Theirs is one of the few practices in Beverly Hills that owns a Pearl, though it’s just one weapon in their arsenal. “We also have the simplest lasers that help with acne, pore size and skin texture that even our adolescent patients can benefit from,” says Kopelson. “It’s not one size fits all.”
Like many modern dermatologists, Feldman and Kopelson have come to see Botox and other injectables, which revolutionized the field in the Nineties, as staples in their toolbox. “Botox really is the gold standard for relaxing lines on the upper third of the face,” explains Feldman, who says it’s still her No. 1 recommendation when people ask, “Do I need Botox?” (Of their cosmetic dermatology patients—those who aren’t just coming in for mole checks, in other words—Kopelson estimates that 75 percent receive Botox injections, with most patients beginning in their mid-30s.) Still, what the two doctors seem especially excited about are the possibilities offered by lasers. “[The technology] is developing right now while we’re building this practice,” says Kopelson. “Lasers can create really soft, youthful, even-toned skin pretty quickly, with fewer treatments. Things like fillers and Botox and plastic surgery just can’t do that. Also, the risk is very low, with much less downtime.”
Lately, Kopelson and Feldman’s patients have been requesting defined cheekbones and a youthful plumpness to the skin more often than the full, exaggerated lips that were the rage in the late Nineties. It’s a shift the doctors say they’re happy to see. “We use fillers more for volume restoration than gigantic lips,” says Feldman, with visible relief.
“Instead of the lips, now people come in requesting Madonna’s cheekbones,” Kopelson says with a laugh.
After all, the work that Hollywood dermatologists and plastic surgeons perform on their patients is for all the public to view, to imitate and—if it’s bad—to critique. Who injects a star’s Botox isn’t as obvious as what designer labels she wears, but word gets around. So while it’s never good marketing for a doctor to disfigure a patient, the stakes are higher for Kopelson and Feldman than for most. “We don’t overdo faces,” says Kopelson. “It’s bad exposure. You don’t want your patients to look odd. I always set limits. We came out of UCLA, a very conservative dermatology program, where we were taught to do less rather than more.”
“If they don’t need it, we’re not going to talk them into it,” says Feldman.
So when we start seeing furrowed brows and the occasional freckle onscreen, we’ll know whom to blame—or congratulate.