Dr. Patricia Wexler on New Cosmetic Dermatology Breakthroughs and Summer Skincare


I don't use words like "legendary" very often, but Dr. Patricia Wexler deserves the recognition. After all, the woman was using Botox on her patients before you even knew what it was ("A new swimwear line? The latest downtown restaurant? It sounds so familiar…").

For 25 years, the dermatologist with a cult-like following has been refining, reshaping and redefining some of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. So when I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions, I was dying to know what she's doing now that the rest of us will only be hearing about in five years.

Julie Bensman: What are the next trends in cosmetic dermatology?

Patricia Wexler: Small, noninvasive treatments continuously to avoid severely obvious changes, i.e. UItherapy, filler and toxin. Looking ahead, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals has an injectable drug in clinical development (ATX-101), which uses an enzyme to dissolve fat under the chin.

JB: You were one of the first dermatologists to use Botox. How do you feel now about the Botox backlash of certain celebrities who have overused it? Do you feel it still has a place in certain women's skincare regimens?

PW: Botox has been overused to extinguish any evidence of expression. Action is needed to show sorrow, empathy and pity. When you erase all lines, you end up with flat brows, dropped cheeks, stiff lips and odd faces. The new trend is less-is-more, treating overexpressive muscles between the eyes, neck laxity, leaving some movement.

JB: With hot, humid summer days upon us, how should we be changing up our regular skincare regimes?


  1. Change SPF from 30 to 45 and reapply every 2 hours when in the sun. Use an SPF with an antioxidant added like Neutrogena with Helioplex. It's protected longer from deterioration in the sun.
  2. Moisturizers needed in the winter may be too heavy for the summer. You may need lighter-weight products or combination products.
  3. Exfoliate daily in the shower to get rid of dry, flaky skin from too much sun.
  4. Try tinted body makeup instead of self-tanner. It doesn’t leave streaks and won't flake off after four days.
  5. Breakouts from heat and pigmentation can be treated with an OTC salicylic acid or glycolic peel.

JB: For those of us taking overseas holidays this summer (or traveling on a plane for more than seven hours), what are some tips to arrive looking fresh and hydrated?

PW: Carry Evian Facial Spray to moisturize and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids (mainly water). Avoid alcohol and salty foods, i.e. peanuts. Bring moisturizing eye drops and use frequently.

JB: What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?

PW: My mother told me never to tweeze my eyebrows (I wish I had listened)! And never go in the sun (I did listen).