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Full-Service Skin RX

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The Violet Files

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A guide to the best doctor & aesthetician duos in the country because an effective skin care strategy requires a united front.

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Full-Service Skin RX

Aestheticians have become as much a staple of dermatology offices as Juvéderm pamphlets and sunscreen samples. According to New Orleans dermatologist, Patricia Farris M.D., it’s with good reason. “In my experience, an in-office aesthetician brings a different, yet complementary, science to the practice,” she explains. “I will often call them into the treatment room for their opinion.” Plastic surgeons, meanwhile, have come to rely on aestheticians to administer post-op facial treatments that expedite recovery. “It makes the care that I can give more comprehensive,” explains New York plastic surgeon, Adam Kolker, M.D., F.A.C.S.

The arrangement, it seems, is mutually beneficial. For aestheticians, working out of a doctor’s office means access to state-of-the-art technology like skin-contouring machines and ablative lasers that can accomplish much more than the average spa facial. “People don’t come here to be pampered,” says RN Mojgan Moraveji, who works with Santa Monica dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D. “They expect results.”

Of course, from a patient standpoint, the best doctor/aesthetician partnerships are those that offer more than just the convenience of getting eczema cream and an anti-aging oxygen-infused L.E.D. facial under one roof (although that’s nice, too). Here, VIOLET GREY’s guide to the country’s most collaborative skin care teams — those dermatologists and plastic surgeons who work closely with their aestheticians to devise the most informed and comprehensive care for each patient.

Ava Shamban, M.D., and Mojgan Moraveji
Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, CA

The Philosophy: At Dr. Shamban’s offices, the overriding outlook is simple: Accentuate the positive. Instead of zeroing in on a problem area or condition, patients are encouraged, with the help of the staff, to identify their “signature” feature (prominent cheekbones perhaps, or a confident jawline). From there, they work with Dr. Shamban, Moraveji and a handful of other aestheticians to eradicate any issues (wrinkles, acne, dull skin) that might distract from their star attribute.

The Signature Treatment: Moraveji, who has been with Dr. Shamban for over 20 years, is known for her Mojy Special, a two-hour treatment that includes a plant-based stem cell and DNA facial, an oxygen mask, microdermabrasion and Pellevé, a radio frequency technology that induces collagen contraction to producer tighter, firmer skin.

Leslie Baumann, M.D., and Tiffany Faust
Miami, FL

The Philosophy: The prominent dermatologist’s eponymous Baumann Skin Typing System identifies 16 skin types, and each one requires a different regimen of products. New patients are given a quiz that determines their type so the doctor can map out a custom skin care plan, which includes product recommendations and tailored services during visits to Faust and her fellow aestheticians.

The Signature Treatment: “A lot of our patients come in with brown spots and a melasma,” says Faust. Fortunately for those who’ve fallen prey to the harsh Florida sun, there’s the Miami Peel. A mix of hydroquinone, resorcinol (an antiseptic), lactic acid and salicylic acid, it delivers a potent blow to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.

Adam Kolker, M.D., F.A.S.C., P.C, and Nicole Paxson
New York, NY

The Philosophy: A well-regarded Manhattan surgeon, Dr. Kolker is known for his subtle hand and conservative approach. “I appreciate that his work is very natural-looking and that he turns people down if he thinks what they’re asking for is unreasonable,” says Paxson, a certified Ayurvedic therapist who incorporates herbs and aromatherapy into her treatments.

The Signature Treatment: After administering an exfoliating glycolic or lactic acid peel, Paxson powers up her secret weapon: the Biologique Recherche Remodeling Face Machine. Using electrical currents, it softens lines, plumps the skin and contours facial features. “It can widen eyes and define your cheekbones and jaw line,” explains Paxson. “Recently I used it on a woman who was scheduled to have her jowls done by Dr. Kolker. Afterward she walked into his office and he said, ‘I can’t treat you! I don’t see anything.’”

Patricia K. Farris, M.D., and Brigitte Raymond
New Orleans, LA 

The Philosophy: Many of Dr. Farris’s patients suffer from extensive sun-damage (not surprising given the location of her practice). To target issues like hyperpigmentation, melasma and brown spots, she relies on an impressive arsenal of skin resurfacing techniques including Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy, Fraxel laser and microdermabrasion. “We’re very careful to tailor the treatment solution to the skin tone,” says Dr. Farris of her diverse patient network.

The Signature Treatment: A 20-year industry veteran, Raymond has developed a sixth sense for discerning which combination of skin resurfacing treatments will yield the best results for each patient. “She’s especially good with chemical peels,” says Dr. Farris of the procedure that requires a studied, conservative approach. “I call her the ‘Peel Master.’”

Norman Leaf, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Maya Zeineddine, P.M.E.
Beverly Hills, CA 

The Philosophy: Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Norman Leaf, and his longtime aesthetician, Maya Zeineddine, have developed a seamless program for optimized care. Leaf relies on Zeineddine to provide his patients with pre-op treatments (extractions before a nose job, a cleansing facial before a face lift) and post-op care (a soothing oxygen facial, a lymphatic massage to assist with drainage). And when Zeineddine feels that no amount of non-invasive treatments will give her client the results they desire, she simply slips them Leaf’s card.

The Signature Treatment: “There’s always room for improvement,” says Zeineddine of her approach to facials. However, her current treatment-of-choice, a reinvigorating hydrafacial with an infusion of anti-aging beta-glucan serum, yields a healthy, glowing complexion that comes close to perfection.