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11-04-12 | Posted by

Dr.-Downie2Board-certified dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie may have her dermatology office in New Jersey, but she also holds medical licenses in the states of New York and California. She is the director of Image Dermatology P.C. in Montclair, New Jersey, where she practices medical and cosmetic dermatology as well as laser and dermatologic surgery.

Triple state licenses are not the only multiplicities in Dr. Downie’s background. She holds two BS degrees (Biology and Psychology) from Tufts University and completed two years of a pediatric residency in addition to her dermatology residency. Dr. Downie received her medical degree from the State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn and completed her dermatology residence at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

An in demand lecturer and speaker, Dr. Downie is frequently featured on the Today show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz show and many others. Her work on a story on melanoma for MSG Network and Fox 5 Sports was nominated for an Emmy. In 2004, she published her first book, Beautiful Skin of Color, which is a comprehensive skincare guide for people with Asian, olive, and dark skin.

Teacher, speaker and physician, Dr. Downie shares her experience and advice with Beauty in the Bag.


Along with biology, you also majored in psychology at Tufts University. Can you tell us a little about how you decided to become a dermatologist and if your psychology background plays a role in how you approach patients and their treatments? 

I majored in psychology to learn how to understand and analyze very different personalities and points of view. My psychology major absolutely plays a role in how I approach and treat my patients—respectfully and with kindness. I also listen better and have been told I have an excellent bedside manner.

What cosmetic procedures do you specialize in and what do you see—or hope for—in the future of dermatology-based technology?

The cosmetic procedures I specialize in include fillers—Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Sculptra—that allow me to shape faces and restore volume, and make patients look years younger. I also  use the Fraxel Re:Store Laser. Fraxel helps to decrease fine lines and wrinkles, decrease acne scarring, eliminate brown patches and spots, and improve the tone and texture of the skin. I use it on my face at least four times a year. Additionally, I am a national trainer and lecturer for Botox, fillers, Fraxel, and the Exilis fat melting machine. What I hope for the future of cosmetic dermatology is a topical drug with no side effects that grows hair in women and men, more effectively than Rogaine. Additionally, a permanent solution to cellulite, as well as faster, more effective, but safer laser hair removal machines would be fabulous.

Can you tell us a little about your skincare products? How are they different from what is available in the market today?

The skincare products I sell in my office include: the SkinMedica line with TNS (a growth factor that gently decreases fine lines and wrinkles) and has a lot of clinical research behind it; the Vivite skincare line, which is also heavily researched (I did some of the original clinical trials); and Revaleskin—the coffeeberry skin line of antioxidants that decrease redness. Dermatology product lines tend to be much stronger and have more clinical trials and science behind most of their products. In terms of department store lines, I always recommend Christian Dior’s skincare line. Dior has amazing ingredients, powerful antioxidants, and great moisturizers that can take years off your skin.

In terms of the general skincare market today, you never know what percentage of ingredients are included, if there have been any clinical studies, and if the products naturally do what they say. Preservatives in products also are an issue and can really irritate your skin.

You practice in New Jersey but also have licenses to practice in New York and California. Do you see any differences in surgical trends among your patients in each state? What do you think are the most popular treatments today? 

Trends are the same across the country between NJ/NY and California and around the world. Fillers definitely help to reshape the face and restore youth. The Fraxel laser, Botox, fat melting machines (most notably Exilis and Liposonix), chemical peels, and laser hair removal remain the most popular treatments.

You wrote a skincare guide for people of color titled Beautiful Skin of Color in 2004. Why was it important to write this book and what can we expect to learn from the book if we were to pick it up today? 

I felt Beautiful Skin of Color: A Comprehensive Guide to Asian, Olive, and Dark Skin was a critical book to write as there was a lack of quality skincare information available for ethnic minorities. If you picked up the book today, you could expect to learn that skin of color absolutely needs sunblock everyday with an SPF of 30—rain or shine, January through December. You would learn that the incidence of skin cancer in minorities is less than the incidence in Caucasians, but the outcome can often be much worse in minorities, as many of their skin cancers are not diagnosed as easily, nor treated as fast. You would learn much about how skin of color ages, about razor bumps, about over-processing hair and hair loss, and about an increasing interest from all ethnic minorities in cosmetic procedures—especially Botox, Juvederm and Restylane, and laser treatments.

What are some common mistakes you see patients make in their skincare routine and what can they do to prevent them? 

Common mistakes that patients make include continuing to tan in tanning beds, not wearing sunscreen year-round, smoking, not exercising, and not eating a proper diet. All of this reflects negatively on your skin and can cause one to age much faster. Additionally, patients use products that are not tailored for their skin type and use the same products for years, despite the aging process and the fact that their skin is changing. Finally, patients pick and scratch at their skin, resulting in dark marks and potential scars.


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