Everyone's about to become obsessed.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss says it like it is.
On social media, her loyal "Skin Nerds" knows that she cuts to the chase and tells people the truth about all things skin-related, including viral trends. And for those who speak to her in-person, we know how casually she drops the F-bomb when talking about all the B.S. that goes on in the beauty industry.
So it goes without saying that at a time where many people fear saying the wrong thing online, Dr. Idriss is a breath of fresh air.
She began uploading videos to her Instagram page in 2018, not thinking much would come out of it. "It started with the jade roller — it got under my skin!" she tells InStyle. Then, before she knew it, a follower gave her the name Pillowtalk Derm and her online presence exploded.
Now, Dr. Idriss is a household name among skincare enthusiasts — and she's about to launch one of her biggest projects yet: PillowtalkDerm skincare.
But before you role your eyes at yet another skincare launch — she gets the exhaustion. And frankly, feels it herself, too.
During the pandemic, the MD went on Instagram to express how annoyed she was of all these brands randomly popping up. To her surprise, though, an overwhelming amount of her followers wanted her to launch her own line.
"I was shocked," Dr. Idriss says. "I called my lawyer to get everything trademarked. I was locked up for two weeks, so I called a few of the labs and one of them seemed interested."
From there, she hired a cosmetic chemist who understood her goals, and they set off to create the range of products.
Launching on September 27th, a system she calls the Major Fade 3-Step Solution will be available exclusively on pillowtalkderm.com. The regimen aims to tackle hyperpigmentation by targeting the different phases of melanin production in order to achieve even-toned skin.
"When you look at the pigment pathway, it's made from a skin cell known as a melanocyte. Within the melanocyte, melanin is produced and packaged into little parcels that are then sprouted out and spread throughout your skin cells. You can target the melanocyte, you can target how the melanin is made, and then you can target how the melanin is distributed," explains Dr. Idriss. "But nobody talks about that because they talk about vitamin C being amazing — you can't fucking do it all, no one can."
The Major Fade 3-Step Solution uses a combination of powerhouse ingredients to tackle each step of the pigment pathway while keeping the process streamlined and simple. For starters, there's the Major Fade Flash Mask that uses a blend of acids — such as glycolic and lactic — to slough away dead skin cells to resurface a more radiant complexion. Oh, and by the way this is one of those skincare products you can feel work thanks to a subtle tingle, and Dr. Idriss says to use it up to three times a week.
Then, there's the Major Fade Hyper Serum, a milky formula that treats existing hyperpigmentation with a cocktail of ingredients such as alpha arbutin, kojic acid, and niacinamide. And funny thing is, it wasn't created with the intention of addressing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, but it does speed up the healing process in tenfold.
Lastly, the Major Fade Active Seal Moisturizer feels like a gel and, as the name implies, seals in the active ingredients from the previous products and uses a combination of ingredients such as brightening vitamin C and moisturizing glycerin.
"It's very easy to enter this market and to do this if you don't care. It's very hard to do if you care because there are so many layers of bullshit and so many people used to doing a thing a certain way, which makes no fucking sense," says Dr. Idriss when asked what challenges she faced when bringing her line to life.
"How is non-toxic acceptable on a package but you can't write hyperpigmentation," she continues. "How does that make any fucking sense?"
However, despite the difficulties, the process overall has been extremely rewarding for the seasoned dermatologist. "The best part was giving it to the nerds and hearing their feedback and working with them in real time to see how can we be better for like the next round," she confirms.
The products will undoubtedly make your skin look brighter and more even than before, which is enough to sell us on a product launch. What's more though, is that a portion of the sales from these products go to STEM for HER, a non-profit that promotes awareness and opportunities for females to launch STEM-related careers.
As someone whose family immigrated to the United States from Lebanon under what Dr. Idriss calls "not nice circumstances," helping others is part of her DNA. "All boats rise of the tide. And if you can't rise together, there is no point," she tells us.