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Science-Backed Skincare by Women Doctors for All People

Five specialists share the stories and hero products of their highly efficacious signature lines.

A photograph of Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum Shop Dr. Barbara Sturm


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WHEN MY AUNT applied to medical school in the 1970s, she was rejected from her choice program because they had already filled their quota of female students: That quota was four. Not one to take ‘No’ for an answer, she found another, became an OB-GYN surgeon, and eventually opened her own successful practice. Hearing her story as a child, I developed a deep-seated belief that any dream was achievable if you worked hard enough. A mere generation later, when oculofacial plastic surgeon Chaneve Jeanniton graduated from medical school, her class was the first in that program’s history to have a majority of female graduates, a staggering leap that exemplifies the power of educational equality (and of determined women). Jeanniton went on to found Brooklyn Face & Eye and, as an extension, Epi.logic skincare — just one of the lines lauded in this collection of my favorite skincare companies founded by women doctors.

Each of these women is worth celebrating for their incredibly efficacious and considered offerings, which champion beautiful and healthy skin, with their scientific foundations evident in the results they yield. (I currently have items from every one of these lines on my vanity.) But they should also be collectively honored for carrying on a rich legacy of extraordinary women who exponentially build upon the hard-won successes of past generations and who serve as laudable examples for the next one — the bulk of the below-featured products are also clean: free of toxins and harmful chemicals, and packaged with sustainability in mind.


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Dr. Barbara Sturm

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

When I launched with Net-A-Porter, nearly 10 years ago, it was such a huge milestone for me and a window to all other retailers, who started asking me one by one to join them. On the other hand, when I had just created our Darker Skin Tones line in 2016, which works to reduce hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone, and soothe irritation in melanin-rich skin, I was discouraged by the initial reluctance of some of the major retailers in picking it up. We had put so much effort and research into creating something truly extraordinary, but we didn’t give up. Finally, it came to the point where I insisted that if retailers wanted to carry my main Molecular Cosmetics skincare line, they’d have to carry the Darker Skin Tones line as well, and they did. I'm a doctor, so I am in the service business: Serving patients starts with listening to the patient.

Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton, Epi.logic Skincare

What motivated you to launch your own skincare line?

Epi.logic grew from a deepening understanding of the needs of my patients. Conversations with them made it apparent that they craved the results promised by clinical skincare but were disappointed by the existing landscape. They sought to achieve their skin goals but couldn’t understand why cold, medicinal products had to be the way to get there. Epi.logic looks to humanize clinical skincare by bridging the gap between results-oriented, research-vetted ingredient innovation with the beauty we seek in our self-care rituals. Also reflective of my medical practice, Epi.logic centers on the needs of skin of color, an anomaly in clinical skincare.

Dr. Maryam Zamani, MZ Skin

What inspired you to become a doctor?

Being the oldest child of two Iranian doctors, my destiny was predetermined. I think I was always called “doctor,” way before I even knew what it meant to be a doctor. Ultimately, my decision to subspecialize came when I was exposed to plastic surgery as a volunteer for Operation Smile. I was fortunate enough to go to Thailand with a wonderful team of doctors and support staff. Firsthand, I saw the magic of helping kids and adults with cleft lips and palates. I returned energized and excited about the possibilities. I loved feeling that, with something small, confidence and quality of life could be restored to these patients.


Dr. Lara Devgan

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am proud of redefining modern beauty as the permission to be your own kind of beautiful. I grew up in LA in the ostentatious ’90s, when there was one beauty standard that was exaggerated, exclusionary, and often dehumanizing. I believe that subtle is the new dramatic and that there are many ways to define identity and beauty. Plastic surgery as a field is grossly misunderstood, and I have made it my mission to elevate my field without any kind of flashy marketing scheme, but rather with truly excellent bespoke outcomes that push the envelope of what is possible with surgical and nonsurgical outcomes.

Dr. Sarina Elmariah, Aramore

How does being a woman influence your skincare line?

There is no doubt that every hat I wear influences my professional philosophy on skincare and skin health, whether it’s being a woman, a mother, a scientist, or a physician. As a woman, I believe that skincare should be inclusive, hypoallergenic, and clean, designed to be used by any gender, age, or skin type.

Dr. Macrene Alexiades, Macrene Actives

What motivated you to launch your own skincare line?

To trace back my roots in the clean beauty industry takes us back 40 years. As a pre-teen, I read Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which inspired me to pursue a life in science for the good of the planet … By the time I headed to Harvard Medical School, I had already lived a lifetime of developing methods for clean beauty.

Our Contributors

Erin Dixon Managing Editor

Erin Dixon is the managing editor of Departures. Previously the managing editor of the arts and culture journal Dossier, she has worked and written for a variety of international magazines and publishing houses, ranging from Vogue, Kinfolk, and GQ to Phaidon, Workman Artisan, and HarperCollins.

Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator

Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.

Departures and American Express do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any of the items, and the sale of such items is governed by the third-party seller’s policies, terms, and conditions.

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