If you ask anyone in New York City for the name of a top cosmetic dermatologist, the same crop of names will come up time and time again and New York City cosmetic dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, is one of them. Fusco is known for her “seek and destroy” approach to the visible signs of aging as well as her SELFI (Smooth, Erase, Lift, and Freshen and Improve) technique that incorporates injectables, lasers, and tighteners.
She is also a media darling and frequently appears on CNN, Eyewitness News, CBS News, Fox News 5 and the Today show.
Fusco talked to Beauty in the Bag about her practice, her product picks, and why she sometimes feels that she is channeling TV’s medical detective Dr.Gregory House of House, MD.
Here’s what this week’s Beauty Guru had to say:
What is the greatest trend you are seeing in your practice?
Now more than ever before, young women are becoming more diligent about their skin and are now looking to be proactive about laxity, lines, and early signs of aging. In my practice, we schedule seasonal visits to attack and address issues before they become prominent. A “seek and destroy” visit could include one or more of the following: peels, lasers, injectables, tighteners (Ultherapy), fillers, or neurotoxins. The patient and I strive for a better appearance with a strong accent on achieving a natural look.
What is the trouble spot(s) your patients ask for help with most often?
There are two: skin tone/texture and problem hair (damage, thinning). Both are easy to treat when addressed early on. I customize a procedure plan for each patient based on their age, outdoor activity, and individual skin type. With diligence on the part of the patient, I resurface skin with high performing procedures that do not require a lot of downtime and change their regimen bi-annually. Problem hair is a Pandora’s box and I am finding more women experiencing damage and hair loss secondary to overzealous use of heating tools, extensions, chemicals, etc. The good news is that with proper care and products, most cases have an excellent prognosis.
What are your personal beauty secrets for flawless skin?
I can’t say this enough, consistent maintenance! Retinol every evening. My current favorite going into spring and summer is Vichy Retinol HA Advanced Concentrate. I have the wonderful opportunity of testing products so I have a huge array to choose from. My current favorites include Vichy Normaderm Exfoliating Gel, Weleda Wild Rose Facial Oil Capsules (they are one dose capsules that are great for travel) in the morning over Ponds Dry Skin Moisturizer, and Latisse for my eyelashes. I am absolutely passionate about hair and I use a scalp and hair mask every week without fail from Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy. A healthy head of hair is an important part of my beauty regimen and something I never neglect.
Tell us about the SELFI?
SELFI stands for Smooth, Erase, Lift, and Freshen and Improve. I do this through a series and combination of injectables, lasers, and tighteners. This procedure is customized for each of my client’s faces and they have all been very pleased with the long-lasting results.
What is the secret to your prowess with injectables?
Rather than just filling a smile line, I inject fillers strategically at the periphery of the face, temples and jawline to lift the face and diminish the appearance of smile lines and avoid a too full muzzle look. The fillers are injected deeply so as to lift. This may require a variety of fillers. It’s sculpturing.
Why did you choose dermatology?
It combines both medicine and art. I continue to practice medical dermatology, but also have the privilege of helping to ease the aging process as the telltale signs begin to appear. I was intrigued with the field of dermatology because the skin, hair, and nails are a reflection of what’s going on in the body. And the skin might be the first and earliest manifestation of diseases like anemia, thyroiditis, or autoimmune problems. I feel like a Dr. House sometimes, but I absolutely love what I do!