A sought-after dermatologist shares her coveted treatments for camera-ready skin.
Written By Lexy Lebsack
INSIDER SKIN SECRETS PART II: A sought-after dermatologist shares her coveted treatments for camera-ready skin  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit


While heavy stage makeup was once the only way to create an even skin tone and conceal pores for actors on screen, the era of HDTV has ushered in new standards. Even the smallest screens now capture a crystal-clear picture that reveals every flaw and even the slightest hint of cakey makeup. That means preparing skin for a close-up starts well before call time – and usually in the dermatologist’s office. 
The first part of VIOLET GREY’s skin secrets series included advice from television makeup artist Jorjee Douglass, the second installment includes insider information from Dr. Karyn Grossman, a Santa Monica–based dermatologist with an A-list address book. While a well-respected doctor never treats and tells, patients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Linda Evangelista have gone on record singing praise for Dr. Grossman, which implies that her client bench is deep.  

Known for her gentle, holistic approach, Dr. Grossman is in tune with the demands of both HD television and the silver screen, yielding results that are beautiful and natural-looking. “Most actresses are afraid to look over-Botoxed, over-filled, or pulled too tight,” she says. Instead, she starts clients on a prescription cream to even skin tone and implements a conservative approach to injectables. Once the basics are covered, she employs other, more advanced in-office treatments, including a mixture of lasers and tightening radio-wave frequency to make skin look years younger. Here, she offers a modern dermatology primer.

SKIn secrets from
Dr. Grossman

Skin Secret: Rx Cream
Why: Mild dark spots or uneven pigmentation can be treated topically.
: “A prescription-strength blend of retinol, hydroquinone, and a topical steroid is the pigmentation cocktail,” Dr. Grossman. “There is a prescription called Tri Luma [a mix of the above three], and many dermatologists compound the mixture for their patients.”
Skin-Scription: Use as prescribed, but limit to 12-week intervals or it could cause dark spots to actually get worse.
Skin Secret: Gentle Botox and Belotero (a hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler often used around the mouth and nose).
Why: “Actresses want to be able to move their faces, but they don’t want the wrinkles,” she says of her conservative approach.
What: “We can do really minimal injections of Botox, which decreases the wrinkles but the patient still has full movement, then lightly fill in the fat pads of the face with something like Belotero,” Dr. Grossman says. “The results are amazing.”
Skin-Scription: Achieving natural-looking results requires a certain degree of artistry, and treatments should be based on each patient.
Skin Secret: Thermage
Why: Gwyneth Paltrow credits the Thermage treatment she received in Dr. Grossman’s office for making her skin look five years younger.
What: “Thermage is radio frequency that shrinks and tightens the skin while building new collagen and elastin with no downtime,” Dr. Grossman says. “An actress can have the treatment and walk the red carpet the same day.” The non-invasive procedure softens lines, and its effects last about a year, she says.
Skin-Scription: Opt for the treatment once a year for optimal results.
Skin Secret: Fraxelated and CO2 Laser Treatments
Why: Laser treatments can greatly improve uneven pigmentation, fine lines and pore size by prompting the body to regenerate new tissue, which makes skin appear smoother and more even in tone.
Strategy: Dr. Grossman uses a light touch with the fraxelated laser to even skin tone with 2-3 days of downtime (mostly due to dryness and flaking). A heavier hand improves pore size but requires seven days off set due to redness. Those looking for improvement on fine lines can benefit from a combination of the two lasers, but intense redness, peeling or swelling will last a week post-treatment.
Skin-Scription: See your doctor to explore options. 

insider skin
Part I

The first installment of VIOLET GREY's Skin Secrets trilogy, a TV makeup artist reveals how to perfect skin for a hi-def-ready complexion.

in polite

In polite society,
 skin requires plenty of water and Gwyneth’s choice dermatologist.
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