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Interview

Skincare Advice from a Dermatologist with Dr. Shereene Idriss, Board-Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist

Take it from her. She’s a board certified dermatologist based in New York whose coveted expertise can be consumed from the comfort of your own fluffy pillow.

Skinfluencers are taking the internet by storm. Due to quarantine, 2020 witnessed a wave of expanded self-care that continues to grow. Each time you scroll through your social feeds, you are likely to find a new skincare expert on TikTok or Instagram. When it comes to social media stars and our dermatologists, who should we trust? The solution is simple: find someone who is both.

Dr. Shereene Idriss is a Board Certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in NYC. But, she’s a woman of many hats. Formerly a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at NYU, she is now a clinical instructor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Further, she is a participating fellow in several dermatologic organizations like the American Academy of Dermatology and the Women’s Dermatologic Society. When not publishing award-winning research papers or treating patients, the celebrated dermatologist is blogging away on #PillowTalkDerm and posting to an audience of over 270,000 on Instagram. Join us for some serious skincare pillow talk with the one and only, Dr. Shereene Idriss.

What inspired you to become a dermatologist?

I’ve always known that I wanted to work with people and help them feel better about themselves. In addition, I’ve always known that I wanted to do some sort of procedural work with my hands. Initially, I thought I would be going into plastic surgery. However, midway through my undergraduate years, I discovered dermatology and never looked back!

Developing long-term relationships with your patients who not only see their skin problems but are also eager to treat them without needing to be convinced is what helped me realize that this was the career for me. Dermatology bridges the gap between art and science. As a dermatologist, I feel so lucky to be able to practice science through art and to create on a daily basis… All while helping restore my patients confidence.

What are your favorite treatments and devices these days for a long-lasting glow, treating acne and minimizing signs of aging?

I often try to find that one treatment that encompasses all of the above. This is especially true if somebody is acne-prone or has acne while fighting signs of aging and wanting to achieve a glow. Most recently, I have been obsessed with microneedling with heat combined with platelet rich plasma (PRP). Radio frequency microneedling has been proven to help stimulate collagen production. Even more interestingly, the heat involved has also been shown to fight acne. Topping it off with PRP is like the cherry on top.

What at-home products have impressed you the most when it comes to skincare and makeup?

Ever since having two babies, my hormonal pigmentation that borders on melasma has been my biggest skin issue. Ingredients within products that can help actually even out your skin tone have truly been the most impressive for me. It’s amazing how once you achieve an even skin tone, it almost doesn’t even matter how many lines or wrinkles you have.

What I have come to realize is that not everything new is great but everything great was once new. I have learned how to marry ingredients in order to achieve the best results by living through this problem myself. Last year on my trip to France, I purchased an oldie but goodie: the A313, which is a blend of various retinoids. Incorporating this one back into my routine in addition to hydroquinone found over the counter (different fromcolor-correcting serum) has really upped my skincare game tremendously.

Makeup-wise, I have never been a fan of lipsticks. However, I most recently interviewed Andrea Ali, a makeup artist based in Paris, who introduced me to Lisa Eldridge’s red velvet lipstick. I attest to her own words: “The color is divine and can really suit every skin tone”!

What are the big don’ts when it comes to skincare?

The biggest don’t when it comes to skincare is not caring for your skin! Abusing of the sun and tanning beds when you think you are young and invincible is the biggest, biggest—and did I mention biggest?!—mistake one can make. Luckily, we live in a time when we have procedures at our fingertips that can help turn back time. But, how much happier will you be and how much money will you save if you just care for your skin from the get-go?

Additionally, I find that patients are coming in younger and younger requesting cosmetic procedures with the aim of changing their faces, whereas the goal should be enhancing it. It can be very easy to be lured into this, but this is where I cannot emphasize enough the importance of finding a cosmetic physician whose aesthetic you trust and opinion you value.

Finally, a very common mistake that I am noticing nowadays is this addiction to “fast skincare.” Essentially, skincare products that are sold relatively cheap, and therefore have very little loyalty from the consumer’s perspective. Ultimately, this leads to people not being patient enough to live through the usage of the product in order to see the results.

What will we see more of in the next 12 months?

Body care and body treatments are taking center stage. From over-the-counter cosmetic brands, such as Drunk Elephant creating a body care line, to in-office procedures targeting non-invasive fat melting and skin tightening, there has been a growing interest in everything below the neck. I am most excited about muscle tightening devices that I think will be used in the future as a booster to your gym routine, taking muscle definition and muscle memory to the next level.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I want to say “stress less.” But, that is a lie. I truly believe that stress was the driving motivator to achieve my goals, and for that I am grateful. However, I do remind myself still to this day and on a daily basis to genuinely try to enjoy the crazy busy moments—the good and the bad—as they are far better than the alternative.

How do you use your social media platform to connect with your audience?

I try to speak with my audience every day. Not just through social media in the conventional sense of using Instagram stories or reels, but to really speak to them through direct messaging in order to understand what value I can bring to them on a daily basis.

Where can our readers find and connect with you?

Your readers can find me on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Clubhouse all @shereeneidriss… Or in my practice in New York City in Union Square.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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