Dr. Yeretsky is an internationally-recognized specialist in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine, with many years experience improving her patients’ appearances and overall quality of life. A highly intuitive professional, she combines impeccable attention to detail with healing techniques, to create subtle transformations that gracefully rejuvenate the skin, revealing the patient’s true character.
My guest today is Dr. Yelena Yeretsky, otherwise known as Dr. Y. Dr. Y is an internationally recognized specialist in anti-aging, and aesthetic medicine. With many years’ experience improving her patents appearance, and overall quality of life. A highly intuitive professional, she combines impeccable attention to detail with healing techniques, creates subtle transformations that gracefully rejuvenates the skin, revealing the patients true character. Of European descent Dr. Y completed her education at top US Medical institutions and is board certified in internal medicine. For the last 14 years she has practiced medical and cosmetic dermatology in New York, New Jersey area, building a loyal following of patients. Welcome Dr. Y.
Hello Jeremy glad to talk to you here today.
What inspired you to become a Med Spa owner?
Well all my life basically since I was a child, I believed in wellness and I was obsessed with creating little skin care masks, beauty, anything that has to do with looking good, feeling good. Growing up in the former Soviet Union we didn’t have much to do, so I actually used natural remedies a lot. And through years of just travelling through the world, after coming to the United States in 1999 and studying here as you mentioned in my Bio. I collected all this spa information while traveling through European and American spa.
When I arrived in the United States the spa industry was not very developed, and at that time it was mostly for people with lots of wealth. The majority of people that I met didn’t know anything about going to the sauna, or scrubbing, exfoliating, forget about medical esthetic treatments. But Europeans were always very big about doing facials monthly, about moisturizing the body, about using skin care a lot, even for the very young. So I always kind of loved that feeling as the woman and as a young girl but I also always knew that I wanted to be a doctor.
So I always knew that I would be in some kind of healing field, and that was never a question for me what kind of profession to choose. So of course I became a doctor, and then eventually I ended up in aesthetics, and anti-aging field. I graduated in early 2000 and by that time I had already completed lots of what we call rotations, in the field of medical aesthetics and anti-aging medicine. I have to say that the field of medical aesthetics has grown kind of dramatically together with my career in the last 10, 15 years. It was basically nothing and then suddenly became so popular. When I started we had Botox, but was still not popular and we had collagen, bovine, and we had a few lasers and chemical peels, and microdermabrasion machines. Today we have an incredible amount of tools, to make you look beautiful, to make you feel confident and to make you feel great. This side is the medical aesthetics side, and I have taken many, many classes all over the world to try to be the best, and stay on top of everything. I attend lots of classes and courses because at that time, as you know very well in residency it was not taught. So you had to kind of learn by yourself, learning all this and I did. Then I started to teach them to others. At the same time I was part of the dermatology practice, where I practice medical and cosmetic dermatology.
But in the last 5 years I kind of said to myself, you know the field has grown so dramatically and it’s almost whenever new types of patients, meaning people are healthy now. When they come to the physician, it’s not a sick individual who needs a prescription, there is more. It’s about preventative medicine, and aesthetic medicine is preventative medicine, because ultimately you’re healthy. You just want to be better, you want to look better, you want to feel better. So I decided to open something that addresses this particular environment, for somebody like me. Because I’m right now in my early 40’s, and ultimately I am the number one customer of myself. And combining kind of two sides of who I am, which is the scientist and all these years of education, and experience, plus me as a woman. Somebody who wants to look my best and feel my best, because that will give me confidence. Also my personal obsession with skin care and the beauty industry, being a socialite and a fashionista living in New York City, and always like traveling and jet setting.
Then I said to myself you know what, why don’t I create a space where people can lay back, people who have no time, people who want to look their best in a fast support bottom line pleasant and gorgeous environment. So in 2010 I opened my place and it’s called Clinic YFT. This is a place in West Village which I personally love, where the hottest and best happens in West Village. Where we created an environment which looks like basically as a medical boudoir. Its very sexy and seductive, it’s very clean. It does not look like a medical office at all, because there is more to medicine. There’s also a future emotional part, of people coming and sharing their needs, and their goals, and their desires.
So the place is very beautiful aesthetically, because we’re dealing with beauty and aesthetics. We also incorporated not only medical aesthetics services, but also traditional wellness kind of old school like facials. Being European I still believe that monthly, very good old school looking facials are fabulous. I believe in massage especially medicinal massage, where lots of tensions. People sitting at a computer, people constantly being on social media. I do believe that taking care of the body is as important, as taking care of the skin. We also do horoscopes for people. So we can discuss the stars and what’s happening in emotional life of human being, which is very important. We do tarot cards sometimes. So ultimately we have kind of like a social club of fabulous people, who come and sometimes read poetry, sometimes we have parties. We recently had an event for almost 200 people, with like belly dancers. We’re just having fun. Ultimately truly all of my purpose is to bring back the joy of being a woman, the joy of living well, the joy of life itself.
So this is what we’re doing. My personal attitude towards medical aesthetics is very practical. I combine science and luxury. I combine kind of opposite things, and bring it to simplicity. The most important thing I believe is consultation. I think today in 21st century, anybody at any age should at least get a consultation, and discuss what are the choices. How they’re going to age, what can be done to prevent it, because I do believe the future is in preventative medicine, in every field of medicine. And medical aesthetics being just something that you can see and this is something that’s my personal passion and love. But you could look at preventative medicine as the future for any field of medicine. It’s the personal desire within our very busy schedule, in such busy life and I do take care of so many busy New Yorkers. I have celebrities. I have models. I have mothers. I mean any profession, writers, dancers, artist, so absolutely any profession. Everybody has one thing in common, nobody has time. Not having time is the most prevalent thing I see. I like to give people back the energy, the self-love, the self-love of looking back in the mirror and saying, I look great. I’m exhausted and tired but you can’t see it.
So yes consultation becomes number one priority, because even if people don’t do anything I give them knowledge. I give them knowledge of what’s out there. Because when people read so much media, they are confused. And sometimes it’s very neatly presented by the media. If you read anything in the magazines, it’s like 5 minutes and everything will be solved, and we all know it’s not like that.
Yes and like you said before, there are so many more options available now to the consumer. It’s easy to get confused on what treatment is best for their situation.
This is so true. I know people often come in and say okay I want Botox, and Botox could be choice number 4 once you evaluate their face, and once you look at them. Everybody may need a little Botox here and there, but maybe for this particular person Botox would not be number one, choice number one. Something that would make a difference in their face, maybe something else would be choice number one. This I do as my job is to inform and be like a messenger for these people, to tell them what is most important and how to look your best. That’s 1. Number 2 an injectable is not enough, because skin has to grow. Anybody who can be injected every way, if their skin is not glowing, it will not translate into looking gorgeous.
So it’s very important to address skin together with injectables, because it’s a very common thing once again of people for example wanting to be good, and then there’s skin discolour and sun damage. So even if you want it to be good, it doesn’t look beautiful because that’s not the purpose. There is no glow in the person. So each person receives a very individual treatment almost like a prescription to their lifestyle. We discuss lifestyle. We discuss options for their face. I always ask people what they like about their face, and what they don’t like about their face. It’s very important to understand how they see themselves, so you both have realistic expectations of the results. And most importantly, knowing their why and what they want to accomplish. You should want to do it for yourself, for feeling confident or feeling your best self. But if at 60, you want to look 20 that probably will not be the best approach. It’s for you to look your best. Another way I kind of feel right now with young girls, which I call them young kitty cats because when they are together playing around, they sound like a set of kitty cats.
They love to do their lips, so I find it very cute. When I was their age I was like oh my gosh lip gloss, lip gloss, and then I remember we started getting those plumper’s. Like have a little cinnamon or have a little spice or peppermint in the lip gloss 15- 20 years ago and would make them red, and like oh my god I’m plumping my lips. Now they just come and get them injected. So I find it a very cute 21st century approach, compared to our mothers and grandmothers who were afraid to put lipstick on.
Jeremy: Right yeah. I can see that it’s growing. So in terms of the services that you’re offering now, what’s the most popular service in general?
In medical aesthetics I believe that overall Botox would be number 1, and fillers would be number 2. That’s what people come for. But I always turn it around in the sense I don’t look at it this way. I have a very holistic approach to the face. I deal with the whole face. So when I give my consultation I discuss the quality of skin care, skin care routine, and then we discuss what I call like a rabbit ear moment, which is how to not look tired. So we end up doing the whole face, and that’s why my patients stay with me. They don’t leave. I do not do like oh my God, help with my eyes and I just take care of the eye. This is not how I operate because I don’t want to be treated like that. So I treat everyone the way I would like to be treated, which is the full face. Usually it requires little bit of many things.
It will require a combination of treatments, a little bit of fillers, a little bit of light chemical peel, a little bit of skin care. Right now this coming year 2016, I’m coming out with my line called Dr. Y Secrets. Which basically the line that once again based on everything I mentioned earlier with years of experience as a woman and years of my experience as a doctor. I’m combining science and luxury in a very simple form. I feel it’s my purpose in life to try everything that’s out there and narrow down on the best. And what works the best will achieve the best, and what is the most effective under the circumstances for each particular individual. So when I give consultation we do the whole face, and once again, looking for the glow of your skin, skin care routine, and my patients end up with absolutely everything. They end up having a little Botox, a little bit of fillers, and different types of fillers because it depends what the issue is. The different parts of the face require different fillers. That’s why in the media sometimes there’s articles like putting one of the fillers above or over another filler and this is incorrect. Because some fillers are great to put under eyes, other fillers do great in the lips, other fillers do great in creating a mini face lift.
It also depends on the structure of the patients face. It depends how much volume they have. So we have so much that we can do today, that I don’t think the approach I see in media which says, I can do this filler or I do that filler gives the right impression on the consumer. 15 years ago you could be proud that you use certain fillers but today there are more options available. Of course we all know as physicians how to us them, but the hard part of aesthetics medicine comes from evaluating the face, understanding the beauty of this particular individual, understanding their beauty what they call beauty and advising them on what would be the best way to achieve that, and then using all those fillers, chemical peels, lasers as toys, toys to play with. For you as an artist to give this person the best possible result, where they’ll be natural, beautiful and happy. We have a joke in my office, you never look older than 35. It’s our cut off age.
It sounds like you have a very highly specialized approach to how you view the entire aesthetic process, and how you take them from where they are now to where they would like to be.
Correct you are so experienced you nailed it down right away. When I meet a new person we basically discuss what could be done, and they don’t have to do it all right away because you need to be ready to do it. It’s through science and medicine there’s always side effects. So the person can be prepared with their expectation, then we discuss all of that. In the first year of our relationship usually we dedicate it to getting from where we are, to getting where we want to be. Because majority of people in New York in West Village, I don’t just deal with West Village it’s just a great place to be. But I also deal with many international people, everybody from United States, so whoever they are. People come in, they first have to make a decision and it’s an emotional process to make that decision. People are afraid to do that. People are afraid how much it cost. People are afraid how their going to look.
People are afraid whether their husband is going to find out. It’s so much of an emotional component, so we take it slowly. Th majority of the people can no longer take time off. The old school was I want to stay at home for a week, but who can stay at home for a week, nobody. Now, procedures we have to do it in a way, so the person comes back to their lifestyle which is so important, to create a program for people that they can handle. That they can realize. That they can fit their lifestyle, it’s very important. It has to be a realistic approach. So then it takes us usually a year to get us where we want to be, and after that we have maintenance. Maintenance is something you just need a little bit. I will provide it for them as long as they realize that the more material you put in, the more healing time, the more possibility of bruising. When you do a little bit often, nobody knows ever and it’s like this very gradual transformation. Where even when you’re exhausted you never look it.
That’s what we do and of course we have lots of interesting services. This is a Medical Spa but then I have lots of patients and they get pregnant, then to maintain you can’t do anything when you’re pregnant. They come and see us once a month for facials I have. So we have a very special European massages using hydrating mask. We maintain the pregnancy and while the patient breast feed, and then we move back to more aggressive treatments. The key is I think, to know who you are as a business owner, and as a person, and as a doctor, and I think you attract similar people. So for example, I attract men and women who want to look natural, who care about their looks. But at the same time they are not going to constantly spend time in front of the mirror. They want to know something will work, yes they will do it, but it has to be efficient, effective, practical, and pleasant. We in Clinique YFT we celebrate pleasures of life, so we are very big on using our senses, smelling perfumes, smelling roses. So we incorporate that in our daily life.
As a Spa owner,what’s you biggest challenge right now?
The biggest challenge I would say is to be on the same page with the client. It can be challenging In the beginning to explain to people everything that can be, and so to have the same expectation. That is very challenging because remember I do it every day of my life, morning to night I basically repeat the same thing. But for people who come in everything to them can be an issue, and it’s a different viewpoint. When a person walks in this whole emotional world coming in, with their own life. I think for us to meet so we’re on the same page, that could be challenging but usually we solve it. Because for them to understand for example, that there is possibility of bruising, possibility of side effects, that’s challenging. Overall I think anytime you are in any business dealing with human beings, it could be challenging.
Jeremy: How often do you communicate with your client base, via email, social media, text, etc?
Yelena: I send 4 times a year on average I send a newsletter, and my newsletters are gorgeous. Because everything we do, there’s patients even jokes at one day they’re going to be famous they’re so beautiful. It represents everything I do which is celebration of life and beauty, science, and luxury. Yeah 4 times a year, then once a year I throw a very big party which is the kind of my office birthday party, and it’s usually in November. We just had ours as I mentioned, with lots of people and performance, jazz singers. We were like Vegas type of party. It’s very dramatic and like lots of champagnes like boxes and boxes. I think this last party was 53 bottles of champagne.
Jeremy: For 200 people. So there were some people leaving feeling pretty good that night.
Yelena: Yes, especially because we had little burlesque going. I do have only women; I have lots of men also. I have very, very eclectic practice. So we have people from every walk of life. And what gives me personally one of the biggest pleasures in life, is when I see all the people of the world come together for this celebrations in the name of beauty. You see Republicans and Democrats together. You see the most conservative or the most liberal. You see gay, straight, you see every walk of life, FBI agent, escort service, and I love it. I find that’s what I live for. That’s who I am, that’s why I came to live in New York City. Because it shows how we are all the same, and we all want to laugh, connect and underneath all of it. What I do through my services, through my life, I’m doing it in the name of beauty into the world. So that’s how I communicate to my patients. So I do not send reminders. I do not do specials. I communicate on a whole kind of level. Then marketing my business this is my concept. When everything comes out of your face when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and the mirror goes woo, that’s time to come back. I have to tell you, even myself personally because obviously I’m 43. I’m a New Yorker. I used to party a lot. I’m injected; I am a number one customer. Even doing this it’s so fun, where you are completely done or injected. You’re like I’m fun. I’m so great, I’m so great. I don’t need this. I don’t need this. Then there is one day you literally wake up and everything droops. You look in the mirror and go, what happened. How did this happen?
Jeremy: Right. It’s not like it wasn’t there last week. It’s just you didn’t notice it and now all of a sudden you’re noticing it, right.
Yelena: Exactly. It literally just droops and your looking at it like, oh my God what happened? Emergency. People always joke, what kind of Botox emergency can you have. You would be surprised; it is a little like that. One day you were fine, then you are not fine.
Jeremy: When they want their Botox, they want their Botox now.
Yelena: Absolutely. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not in the month, it’s now immediately. It’s a very emotional part. That’s what doctors have to do on their part, also step up and give their patients recommendations, not just do business. That is why I think it’s so important to evaluate the whole face, because if the person is emotional for whatever reason. Maybe a family member passed away, maybe you break up with a loved one, maybe you had a fight with your daughter. I don’t know something emotional happened. And people come in and like, give it to me, give it to me. I want this change, do it to me. This is where a doctor had to step in and say; okay you know this is not that straight forward. You have to kind of create a plan, where the person happy, but really beautiful.
Jeremy: Speaking of urgency, I’m sure you get some clients that come in that have had treatments at other spas. Are there mistakes that you are seeing them make, when they go to other spas and then come to you?
Yelena: Yes definitely. Because I have very good relationships with my patients, meaning I’m very good at retaining patients when they come to me, they kind of don’t leave but I do have patients who need to be corrected, and sometimes it’s something simple. And sometimes it requires whatever was done has to come out.
Jeremy: What are some of the mistakes that you see?
Yelena: The mistakes I see are simple ones, is with Botox, the eyebrows having to much arch and looking a little scary. So that’s very easily corrected. The mistake I see, is people go the wrong places maybe because they found a coupon or something. I think aesthetically, they just don’t look good, and the way they were injected it was incorrect for their particular face. Maybe science wise it was correct but the person doesn’t look good, so the art of it is not. I also see sometimes people very much overdone. So along the way sometimes I can correct, sometimes it has to come down. The filler has to be gone. Sorry this is actually number 1. I would like to say that people are not done as a whole face, going back to the holistic approach. So for example, people come in and because they had dark circles under the eye.
They really want to have filler there, and they come in and they have filler in there. They do Botox for example on the forehead, and their chin is drooping, and their cheeks are drooping. So then it’s almost obvious that Botox was done, or something was done, and then the rest of the face is drooping. So I don’t believe it helps anyone, because that’s when it becomes so obvious. Like hello look you had nice Botox, and that’s exactly what people come to the spa and see, and now there’s oh I love your Botox, verses hey you know what you look gorgeous. Because ultimately it doesn’t matter how old you are to look gorgeous. Look at Jane Fonda. I mean look at Jennifer Lopez, and look at Gwen Stephanie. I mean it doesn’t matter how old people are. Just look at somebody and say wow, you look great. I think it comes from having a glowing skin, a very glowing skin, no greyness, no darkness, and it comes from not having effects of gravity. Things are not hanging. I think when people concentrate on the current fashion or trend because in medical aesthetics we also have trends. And everybody has those cheeks, and then you still have a chin hanging or something. It doesn’t look good. Your face must have some kind of a flow, a fluidity to it.
Jeremy: A natural flow right.
Yelena: Yes, A very natural flow that if your forehead get tightened up, your neck and jaw line should tighten up too. I mean realistically speaking, how much can be done depends on age and skin type, and how much you were taking care of yourself through your lifetime. So yeah when only one piece of the face is done, and everything else is not glowing, is drooping then what’s the purpose? Don’t do anything.
Jeremy: That absolutely makes sense. That’s one of the trends that I have noticed in my experience so far. The trend is to enhance the natural beauty, and not just focus on one particular area like you said. Whether it’s around the eye, or the forehead. Really craft an approach, a long term approach that makes sense. Instead of just a quick couple of injections here, there and send them on their way.
Yelena: Yes. Also some of the materials we use today are a long term investment in the future. Because by fillers, chemical peels. By injecting them they stimulate your own collagen production, so this way you not only benefit from the injection itself, but you also stimulate your own collagen which is a long term great result. So once you decide to start enhancing your look, if you stay on top of it for a year I know for sure on the second, especially 3rd year you need less, less, and less treatment. You need less and less materials, because the body doesn’t move it completely. So if you always consistently maintain yourself a little bit, it’s the same thing as about diet or exercise. If you always kind of eat well, if you always exercise an even a little bit, it’s better if you decide to do it for the summer. And go crazy on some kind of binging and craziness. The same thing with medical aesthetics. You always do a little something to maintain your natural freshness. You need less, less and less as you proceed. You never need as much as when you begin.
Jeremy: What service are you offering now that you wish more of your clients took advantage of, and knew about?
Yelena: I think my clients actually end up doing all of them. So I actually feel like eventually we get there because the way my particular office set up. I manage to persuade them why it’s so important. But I do wish that people should never forget their skin care routines. Because people running after the latest loose ends, and forget sometimes the most basic skin care regiment. Because the basic, most basic consistent skin cares regiments can make miracles, together with very light resurfacing procedures. I wish people payed attention to their skin more.
Jeremy: Can you explain what your ideal client is, in terms of what’ their current situation is and what they want to accomplish, and then how you help them accomplish that goal?
Yelena: My ideal client could be any age, it’s a personality trait. It’s a personality trait of a person who wants to look her best, who wants to know what’s available, and wants to learn about the process. So once she or he comes to earn about the world of medical aesthetics, we ultimately become friends and I tell them about what’s available, and the prices. And I love realistic people who can say okay, this is how much I have available, what can be done. And we create a plan of most important, to least important and they hold their appointment. They trust me and they always look their best, and that show my whole practice grew by word of mouth. Because all my patients look the best.
You can hear the passion through your voice, and you can hear your dedication.
Yelena: Thank you.
It’s very clear that you enjoy helping your patients, clients achieve their best.
Yelena: I do and definitely a passion of mine, and I can’t imagine any other profession. I’m in the right place and the right time.
Jeremy: That’s wonderful. Before we go is there anything else that you would like to say about your Spa?
Yelena: I recommend that everybody have a consultation with a medial aesthetic physician, at any age. Just to learn what’s out there, and what’s possible. When you make that decision later on. What it is that you want to do, you should always speak with the person with whom you’re going to do it with.
You should not wait until everything is too late or too scary but just go if its available. So many people doing it, and I think the most important powerful thing is knowledge, and self-love. I think in this business that we are in right now, is not a superficial business as so many people think about it. Or the media shows it as a very negative, and very superficial. It is not and self-love is not superficial. It gives confidence. It gives you that energy and desire to wake up in the morning, and go to that meeting and perform. And to smile, and to have a passionate relationship with your spouse, or your loved one. It gives so much when you look in the mirror and you love the way you look. So there’s nothing superficial about that. I think that it’s very important that people should realize that, there is so much available right now so go and get a consultation. Nothing needs to be done, just to feel and see what’s out there, and it’s a beautiful journey and I welcome everyone to come play with us.
Jeremy: Love it. Those are great parting words and I think that’s a good place to end the interview. Once again it has been a pleasure speaking with you. And for all of those that are listening that would be interested in getting a consultation, the website is cliniqueyft.com. Have a great day and we’ll talk later.
Yelena: That’s great come visit us any time.