In Manhattan, New York Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated events of the year. The city’s glitterati from models to celebrities to socialites and reality stars are obsessed with looking their best at the shows so, who do they run to for sculpted perfection? Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank.
The sought-after doctor is known in New York not only for his golden hands but also for his holistic approach to beauty. He believes that looking your best starts with you and that is what sets him apart. He combines science, medicine, nutrition, fitness, philosophy and spirituality into his consultations to give his patients the best possible results.
On the brink of New York Fashion Week, we sat down with the Madonna-approved doctor to find out how this journey started for him, why a holistic approach is important, how he met the queen Madonna and to ask his expert opinion on the future trend of this industry. Here is our interview:
Bhavna: Do you remember the first time you knew you were going to be a Dermatologist?
Dr. Frank: I always kind of knew I was going to be a physician because I come from a family of physicians, but I remember the first time I decided to be a Dermatologist. My father wanted me to go into more of the surgical area of medicine but my mother, who was an OB/GYN Nurse, wanted me to become a Dermatologist. She would say that you rarely see them in the hospital and when you do, they’re the most rested and best dressed. This was in the 1980s, well before Cosmetic Dermatology was popular. I remember her saying that it was a gentlemanly profession and uniquely, when I was in medical school, I wanted to become a Psychiatrist but then I realized Botox works better than Prozac. I still very much use my Psychiatry background because I’m dealing with people’s insecurities and most importantly, their perception of themselves.
Bhavna: After deciding to be a Dermatologist, you went into business for yourself quickly. Was there any hesitation?
Dr. Frank: When I was in medical school, it was the beginning of the boom of Cosmetic Dermatology. I was always a technology person and I love the surgical field, but becoming a plastic surgeon seemed too aggressive to me with the lifestyle and the training. I really was interested in the less invasive approach. That being said, I am still a skin surgeon. I do surgeries all the time like liposuction, laser surgery all of these various things and I really like the buffet of surgical options and the trend of less invasive procedures. I would say that I was driven from an early age and knew that I wanted to open up my own practice. I also knew that I wasn’t great at working for other people. So, I opened up my office on 86th Street and 5th Avenue 18 years ago, right out of residency, two months before 9/11. It wasn’t a great time to open up a practice, but nevertheless I kept things moving. I was born two blocks from my office, so the area had sentimental value to me. My parents still live there, my sister runs my business and she’s the director of our brand. Now, at age 50, I have 20 years of private practice experience. It has worked out well for me.
“Before you walk through my doors, your diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, intimacy levels at home, and meditation should all be things that you are working on at home. I’m the icing on the cake – that is my philosophy. ” – Dr. Frank
Bhavna: What was the scope of the beauty industry when you opened up your practice?
Dr. Frank: My medical training in the 90s was such an exciting time in the beauty industry. When I completed my residency in 2000, it was the beginning of the cosmetic surgery surge. At the time, actors and the LGBTQ community were talking about this thing called Botox that wasn’t FDA approved. I felt that this was going to be this whole world opening up and that for the first time, people were starting to talk about these procedures instead of hiding what they did. It was no longer just the ‘ladies who lunch’ in New York City that spoke about Botox – it was becoming more acceptable as a form of grooming. I think Botox kind of invented the conversation because it showed people that they can do minor things that were safe, quick and easy to make themselves feel better about their bodies. Now, 10 years later, 40% of our patients are men. I also have a lot of young people treating acne scarring and doing laser for their stretch marks, which tells you that more and more people are invested in looking like the best version of themselves.
Bhavna: PR Newswire recently reported that the MedSpa market is projected to reach $27,566 million by 2025. Did you know that this concept is so popular among millennials? If not, what drew you to the MedSpa concept? Dr. Frank: I think this broader audience is really what’s driving the market because it used to be just celebrities or housewives that would get these procedures. Now the audience is getting younger and younger. I think that social media has a lot to do with the growth of the MedSpa concept. People are realizing that there are procedures driven by new technologies that are out there to help them look like the best version of themselves.
One thing I’m very fastidious about is being very honest about what works and what doesn’t work. There are a lot of treatments out there, especially on Instagram, and it makes it look like everything is a magic wand. I try to hone in on the things that would be helpful, give appropriate expectations to the cost-benefit and the trauma ratio because of course, there isn’t a magic treatment with no downtime and perfect results.
You have to be balanced in your procedures and I think the MedSpa concept provides that. It promotes less invasive procedures that together, over time, can enhance your look.
“Madonna is the example of someone that is so driven in all of the aspects of her life. She takes good care of herself and her body with diet and exercise. So the small things that I do make me look very talented as a doctor because she takes great care of herself. ” – Dr. Frank
Bhavna: It is common knowledge that you work with Madonna. Every time I’ve seen her, she appears ageless. Can you talk a little bit about how you met, how has she changed your perspective on aging and beauty in general and the MDNA skincare collaboration?
Dr. Frank: So, we met about five years ago and she came to me on a recommendation of another patient, as sadly the last doctor she worked with had passed away. After working with her for about a year or two, I got involved in developing the skincare line with her and a Japanese technology company. Together, our tools and our formulas created the perfect synergy to defy the boundaries of modern science and deliver game-changing results.
I think that with Madonna – she’s learned a lot from me, I’ve learned a lot from her. To me, she is a perfect example of the ethos of my profession right now. There isn’t one thing that will keep you from aging. It’s a lifestyle combination. Madonna is the example of someone that is so driven in all of the aspects of her life. She takes good care of herself and her body with diet and exercise. So the small things I do make me look very talented as a doctor because she takes great care of herself. She also does all of these other things, from religion to meditation to diet to exercise to spending time with her family. These are the things that keep her looking ageless as you say, and they are working really well.
Before you walk through my doors, your diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, intimacy levels at home, and meditation should all be things that you are working on at home. I’m the icing on the cake – that is my philosophy. I really take a very holistic approach. You can’t inject happiness into someone’s life. However, when someone is taking care of themselves and working on themselves holistically, then it makes my job easy and together we can achieve the patient’s desired results.