Everyone knows New York City cosmetic dermatologic surgeon Howard Sobel, MD, and his groundbreaking skincare line—Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula. Today many doctors boast their own skincare line, but Sobel’s DDF was one of the first out of the gate, and remains one of the most coveted physician skincare lines out there.
His innovation didn’t stop there. Sobel opened one of the first full service day spas alongside his cosmetic surgery center—the Skin and Spa NY Institute of Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery. The facility offers a full menu of spa, cosmetic, and medical dermatology procedures. “I have combined modern technology with over 30 years of experience to pioneer the union of dermatology with cosmetic surgery. I can treat a child with a rash, his mother with some post baby liposuction, and his grandmother with a “liquid face lift,” he tells BeautyInThe Bag.
Sobel received his degree in medicine from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, NY, and completed his residency in dermatology and dermatologic surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
How do you define and create beauty?
Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. My idea of beauty is making someone beautiful by enhancing their own natural inherited features and restoring and maintaining their youthful appearance. When someone feels beautiful on the outside, they feel better inside.
What is your signature surgery/procedure/product/service?
My mission is to provide long-lasting results using the latest advances in beauty treatments to provide non-invasive, worthwhile effects that can quickly and safely enhance one’s appearance. I do micro-tumescent liposuction in my office accredited operating room, using a power assisted cannula requiring only local anesthesia. This is the smartest and safest way to perform liposuction. I also use a combination of different fillers, Botox®, and lasers to create a non-invasive “face lift” to turn back the clock. I advise my patients to apply DDF’s Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator daily due to its lightweight formula with broad-spectrum protection and antioxidants. DDF was one of the first skincare companies to have antioxidants that fight free radicals from damaging healthy skin cells. I also recommend DDF Pro-Retinol Energizing Moisturizer for anyone over 25 to increase collagen production and skin cell turnover.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
In 1991, I started a skincare line called DDF because many of my patients were coming into my office with skincare problems created from not understanding what skincare products to use or were just using the wrong products for their skin issues. I used my dermatology skills to find the most efficacious ingredients and then partner with a biochemist to create formulations that would really work. DDF was one of the first dermatologist-complete skincare lines that helped create the standard that small and large skincare companies would follow and recreate similar cosmeceutical products that really work.
What is your beauty mantra?
My mantra is “CLEANSE, TREAT, MOISTURIZE AND PROTECT”—which was a change from the previously followed mantra, “IF IT IS WET, DRY IT AND IF IT IS DRY, MOISTURIZE IT.”
What is the procedure you find most challenging?
To create an individual look for each patient. I do not want them to look “done” or overdone. Using a combination of fillers, Botox and lasers, I want my patient to look like themselves, only younger and more radiant. I really dislike people who look like a cabbage patch doll from too much filler.
What charities do you support?
I support many charities all year long. Just to name a few—Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, NYU Langone, The Women’s Project, Southampton Animal Shelter, Park Avenue Synagogue, The Young People’s Chorus, and Wizo. Last year, I donated my home for a fundraiser for the Ellen Hermanson Foundation for Breast Cancer.
Why do you love what you do?
I find it very rewarding to help someone either return to or maintain their more youthful look. Their increased confidence makes them happier and in turn makes me very happy.
Tell me more about DDF and how it became a household name?
DDF is different because the products contain highly effective ingredients in a way which is easy to use and understand. Each DDF skin line contains the “Cleanse, Treat, Moisturize, Protect” protocol which helps to streamline the complicated process of choosing the best products for each person’s skin, ultimately making the overwhelming process of choosing products much easier for the consumer. To achieve better skin than ever thought possible, individuals should care for their skin like a dermatologist would using a personalized DDF protocol.