New York-based Dr David Colbert isn’t just in demand because he’s the go-to dermatologist of Hollywood stars. His practical, less-is-more skincare approach is what keeps women coming back.
Dr David Colbert is scornful of brands that develop complex product ranges and routines in an attempt to bamboozle buyers. “The skincare industry is very competitive; brands develop marketing innovations that appeal to consumers even if they don’t necessarily offer superior benefits,” he says candidly.
That’s why when it came to his own skincare, Colbert MD, the dermatologist kept things as simple as possible – a pared-down beauty routine instead of a costly, time-consuming multi-step one.
The range, which launches this month at Inhabit – The Other Store at Mandarin Gallery, comprises just the essentials: a cleanser, day and night moisturisers, exfoliating serums and discs, and face and body oils that nourish and hydrate.
“Central to any skincare routine are physical and chemical exfoliation, a gentle peel, a moisturiser and sun protection,” says Dr Colbert. “I’m also a huge fan of essential oils as a way to seal in nutrients, and enhance the skin’s barrier protection and melanin inhibitors.”
What reportedly makes him popular with his clients is that he takes a consultative approach to product development. “Unlike in other markets, particularly Asia, there’s definitely an expectation in the US that a dermatologist will be consultative and work with a patient so as to give the best recommendations,” he says. “So I really listen to mine. Then, I develop products that meet their needs through a combination of nature and science.”
Rumour has it this was how his Heal & Soothe Night Cream was developed. He neither confirms nor denies this, only saying: “I initially developed Heal & Soothe Night as a custom product for one of my high-profile celebrity clients who was having some very specific concerns related to the makeup she was using on a shoot for a Hollywood production. She fell in love with the night cream and word spread throughout the entertainment industry, and other celebrities began making requests for new products.”
The A-listers have embraced his expertise. When Jennifer Lawrence was playing Mystique in X-Men: First Class, Dr Colbert was tasked with creating an all-over blue makeup that could be applied and removed without irritating her delicate skin. And when Angelina Jolie was filming Salt in 2009 and had to wear latex prostheses, it was Dr Colbert who took care of her skin.
His signature Triad facial – a three-step, no-downtime procedure via a combination of microdermabrasion, laser and a gentle peel – is also a favourite with Hollywood’s A-listers, not just as a pre-Oscar treatment for youthful, glowing skin, but also on a regular basis (Naomi Watts is apparently a fan). Triad ($650) is available here at IYAC Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Clinic (tel: 6738-9989), which also carries Colbert MD.
Dr Colbert believes that women need more than just skincare to preserve that naturally healthy look they strive for. “Proper nutrition and hydration go a long way towards healthy skin, and outperform aesthetic procedures over the long term,” he says.
He also encourages women to be more proactive instead of reactive when it comes to their skin. “Address potential problems before they happen,” he says. “This increases the range of available treatment options.”
On the mass appeal of his skincare line, Dr Colbert thinks it’s because he’s worked with some of the world’s most beautiful and recognisable faces. “Women sift through magazines and emulate what they see, which inevitably leads them to Colbert MD skincare,” he says.
What the Doctor Ordered
Dr Colbert recommends Intensify Facial Discs ($110 for 20 sheets) to gently exfoliate one to three times a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Then, apply Stimulate The Serum ($225), a chemical peel that has encapsulated glycolic acid to penetrate skin more deeply without causing surface irritation. Finish with Illumino Face Oil ($200), which has a combination of oils and a non-irritating form of retinol to soothe skin and boost radiance.
This article was first published in Female Nov 2014.