When Dermatologists Talk, I Listen
Until I was a beauty editor, it had never occurred to me to seek out the advice of a dermatologist. I was lucky enough to get through my adolescence armed with a jar of Noxzema and a tube of 10% benzoyl peroxide for the random pimples I obsessed over. My college weekends were spent were spent trolling the cosmetic aisles of Strawbridge & Clothier, the department store near campus, where hopes for the exact right 3-step skincare regimen sprang eternal. And in my post-collegiate years, I graduated to getting facials whenever I could cough up the $60, plus tip.
When I landed a job at Redbook as an associate beauty editor at 26 (half a lifetime ago), one of my first assignments was to write a story about skincare in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. My senior editor emailed me names of people to interview for the piece; all dermatologists.
The hours I spent on the phone interviewing dermatologists for that article were the crash course in skin care I didn’t even know I needed. We talked about everything from the best way to wash your face to when to start an antiaging cream to the benefits of myriad ingredients. And I wondered, Where had these derms been all my life?
To become a dermatologist in the U.S., you need four years of undergraduate work packed with pre-med courses like biology, organic chemistry, and physics. Then comes four years of medical school to learn, oh, everything about the human body. Next up, four years as a resident, which involves one year as an intern in general surgery or internal medicine, followed by three years as a clinical resident in dermatology. Then there might be additional training in the form of a fellowship in a dermatology sub-specialty. And in their practices, derms get the hands-on experience of examining the skin of their patients. So when I’m choosing a skin care product, whom am going to listen to? Don’t get me wrong: I trust the opinions of my beauty editor colleagues, beauty influencers, and friends. But dermatologist-recommended skincare carries a stamp of approval with 12+ years of schooling and science behind it.
Over the years, I’ve tried literally thousands of different skincare products. But the ones I come back to time and time again are the ones that the derms can’t stop talking about. In the past year or so, the beauty brand I keep hearing about is DefenAge, with its Age-Repair Defensin technology that triggers your stem cells to create new, young skin cells. I’ve used the Clinical Power Trio and love what it’s done for my skin (especially my no-longer ginormous pores on my nose). A package with the new DefenAge 6-Week Perfection Neck Tightening Cream arrived on my doorstep yesterday and as far as my neck is concerned, six weeks can’t come soon enough! But don’t take my word for it: Just ask a derm about DefenAge.
Cheryl Kramer Kaye is a veteran writer, editor, and on-air personality, with twenty-five (gulp!) years of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle stories under her belt. She's won three Gold Triangle awards from the American Academy of Dermatology for excellence in education, which she displays next to the bowling trophy she won in 1st grade for highest score, rolling a 135.