Beauty Secrets: Dermatologist Lily Talakoub Tells All

From non-surgical facelifts to off-label uses for Botox and Kybella, Dr. Lily lets us in on the secret treatments even your closest friends won’t admit they’ve had.

Dr. of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center. Photo by .

We all know them: women whose skin and bone structure are nearly flawless; yet, they don’t look like they’ve had anything “done.” How is it that there is nary a wrinkle on their forehead, their face is naturally contoured and their pouts are reminiscent of supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s enviably full lips? On top of it all, their Instagram feeds reveal they have six-pack abs! Asked for their secrets, they coyly credit “good genes,” and maybe, if you’re chummy enough, admit to a little Botox or a bit of filler here and there.

Fortunately, Dr. Lily Talakoub of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, who helps some of Washington’s most well-known women look their best, is willing to spill the beans. “I call it the high-maintenance way of being low-maintenance,” she says of the treatments she routinely performs that provide subtle changes resulting in a more youthful look.

The Thread Lift, a nonsurgical facelift that raises brows, sculpts jowls and tightens the neck, is a procedure Dr. Lily, as her patients call her, says she does “all the time.” Tiny incisions are made near the temples, then barbed surgical thread is inserted in the skin and pulled up. Voila! — a facelift in 10 minutes during your lunch hour. Collagen, by way of scar tissue, forms around the absorbable sutures, resulting in a more structured, youthful visage over the course of several weeks.

Injecting Botox in unconventional places is another of the doctor’s tricks. “I put it in the jaw for people who have a wide face,” she says. How does it work? Botox in the masseter muscle makes it atrophy, giving the face a contoured look.

If a bit more cleavage is desired, the board-certified dermatologist can perform a non-surgical breast lift with your own blood. It’s a treatment derived from the popular “vampire facials,” where your blood is drawn, Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is separated via centrifugation, or spinning, and applied to the face to stimulate collagen growth. “Now, I’m injecting it into the breast and it stimulates tissue to grow a little bit bigger,” she says. Patients need to repeat the procedure five or six times for lasting effects, but according to Dr. Lily, it does result in immediate fullness, so it’s especially useful “if you have an event to go to that night and you need a little cleavage.”

What about those six-pack abs? Dr. Lily injects Kybella, the serum commonly used to get rid of fat under the chin, into lines in the abdomen. It melts fatty tissue between muscular layers, producing that desired, sculpted look. The injections can be painful, she admits, and they need to be repeated three to six times for maximum effect, but the results are worth it for those who, despite long hours at the gym, have been unable to achieve the stomach muscles of their dreams.

Dr. Lily says all of these procedures are safe, can be administered quickly and none have significant side effects, meaning they’re especially appealing to her busy clientele. “In Washington,” she explains, “no one has time for downtime.”

This story appears in the February 2018 of Washington Life.

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