I’m always on the prowl for the newest in anti-aging skin care. I’m blessed with almost no wrinkles and know that Botox can be used to prevent lines from getting deeply etched in a wrinkle prone area. So, for…ahem…research purposes, I put my face in the hands of Dr. Soren White, a caring, soft spoken Cosmetic Dermatologist recommended by my friend, whom I affectionately dub ‘the ageless wonder.’ She’s been faithful to him for nearly 10 years which says a lot, ’cause she’s never faithful to anyone when it comes to keeping her flawless self flawless.
Dr. White’s office, like the doctor himself, is attractive and low key. There’s not a hint of glitz nor “Let’s have a Botox Party” kind of attitude, which comforts me. He asked about my concerns and we discussed options. The man has the patience of a saint! Botox has the highest percentage of satisfied users than any other non-surgical cosmetic procedure and I wanted to find out why. We decided that the crinkle next to my left eyebrow that forms when I frown and the now just tiny lines, but future crow’s feet, would be perfect spots for a little Botox. On my high cheekbones, he injected a tiny amount of Perlane to add a bit of width to my narrow face. Oh, did I mention that I’m terrified of needles? Dr. White assured me it would only feel like a slight pinch. My palms immediately started sweating as I closed my eyes and clenched the armrests of the chair. With the area sterilized, he made a few tiny injections and we were done. Huh? That’s it? Hardly even a pinch. Whoever said that we have to suffer for beauty didn’t visit Dr. White.
Whew! Once that was over, I could get on with the interview and get the latest skincare insights to share with you.
BN: What made you become a Cosmetic Dermatologist?
DrW: So many people in my family have an artistic side that I’ve always admired. I’m not an artist like my sister, though I do have good esthetic eye and was also interested in medicine. It’s one thing to understand how to do something medically, it’s another to know how to apply it artistically and to know what will look good.
BN: At what age to people tend to start Cosmetic Dermatological procedures?
DrW: It depends on person’s issues. If someone feels that their lips have always been too thin, then they may have filler in their 20’s. However, if their concern is aging, Botox is sometimes used for wrinkles in the 30’s and filler is generally used for nasal labial folds starting in the early 40’s.
Another use of Botox, which is not related to aging, is for dimples in the chin that appear when some people speak. It’s called “Peau d’Orange” or “Whirling Dervish” and the Botox relaxes the muscle so the dimples disappear.
BN: Are they any skincare products you highly recommend?
DrW: I always tell my patients that the best product for anti-aging is topical Vitamin C. It must be in serum form (not a creme) and contained in a protected environment such as a brown or opaque bottle so it doesn’t oxidize. Throw it out if it’s past its expiration date because by then it’s useless. No matter how much or how little you spend on skin care products, it’s the one item I tell people they should spend money on. Some good brands are: Skinceuticals, IS Clinical and Cellex-C (http://www.skinceuticals.com, http://www.isclinical.com, http://www.cellex-c.com)
BN: Can we do anything to keep our pores from enlarging? Can we shrink our pores?
DrW: No, nothing can make our pores smaller. The only thing you can do is use a pore-minimizing product with has tiny particles in it that temporarily fill-in the pores and then make-up glides over it and they appear less noticeable.
BN: What can be done about acne pock marks?
DrW: Some shallow pock marks can be treated with fillers however not all are amenable to fillers. Restalyne, Sculptura and even Collagen can be used, but have short term results. Silicone and a new product called Artefill (recently FDA approved) are permanent fillers that I use for treatment.
BN: Why would anyone only want temporary filler for pock marks?
DrW: Some people are frightened by the thought of something permanent and use a temporary filler first to see if they like the results. Then, once it’s disappeared, they can decide if they want to use permanent filler.
BN: What’s new that we’ll be hearing more about soon?
DrW: Smartlipo. This is a new and different type of liposuction. Actually, it’s not suction, it’s a laser that melts the fat and then, unlike liposuction, it makes the tissue contract and tighten. Smartlipo is used for small areas only and for small amounts of excess fat. It’s good for the jaw line, the back of the arms and for the bra fat area. It can even be used on the abdomen. But I have to stress it’s for people with a small amount of fat to remove it’s not for overweight people. It’s also good for people who have had liposuction but feel that there’s a small area that’s been missed.
BN: Anything else?
DrW: New and better lasers for the face like Fractionated CO2 lasers and Plasma resurfacing which will be good for tightening up the skin around the eyes and evening out shallow acne scars.
BN: Warm weather is here. Let’s talk about summer skin issues. Is our skin more prone to break-outs or acne in the summer? Do our oil glands kick into overdrive in the heat?
DrW: No, that’s a popular misconception. What happens is that in the summer we wear fewer clothes and so we’re more self-conscious of our skin. Back acne is not an issue under a sweater, but becomes one in a swimsuit. Also, the cosmetic companies come out with their anti-pimple campaigns at this time giving the perception that it’s more prevalent in summer. However, humidity is really what affects our skin and when our skin gets irritated, it’s more prone to breakouts. If you bike ride and wear head gear, the strap or band might irritate your skin where you sweat and cause a breakout. I’m not advocating sunbathing, but some sun exposure can act as an exfoliant and our oil glands get a little dryer and for some that makes acne get a little better.
BN: For those of us who get Glycolic peels or Dermabrasions, do we need to do anything different in the summer?
DrW: Those procedures make the skin more sensitive to the sun. So for summer, if you do either of these you have to make even more of an effort for sun protection. And for those who get peels, your doctor may suggest going down in strength for summer. If you don’t already do either of these procedures but have been thinking about it, I’d suggest waiting until after the summer before starting.
BN: You’re such a low key guy. Is there anything about you that would surprise someone meeting you?
BN: Favorite Group?
The now Cool DrW: Tool
So, how do I look after visiting Dr. White, you may be wondering. Well, it’s been two weeks since my visit and my cheek bones are more chic and my eyebrow doesn’t crinkle any more when I frown. Yet I’m not “frozen,” and haven’t lost any facial expression. In fact, no one can tell I had anything “done” except they say my face looks brighter. I think it looks “White”-er!
Dr. Soren White
853 Fifth Ave, NYC