Soft Cosmetic Procedures

The demand for “soft cosmetic procedures” like injectable fillers, Botox, and various light therapies has spiked in the last decade. What procedure is right for you, and when is it worth it? We help you ask yourself the right questions.

Soft procedures refers to a wide range of treatments in aesthetic dermatology that are considered non-invasive and have a short recovery time, typically allowing the patient to go back to work on the same day. Typical examples of soft procedures include but are not limited to injectable fillers like Restylane or Perlane, and neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport that help restore facial volume and fill in wrinkles, and various light based treatments to improve skin tone and quality.


In the early days of cosmetic dermatology, soft procedures used to be lumped along with various surgical procedures like facelifts, and was associated with large scale impactful alterations of appearance, Hollywood actors, and by extension, extreme wealth and vanity. Nowadays, soft procedures have distinguished themselves from the invasive surgical procedures that leave dramatic results.

  • The result is much more clear and evidence based compared to over the counter topical creams. There really is no comparison.
  • Short or no recovery time is typical for many procedures, and negative side-effects are rare and often easily managed.
  • The procedure typically takes little time; often patients can come in during their lunch break, and go back to work with little or no restrictions.
  • The result is typically more “soft” and natural, with subtle understated changes compared to the more invasive surgical procedures.
  • The costs of soft procedures are significantly lower than a cosmetic surgery, typically ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
  • The results are often reversible if the patient doesn’t like a particular look with the modern fillers.


It’s important to look at the downsides as well. There are many treatment options, including not doing any procedures but simply using anti-aging skincare products. The “right option” depends on your priorities, comfort level, age, and skin concerns. It’s important to feel comfortable talking to your cosmetic dermatologist about the upsides as well as the downsides of every treatment option.

  • Typically, the effect of soft procedures are also temporary, lasting from 4 to 12 months (each procedure is individual and many factors affect this of course).
  • The cost may seem deceptively high if you look at the long-term. As most fillers and neuromodulators last less than a year, over 10 years, a $500 procedure will cost you $5000. Depending on your age, goals, and priorities, a surgical procedure may in some cases be more cost-effective.
  • While the risk of unwanted side-effects are very low, that possibility still does exist. It’s important that every patient discuss this risks as well as the expected improvements with their physician.

Advice when Considering any Cosmetic Option

  • It’s important to explore various other options as well. Knowing your various options can help you make the decision that’s right for you.
  • Do some research! Look at the local options for cosmetic dermatologists. If you live outside the city areas, you may need to look to your nearest city.
  • Talk to a cosmetic dermatologist about your concerns, the options available, and costs. Communication and trust is critical, as is technical skill, so make sure that you can work with your doctor.
  • Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the procedure, and if you really desire it.
  • Now that you want to proceed, and feel comfortable with your doctor, do your research again. You want to make sure that the performing physician has the requisite skill and experience in the procedure.