, but my face still looks natural."

Faking it: Unfortunately no product can mimic the amazing effects of the real deal. Needle-phobic? Try line-disguising bangs.

MORE: Ways to Tell How Well You Will Age

Lip FillerLip Filler
Procedure: Lip Filler

What it is:
Injections of hyaluronic acid (Restylane and Juvéderm are our favorites) give upper and lower lips an instantly plumper pout. (Approximately $600-$1,000 once or twice a year; lips will be puffy for the first 24 hours, but bruising is minimal.)

Editor's take: ★★★✩✩
"Easy, but a bit more painful than I expected. I love that my lips now don't disappear when I smile. They look like I was born with them, not artificial or Lohan-esque."

Faking it: Line lips with a pencil the same shade as your natural lip color: Trace just outside the contour of lips. Top with a light-hue gloss.

Undereye FillerUndereye Filler
Procedure: Undereye Filler

What it is:
Hyaluronic acid shots under the eye-placed carefully between the bone and the muscle-hide dark circles by smoothing contours so light bounces uniformly off the area. (On average, $600-$1,000 every four to six months. Minimal swelling goes away within a day, but bruising can last up to a week.)

Editor's take: ★★★★✩
"I wake up looking refreshed instead of haggard and don't have to wear as much concealer. To minimize bruising, lay off blood-thinning omega-3s, green tea, and aspirin-Tylenol is okay-for the week before."

Faking it: Clé de Peau concealer is a derm and makeup artist favorite to erase even the darkest of circles.

Acne InjectionsAcne Injections

Procedure: Acne Injections

What it is: An anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, injected directly into a pimple, reduces swelling and speeds the healing time of large cysts. (Approximately $75-$150. The injection takes seconds; you'll start seeing the benefits in 24 hours.)

Editor's take: ★★✩✩✩
"I've gotten a few of these before television appearances, and they're never the salvation I had hoped they would be. I've switched to the Zeno Hot Spot at-home device, which delivers heat to kill bacteria and reduces pimple size within a day."

Faking it: Try this makeup-artist trick: Soak a cotton ball with Visine and hold to a blemish-the active ingredient reduces redness.

MORE: How to Get Rid of Adult Acne

VelasmoothVelasmooth

Procedure: Velasmooth

What it is: Endermologie on steroids: VelaSmooth devices attempt to reduce cellulite with a combination of deep massage, infrared light, and radio frequency. (Approximately $180 per 45-to-60-minute session; practitioners say eight to 16 sessions are required for results. No downtime, but some minor bruising.)

Editor's take: ★✩✩✩✩
"I was part of a medical trial for a story, so the doctor VelaSmoothed only one thigh. My skin seemed smoother after the eight sessions, but a year later I developed dimpling just in the treated area."

Faking it: Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer camos cellulite for leaner-looking legs.

Chemical PeelChemical Peel

Procedure: Chemical Peel

What it is: To reduce acne and boost radiance, dermatologists brush on acid blends-AHAs, salicylic, lactic, and glycolic are the most common-wait a few minutes, and then neutralize. (Around $150-$350 each, and you'll begin to see results after one session. Four to six sessions spaced two to four weeks apart will deliver a clearer, more even complexion.)

Editor's take: ★★★✩✩
"I've had gentle peels that immediately made me look glowy-but the effect only lasted 48 hours. After a stronger peel, I started shedding a day later and didn't stop for four days. I was disgusting at first, but a week later people were complimenting my dewy skin."

Faking it: A month of the at-home Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel gives results of one in-office experience.

MORE: Models Reveal Their Favorite Face Products

Hair RemovalHair Removal

Procedure: Hair Removal

What it is: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) targets follicles, destroying hair without damaging surrounding tissue. Hair begins to grow back finer until the follicle becomes dormant. (Price varies per area, approximately $150 per upper lip session; six appointments are often required. If your natural hair color and skin tone are similar, you may need more sessions.)

Editor's take: ★★★★★
"Zapping noises, the smell of charred hair-the experience isn't the most pleasant, but it honestly hurts less than waxing. I saw results after the first session: My dark hair began to grow back slower, finer, and lighter."

Faking it: Thanks to the protective balm, the two-step Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo depilatory erases hair without irritating skin.

Rosacea Light TherapyRosacea Light Therapy

Procedure: Rosacea Light Therapy

What it is: IPL treatment (which uses broad-spectrum light calibrated differently from its use for hair removal) shrinks the tiny blood vessels in the face that cause the flushing dreaded by rosacea sufferers. (On average, $300-$600 per session; can take up to five sessions, but two will often suffice.)

Editor's take: ★★★★★
"I've had patches of redness around my increasingly W. C. Fields-esque nose and on my cheeks since I was a teenager. After only one IPL session, I saw a huge difference; after three, my rosacea was completely gone. Seriously life-changing."

Faking it: Multitasking BB creams, such as Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector, even out skin tone and soothe inflammation.


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