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Dr. Dendy Engelman: What It Costs to Be Me

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These days it’s nearly impossible to know what women are spending on the way they look. Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might have honed her craft using the finest from the drugstore aisles, and the utterly makeup-free type might be spending thousands on laser treatments and serums. Enter our series “What It Costs to Be Me,” in which we’re asking interesting women for radical transparency.

Next up? Dr. Dendy Engelman, celebrity dermatologist, 42, from New York City. Her grand total? $24,816

In today’s school of celebrity dermatology, Dr. Dendy Engelman is like the class valedictorian: a font of skin care knowledge, incredibly friendly, and with a cadre of extremely fabulous, extremely glowy patients ranging from Sofia Vergara to Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John. What we love most about Dr. Engelman—aside from the natural, your-face-but-glowier results of her treatments—is that she’s an unabashed, across-the-board beauty enthusiast. “What a shame it would be if you went into this profession and you didn’t love it,” she says. “I’ve been a beauty girl for as long as I can remember—when I was 10, my cousin and I would do ‘spa days’ where we’d sit in our bathing suits in my parents’ bathtub, applying masks and Seabreeze astringent for hours. It was the worst thing we could ever do for our skin, but we had the best time.”

So it’s not a shocker that her self-care routine is, shall we say, a touch extra: creams, masks, at-home gadgets, high-intensity workouts, infrared saunas, and of course dermatology treatments. (Some of that is gratis; when you go into the profession of dermatology, free treatments in your own office are a perk.) She sees all the experimentation as an important extension of the job. “I look at my own health and beauty routine as research,” she says. “Plus self-care is very important to my mental and physical health. I take care of my patients all day; prioritizing my health is key to being a present physician, wife, and mother, and having a skin care routine is one way I take care of myself. I not only see the positive effects on my skin, but the ritual is relaxing.”

My morning skin care routine: $379
I have a million products. If you were in my bathroom you’d be like, oh my gosh, this is absurd. It’s like a test kitchen. I have pretty normal skin—mild oiliness through the T-zone, but pretty normal overall, and I’m not particularly sensitive. I have some olive undertones and I can tan, though of course I don’t now. I grew up down South, which means I’m definitely a recovering sun-worshipper.

I’m a big fan of science-based skin care and treatments. I think eye cream is important, because the area around your eyes is 40 percent thinner than the rest of your face. It can be the first to show signs of aging. I use Valmont Prime Contour Eye Cream ($125); it’s really rich, and the hyaluronic acid in it diminishes dehydration lines and increases radiance and brightness. There’s also vitamins A, C and E, which give antioxidant protection and help to lighten undereye circles, which are the bane of my existence. I also always use an antioxidant serum—five drops of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($166) every morning to give my skin extra protection against the sun. ​Then I use Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF50 ($68), which is a tinted mineral sunscreen with antioxidants like idebenone that protect your skin against both the sun and pollutants.

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