Botox, Fillers and More: Red Carpet Treatments, Ranked by Intensity

What's the difference between CoolSculpting and Sculpsure? Let us explain

By Diana Nguyen Mar 05, 2018 6:13 PMTags


If beauty is pain, how much would you endure?

Leading up to the Oscars, many celebrities opted for several non-invasive cosmetic treatments, from fat-freezing Cryolipolysis to Botox to something as simple as laser hair removal. It isn't all glamorous though—even the process of getting smooth skin can come with a level of discomfort. The question is: Is it all worth it?

E! News asked two experts—Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Glenn Vallecillos and Dr. Ehsan Ali, a concierge doctor whose patients include Lana Del Rey, Liam Hemsworth and Bella Thorne—what the most popular treatments are around award show season and if the results are worth the discomfort.

Standout Style Moments From Oscars 2018

"Minimally invasive and skin procedures with zero or minimal downtime are a lot more popular before [red carpet] events," explained Dr. Vallecillos. For instance, for treatments like fat-reducing Sculpsure, "it's a 25-minute treatment, no downtime, zero incisions—it's pretty awesome."

Just because award season is over though, doesn't mean treatment benefits will stop. Keep reading for what you need to know about the quick cosmetic procedures celebrities will be getting all year long.


Celeb Fans: Lance Bass, Jackie Cruz and Kyle Richards, who partnered with the brand and documented her transformation on Instagram.


What Is It: "The only other fat-reduction device on the market that works—the other being CoolSculpting," explained Dr. V. "This one is a laser-based treatment and actually heats the fat. The fat gets to a point where it's no longer sustainable, and your body metabolizes over time, and it goes away."


Best For: Fit individuals with stubborn problem areas, like around the abs, flanks (read: love handles), where bra-roll fat can occur and the top of the knees.


Pros: "You can lose over 24 percent of fat in a given area with a treatment series," he explained. "There's an added value of skin tightening."


Cons: "The downside is that it hurts a bit. It's a cyclical cooling motion, so you'll feel hot, cold, hot, cold—it's a lot like a cramp. It's tolerable," described the expert.


Frequency: At least two treatments are recommended. "The treatments are usually done six weeks apart. We see definitive results at 12 weeks," said Dr. V, who has also seen results as early as three weeks in.


Intensity Rating: 6


Celeb Fans: Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Molly Sims, who opened up about using the treatment with Vanity Fair.


What Is It: "CoolSculpting cools the fat down to a temperature where the fat can no longer live and it slowly dies off," explained Dr. V. Read a firsthand account of the process here. 


Best For: Fit individuals with stubborn problem areas.


Pros: "The efficacies [of Coolsculpting and Sculpsure] are very similar; they're almost exactly the same," noted Dr. V.


Cons: While the heat-and-cooling combination may feel like cramping during the Sculpsure process, there's minimal post-treatment sensations. However, CoolSculpting can be quite uncomfortable and even painful after the actual treatment, according to a E! editor. The treatment is also an hour long. 


Frequency: At least two treatments.


Intensity Rating: 8...because post-treatment discomfort can be painful.

PRP and Microneedling

Celeb Fans: Kim Kardashian, Bar Refaeli and Kourtney Kardashian, who raved about the skin treatment on her app and Instagram.


What Is It: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) entails extracting your own blood, which contain red blood cells and plasma with healing properties. The blood gets put into a machine that separates the plasma, then with the help of microneedling, done with a roller device with small spikes or bumps, the plasma gets infused back into your skin. While it may look bloody, a topical numbing ointment is used for a pain-free treatment. 


Best For: Anyone who wants nice skin.


Pros: "There are two benefits: Immediate effects will include getting rid of black heads and [you'll get] the feeling of clean, nice skin," said Dr. Ali. "After about four weeks, there's another benefit: Plasma has growth factors, which can help with collagen production and treat acne."


Cons: A red face for up to 48 hours after the treatment. 


Frequency: At least twice, a month apart, but maintenance appointments after six months is recommended. 


Intensity Rating: 5...because it looks like a bloody mess. 

Kybella Injections

Celeb Fan: Khloe Kardashian, who once was a face for the brand and opened up about the treatment to Glamour


What Is It: An FDA-approved injection that gets inserted into fatty tissues and absorbs fat cells. It's most commonly used in the double chin area. 


Best For: Enhancing the jawline and spot-treating areas like the double chin. 


Pros: The treatment itself is not painful. "There's no bruising, no anesthesia and it's only 10 minutes," explained Dr. Ali. 


Cons: "There's initial swelling. You'll look kind of like a frog," warned the pro. "Then there's a soreness that you feel for up to 24 hours, as if you worked out really hard."


Frequency: At least two treatments, three months ahead of a big event. 


Intensity Rating: 4


Celeb Fans: Kelly Ripa, Lisa Rinna and Cindy Crawford, who openly talked about Botox with InStyle


What Is It: "Botox is a neurotoxin that paralyzes the nerve on the muscle, basically paralyzing movement, which then prevents wrinkles," explained Dr. Ali. 


Best For: Anyone from their 20s to their 80s, according to the pro. 


Pros: It can treat crow's feet and forehead wrinkles, enhance the jawline and cheekbones and tighten cheeks and bone structure. Not only is it preventative of fine lines and wrinkles, but it can help combat migraines as well. 


Cons: You may be red or puffy for a couple of hours. If you have someone inexperienced or untrained at administering Botox, it can result in an unbalanced look or the too much Botox (read: that frozen look).


Frequency: It lasts about three months and takes three to four days to see results. 


Intensity Rating: 4

Juvederm Injections

Celeb Fan: Kylie Jenner, who admitted that she gets lip injections to The New York Times


What Is It: An FDA-approved filler that injects collagen into the skin. 


Best For: There are different types of Juvederm with varying strengths. You can use it for cheek and jawline enhancement, sunken eyes and dark circles and as a nose straightener. "Lips are the most popular," added Dr. Ali. 


Pros: "It gets rid of resting lines," explained the pro. When your face is completely at rest (read: not smiling or scowling), it fills in those wrinkles you may have in between your eyebrows or around your mouth.  


Cons: There can be some swelling afterward. 


Frequency: Fillers are eventually absorbed by the body, so the pro recommends getting a treatment a week before a big event. 


Intensity Rating: 5

Clear + Brilliant

Celeb Fan: Christie Brinkley and Drew Barrymore, who broke down her beauty routine to The New York Times


What Is It: Fraxel laser treatments use fractional laser technology to restore skin, improving skin tone and texture and reducing scars, hyperpigmentation, pore size and fine lines by burning microscopic holes in the skin. Your body recognizes these micro-injuries and starts to repair itself, producing collagen (read: the stuff of smooth skin). Clear + Brilliant is basically a gentler version, often referred to as a "mini-Fraxel" or "baby Fraxel." 


Best For: Anti-aging, melasma, uneven skin tone, acne or surgical scars.


Pros: With numbing gel, you will most likely feel nothing. There's little to no downtime. 


Cons: Because it's gentler, it may not treat severe scarring or skin problems. There may also be some redness that follows. 


Frequency: It can take up to five treatments to see the same results of a standard Fraxel laser treatment. Costing upwards of $500 an appointment, that can add up. 


Intensity Rating: 3

Laser Hair Removal

Celeb Fan: Chrissy Teigen, who credited her local laser hair removal expert, alongside her typical glam squad, for her red carpet beauty look on Instagram


What Is It: Basically, a laser is used to burn the hair follicle. Once the hair starts to grow out of the skin, the now-damaged strand will fall out, leaving you smooth like a baby's bottom. Read all about the process here


Best For: Anyone who likes to be hairless or is tired of shaving or waxing regularly. 


Pros: It reduces hair growth so much that the need to shave can stop entirely, with enough treatments, that is. 


Cons: It takes multiples sessions to "zap" or damage the hair follicle, which can become costly. Certain lasers have a harder time distinguishing between hair and dark skin tones, so those with darker skin should ask the technician which lasers they use—Nd:YAG, for example, is better for all skin tones. 


Frequency: It depends on hormones, but it's not a permanent solution. Touch-ups are needed. 


Intensity Rating: 2

Watch: How to Get Your Skin Ready for Spring Like a Celeb

Would you try any of these treatments?

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