Susan Taylor, dermatologist
What she's doing to her skin right now: "Once every month or two, I give myself a light chemical peel, usually 30 percent salicylic acid. It helps keep my complexion radiant. When you have brown skin, you have to be careful about discoloration, but as long as you don't overdo it, peels are very effective. A few years ago, I did a buffered 35 percent trichloroacetic acid peel, which is more intense. I was peeling for several days afterward, but I loved the result. My skin was so clear and smooth, and I think I even got a little skin tightening. I also have Botox injected in my frown lines; it not only smoothes them but gives a bit of an eye lift effect. And I did laser hair removal on my upper lip; three sessions did the trick. Women with brown skin should always have a patch test first, again, because of the potential for discoloration."

What she might try later: "Injectable fillers—when I need them. My patients love Restylane, which lasts six or seven months, and there's never a problem with bumps or lumps. It's better than collagen because there's less risk of an allergic reaction."

What she'll never do: "A facelift. It's just too invasive, and I don't want to look fake or not like myself."

Never, ever? "Ask me again when I'm 60."

What else she'd never do: "Anything that hasn't been around at least five years. Always ask your dermatologist how long a procedure has been performed."

The most overhyped products: "Any that claim they can penetrate the muscles and have an effect comparable to Botox. That's just ridiculous."

The most overhyped procedure: "Thermage. The studies haven't been compelling enough for me yet. I'm not convinced."


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