Before calling New York City home, board-certified dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor worked at one of Washington, DC’s most prestigious dermatology groups and directed the Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Center for Georgetown University. She joined New York’s thriving downtown Union Square Laser Dermatology Group in the summer of 2012, a practice that prides itself on having the latest lasers and treatment technologies—the office boasts over 25 lasers and energy devices in their treatment rooms. MacGregor and her colleagues are always the first to test and evaluate the latest equipment, sometimes helping assist with their development or working in clinical trials that lead to FDA approval. MacGregor is an expert in Ultherapy and when it comes to cosmetic procedures she always makes sure her patients look natural and healthy, not as if they had work done.
Here Dr. MacGregor talks with Beauty in the Bag on her background and treatment philosophy.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in the beauty business?
My interest in dermatology started while working in a cancer research laboratory. In medical school, I chose to specialize in dermatology because of the unique mix of medicine, surgery, pathology, procedures, and aesthetics. The focus is on treating skin conditions, but I have realized through practice that helping people achieve healthy, clear skin and their best appearance possible is an important component.
What is your treatment philosophy?
I usually start with prevention and address overall skin health along with the aesthetic. For younger patients, I may focus on skin health first followed by the aesthetic component. Some patients who come in to see me and already have healthy skin, I may just work with them on keeping it healthy
What is your signature procedure?
Ooh, do I have to choose one? I find combination procedures improve the skin in the most natural way. For early sun damage, I like to combine vascular laser (for redness and capillaries) with low density non-ablative resurfacing that treats uneven skin tone, pores, and fine lines. It’s a great way to rejuvenate the skin with little downtime. And in patients with loose or sagging skin, I find non-invasive skin tightening combined with a few well-placed filler injections can provide a remarkable natural-looking lift with virtually no recovery.
New and better lasers are constantly being introduced. What technology do you find particularly useful or exciting?
An exciting trend that continues to gain popularity is combining antioxidant topical serums (such as SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic) with low density non-ablative resurfacing lasers. The microscopic channels created by the laser can potentially deliver ingredients deep into the skin. This is great for repairing sun-damaged skin and for overall skin quality as well as treating fine lines, texture, pigmentation, and pores. Down the road, we may see this combined technique to be used with fillers, which would allow the filler particles to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Besides technology, what other innovations that are in the pipeline are you excited about
We will see further improvements in non-invasive fat removal, such as injectables, in the coming years. Our current devices are also advancing and becoming more effective, particularly for the hard-to-treat stubborn pockets of fat.
These days, women have so many great anti-aging products to choose from. What are your must-haves?
A must-have, of course, is a broad spectrum SPF 30. Beyond that a topical antioxidant serum and topical retinoids (both prescription or one that you can find over-the-counter) if skin can tolerate it.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
I would have to say Meryl Streep. She is a naturally beautiful, timeless, talented, and successful woman that always projects strength and confidence. She is aging with such grace and elegance and still looks amazing.
Why do you love what you do?
I have been blessed with an incredible career that allows me to help people with a variety of skin issues, but also to help people to look their personal best. We all want to look natural and healthy and this is closely tied to an overall sense of psychological well being. Even if I had all the money in the world, I would still want to do it.