Cosmetic Procedures Without the Cutting: A Guide to Noninvasive Treatments

The cutting edge in cosmetic procedures nowadays is … not cutting. As all kinds of face and body treatments grow more popular year after year, it’s the noninvasive ones, like Botox and facial fillers, that are outpacing surgical measures two to one, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It makes sense. Noninvasive methods and “cosmeceutical” products cause less discomfort and involve far less (if any) downtime than going under the knife. These procedures may also be more affordable than surgery, but make no mistake: you can still shell out a pretty penny, as it were. In fact, we calculated that if you went all in this year for a full suite of non- surgical upgrades, from replenishing hair on your head to tightening your bottom, you could easily spend more than $30,000. And while some treatments are one-and-done, for others you’re looking at shelling out more for maintenance later on.

We polled doctors and other providers on the estimated time and price of treatments tackling the most troublesome face and body issues reported by women and men — wrinkles, blemishes, sagging, fat, cellulite, unwanted hair loss or growth. Which treatments work? Are they worth the money? Science has verified the efficacy of some (like Retin-A and Kybella); other methods have made their case by satisfying customers. Whatever method you’re considering, check with your doctor first; it also wouldn’t hurt to consult trusted friends who’ve had it done.

Face and Body Treatments

Even the fittest among us have “problem areas” — witness those paparazzi shots of movie stars with cellulite. As we age, things just aren’t as firm as they were. There’s no shame in seeking a little clinical help to minimize love handles, crepey or cottage cheese thighs or a double chin. And while such reshaping used to mean a surgical technique like liposuction followed by a recovery period, most noninvasive procedures today have little or no downtime and can be done on your lunch break.

*The FDA warns that the benefits aren’t proven, and the American Academy of Dermatology reports that some people have suffered from frostbite and other cold-related injuries.

Skin Treatments

Wrinkles are the main indicator we associate with age, but they’re not the half of it. Skin sags. Cheeks lose fullness. And even younger people can have blemishes from acne or the sun.


If only our follicles would produce hair where we want it and not where we don’t. For both men and women, restoring thinning hair on our heads and getting rid of it on our bodies can be a constant battle. Hair management is also the most varied category of nonsurgical beauty interventions; you can turn to prescription drugs, tattoos, lasers and even having your own blood run through a centrifuge and injected into your scalp (PRP or platelet-rich plasma).