Should A Person Cut Back on Cosmetic Treatments Due to Economy?

A person has been getting Botox and Restylane from their doctor (about every 4 months); plus, they had a chemical peel about 2-3 years ago. They liked the results of the peel and am thinking about having another one to help with some uneven skin tone. But they are concerned about spending the money. They don't want to stop doing everything-- They are afraid of what they look like! But where can they cut back so I'm not spending so much?

Doctor Answers 20

Should I Cut Back on Cosmetic Procedures Because of Recession?

I empathize with every patient that faces this dilemma.  The most important thing is to preserve the financial stability of your own household.  We don't know when the economy is going to turn around for each person.  I understand the desire to maintain your appearance especially when you may be interviewing for a competitive job market.  I think the best approach is to honestly discuss with your physician your budget and how to get the most out of what you have allotted for cosmetics.  Also, feel free to ask your physician if there are any specials or special financing such as Care Credit where the doctor pays for your interest.  Never get into debt for cosmetics but ask your doctor for their expert opinion on cost saving ways to help you feel and look your best.  Always invest in a good sunscreen and use it consistently day or shine on face, neck, chest, and arms!

Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

It's easy to cut back on Botox and fillers in this economy.

Please make sure you don't spend money that you truly cannot afford on cosmetic procedures. I reacted to you saying you are afraid of what you would look like if you stop your treatments. Keep in mind that stopping any cosmetic treament does NOT accelerate aging or wrinkling like some urban myths suggest. If you stop completely for a while, you will be all right. Nothing contributes to aging like stress and poor sleep, and certainly spending money you need for "real life" on cosmetic procedures will only increase your stress and hurt your sleep in the end.

That said, it sounds a little frequent to me, for you to be getting Restylane every four months. That is not necessary and can lead to facial distortion, and distortion of your self image. Botox every four months does sound about right, but as another doctor said on here, many patients can easily get away with lower doses of Botox and may achieve perfectly fine results, especially if they have been using Botox for a while.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Treatment vs. prevention

You are talking about two things: treatment of signs of aging and prevention of aging. Since there are many different signs of aging (i.e. dyschromasia or discoloration, age spots, wrinkles, loss of volume, loss of elasticity) different treatment modalities target different combinations of problems . The chemical peel affects the elasticity, wrinkles, and discoloration. You might want to work with your doctor or perhaps a skin care specialist like as aesthetician to use products that can help these areas such as Retin, bleaching creams, or less expensive chemical peels. On the prevention side, a good sun block is crucial. Retin A is a good place to start with baseline skin care. Also an aesthetican can help use choose inexpensive moisturizers to give your skin a better presentation. Good luck.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Need to identify your area of concern/goal desired.

Dear Anon,

To best answer your question, the best place to start is to ask your doctor for his opinion- especially if he/or she has been caring you for the last few years as I understood in your question.

In general terms what you are describing is a maintance schedule you have enjoyed to preserve a youthful apearance. If you are wondering what to prioritize, much of that depends on your lifestyle, the degree of skin damage you have, and your areas of concern.

The combination you described of Botox, fillers, with skin resurfacing every few years works wonders to keep the overall youthfulness of our appearence. Chemical peels however are more invasive and have the potential for more complications, such as scaring or infections. Depending on the type of peel, and the areas treated it may also be the more expensive ot the three.

I hope this helped you with your decision.

Best wishes,

S.P. Maggi, M.D. FACS

Cutting back....


Many patients are doing less in view of the economy. Make sure you are doing the easy and inexpensive preventative stuff though..sun screen, sun avoidance, etc. Get back to more of your cosmetic treatments when economics permit.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tough Economy, Tough Choices.

Rest assured, you aren't the only one asking this question!  In difficult economic times, we all need to budget and try to make our dollars go farther.  Individuals can rack up big bills very quickly in the cosmetic arena, and unlike most goods, you can't return these for a refund.  In any event, my advice is to  s t r e t c h  your treatments as far as you can.  Instead of Botox every 3-4 months, try it every 5-6 months.  I'd bump up from Restyalne to Perlane to get the extra 3-4 months duration, for just about $100 more, which is a real bargain.  Chemical peels are great, but you probably can achieve the same result with a good skin care system at home, such as Obagi Nu Derm.  The Nu Derm system has a step called Exfoderm (and Exfoderm Forte) which is an at-home peel of sorts.  Both Exfoderm and Exfoderm Forte contain mild acids used in superficial peels.  You lose the luxury of a provider doing peels for you, but with a little of your own elbow grease at home, you can keep your skin vibrant and healthy until the economy recovers. 

But don't forget to reward yourself for successfully sticking to the tight budget!  If after several months, you find that you have a litte extra stored up, don't deprive yourself- prepay for cosmetic treatments!   In our office, we offer a hefty discount for annual prepayment of 3 sessions of Botox or Dysport.  Our patients love this since they don't have to reduce their frequency of injections, but yet save $300-$400 by paying in advance.  Just some ideas...  Good luck! 

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Botox and economy

botox, fillers, and a good skin care regimen with increase in water intake and refraining from sun exposure are relatively cheap ways to improve your appearance and help delay larger ticket procedures such as a facelift

Christopher K. Livingston, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

You may need less Botox

As you continue to receive Botox treatments, the treated muscles will atrophy and you may stop habitually trying to use them.  The result will be weaker muscles and less activity after the botox effect is worn off.  You will find that eventually you may not need Botox as frequently.  Try not to repeat the treatment just as soon as you can move the muscles, but wait a bit.   Some patients manage once or twice a year treatments.  Longer lasting injectables, such as Perlane, might be appropriate for you, too.  Ask your doctor for advice.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Economy and Plastic Surgery

There have certainly been changes in plastic surgery with the current economy.  Many patients who cannot afford surgery are choosing to have non-invasive procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels rather than having surgery.  To cut costs even more, you really need to weigh the risks and benefits.  We see many patients coming to the office looking for a competitive edge in their job search by trying to look younger or healthier.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

"Botox Lite" a cost saver

Many of my patients are extremely pleased with lower doses of botox, which reduces the cost. They are happy to have a slight amount of forehead expression rather than a frozen look. I call this "botox lite" and if anything, the economy has increased demand for this procedure in my practice.

Daniel J. Ladd Jr., DO
Austin Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.