Dr. Bair, a Manhattan-based dermatologist, originally from Florida, has laid down roots in the Hudson Valley and expanded her dermatology practice to the area. She gives us the skinny on her favorite aesthetic procedures and how her new landscape has played a role.
Dr. Brooke Bair, DO: Healthy skin never goes out of style
Interview and Photoshoot by Maxwell Alexander, Editor-in-Chief, Hudson Valley Style Magazine
“When I set out to start my dermatology practice in Manhattan, of course, I was scared. But, mostly, I was excited. After getting my city practice underway, I decided to open a part-time location in New Paltz, as we have family there. I found myself really drawn to the people and the atmosphere. Soon, I found that my family and I were spending more and more time upstate vs. the city.”- said Dr. Bair when I asked her how she made Hudson Valley her new home.
Before Dr. Brooke Bair, DO had opened her New Paltz office, Hudson Valley was lacking access to medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology from a board-certified dermatologist. Now it’s here, and all services under one roof, including their new Kingston location.
Maxwell: When I saw your brand for the first time, I thought to myself “Here is another great example of someone knowing what they are doing right here in the Hudson Valley :)” But is there a story that is more than just great branding?
Dr. Bair: Starting my own business has been by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. As a mom, physician, and business owner, there is constant internal conflict about what or who in my life needs my attention. I feel guilty when I take a day off if there’s a patient that needs me. I feel guilty for being at work instead of playing with my daughter. So there’s this persistent mental gymnastics of “did I do my best for all the people in my life today?” Despite all these challenges, it has still been by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Undertaking such a special project, I had to give it a special name. This was actually becoming a problem because all the state and federal tax forms require a name, obviously. I couldn’t move forward without one. “This naming exercise was WAY more challenging than picking a name for my daughter”, I thought. And then there it was. My daughter was an infant when I started the process of opening the practice, and I couldn’t think of anything more special than her. So I decided to name the practice Luna Dermatology after my daughter.
Maxwell: As a realtor, I’ve noticed quite a staggering migration of the millennial generation from New York City to the Hudson Valley. Are you a part of this phenomenon? And if so, why do you think this is happening now?
Dr. Bair: I suppose you could say that I am part of that movement. I think the Hudson Valley is a bit of a hidden gem. More and more people from the city are discovering that once they visit. Although, I will say I left New York City reluctantly, and at first, I felt pretty isolated. I missed my city patients. I missed my friends. I missed all the fun and exciting things to do in NYC. But, now, I couldn’t be happier. It has been a great change for me and my family. We are closer to extended family now, too. With time, I had new patients and new friends. I just had to learn to be patient. In the city, you can get whatever you want, whenever you want. Up here, it just takes more time, but there are beauty and adventure in that discovery.
Maxwell: We define Hudson Valley Style as a blend of the metropolitan sophistication of New York City and the organic and rustic charm of the Hudson River Valley region. What is your take on that? Are you leaning more towards the concrete jungle or the flowery beginnings in your personal style? How did it change within the past year after you moved to the area?
Dr. Bair: In my field of dermatology and more specifically, aesthetic dermatology, I have to balance art with beauty and nature. This means offering bespoke treatment plans to maintain a natural, timeless, effortless look. Not overdone. I’m not trying to create the real housewives of Hudson Valley. Being down-to-earth, mindful, and practicing gratitude don’t mean that we have to forego a bit of aesthetic pampering from time to time. It’s best for me to try and get out in front of their concerns. It’s possible to slow down the aging process…much harder to reverse it. So we encourage people to come in and start a gradual approach that will serve them better over the long term. I like to call it “tweakments” vs treatments – small gradual changes that are subtle, but effective. It’s also nice that I can bring the latest, cutting-edge treatments from Manhattan to the Hudson Valley.
Maxwell: I imagine your (small) apartment living in the city had its own interesting twists. But today you showed me a picture of the big black bear right next to your house. That was awesome 🙂 What is your favorite part of owning acreage of beautiful land with a creek, waterfalls and apparently a bear?
Dr. Bair: We love being outside together as a family. It’s like a big playground. My daughter loves being outside and hiking. One of her favorite things to do is collect acorns 🙂
Being a mama-bear myself, I can’t say I love that big furry animal so close to my house. I’ve been told they are easy to scare, but I’m not sure I ever want to find out.
Maxwell: Lip gloss and botox shots used to be very trendy in recent years. What is in style this spring?
Dr. Bair: Right now, I’m really embracing regenerative medicine and dermatology…
Maxwell: Clarify the jargon please… 🙂
Dr. Bair: As an Osteopathic physician, I was trained to believe there’s more to good health than the absence of pain or disease. This whole-person approach to medicine focuses on prevention, helping promote the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing. Regenerative medicine fits perfectly into the osteopathic philosophy of care.
One example of this in my practice is the use of PRP, or platelet-rich plasma. PRP is something that we obtain by taking a sample of the patients own blood and extracting the PRP, rich in growth factors that help to stimulate collagen formation. Stimulating collagen formation in the skin helps to eliminate deep and fine lines giving the skin a more plump and youthful appearance. Another example is using a micro-needling device called the Genius (by Lutronic) which delivers energy to deeper levels of the skin. This treatment helps with skin tightening, decreasing pore size, but also stimulates new collagen formation… so yet another way to get the body to do the “work” for you rather than inject foreign substances. We can actually use PRP and Genius together for some pretty amazing results, not just on the face, but the neck and body too.
Maxwell: Wow, never thought we’d go this high talking about style! Can I schedule an appointment now? Just kidding, I’ll call your practice 🙂 So what’s ahead? What is your next big thing?
Dr. Bair: Well, after spring comes summer, and right now is the time when everyone has their eyes set on summer (and ending the quarantine). The big thing right now is going to be Coolsculpting. This is a treatment that will kick your summer body countdown into high gear and get rid of the exercise-resistant bulges. permanently! Coolsculpting is also a form of regenerative medicine, and the technology behind the treatment is really amazing. During the treatment, the temperature of the fat cell is lowered (hence the name COOLsculpting) which is basically a cellular injury. Then our lymphatic system clears those injured fat cells from the body. Our body is naturally clearing thousands of “injured” or unhealthy cells every day. Coolsculpting in a way just redirects the body’s efforts to focus on areas of stubborn and unwanted fat.
You’re a certified fitness trainer yourself, so you understand that some people, even with the most strict diet and exercise regimens, just have those really stubborn areas to slim down, for example, the upper arms or inner thighs. I think one common misconception is that Coolsculpting is for “overweight people.” In reality, it probably works best on people who are in pretty good shape, but they have some stubborn pockets of fat.
Maxwell: Tell me about it! Bodybuilding goals are very illusive, furthermore trying to build the muscle and loose fat at the same time could be an overwhelming and yes, unhealthy enterprise. So I am myself very intrigued by this new non-invasive treatment and to be honest, can not wait to give it a try 🙂
Thank you so much for the amazing photoshoot at your Kingston residence and for shedding the light on your story. Best of luck with your deramtology practice and I am looking forward to a follow up in the near feature to see where things go from here!
About Luna Dermatology: Luna is unique. We’re the perfect blend of traditional dermatology practice and the best cutting-edge cosmetic skincare in the Hudson Valley. Luna Dermatology is named after Dr. Bair’s young daughter of the same name. Luna is a spirited child that captures the innocence of youth. The crescent moon in our logo symbolizes purity and illumination at the time in each lunar cycle when what you can see is only a very small portion of the whole. Your skin is only a small part of your whole being, but it’s the part that faces the world, and we want you to feel like it reflects the very best of who you are. Our extensive treatment menu is based on our commitment to embracing cosmetic dermatology to meet your skincare needs while continuing to provide top-notch medical treatment for acute or chronic skin issues. Everything you need for great skin is within your reach right here in the Hudson Valley.