Meet Dr. Shereene Idriss, board-certified dermatologist and founder of PillowtalkDerm

Skincare can be complicated, but board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss (@shereeneidriss), wants to make skincare more accessible and less complicated than ever with her brand PillowtalkDerm, which helps to debunk skincare myths while also providing Dr. Idriss’ own signature line of approved products, leading to simpler, healthier beauty routines.

Dr. Idriss grew up in Washington D.C., in a family of Lebanese immigrants. “My parents really proved themselves to get where they are because we came with nothing,” she says. Dr. Idriss says that the main pillars she was raised on were “to support yourself and make sure you can stand on your own two feet.”

Her father and grandfather were both pediatricians, so becoming a doctor felt natural to Dr. Idriss, who knew she wanted to be “working with people,” and “helping people.” “Medicine was so ingrained in my upbringing that it was a very easy path to kind of slip into,” she tells In The Know.

Dr. Idriss has never “fit the persona” of the classic New York City dermatologist, and shares that it was “challenging” to find herself when she first started out. But she eventually started her own practice and added her own unique angle, especially when it came to her office’s physical space.

“I liken it to entering the yummiest cake you’ve ever eaten,” says Dr. Idriss of her dermatology office. “I want patients to feel like when they come here, they are extremely comfortable.” The office was a refreshing change for her patients, but as her practice grew, Dr. Idriss started to notice a concerning trend.

“I remember I was getting so many patients coming into my office and repeating just, false information about skincare, or asking me about things that would make no difference to them that they were stressed out about,” she says. “I realized it was all stemming from the Internet.”

After complaining about this trend of misinformation to one of her nurses, Dr. Idriss was convinced to post one of her “rants” online. “That one story just kind of snowballed,” she says. Four years and 900,000 followers later, PillowtalkDerm has grown into the platform Dr. Idriss needed to create actual change in the beauty industry.

“Combatting skincare misinformation is so important to me,” the dermatologist tells In The Know. “Because the skin is the one organ that you actually see. To know that someone is unable to help themselves because they are misguided through fear—that kills my soul.”

Through PillowtalkDerm, Dr. Idriss realized that consumers were disappointed that they had been misguided for so long and didn’t know who to trust, so she decided to take action and start a product line of her own.

“Then I at least can control what I’m putting out there and back what I’m putting out there,” says Dr. Idriss about the decision to launch a product line. The goal of PillowtalkDerm was always to “try to simplify complex issues into nuggets that you can actually understand,” she says. “The product line is an extension of that. It’s a physical extension of what I’ve been teaching.”

Looking ahead, Dr. Idriss is excited about the future of PillowtalkDerm, especially regarding an upcoming partnership with a foundation called STEM for Her, a non-profit that helps fund and support education initiatives for young girls and women.

“Coming from where I come from and how I got to the U.S. with my family, if I’m able to really be a figure and mentor to young girls who don’t necessarily have those role models around them and don’t have access the education around them, then that’s gonna be amazing,” shares Dr. Idriss. “The future is bright for PillowtalkDerm, and it goes way beyond skin, skincare and beauty.”

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