The Best Botox in New York City
An Insider's Guide to The Best Manhattan Dermatologists
As a forty-five-year-old beauty vet who know her way around a Botox needle, I would be lying if I didn’t admit: I listen with a certain degree of bemused detachment as the pink-haired 25-year-old on the soap box next to me delivers a blistering harangue about anti-aging treatments. “So, you don’t believe in Botox? And you think it’s anti-feminist?” And my personal favorite: “I would never do something so shallow.” The truth is: I used to think that I wouldn’t, either. It was easy to get on that moral high horse when my skin was as smooth as a baby’s butt and images of Jocelyn Wildenstein haunted the news cycle. Fast forward 15 years. Much as I still value of the idea of aging gracefully, I no longer judge; in fact, I feel nothing but deep gratitude for the advances in cosmetic dermatology and the many talented doctors who populate every neighborhood of NYC.
Jane Fonda may have shut it down on Megyn Kelly, but—after countless years in the beauty world—I am comfortable having this uncomfortably honest conversation. For myself, and countless other working women over the age of 35, looking youthful is no longer merely an issue of vanity: it’s a question of survival. Sure, people pay lip service to the idea of “age diversity” —and I am deeply grateful to the designers and brands who are now actively embracing women of every race, ethnicity, and age in their advertising and runways shows (godspeed for trends to translate to real change). However, the current (still undeniable) reality is that aging exacts a hefty price on women, especially those attempting to stay employed in the selfie-obsessed, Instagram world we now live in.
Over the years, I’ve interviewed many 35+ celebrities who credit their flawless skin to “clean eating” and “lots of water.” Obviously, diet and lifestyle are hugely important (Elta MD sunscreen is literally the best anti-aging insurance you can buy). So are genetics, particularly the genes that come from your mom; research shows her chromosomes matter most when it comes to aging.
But let’s be frank here: there is no amount of green juice that’s going to erase years of worry from your resting woman face. Still, who can blame celebrities for their little white lies? After all, the second someone admits to getting any kind of work done, she is instantly attacked and ridiculed. But I would argue this: It’s far more pernicious to shame women for being honest—and to reward those who perpetuate myths of perfection that defy science (and mother nature).
Instead, I propose we all stop judging and start being more comfortable having an honest, open dialogue. Don’t want Botox? Don’t do it. Curious? Be cautious, above all else. Not one doctor in this round up would suggest you obliterate all signs of expression from your face. In fact, they have all staked their reputations on achieving the opposite: a subtle, almost minimalist approach that makes you look exactly like yourself, on your best day (sarcastically crooked brow, in tact). If your forehead doesn’t move, and the sides of your temples swing up like curtains when you try to emote, you’re obviously seeing the wrong person.
Which brings to this list: a highly subjective but exhaustively researched guide to the very best Botox injectors in the city, all vetted by yours truly (and some of my most discerning friends and fellow beauty editors). Enjoy!
UPPER EAST SIDE
Dermatologist: Macrene Alexiades
Geotag: 955 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Speed dial: 212-570-2067
Pedigree: Three degrees from Harvard; a BA in Biology, an MD, and a PhD in Genetics
Bragging rights: Dr. Alexiades is the dermatologist of record for all IMG models; additional notable clientele include Hannah Bronfman, Robbie Myers, Erin Wasson, and Lily Kwong.
A patient says: “Macrene is thoughtful, conservative and cautious. She would always rather do less today and add later. Many times I have come in asking for Botox or filler and she refused, telling me I didn’t need it! That can’t happen often. She is focused on the long-haul and explains why certain procedures will or won’t give the desired effect. She’s incredibly smart and always shares info on the newest products and things on the horizon.”
Dermatologist: Neal Schultz
Geotag: 1130 Park Ave., by 91 St.
Speed dial: 212-369-9600
Pedigree: M.D. Columbia University, residency at Mount Sinai.
Bragging rights: Dr. Schultz has been practicing dermatology for 35 years. He has a reputation for a light hand and natural looking results.
A patient says: “It’s not often you find an aesthetic and medical dermatologist all in one white lab coat, but Dr. Neal Schultz is both. He likes to joke that he’ll only give you Botox if you give him your moles (a stance that has effectively guaranteed that I come in for yearly skin checks). But don’t let his skin-health-first approach fool you, his cosmetic work is genius. He studies how your face moves so he can inject in just the right spots and prefers to do a little work more frequently so you never look overdone.” –Didi Gluck, 47, Beauty Director of Shape
Dermatologist: Whitney Bowe
Geotag: 55 E. 72nd Street Ste #1E New York, NY 1002
Speed dial: 212-996-9600
Pedigree: Summa Cum Laude bachelors from Yale; MD from the University of Pennsylvania
Bragging rights: In addition to her role as the Medical Director of Integrative Dermatology, Aesthetics & Wellness at Advanced Dermatology, P.C., Dr. Bowe also serves as the Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
A patient says: “The first time I tried Botox, many moons ago, I had the unfortunate experience of seeing my brows drop. I chalked it up to a combination of injector error and the fact that my Klingon-like lines go low and deep. So let’s just say I’m particular about who wields a needle around my forehead. But when it comes to neuromodulators like Botox or Dysport, Whitney Bowe is my go to. She’s extremely knowledgeable, relatable, and respectful of her patients. She instantly puts you at ease, chatting it up like your best girlfriend, that you barely feel the pinch. A few days later, the creases disappear from view without leaving a bruise in sight.” —Melissa Goldstein, 46, Beauty Director of Martha Stewart
Dermatologist: Amy Wechsler
Geotag: 45 East 85th Street, New York, NY 10028
Speed dial: 212-396-2500
Pedigree: B.S. in Psychology from Duke University, Residency in Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dermatology residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Bragging rights: Dr. Wechsler is one of the only US-based physicians who is certified in both dermatology and psychiatry and considers the connection between mind and body when treating patients.
Dermatologist: Michelle Yagoda
Geotag: 1025 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Speed dial: 212 434 1210
Pedigree: Boston University Six-Year Medical Program
Bragging rights: As a facial plastic surgeon who also performs Brow lift surgery, Dr. Yagoda is intimately familiar with the muscles of the brow and can “see” them through the skin in her mind’s eye. Dr. Yagoda draws out the pattern of wrinkles in each person’s forehead, and then estimates the dosage required for each muscle individually. This way she customizes Botox for asymmetry.
Dermatologist: Doris Day
Geotag: 10 East 70th St, 1C New York, NY 10021
Speed dial: 212-772-0740
Pedigree: MD from Downstate Medical School in New York, residency in dermatology at Cornell University College of Medicine.
Bragging rights: Day is a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Centers where she was presented with the award for Dedication and Excellence in the Teaching of Dermatology.
Dermatologist: Ellen Marmur
Geotag: 12 East 87th Street, Suite 1A, New York, NY 10128
Speed dial: 212-996-6900
Pedigree: MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Internal medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in dermatology at The New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital
Bragging rights: Dr. Marmur believes in taking a holistic approach to skincare; she considers lifestyle factors including sleep, stress, and happiness when assessing overall skin health.
A patient says: “She has never once even gently suggested I do something, and believe me, there’s plenty I could do. On a more serious note: I had a mole that looked really, really suspicious. I was sure I had melanoma. She took me in immediately, told me she was almost sure it was ok but wanted to double check…and then called me from the airport where she and her family were headed somewhere on vacation to let me know it was in fact nothing. That was above and beyond the call of duty.”
Dermatologist: Elizabeth Hale
Geotag: 225 East 64th Street, Second Floor
Speed dial: 212-759-4900
Pedigree: The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center, fellowship in skin cancer and laser surgery.
Bragging rights: Dr. Hale believes that there is no “cookbook” approach to Botox. “My goal is to relax the muscles but not freeze them; I like for my patients to look natural,” she says.
A patient says: “Dr. Hale’s approach to Botox is to make you look like a younger, better natural you. She combines her extensive experience and her gentle touch. I had fantastic results without others knowing what I had actually done.”
Dermatologist: Paul Jarrod Frank
Geotag: 1049 5th Avenue, Suite 2B, New York, NY 10028
Speed dial: 212-327-2919
Pedigree: M.D. Columbia Presbyterian, residency NYU Langone Medical Center
Bragging rights: Dr. Frank, who works with Madonna as a consultant for her newly launched MDNA skin care line, doesn’t love the term “Botox”; instead, he opts for “neuromodulator,” because “there are 3 botulinum toxin type A products currently on the market. There will be two more types within the next year. Each of these products have similar effects but different personalities, like different thicknesses or consistency of colored paint. He use a combination of 2 or 3 at a time to achieve a bespoke cocktail for each patient, which takes into account age, severity of wrinkles, anatomic differences, goals of expression and so on.
A patient says: “I go to see Dr. Frank for a standing appointment about every three to four months for injectables. After several years of being his patient, I no longer have to request specific treatments to address my concerns. What I do know is that in a matter of days, I feel like the best version of myself again because of Dr. Frank.”
Dermatologist: Howard Sobel
Geotag: 960 A Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Speed dial: 212-288-0060
Pedigree: Albert Einstein School of Medicine, residency in dermatology and dermatologic surgery at Emory University School of Medicine
Bragging rights: Dr. Sobel was one of the first physicians to use Botox when it was initially approved over 25 years ago.Dr. Sobel has been a favorite among his super-discerning Upper East Side clientele for long enough to have proven his excellent technical skills many times over.His knowledge of the facial anatomy prevents patients from droopy eyes or looking like Dr. Spock.
A patient says: “The beauty of walking out of an appointment with him is that you feel instantly refreshed without ever looking frozen.”
Dermatologist: Rosemarie Ingleton
Geotag: 14 East 4th Street Suite 505 New York, NY 10012
Speed dial: 212-673-7100
Pedigree: BA in Psychology from New York University, MD from University of Maryland, Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, dermatology residency at New York Medical College
Bragging rights: Dr. Ingleton’s practice has a spa-like environment; Ingleton herself makes an effort to relax her patients as much as possible. She’s known for her expertise in treating ethnic skin.
Dermatologist: Patricia Wexler
Geotag: 145 East 32nd St, 7th Fl, New York, NY 10016
Speed dial: 212-684-2626
Pedigree: Free University of Brussels in Belgium, three year residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in the Department of Internal Medicine, residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Dermatology
Bragging rights: Dr. Wexler was one of the very first doctors to use Botox and is always at the forefront of new treatments, fillers, etc. Her clientele includes Christie Brinkley, Rita Ora, and Carolina Herrera.
Dermatologist: Dendy Engelman
Geotag: 820 2nd Ave #3a, New York, NY 10017
Speed dial: 212-661-3376
Pedigree: After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Wofford College, Dr. Engelman attended medical school and residency at Medical University South Carolina and completed an internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In addition to her private practice, she is currently an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Bragging rights: New York dermatologist for Sofia Vergara; also work with Christina Ricci and has treated Kristin Chenoweth for rosacea. Dr. Engelman says, “I listen to what you want, offer my opinion and suggests as a doctor/friend, and then I support your final decision.”
A patient says: “Dr. Dendy is truly one of the very best in the city! I have hooded eyes, which makes it very tricky to inject my forehead because if you use too much Botox—or the injection site is just a fraction off—my brows will droop further (which is exactly what happened to me the first time I tried Botox). In fact, I avoided Botox for many years because I thought it was impossible to soften the lines in my forehead without making my upper brow droop even more. But Dendy knows exactly where to place the injections so this never happens. In fact, she manages to give my brows a subtle lift each time. What I like best though? She errs on the side of caution, injecting the tiniest amount possible so that you always still have a full range of expression. —Amy Synnott, 45, TBE Editor/Former Beauty Director of InStyle (2000-2013)
Dermatologist: Robert Anolik
Geotag: 323 East 34th Street
Speed dial: 212-686-7306
Pedigree: Dr. Anolik graduated cum laude form Princeton, where he was the president of his class. After completing his medical degree at Thomas Jefferson University, he did his residency at NYU School of Medicine. In addition to his private practice, he is also a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine.
Bragging rights: A former mentee of the legendary Fredric Brandt, Dr. Robert Anolik, MD, ranks among the country’s most in-demand cosmetic dermatologists. While his appointment book is crammed with stars—Kelly Ripa lovingly refers to him as her “Botox doctor” on air—he has a way of putting us mere mortals at ease with his personal anecdotes and dry sense of humor. His clinical research on lasers makes him an absolute know-it-all in the field, but he’s also a true artist with injectables.
A patient says: “As busy as Dr. Anolik is, he spends real time with his patients—discussing all the options, answering every question—and actually seems to enjoy doing so. (In a city awash with wham-bam injectors, this quality alone renders him a standout.) He administered my very first dose of Botox, precisely and judiciously, keeping true to his never-freeze-the-forehead philosophy. Before my first appointment with Dr. Anolik, I was fixated solely on fillers and hiking my lower face, but he coaxes patients out of their own heads, urging us to ask the all-important question: What do you think, doc? Because who really sees herself objectively? What else can I say? He’s patient and charming with a flawless technique, and makes everyone who sits in his chair feel as major as the hush-hush celeb numbing in the room next door.” —Jolene Edgar, 40, beauty writer for Allure, Vogue and Town & Country (among others)
Dermatologist: Dr. Eidelman
Geotag: 245 W 19th Street New York, NY 10011
Speed dial: 212-675-0549
Pedigree: MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Cook County Medical Center in Chicago
Bragging rights: Dr. Eidelman is one of the most renowned doctors specializing in men’s cosmetic dermatology. He is also a gifted artist, specializing in ceramic making — he studied the art form and even taught pottery classes. Dr. Eidelman takes his keen artistic eye into his work with patients.
Dermatologist : David Colbert
Geotag: 119 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor, New York, NY 10003
Speed dial: 212-533-8888
Pedigree: MD from La Faculté Libré de Medecine in France, New York Medical College, residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital
Bragging rights: Dr. Colbert prides himself on creating the minimalist beauty movement in NYC and Hollywood.
A patient says: “Dr. Colbert somehow knows how to keep clients looking consistently good, but never overdone. His microdoses smooth everything out and plump everything up just enough. And his low-key vibe eliminates any stress—I never even need to be numbed first.” —Gwen Flamberg, 47, Beauty Director of Us Magazine
Reporting by Sophie Wirt