Dr. Shereene Idriss, Dermatologist & Founder of PillowtalkDerm
Dr. Idriss is known for breaking down buzzy skincare ingredients and reacting to viral TikTok trends, "so that you do not have to waste money," she says. "Because I've already wasted the money for you." Below are her hot takes on microneedling, retinol, and LED light wands.
I truly didn’t—it wasn’t at all premeditated. The skincare world being oversaturated with MISINFORMATION was actually the fuel in my fire. I genuinely just wanted to help people help themselves and cut through the noise.
What’s the misconception you hear most often when it comes to skincare and aging?
The biggest misconception is hearing people refer to “aging” as a skin type. Let’s be clear: age is NOT a skin type. Whether you’re 25 or 55 your biggest skin issue can vary—from pigmentation, to redness, to dryness—and that’s how you should approach skincare, by skincare issue. Tackling that will make the biggest difference for your overall skin quality.
If we’re talking about in-office microneedling treatments, yes, worth your money, but be sure the person doing your treatments is a board-certified professional. I prefer microneedling with radio frequency for a double punch.
Now, as for at-home microneedling. It’s a big risk without big gain. You can actually do more damage to your skin barrier if you don’t know what you’re doing so I say stay away.
The media makes skincare ingredients buzzy and sound brand new, but retinol is a tried-and-true. It’s the crown jewel of skincare ingredients. It helps almost all skin issues, including acne, pigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles. However, always remember consistency over intensity. The key is to start low and go slow. Start with a low concentration, begin incorporating only 1-2 times a week and work your way up from there.
LED light therapy wands…
When it comes to at-home LED light therapy, I vote the face masks over wands. They cover a larger surface area, and you’ll get more for your money in the long run. And, just like going to the gym, maintenance is key. If you’re not doing it consistently, you can’t expect to see results.
I have been singing glycerin’s praises since I started doing #PillowtalkDerm stories, but other hydrating ingredients are overhyped and soaking up the attention. Fun fact: Hyaluronic acid has 30x more search results on Sephora.com than glycerin, but glycerin is a far better hydrating ingredient.
Many. A lot of my go-to favorites are from La-Roche Posay and Aveeno. As far as investing in pricey products, I would say serums are where you want to spend your money. This is the step you definitely want to dedicate to treating your main skin issue.
1. Start with the basics. You don’t need a 12-step routine. As a baseline, you need a cleanser, chemical exfoliant, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. That’s it!
2. Don’t try to tackle all your skin issues at once. Create a targeted skincare routine focused on your biggest skin issue.
3. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. If there’s ONE thing you can do for yourself, it’s to wear the damn sunscreen!
You just launched your skincare line, PillowtalkDerm and it has a hyperpigmentation focus. Why start there?
I started with hyperpigmentation, because through my practice I've noticed you can have all the lines and wrinkles in the world, but as long as your skin tone is even, your other skin issues become less noticeable. I’ve found with my patients of all ages, that treating hyperpigmentation gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
First and foremost, continuing to help people help themselves by simplifying solutions for other skincare issues and hopefully help them take control of their skin.
Second, we would love to translate our former Instagram Live series, One Night Stand where I interviewed trailblazers in the beauty industry to a podcast and bring on more founders, makeup artists, hair stylists, aestheticians, you name it.
And lastly, because our PillowtalkDerm community is so diverse, I would love to expand and cater to skin nerds all over the world in Europe, South East Asia, etc. further building our relationship and creating a reflection of what we've built on social media to real life internationally.
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