Dr. Amy Lewis is an NYC based dermatologist who is considered one of the top key opinion leaders in the field of cosmetic dermatology. She is also an avid Yoga enthusiast and teacher. Aside from being a really lovely person to chat with, she works like an artist with her client’s faces as the canvas and she inherently adheres to a minimalist approach to beauty. I recently had the opportunity to meet her and try a few services that her practice offers and I got to ask her a few questions too.
The Gone Cat: What’s your background in cosmetic dermatology?
Dr. Amy Lewis: I completed a fellowship in Dermatological Laser and Reconstructive Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, my medical school Alma mater. I then began working in private practice, while also performing several clinical studies pioneering Dermatological lasers at the Washington Institute for Dermatological Laser Surgery. I then settled in Manhattan, where I built a premier private practice specializing in Cosmetic and Laser dermatology.
The Gone Cat: Tell me about your background and interest in yoga?
Dr. Amy Lewis: I started doing yoga when I was pregnant with my first daughter -around 17 years ago. I began practicing Iyengar for several years, then switched to “Ansura” which was a spin off from what I had learned. I connected instantly with Anusara ideals because it was very alignment based and made sense with medical physiology. Approx 10 years ago, I became a certified yoga instructor for several reasons. I wanted to take my practice to the next level , learn the philosophy and reasoning behind the yoga craze but also I could and help others and improve their practices. The interesting thing about yoga for me was not just the exercise component, but how yoga is used to reduce stress from both the mind and body
The Gone Cat: Do you feel there are any comparisons between cosmetic enhancement and yoga? If so what?
Dr. Amy Lewis: Yes, both make you feel better about yourself. Let’s face it, when you look better, you feel better.
Many years ago, I had a yoga instructor who I referred to as “pure granola.” She wore no make-up, had no cosmetic enhancements and was very down to earth. One day, she asked me what I thought about the crease in her brow and what does Botox do exactly?
I explained to her that when we are young and make expressions to wrinkle the face, the muscles contract but then relax right back immediately as we relax. However, as we do these repeated movements over and over again the muscles will contract but, as we relax, the muscles will stay in a partially contracted state. My instructor had that “ah ha” moment when she realized that yoga did the same things for the body. Be it cosmetic or yoga, both help to release tension on the muscles back to when we were younger or less stressed. Then she asked me if I would Botox her brow area for her. I almost fell off my mat!!
The Gone Cat: If you had to give one single piece of advice to younger people as to how to preserve their skin in the long term what advice would that be?
Dr. Amy Lewis: Use sunblock every morning! Mix it in with your moisturizer, foundation or use it by itself. Make sure it has an SPF of at least 30.
The Gone Cat: What is the difference between Xeomin and Botox (if there is a difference)?
Dr. Amy Lewis: Both Xeomin and Botox are purified proteins from the from the same molecule and are from a class known as ” neuromodulators”. They temporarily alter the nerve impulses of targeted muscles, therefore reducing or eliminating contraction-induced wrinkles. They share the identical active ingredient . The main difference is that Botox has an accompanying outer protein coat, but Xeomin is naked. The outer protein coat has to dissolve before it can be one active. Therefore, some believe that Xeomin may have an earlier onset after injection. Whether their minor differences alter the diffusability or efficacy of the neuromodulators is debated. Both Botox and Xeomin are proven effective in clinical trials to relax contraction and tension.
The Gone Cat: Cosmetic enhancement is viewed by some people as an unnecessary vanity, what is your point of view in that regard?
Dr. Amy Lewis: How would one define “vanity”? What is necessary and/or unnecessary vanity? In general, people who are more attractive or look better are happier. How one looks may affect how they are treated by others and in return how the respond to their friends and peers. Their confidence and sense of self is higher and that translate into a more productive life. Cosmetic procedures to maintain or enhance the youthful, refreshed look should not be considered “vanity” and I would not categorize it that way. Looking more youthful, rested, and relaxed is a personal choice that is now available with modern advances in aesthetic medicine. It is not an unnecessary regime if it is important to the patient. Just as one would keep their hair cut, colored and well groomed, we expect people to take care of their skin and present themselves in the best way possible. That doesn’t mean looking 20 years younger than your age, but a natural refreshed face that “looks good for their age” is becoming the norm.
The Gone Cat: What’s your favorite yoga position?
Dr. Amy Lewis: Mermaid pose! Or any other pose I can do at the beach. Love doing yoga at the beach….with plenty of sunblock on!