A veteran magazine beauty editor/writer (and a member of the 40+ club), Genevieve Monsma created MediumBlonde to help Gen Xers and Baby Boomers age the way they want.


What Works: Michelle Yagoda, M.D.

What Works: Michelle Yagoda, M.D.

One benefit of working in the beauty industry for so many years is that I've encountered dozens of smart, savvy professionals (beauty company CEOs, product development VPs, power publicists, colorists, stylists, makeup artists, etc.) who've tried thousands of products and treatments, and, thus, have uber-informed/effective beauty regimens. I've certainly swiped tips and recs from them—and now so can you. As part of a regular series, I’ll be asking inspiring, in-the-know women (all 40+, of course) to share their best tips and favorite products. The point? As always, to find out what works.

Today's beauty insider: Michelle Yagoda, M.D., a Manhattan facial plastic surgeon and ENT in her early 50s

Dr. Yagoda's resume is long. It’s impressive. She’s seriously accomplished. She is among the mere ten percent of plastic surgeons that are women. (Yep, you read that stat right.)

Here, just a few highlights:

Michelle Yagoda , M.D., NYC plastic surgeon

Michelle Yagoda, M.D., NYC plastic surgeon

• She got her medical degree, magna cum laude, from the B.A./M.D. program at Boston University. It took her just six years (that's only two more than it took most of us to get through undergrad). 

• She trained in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Face and Otolaryngology—and regularly performs face lifts, brow lifts, nose jobs, cheek and chin augmentation, as well as correction of nasal breathing disorders and sinus surgery.

• She also does skin surgery, including cancer reconstruction, laser skin resurfacing; chemical peels, dermabrasion, fillers and Botox. 

• She is the CEO of Opus Skincare, LLC, which makes BeautyScoop. a vanilla-flavored beauty supplement. Side note: I've been adding this powder to a green smoothie about three times a week. For those having trouble downing your Moringa powder, it helps with the taste.

Finally, Dr. Yagoda is a true girl’s girl and was more than happy to share with us what all that education, training and hands-on experience has taught her about skin, health and aging. (I've also interviewed her many times for magazine stories, and I can vouch for the fact that she's a wealth of knowledge.) So, without further ado, what works for Dr Yagoda:

Slather on high-tech skincare Her before-bed routine is surprisingly simple: “I remove my eye makeup with Lancome Bifacil and wash my face with Borghese Crema Saponetta.” Then, she slathers on SkinBetterScience AlphaRet Overnight Cream. The product, available through physician’s offices, is as Dr. Yagoda calls it, “a next-generation, anti-aging product because it uses smart technology to make sure the ingredients actually get through your skin’s natural barrier.” Unfamiliar with smart technology? It’s based on the success of medicated patches (like those that deliver estrogen). The problem with patches has been, however, that many people are allergic to their adhesive. So, scientists developed a topical delivery system that rivals patch penetration —in a cream. Enter Dr. Yagoda’s pick: AlphaRet.

Tighten with topicals Thin neck skin is notoriously hard to treat, but Dr. Yagoda swears by Nectifirm, a lifting cream that “tightens the skin under the neck and smooths the texture and color of the décolleté.” She applies it every night, after her AlphaRet cream. It is also only available in M.D. offices.

Sip smoothies spiked with nutrients As I mentioned above, Dr. Yagoda helped develop BeautyScoop, a nutritional beauty supplement that aims to give aging skin, nails and hair the extra boost they need to stay healthy. “I mix one scoop into my green juice or shake daily and enjoy it for an mid-afternoon pick-me-up.”

Embrace age’s impact on your hair Some of us are (well, at least I am) on a constant quest to keep my hair from getting skinnier or sparser. Dr. Yagoda, however, said aging has been the best thing that’s happened to her super-thick hair because slight thinning has “tamed it into submission; now it behaves.” She also credits investing in high-quality products for the improvement. “I'm addicted to Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s silicone- and sulfate-free, formulated for color-treated hair, and it’s weightless.” Dr. Yagoda's routine: Wash every two to three days with Living Proof, comb hair, blow-dry. That’s. It. She finds the shampoo and conditioner do such a good job smoothing, she doesn’t even bother with styling products.

Refine with fillers “Roughly every nine to ten months, I inject my face with a few fillers. I do them on myself because, as a Virgo, I’m a perfectionist.” Where she puts them: the nasolabial folds (those marionette lines at the corners of your mouth) and around her lips. “The filler around my mouth keeps me from getting those fine lines lip-liner bleeds into.” Dr, Yagoda will also, on occasion, add little filler above one brow to help it match the other “I’m asymmetrical”— and will plump the far edges of her cheeks, where we all hollow out as we age. She has elected not to do Botox, however, because “I’m lucky not to have forehead lines—and I like the crinkles around my eyes when I smile.”

Adhere to the adage less is more “I believe it’s important to look great for your age, not ageless. To me, that means staying in shape, eating well, sleeping enough and exercising your body and mind. My grandmother always said, ‘You can have too much of a good thing.'  And, too much Botox, filler, surgery, etc. is unnatural and actually ages you.” Dr. Yagoda also applies this motto to makeup, “I’m a minimalist; I've found the more you put on, the older you look. I don’t wear foundation at all. I just use Bobbi Brown’s eyeliners and shadows because they come In neutral, flattering colors, they stay put, they wash off easily and they don’t irritate. I also like Kiko, an Italian brand of lip liner and lip color, blush by Bourgois that I pick up when I’m in Paris, and Chanel Inimitable Mascara.”

Forgo what's unflattering “I’ve stopped wearing shimmery eye shadow because it makes lines and crepeyness more obvious."

Prioritize stress reduction “The esthetician Mamie McDonald regularly reminds me of the benefits of stress reduction through pampering. So, I do get massages every two months or so. And I think this is something more women should make time for. Your state of mental health is connected to your physical well-being. And being exposed to stress takes its toll in many ways. If nothing else, remember all those stress hormones cause premature aging!” 

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