You might not recognize his name, but Dr. Neil Sadick has many skin care ‘firsts’ to his credit: using lasers to treat varicose veins, developing Vela Smooth, a technology to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and coming up with a radiofrequency technology that tightens skin. Sadick also sees patients at his private practice in New York City. And as global medical adviser to Christian Dior Beauty, he has pioneered some products well-heeled consumers are wild about. We talked with him about skin and how to properly care for it.
LN: How did you get into dermatology?
NS: I trained first in internal medicine and after many cases involving skin diseases, I felt becoming a dermatologist was a combination of the best of both fields. Also, while I was in internal medicine, I published a few papers on many interesting skin cases, so that also led me into the field.
LN: Tell me about your professional activities.
NS: I’m in private practice in New York and a clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell. I’m past president of the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation of the United States and of the American College of Phlebology and I currently serve on the board of the International Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery. I also run The Sadick Research Group, which does numerous FDA studies each year and introduces new technologies. I travel extensively to help research new technologies and teach doctors about advances.
LN: How did you become involved with Dior?
NS: One recent trend is at-home skin care technology, which is what led me to Dior. We were just as interested in new, innovative skin care molecules as we were in new, innovative technologies, so we began looking at various revolutionary molecules. That interest was observed by Dior, which is how they found me. As global medical adviser, I’m involved in the clinical testing of products introduced into the U.S. and around the world, and the education of both physicians and people who are giving these products to patients in doctor’s offices or clients in the industrial sector.
LN: What other changes have you seen in the industry in the last few years?
NS: Less-invasive technologies, technologies that people can do at home, whole body rejuvenation technology, and combination technologies for nonsurgical procedures like lasers, fillers and toxins.
LN: Tell me about Dior’s L’Or de Vie.
NS: It’s a new, ultra-potent antioxidant. We realized that to stay young, you need a combination of both broad-spectrum sun blockers and ultra-potent antioxidant formulations that would protect cells against environmental and ultraviolet stretches. We traveled to Bordeaux, France, and picked the vines of some of the most concentrated and climacterically favorable vine shoots in the world, and we found in the vine an extremely potent combination of antioxidants. In fact, presidents like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington actually imbibed this wine because they thought it had good therapeutic properties!
LN: What are most women looking for in facial beauty products?
NS: There are two components: products that protect against aging and reversal agents, which show good clinical and scientific efficacy against signs of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation, redness and skin surface smoothing.
LN: What products should a woman use every day on her face?
NS: In the morning, everybody should protect the skin by using a broad-spectrum sun block and an ultra-potent antioxidant. This cocktail will promote skin health and prevent skin cancer and photo aging. At night, Retin-A and alpha hydroxy acids are good. Capture Totale, which I helped develop for Dior, has an anti-inflammatory that yields results similar to lasers for improving redness, pigmentation and fine lines.
LN: Who should women trust when deciding which products are right for her?
NS: Their doctor is a good starting point. You want a product whose results have been clinically tested and published in peer review journals. Women should trust good science and clinically proven efficacy.
LN: What’s your most important beauty advice?
NS: Wear sun block and use a high-potency antioxidant every day. The key to staying young is to turn over your skin cells, stimulate new collagen, tighten your skin and add volume. You can do that with a combination of at-home products that I mentioned above and other procedures done by a dermatologist or esthetician. Microdermabrasion turns over skin cells, intense pulsed light/fractional lasers stimulate new collagen, and volumetric filling agents like hyaluronic acid, Radiesse and Sculptra add volume.