The Secret To Anti-Aging

By Bailey Beckett

One of New York’s top skin pros, Dr. Dendy Engelman is on the front lines of erasing lines, as well as wrinkles, sunspots—and even fat.

The doctor, who sees patients at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in Manhattan, is a board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologic surgeon well versed in the latest techniques and technologies and known nationally for her expertise in neurotoxins, injectable fillers, and chemical peels.

She may not walk on water, but she can certainly teach you how to hydrate. “I don’t want anyone to look ‘done’ but the best versions of themselves,” says Engelman. Whether fillers, laser treatments or even skin cancer screening, the dermatologist doesn’t discriminate when offering sage yet relatable prognoses. It’s that warm, knowing bedside manner that has helped her fill the waiting room with young and old, from every demographic.

“I have a lot of young girls who will come in under the guise of ‘I need my body checked’ and then they want to review their skin care regimen and what products they should be using,” says Engelman. “At that age, they think they want Botox or their lips done, but what I also want to do is help to preserve a very natural aesthetic, and that’s where I like to live and feel comfortable. Quite honestly, when you’re 22, you don’t need a lot of injectables.” Engelman often uses consultations to not only talk cosmetic treatments but also to perform full body screenings, identifying moles and other skin issues. Unbelievably, in her self-deprecating manner Engelman says proper skin maintenance will “keep me away from patients a lot longer. I talk a lot about skin care practices and different anti-aging products that can be used to help preserve their appearances.”

Interestingly, Engelman notes it’s the older patients who shy away from the treatments they could use most. “Forty-year-olds are very tentative about injections,” she says, “and 20-year-olds are all about it.”

One topic the dermatologist is emphatic about is protecting yourself from the sun. “You have to have a good daily sunscreen. If we never have the wrinkles, we never have to Botox it away,” she says. Engelman recommends products with an SPF of 30 or higher. “Just like you brush your teeth, you put on your sunscreen.” Whether it’s a cream or a physical blocker, like titanium dioxide, will depend on who wears it, but sunscreen protection is one of the most important rituals you can do to preserve your skin.

Of course, there is a myriad of other products claiming the same. One stroll through a department store can confuse the best of us. “It is so overwhelming,” Engelman acknowledges. “You have ladies at the counter who are telling you this potion in this next best thing. It’s a facelift in a jar. I wish I could help guide people where to go and what to invest in,” she says laughing.

“But some of the products are good. There are definitely heroes in every brand that have passed the test of time and work,” she says. Engelman recommends products with a hyaluronic acid. “It’s a sugar that we all have in the dermis in between the collagen muscles. The hyaluronic molecule holds one thousand times its molecular weight in water. So, whether we’re applying it to the surface or injecting it into the skin (Juvéderm, Restylane), it really helps to enhance the quality. I always like to tell patients that you don’t need to be a movie star to have beauty,” she says.

With the insurgence of new laser treatments promising 20-year-old skin, sun tans, hair-free bodies, and even well-defined abs, it’s never been more important for consumers to be cognizant of the do’s and don’ts in treating your skin. A big no-no? Having someone who’s not an MD using lasers on your face (and any other part of your body). “You have to respect the power of the laser, not only the benefits but the potential downside with burning and scarring,” Engelman says. “Even some dermatologists don’t have the training or background that goes into firing these into the skin. That’s why I did a fellowship, to understand the science behind these powerful machines.”

Day spas and beauty salons that boast of new laser treatments are likely to be using the lowest wattage possible to prevent damage. However, because of that lack of power, they are often ineffective. “Patients spend boatloads of money, and they don’t get anything,” Engelman says. “You caused no harm, but you’ve done no good.”

For more information on Dr. Dendy Engelman and MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery visit MDCSNY.com.

Abs Without The Gym

Looking ahead, it’s those electronic treatments that Engelman is most excited about. “This is the next level,” she enthusiastically told us.

Does the thought of doing 20,000 crunches without, well, crunching sound too good to be true? Meet the new Emsculpt, the latest in nonsurgical fat reduction treatments dominated by lasers and electromagnetic energy. The Emsculpt, in particular, implodes fat cells (19 percent loss after four treatments) and builds muscles. In other words, lose the fat, get the abs. It sounds too good to be true, no?

You’d think, but there’s a method, and success, to this madness. The Emsculpt, which was approved by the FDA in March, causes 20,000 muscle contractions in just 30 minutes—in other words, doing that many sit ups simply by laying on your back and letting a machine do the work. Engelman is an early proponent of the treatment and offers four session packages in her practice. The process, though, is not without discomfort. Two highly charged paddles rest on your torso for half an hour, contracting and tightening your muscles through three cycles, one more extreme than the next. It’s akin to, well, doing a high intense work out.

Patients can see changes typically after the four sessions (which range from $750 to $1500) but the real results appear in four months.

In the meantime, stay away from the calories. The Emsculpt has many wonderful advantages but a rewind button isn’t one of them. -Bailey Beckett