David Colbert
Credit: Jon Gurinsky

"Botox came out during my first year as a doctor, and everyone was terrified of it,” says David Colbert, who did what any ambitious young dermatologist would do: He injected it into his own face. Through practice, he developed methods that delivered a natural look.

Today the Iowa-born physician still operates with equal amounts of curiosity and restraint. He’s now famed for his amazing facials and has fans like Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.

David Colbert
Credit: Getty (4)

To create his latest high-tech facial, Dr. Colbert combined multiple technologies. “I thought if I do microdermabrasion first, it’ll make the lasers penetrate better. And then I can do a peel and a dose of LED.” The resulting Runway Facial can immediately produce a smoother, tighter, more lifted look for the face—and beyond. Débuting it before the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, he popped cheekbones, toned muscles, and got models glowing. “Lily Aldridge just loved it.”

David Colbert
Credit: Courtesy David Colbert

Dr. Colbert may never have pursued the skin sciences if an injury hadn’t sidelined his dance dreams. “I’d ended up in New York because I was studying with the Joffrey Ballet School,” he says. One broken foot later, he applied to med school and got into dermatology. The less-is-more approach has helped his New York Dermatology Group (he’s celebrating 20 years on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and plans to expand with a wellness center this year) earn a cult following. “When we opened, most doctors were doing the same thing, so everybody looked the same. I was saying, ‘Wait! You don’t need that much Botox. You don’t have to look like you have a tire in your mouth.’ ” Rather, Dr. Colbert uses “little drops of Botox” to help preserve not only the youth but also the individuality of his patients.

And while SPF and “a great face oil with antioxidants” are daily defenders, Dr. Colbert embraces the benefits of needles and lasers as well. “Botox instantly removes about five to seven years,” he says. “And one thing everyone can benefit from is laser toning, like Fraxel, to improve skin quality.” Also, a little eye cream never hurts.