At first glance, I guessed that John Layke, MD, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, was a model or an actor. He was particularly tall, had a chiseled jawline comparable to Superman, and an undeniable air of confidence to his every move. But, considering I was in New Orleans at an aesthetics conference for plastic surgeons across the country, that didn’t make sense. Hundreds of seasoned doctors crowded the convention center for The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery® meeting, and Dr. Layke was one of them.
And while the charming Dr. Layke has made appearances on national television broadcasts like ExtraTM and Entertainment Tonight®, he is not, in fact, another LA performer of any sort. Instead, he plays a different role in Hollywood: that of a double board-certified doctor. His day job involves using his brains and deft hands to perform procedures — from rhinoplasties to injectables — on his patients.
As the story goes, he didn’t always want to be a plastic surgeon. Originally, he was going to be a trauma surgeon, which he considered to be more exciting at the time. However, an incident during his third year of residency completely changed his mind. “A drunk guy blew through a stop light, and killed a mom and two little kids in the middle of the night,” says Dr. Layke. “He was spitting at us while we're trying to save him. And I thought, ‘You know what, I don't know if this is quite for me.’”
Once he decided to distance himself from trauma surgery, Dr. Layke began seeking a different specialty. Eventually, he came across plastic surgery. “I started to notice that there was this plastic surgeon that came [into the hospital] who did all the reconstruction for trauma,” Dr. Layke explains. “He was always well-dressed, and always had a smile on his face.” That same plastic surgeon eventually became somewhat of a mentor to Dr. Layke, and the specialty ended up being a perfect fit for him.
Since that moment, Dr. Layke has dedicated his life to plastic surgery. He has his own practice called Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group℠, is a published author, and is also the co-founder of skincare line Beverly Hills MD®. Here, we dive deeper into Dr. Layke’s life at home (he has a wife and three young children!), the aesthetic trends he’s seeing among men, and what he believes is the future of skincare.
Spotlyte: What, within your field of work, makes you smile the most?
Dr. John Layke: Listen, I'm a rhinoplasty guy, so if I can operate on that all day along, I'm the happiest.
Spotlyte: What’s a normal day for you?
JL: If it's a non-operative day, I'll get up and start taking care of the kids. I make them breakfast before work, and then it's a full day of office consultations. I really focus on the neck and above — I'm a rhinoplasty and facelift guy. I'll either do injectables or consultations. If it's an operative day, I get up earlier and head in [to the office] probably for a combined case with my partner.
Spotlyte: Are there any aspects of your job that you find particularly frustrating?
JL: The most challenging part is dealing with a postoperative result that is suboptimal in my eyes. Even if the patient's happy, [doctors] are very critical of our own results, and if you're not, you're not learning. I'll look back at every single one of my results and say, how could I improve that? Then, I move forward and implement those steps.
Spotlyte: What do you believe is the future of aesthetics?
JL: We are seeing a blend of both noninvasive and invasive technologies. Surgery will always be the mainstay. However, no longer does anyone just do a strict facelift. Now, we call it a composite facelift. We do things that are going to improve the quality of the skin, and then it’s maintenance afterwards.
Spotlyte: Have you noticed any aesthetic trends among your patients?
JL: With this age of social media, younger patients and males are definitely coming in [more]. There's a negative component to [social media] as well: with Facetune® and morphing [facial features] like that, people are unrealistic with the results that they see on Instagram®.
But, I do see that there's a definite trend in male plastic surgery. Long gone are the days where men can age like fine wines, because now we [ask], “Why can't we look just as good as our female counterparts?” Also, millennials are starting to realize that maintaining healthy skin is very important.
Spotlyte: What kind of treatments do men usually come to you for?
JL: Injectable wrinkle reducers will always be extremely popular. But liposuction is the number one procedure that's performed. Rhinoplasty is number two. I'm seeing more and more men feel comfortable approaching the subject of [treating] their physical characteristics. It's now more socially acceptable.
Spotlyte: Do you get any injectables yourself?
JL: I do injectable wrinkle reducer and fillers. For injectable wrinkle reducer, I get it in the upper third of the face. So, I do glabellar region [frown lines], forehead [lines], and the sides of the eyes [crow’s feet].
As far as filler, I always say that [over the years], draw a line [across] the neck, and either above [the line] or below it is going to suffer. If you're in great shape, the face suffers because you lose fat [in the cheeks]. If you're overweight, the face looks great because it's full. I would always rather choose the former. So, where you lose the fat is a great starting place for adding [volume back with] filler. And that's what I did.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.] LINK TO CHAT
Spotlyte: Do you get any other in-office treatments regularly?
JL: I've done microneedling before, which I think is phenomenal. Now, we have better technology using microneedling and radio frequency. I haven't had time to do it, but I will make time, because I do think that it's extremely important now that I'm approaching my mid-forties and moving into my fifties.
Spotlyte: Tell me about your own skincare routine. What products do you use?
JL: I developed a skincare line called Beverly Hills MD in 2013 with my partner. I'm fairly regimented with my routine and I use all of our own products. I use a product with a high vitamin C concentrate and then some serums with actives that improve the quality of the skin and also brighten it. I use a good moisturizer and sunscreen religiously. Occasionally during the week, I'll use an exfoliant. Every now and then, I will use acid peel pads with a peptide neutralizing milk that essentially help with cellular turnover.
Spotlyte: Backtracking a little, you mentioned that people who work out a lot tend to lose fat in their faces and that this has happened to you. Are you a fitness person?
JL: Yes, I’m training three times a week. I'm usually up by 5:30 a.m. and go work out at 6:00 a.m. I have three children under the age of three. So, I would like to be as healthy as I can so I can enjoy them growing up. It's very important. My wife's also a very healthy, fit person, so we're trying to maintain [our bodies].
Spotlyte: What would you recommend to people who are also super fit and have noticed that they’re losing volume in their face?
JL: Everybody automatically moves towards [adding] volume [with filler] first, which I think is [effective], but what we often forget about is the importance of the skin itself. So, the better you treat your skin, the [better] you will look regardless of the volume underneath. The [added] volume becomes icing on the cake.