One glance at the photo above, and you could easily mistake this good-looking group for the cast of a sexy new TV show. But they’re not actors: They’re doctors. And not just any doctors, but some of the best skin specialists in the biz, big names in the industry because of their new approaches and attitudes. One visit to their offices says it all. Forget the usual sparse, clinical spaces—they have chic decor, spas and back entrances for high-profile patients to avoid paparazzi. Yes, they’ve got celeb clients who text them from movie sets, but they’ve also got heart. You may be surprised to hear about the impressive ways they spend time out of the office—researching skin cancer, writing books, donating time to worthy causes. Now they’re sharing their wisdom with all of you. No doubt about it, these docs rock.
The skin cancer hero
Ellen Marmur, M.D.
Former college swimming champ Dr. Marmur, 41, is the chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. A top skin cancer surgeon who rides a kick scooter to work (love that), she released her first book, Simple Skin Beauty, last year.
Keep your skin safe! “Get checked for skin cancer every year by a dermatologist. And, of course, wear sunscreen. I like mineral formulas—they’re silky.”
To get rid of puffy eyes: “You can actually retrain the water in under-eye bags to go elsewhere with paper adhesive tape from the drugstore. Every night for a month, put strips on your puffs before bed and leave them on while you sleep.”
On expensive face creams: “If they make you feel incredible, it’s worth the splurge. But they’re not necessary.”
Avoid using… “Too much soap. It strips the skin of oils and makes it dull. I just use moisturizer with a baby wipe to take off my makeup and remove grime.”
The movie-star guru
David Colbert, M.D.
Dr. Colbert, who says his age is “Scorpio,” believes in beauty from the inside out. The author of The High School Reunion Diet, he has a skin-care line and a signature facial rejuvenating treatment, “the Triad,” which stars flock to during awards season. The surfing-addicted doc gives back, too: His nonprofit, the New York Dermatology Group Foundation, raised $500,000 to buy prosthetic limb replacements for Haitian amputees.
What celebs taught him: “I realized my actress and model clients were looking their best because they were eating only nonprocessed foods—that’s better for your skin than Botox. Ban processed foods and you will regain your glow, lose weight and feel younger.”
The great-skin breakfast: “Greek yogurt with blueberries, six almonds and a drizzle of organic agave nectar.”
The skin trend he doesn’t believe in: “Overusing fillers and excess use of Botox result in what I call the ‘frozen alien look’! Less is truly more when it comes to in-office procedures.”
The laser whiz
Gervaise Gerstner, M.D.
Georgia-bred Dr. Gerstner, 37, is known for her four-inch heels (and for her adult-acne and laser know-how). A working single mom, she’s one of the world’s first trained experts in Fraxel, a skin-tightening procedure with no downtime for recovery.
To conquer female adult acne: “It’s usually hormonal. Get on the Pill, avoid ingesting hormones in dairy, meat and poultry, and control cortisol levels by reducing stress—try yoga or massage.”
Bring family pics to the doctor’s office: “I look at patients’ old photos to see how genetics fits in. Then I can tailor a natural-looking skin-care program.”
Every woman under 40 should… “Stop smoking and tanning. I find melanoma on young skin every week.”
Her skin rituals: “I start with Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 Moisturizer, then apply Topix Replenix Eye Repair Cream with retinol. I use glycolic pads and a green tea cleanser every night—and Latisse for my eyelashes.”
Ellen Gendler, M.D.
Patients love Dr. Gendler, 54, for her no-nonsense approach to cosmetic dermatology and her less-is-more philosophy. In addition to running her busy practice, she’s a clinical associate professor at New York University Langone Medical Center and creator of the Skin Appointments product line (the Simply Clean cleanser is her personal fave). When Dr. Gendler has free time, you’ll find her working in her garden—it’s her favorite way to unwind.
One surprising skin mistake: “Using too much moisturizer. It can lead to breakouts or whiteheads. Unless you’re dry, try just a sunscreen.”
She’s a big fan of… “Toners. They’re very effective for getting rid of residue. Look for one with salicylic acid.”
To fight forehead breakouts: “Avoid using lots of products that get left in the hair, like shine or antifrizz serums.”
Do this before you see a dermatologist: “If you have a skin issue, try eliminating things from your skin-care routine, then add them back one at a time to see whether one is to blame.”
The skin-tone whisperer
Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Dr. Ingleton, 48, didn’t know she wanted to be a skin doctor until her dermatology rotation in medical school. She’s an expert on skin of color, and she’s also known for her sculptorlike skill with fillers—as well as her passion for dance.
Debunking one big skin myth: “Black people do need sunscreen. We get skin cancer too, and SPF prevents unevenness when we enter our thirties, which is a huge reason people come to see me.”
Simplify your routine: “Make it easy, because you’re more likely to be compliant. Use products that give multiple effects, so that instead of using three products, it’s just one step.”
For glowiness: “Give yourself a nice at-home peel. It brings out the radiance. Try one two days before a big event.”
The number-one skin sin: “Going to bed with makeup on! Your skin gets a chance to regenerate while you sleep—don’t disrupt the process with makeup and dirt from the day. I always wash my face the minute I get home.”