Dr. Michelle Henry is popular not only with her patients in her New York City clinic, but on social media as well. The beautiful board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, who specializes in cosmetic surgery, high risk skin cancer treatment and skin of color, has nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares videos of procedures and impressive before and after photos of her patients.
“Dermatology comprises all of what I love in medicine,” she says of her career choice. “I treat everything from infectious diseases to skin cancer to aesthetic procedures. Diagnosing and treating a childhood friend’s skin cancer was one of my proudest moments.”
Read on to learn what treatments and injectables she performs on herself, her daily skincare routine, social media tips and the craziest thing she’s ever seen as a leading derm.
Her Self Service
One perk of being a top derm is being able to treat yourself. “I have injected myself for the last eight years,” she reveals. “I find that I know the intricacies of my face best! I have faithfully used an injectable wrinkle reducer on my forehead and crow’s feet. I use filler on my nasolabial fold every two years.
[Editor’s note: an injectable wrinkle reducer is a treatment performed by a professional to temporarily smooth the appearance of moderate or severe lines on the face in areas such as the forehead or crow’s feet. And injectable filler is a treatment that temporarily adds volume via hyaluronic acid to areas on the face, including cheeks, lips, and laugh lines. Fillers can last between 6 months to 2 years depending on the area and filler used. As with any prescription, be sure to talk to your licensed provider about all the risks and benefits. To learn more, chat with a trained aesthetic specialist now!]
If you’re considering an injectable treatment for the first time, she says not to stress about the pain. “Relax!” Dr. Henry advises. “With the use of topical numbing medications, the procedure can be manageable. Make sure that you are being injected by a board-certified dermatologist to ensure a fantastic aesthetic outcome.” Learn more about how to tell if you’re seeing a skilled and credible provider here.
Her Exact Skincare Breakdown
Dr. Henry always begins by using a gentle cleanser, since she sometimes wakes up with sensitive skin. “I cleanse my skin with Environ® Skin EssentiA® Mild Cleansing Lotion,” she says. “It does not dry out my skin which is often sensitive in the mornings.” She follows up with a toner. “I use Biologique RechercheTM; P50 1970 Lotion as a toner morning and night. It helps to fight acne, improve my skin tone and soften fine lines and wrinkles.” (Guess who else is obsessed with this cult French product?)
She also relies on a serum with Vitamin C and a daily moisturizer with SPF. “In the daytime, I use Sunday Riley® C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85) to protect my collagen from being degraded by pollution and UV light,” Dr. Henry shares. “I use CeraVe® Ultralight Moisturizer with SPF 30 ($18) every day to help maintain an even skin tone and protect against skin cancer.”
She also uses the Vitalize peel 2-3 times a year to “maintain a luminous complexion.”
At night, she washes her face with a different cleanser containing salicylic acid. “I cleanse my skin with Proactiv® Deep Cleansing Wash ($35) to remove makeup and debris from the day,” she says. “Then I use [adapalene and benzoyl peroxide], to help fight acne and maintain an even skin tone. I moisturize with CliniqueTM; Moisture SurgeTM; 72 Hour Auto Replenishing Moisturizer ($19) to provide deep nourishing moisture overnight.”
[Editor’s note: Please be sure to speak to your physician before starting new medications.]
Even Derms Deal With Acne and Hyperpigmentation
“On my skin type, even the tiniest pimple will leave behind hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Henry shares. “This is a daily battle. To avoid hyperpigmentation, I work aggressively to prevent acne by using a retinoid every night. I also religiously use sunscreen.”
[Editor’s note: If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, please be sure to consult your licensed provider before using retinoid or retinoid based products.]
Despite a common myth, acne has nothing to do with your hygiene. “So many young women and men carry shame about their acne as they believe it is due to a lack of cleanliness,” she adds. “Acne is caused primarily by hormones and genetics. Blame your parents, but unless one completely avoids washing their face and is not slathering it in oil, hygiene is likely not the sole cause.”
To battle any discoloration from a breakout, her go to weapons are SkinMedica® Lytera® 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum ($130) and peels. “If I am dealing with hyperpigmentation, I use it twice daily,” she says. “Chemical peels help to remove any hyperpigmentation that my topical regimen cant tackle.”
On the Job
Dr. Henry’s wildest moment was when she saw a patient who returned from a trip with unexpected souvenirs stuck in her scalp. “I once had a patient that came to visit after a vacation to Belize,” she explains. “She complained of pain and a weird writhing sensation on her scalp. Upon further examination, I noticed eight red nodules on her scalp.”
Dr. Henry discovered that each nodule contained a botfly larva, which are difficult to extract. “Each larva fights to stay in their new home, so the process to remove each one is frightful but gratifying,” she says.
On Being Genuine
For anyone hoping to grow their own Instagram or brand on social media, Dr. Henry says authenticity is key. “Be honest with your followers,” she advises. “Gone are the days that doctors can sit in their ivory towers and not engage their patients. Patients want to know who you are and what you believe. They want a doctor that will not only treat them but also educate and empower them. I use my social media platforms to educate, dispel myths, and reduce fears regarding dermatologic conditions and treatments.”
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