Dr. Michele Green is a Cosmetic Dermatologist located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She is very honest and cautious with patients who want to embark on procedures to help them look younger. I started to see her as I approached 40 and I fell in love with her. I feel that she gives the best recommendations and always makes me look and feel great. She has also found a number of early stage Melanomas on me, and is very cautious about the sun and the effects of it. Below I ask her advice on how to age gracefully, and more!
Dr. Green, when do you think that women should start to do simple procedures to their face like Botox?
That’s an interesting question. It’s really genetics. Studies have shown that people age like their mothers so if your mother had a very deep line- like a “glabella” line- then I would tell someone that is young to start earlier than someone older. It really depends on what is bothering them and how they are wrinkling because not everyone starts to wrinkle at the same age.
You always tell me to do VBeam for redness and I always ask you if it works. One time you told me that some women do VBeam all their lives. Can you tell me about why it is so effective?
I have two patients that I have done nothing but peels and VBeam on – maybe a tiny bit of Botox (and I mean tiny) and that is it- and their skin looks so gorgeous. Both of these patients are in their 70’s and have been told they look 20 years younger. This is because what these products do is remodel the collagen and get rid of fine lines, so they rejuvenate the skin.
You handed me three pamphlets on the new “IT” procedures: Kybella, Voluma and Cool Sculpting. What does each do and why do you like these procedures?
Kybella is fabulous because it gets rid of submental fat. There previously was nothing that could get rid of the fat under the chin. Patients that were bothered by their neck appearance had no treatment option except a surgical procedure like liposuction. Kybella is made from Deoxycholic Acid, which is a natural substance in your gut. You inject it into the neck area under the chin and it dissolves the fat. It’s pretty revolutionary because there has been nothing for this area other than Thermage to tighten this skin- which by the way- works great. This is going to be a game changer. I think over time we may find we can use Kybella in other areas of the body to get rid of fat.
Voluma is my favorite injection and was recently acquired by Allergan, the maker of Botox. It is a very soft, spongy injection which is one of the most natural ones I’ve ever seen. The substance goes in so easily and has the absolute best results when used mid face, where it restores overall volume. All of these women who work out every day then don’t eat and are so super skinny- their faces don’t look good or healthy to me– even if they may be “healthy” because their faces are losing all the fat. What Voluma does is it naturally gives back the volume in your cheeks, and it looks gorgeous. It’s one of my favorites.
Cool Sculpting is fat freezing. What’s great about it is its non-invasive, is pretty painless, and it can be used on all areas of the body now. There are appliques for the legs, the arms, for the stomach, for the chin- there’s even a “cool mini” for the neck, and also for bra fat. For patients who don’t want to do Kybella or are afraid of needles, cool sculpting or cool mini under the neck is a great effective option.
You have your own line of products. Why? Did you see a lack of available alternatives?
What happened was I used to write down lists of products for people to buy and it was so painful for both me and them. I’d say “buy this one in Duane Reade, buy this one in Bergdorf Goodman”, and I was sending people to different places to buy all these products. My patients started asking “don’t you have anything here?” My clients don’t want to be bothered going to all these different places. It was really patient driven. One by one I started getting products into the office that were similar or better than what I was telling people to buy over the counter. First it was cleansers, then toners, then moisturizers, then retinol products then serums. Little by little I had everything that I needed and I didn’t have to tell people to go buy things elsewhere. When patients come in and say they are using products from another doctor or other beauty brands, I can tell them what is good, but I never tell them to get rid of it if it’s good. I have a format which I can plug their products into and recommend what I think people need to use for their skin.
What is the single product of yours that you recommend the most?
It’s the duo. The AM/PM Serums. I also like to recommend the Vitamin C.
And why is that?
Because they work so well. They are non-irritating. They do different things: they get rid of redness, fine lines, a bit of the brown spots. And they don’t irritate most people. They do a little bit of everything. Other products on the market such as retinol products can be very irritating, and are not sun sensitive. Patients don’t like to use products that they can’t use half the year or which make them more sensitive in the sun. The AM/PM Serums and the Vitamin C have no affect in the sun, which makes them particularly appealing.
Are you finding a lot more men coming to you for anti aging procedures?
YES. And what’s interesting is what brought the most men into my practice is Kybella. It seems their neck really bothers them, and I have all these first time men coming in for this. They may not want to come in for things like Botox that may not seem manly, but they will come in for Kybella and then feel comfortable enough to get other cosmetic procedures done.
What is the biggest advice you could give to women in their 40’s about their skin care?
SUNSCREEN!! Staying out of the sun and taking small measures at a young age to reduce sun damage are smart things to do. Don’t wait until you’re too wrinkled. Products like Botox are preventative and injections like Juviderm and others that build collagen in your skin are great. If you do them over time, they have anti-aging benefits as well as short term beauty enhancement.
What about to women in their 20’s?
Do little things – obviously sunscreen again- but things like Clear and Brilliant (which is a mini Fraxel), maybe a tiny amount of Botox if needed. Especially, like I said, if their mothers have deep lines. I also recommend a retinol to help exfoliate their skin that is non irritating while producing new collagen to keep their skin young.
For more on Dr. Green, go to www.michelegreenmd.com