Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Audrey Kunin, creator and President of indie skincare brandDERMAdoctor. Dr. Kunin and her products have been
featured on multiple television shows and magazines, including Dr. Oz, The Tyra Banks Show, The Today Show, Glamour, InStyle, Fitness, and many more. She graciously allowed me to ask a few questions that I regularly hear from friends and family.
XO, Kelsey: What inspired you to create your own line?
DERMAdoctor: During my Derm residency I began noticing many products that had harmful ingredients, such as heavy oils and parabens. When I began my own practice in the 1990’s, I began receiving mail from all over the world. Some people needed help with products that weren’t working, others simply didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t see a specialist. I couldn’t diagnose them without meeting them, but I gladly gave them advice, and eventually began creating my own products.
XO, K: You are the only female dermatologist in the Ulta/Sephora market with her own skincare brand. What advice can you give to other female professionals who want to break the mold?
DD: I believe I’ve had success because I make my own formulations and I run my own company. We are a small, privately owned indie brand, so we don’t have to worry about heavily backed financial concerns. Come up with your brand identity and create unique products. Be an entrepreneur so you can make your own rules. Allow yourself to have a learning curve, and always keep learning!
XO, K: Any horror stories from your practicing days?
DD: There is a new trend forming in dermatologist offices. Many of my patients in their mid-20’s are coming in with melanoma. The advice I have to stress most is to wear SPF and avoid tanning beds! I’ve also seen patients who abuse their products and can actually chemically burn themselves. Follow your instructions and don’t over-do it!
XO, K: How long should you stick with a product?
DD: For acne it should take 6-8 weeks to see a noticeable reduction in blemishes, not counting discoloration. For anti-aging products you have 4 facial zones, and each has their own speed. In general, 8 weeks or sooner. The aging process didn’t happen overnight, and repair won’t either. Target the area of concern and maintain use.
XO, K: Many of our readers are young and on a budget. What are the essentials?
DD: Stay out of tanning beds, don’t smoke, and use sunscreen daily! Prevention is so much easier than repair. Your eyes are the first thing to age, so invest in a great eye cream! It should last 3 months, so splurge on that. Look for one that is ophthalmologist approved and allows 360 degree protection (safe for use on upper lid and under eye). For face, use a daytime SPF and look for ingredients that firm the skin, such as bit C, kinetin, peptides, or DERMAdoctor’s red light treatment. Don’t forget to gently exfoliate using a peel, glycol, or retin-A.
XO, K: Is there a cure for chronically chapped lips? Is it a vitamin deficiency or am I just not using the best products?
DD: It could be 30 or 40 different causes! Dehydration is #1. When looking for a chapstick, do not use one with wax! Look for something more emollient. For lack of a better term, something like “Vaseline goo.” Your dry lips could also be caused by mouth breathing when you sleep. Breathe through your nose! Also, try to avoid licking your lips. It might be the dry climate we live in; try a humidifier.
XO, K: Are there actual reasons that some facial products are marketed toward just people of color? Are all faces not the same?
DD: We are all human beings with same skin! Use whatever products you like and you see results with. Everyone needs moisture!
XO, K: I moisturize/serum/resurface/peel with quality products already. Am I doing all I can do? Am I destined for wrinkles? Is 26 too young for Botox?
DD: The sooner you can begin preventing, the better. I usually tell patients that on their 21st birthday they should start anti-aging. As far as Botox goes, that’s personal preference! I personally think 26 is too young. Start using a retinoid at night and judge from there.
XO, K: Do you still do appearances? How can we meet you and worship the advice goddess in person?
DD: Keep an eye on my facebook page (facebook.com/dermadoctor) for appearances, blog postings, and advice columns!
Thank you to Dr. Kunin for taking the time to speak with us! Use her advice to keep your skin glowing in The State of Awesome!
For more of her articles and general information about Dr. Kunin, check out her amazing blog. Do you have any other deep, burning questions about beauty and skincare? Leave it in the comments below!