If you had a little too much fun in the sun this summer, turn to Dr. Imber’s Youth Corridor Clinic. The NYC-based skincare sanctuary provides bespoke consultations that factor in genetics and lifestyle and creates custom regimens. The no-nonsense doctor explains the method to his magic.
You’re a plastic surgeon—what drew you to skincare specifically?
When I went into practice, my partner and I did the first 100 breast reconstructions after mastectomy in New York. But it’s the same operation every time, so I started doing a range of cosmetic surgeries, and developed a less invasive facelift called the “Limited-Incision or Short-Scar facelift.” That became the gold standard. When I started writing about it, I realized I was less interested in doing it. Why not chip away at things to look young and like yourself? That gave birth to all of this. I wrote a book called The Youth Corridor, which was a bestseller. It says that prevention, maintenance, and correction are what it’s all about. [My peers] hated me for it. [Laughs]
What’s the idea behind the bespoke services at Youth Corridor Clinic?
There’s a five-year plan. I’ll tell a patient, “This is where you are now, this is what you can expect to happen over the next five years, and this is how you can challenge it or live with it.” I get them to ground zero, and from there they have access to me all the time. They can call, text, drop in.
What are some of the special treatments?
We have a peel that we call the “no-peel peel,” a 70 percent glycolic peel. It gets all the junk off, but it doesn’t turn your skin red, so you can go back to work. We do dermaplane. We have a hot new laser. We used to do the Fraxel laser treatment, but it kept you swollen for months, we charged a lot, and I felt guilty. We try to live up to the things in which I believe. We have the most experience in fat transfer. Even when people ask for a little lift, I often say, “Let’s just put some fat here and some over here.”
Where do you usually take the fat from?
Everybody has a donor site. There ain’t nobody getting away from that! You only have to do it maybe twice in a lifetime. It’s a little more expensive in the beginning, but fat is the way to go. I’ve done roughly 25,000 fat injections and 5,000 facelifts. I know what products work and what products don’t, and I’ll tell you the truth about all of them, including ours.
How can we tell what works and what doesn’t?
Things that actually work and that have scientific support are based on Retinoids, Retin A, and Vitamin C. The rest of them are moisturizers, and those are just supposed to seal in the moisture.That’s it.
When did you start the skincare line?
About five years ago. I found that if you mix 15 percent ascorbic acid—the active form of Vitamin C—with Vitamin E and melatonin, you get a phenomenal product that penetrates the skin. Somebody who ran the skincare department at Harrods in London started buying the product online and asked if we’d like to have our products in the store. Then someone wanted to invest in the company, so we expanded the line. Everything else is on Net-a-Porter or our website.
What’s your most popular product?
Our hero product is the Vitamin C [Ultimate Antioxidant C Boost Serum]. Here’s the deal with Vitamin C: Collagens make the Vitamin C absorb into the skin. If you put C, E, and melatonin on together, you will get virtually no sun damage in that area. Vitamin C is the one thing that reverses sun damage; it gets rid of sunspots and helps build up the collagen. So this product reverses old damage and prevents new damage. It has the highest concentration of Vitamin C available.
What are other bestsellers?
Our retinoid gel called the RetinUltimate Transforming Gel. It’s the only retinoid on the market that doesn’t irritate. It helps renew cells, it gets rid of brown spots, and it fights wrinkles. It’s also the best anti-acne compound in the world. One of our moisturizers is the ultimate moisture cream—it’s eco-friendly and has no emulsifiers. Is it worth the $400? Probably not, but…
We appreciate the honesty!
I mean, there is no better moisturizer, but where do you put the limit?
What are your tips for summer skincare?
Avoid sun exposure, wear sunscreen, and use a Vitamin C serum. An SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the damaging spectrum. The Vitamin C serum is the unsung hero for preventing damage. I would also suggest our newest treatment, which is micro-needling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). The natural serum from your own blood contains epidermal growth factors that encourage healthy collagen growth and reduces wrinkles. We’ve also been doing PRP injections for men, because it promotes hair restoration. We also use it for stretch marks. Our Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatment is also great for dark spots and fine wrinkles and encourages collagen growth depending on skin type.
How do you determine cost for your bespoke five-year plan?
The biggest cost is the consultation. That’s $750. Afterward, I tell the esthetician where to start and we do really simple things first. We photograph every patient every time and we keep an actual medical record.
Will you open other locations?
For now, I want to keep it within my office to keep my finger on it. I have a “I don’t quite believe it” mentality. I don’t believe anything a rep tells us. We are an honest operation. I don’t know if you know this scientific phrase, “No bullsh*t.” That’s really who I am.