What Lasers Can Do, according to a Dermatologist and Skin Cancer Surgeon
goop beauty editors Jean Godfrey-June and Megan O’Neill love to ask—and answer—questions. On their podcast, The Beauty Closet, they’re doing both. To familiarize you with each week’s guest, we came up with a goop beauty (and life) questionnaire.
THIS WEEK WE’RE TALKING TO:
Michelle Henry, MD, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon
What are the best techniques for smoothing crow’s-feet? Is it true that “Black don’t crack”? What really can be done with lasers? How do you freshen someone up without making them look “done”? How do we treat adult acne at home? What does it mean to specialize in skin of color? And how do we get a complexion as impossibly poreless as Dr. Michelle Henry’s? (Yes, that’s her above, not a model.) On the latest episode of The Beauty Closet, NYC-based Henry, a Mount Sinai– and Harvard-trained dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon, has brilliant, super useful answers to questions on everything from how to feel and look our best as we age to whether there’s an ideal facial structure. She’s got the kind of reassuring humor you’d expect from a lifelong girlfriend and a perspective on what it means to feel beautiful and confident in a wider sense—beyond in-office treatments and supercreams, race, age, and even her own aesthetic techniques. It’s just an incredible episode.
Her talents lie not only in her command of the many different lasers, injectables, and surgical techniques but also in her ability to tailor them to individual patients. “As aesthetic surgeons, we learn so-called golden ratios—for instance, the ratio in size between the upper and lower lip—that make no sense if, in the case of lips, you’re Black or East Asian,” says Henry, who serves on numerous diversity and inclusion boards for major aesthetic companies. “So if you’re applying these golden ratios to a Black patient, you’re not serving them.”
Henry’s episode is an absolutely fascinating one, and so are her answers to the goop beauty questionnaire.
I worked at a T-shirt kiosk at my local mall. I am still one of the best T-shirt folders around. I’m grateful for every Houston tourist who humored sixteen-year-old me.
Currently in your goop shopping cart?
I’m a huge fan of meditation and wellness in general, so I’m eyeing the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket and the Wave At-Home Meditation.
Preferred form of exercise?
Yoga and Peloton are my must-haves. I love [Peloton instructors] Alex, Ally Love, Jessica, and Robin!
Most common treatment you give clients?
Dermal fillers and advanced laser cases for patients of color.
Easiest trick for glowy skin?
Hyaluronic acid. I love to pack on the hydrating ingredients.
Favorite type of sunscreen?
Mineral (not chemical). There are so many elegant mineral sunscreens today.
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Primer and SPF
Cream in OneKYPRIS Pot of Shade
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Favorite procedure to do and why?
I love doing injectables. Beauty is really a matter of millimeters and small subtle improvements—I call them tweakments. With fillers, a millimeter of change can take a feature from average to stunning in seconds. It’s such an easy, confidence-boosting procedure with little downtime.
Best skin-care product for the over-forty upgrade?
Retinol is a must. It’s one of the most transformative ingredients in skin care.
Blow-dry or air-dry?
Both! Air-dry most of the time because there’s less damage, and it’s great for my busy schedule. When I need to look amazing, I love a good blowout.
Bath or shower?
Bath—always. They’re a special moment of self-care for me, and I’m completely obsessed with bath products.
Lipstick or lip balm?
I am never without tinted lip balm.
Face oil or face cream?
Quarantine date-night makeup look?
Clean, hydrated skin, then tinted gloss, mascara, and a touch of blush.
Go-to weeknight recipe?
A quick fifteen-minute salmon fillet.
What would you put on your neon sign?
She believed she could, so she did.
How often do you recharge?
I try to recharge at home daily and with travel every few months. The beach is my happy place. If I’m stressed, direct me to the closest body of water. That, and meditation—lots of meditation.