Palette Magazine

Q&A: Dr. Leslie Baumann, Cosmetic Dermatologist of the Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute

By Jeff Borg

Separating true skin care regimens from all the snake oil peddlers is cosmetic dermatologist 
Leslie Baumann, MD.
Separating true skin care regimens from all the snake oil peddlers is cosmetic dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD. Photo: Carina Mask

We demand to look young beyond our actual youth — more lift, fewer spots, less fat, lush hair (but only in select places) — so the cosmetics industry cranks out product. Leslie Baumann, MD, of the Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute, was the first full-time cosmetic dermatologist at the University of Miami. She runs clinical research trials for the FDA and wrote The New York Times bestselling book The Skin Type Solution. Dr. Baumann shares her expertise.


Q: What do people want?

A: Women and men have very different looks, different aesthetics. You can’t inject a man and a woman the same way. Kybella is the new injectable for neck fat. It bursts the fat and tightens the neck skin. Men are coming in like crazy for that. I think that men recognize how important it is to have a nice jawline.


Q: Do gay and straight people want different things?

A: No, everybody wants the same things. I think that gay men have done a better job of understanding skin care and taking better care of their skin. They come in and they already know what Retin-A and sunscreen are.

When some of my straight men come in, they’re washing their faces with Ivory soap. I have some patients who wash their faces with shampoo — then shave with it!


Q: What about sun exposure?

A: It’s hard to avoid the sun. I boat, I golf and I’m out in the sun a lot. There are vitamins you can take that will protect your skin. There are 16 skin types. Getting people on the right skin care to help prevent aging and make the skin better is really important. Everyone knows you should avoid the sun and use sunscreen. But there are other things you can do. For example, take a CoQ10 supplement in the morning. That helps your DNA repair itself after exposure.


Q: What about those little bulges?

A: In South Florida, where we’re in bathing suits the whole year, the big thing is body contouring. We have two devices that melt fat, plus the injectable Kybella. The best one is called UltraShape. It uses ultrasound waves to shake the fat so it bursts. It doesn’t hurt... doesn’t leave marks. You can go out in a bathing suit right after.


Q: What’s the next big thing?

A: Kybella reminds me of Botox. It changed the market. That’s how Kybella will be. A lot of doctors aren’t doing it yet because the company is still training. They haven’t started direct consumer advertising yet, so most people haven’t heard about it.