Secrets To Getting The Faces Of NYFW Runway Ready

00-weekend-beauty-roundupWith another Fashion week underway, the energy in New York has become palpable. It’s the celebration of fashion, beauty, and art, all in the heart of the busiest city in the world. Thousands of flash bulbs are ready to capture famous faces, both those walking the runways, as well the household names littered in the audience. Just as fashion continues to evolve, the manner with which us dermatologists take care of those famous faces does as well.

In our offices, we’ve had the pleasure of taking care of some of the most well known faces in the world. Here is an up-to-date glimpse on what we do in order to get everyone “runway ready.”


For overall skin health, I have most of my patients on retinoids (Vitamin A).  I also have them on a strong anti-oxidant serum like C E Ferulic  by SkinCeuticals or PCA’s C-Quench for those with sensitive skin.

Unfortunately, acne isn’t always an issue that leaves us in our teenage years. More and more often, adult patients come in with new onset blemishes. Amongst females, hormonal acne is becoming more and more common. To make matters worse, our runway participants have an added foe - production makeup. Far thicker than normal day to day, this makeup is a nightmare for pores and can often lead to cystic, painful breakouts.

The solutions 

Usually I make my patients PROMISE me they’ll remove makeup every night. Something as simple as makeup wipes (Neutrogena makes great ones) in your nightstand can make all the difference. We also utilize an aggressive skincare routine and often use oral medications like spironolactone to combat hormonal effects. My favorite prescription topical is a product called Aczone, something that’s great for acne on the cheeks and chin and doesn’t cause the characteristic dry skin that most acne medications are known for.  For any emergencies the week of the big event, we inject a low dose steroid (kenalog), which can reduce the appearance of the lesion in 8-12 hours.  These are safe and have been used backstage and behind cameras for years.


While botox and fillers have become incredibly popular, the below are our more common non-invasive options.

The maintenance

The Fraxel laser is likely the most popular laser in dermatology. It’s wonderful for hyperpigmentation (brown spots) as well as scars, pores, and overall rejuvenation.  Downtime can last 3-4 days (mild redness and some swelling) and many of my patients do this once or twice yearly as a way of maintaining skin health.

1 month out

Clear & Brilliant/ microneedling with PRP - The Clear & Brilliant laser is the fastest growing treatment in our younger patient demographic. It’s great for superficial pigment and texturing (great for patients with large pores). I like to combo the Clear & Brilliant (which goes deeper below the skin) with microneedling and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP, often referred to a supercharged version of the “Vampire Face lift” (popularized by Kim Kardashian) when combined with lasers, involves using growth factors and cell signaling molecules from your own blood. I usually recommend 2-3 treatments that start 3 months before the event.

Things to avoid

While I think facials and superficial microdermabrasion are great, I tend to recommend against them the week before an event. You want to give your skin time to heal before the big show.

Last minute tips and tricks

  • For 2-3 days before an event, we recommend reducing sodium consumption (like soda) and sleeping with an extra pillow at night. Both reduce the puffiness of the face and can help skin look fresh and ready to go.
  • Switch the morning coffee to green tea prevent accentuation of subtle wrinkles.
  • Last minute pimple and can’t make it to the office? I like the Acne Spot Treatment stick by Neutrogena, which uses red and blue light therapy (similar to the types we have in the office) and is a great at-home option that takes 2 minutes. Another option is putting a touch of benzoyl peroxide (5% or higher) and OTC hydrocortisone 1% on the pimple and covering with a bandaid. If done at night, the pimple usually appears much less red and smaller by morning!

Whether hitting the runway or prepping for a wedding, technology continues to evolve and more and more options exist.  Feel free to reach out on Twitter or Instagram if you have any questions or comments!

mainDr. Dhaval Bhanusali is a Dermatologist, Clinical Investigator and Laser Surgeon based out of Manhattan and Miami. He is quickly becoming the doctor of choice for young Hollywood celebrities, as well as athletes and models around the country.

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