As consumers, we have more skincare brands, products, and formulas to choose from than ever before—just think about all the celebrities that have launched lines in the past few years or the new companies that have emerged out of the "clean" beauty movement. We may have the luxury of endless choices, but it can also be overwhelming to figure out which products actually work. Success, of course, comes with trial and error, but for those with sensitive skin or specific conditions, it's understandable if you have less room for experimentation.
Enter: dermatologist-founded skincare brands. Who better to understand the ins and outs of formulating products to benefit and relieve the skin than the experts themselves? With well-researched formulas and cohesive brand missions of bringing clients happy, healthy skin, we rounded up 10 dermatologist-founded skincare brands that are worth trying.
Founded by board-certified dermatologist Azadeh Shirazi, MD, AziMD is a new brand to put on your radar, having just launched in 2022. Shirazi specializes in cosmetic, surgical, and medical dermatology and decided to create her brand after 15 years of practice.
"I felt overwhelmed by the amount of skincare products along with skin misinformation," Shirazi shares. "More often than not, my patients were spending hundreds of dollars on what they believed to be the next 'miracle product,' but they lacked efficacy or were the wrong product for their skin type or concern. To make my life easier and their skin better, I needed to know exactly what they were putting on their skin to better manage and treat their skin concerns. In an effort to simplify their skincare regimen and achieve their skin goals, I developed 10 products for my practice designed to address the majority of skin concerns."
During the pandemic, Shirazi started creating educational content and became a recognizable figure on social media, further motivating her to get AziMD in the hands of those who were dealing with skin concerns while quarantined at home.
Shirazi isn't sure if she can pick just one hero product from her brand, but calls out two notable favorites being The One Spray ($32), which can treat multiple skin concerns ranging from flaky scalps to back acne, and Azelaic 10 Serum ($62), the "jack of all trades" serum formulated to fade discoloration, treat acne and rosacea, and gently exfoliate skin.As for AziMD's mission, "Dermatology by design because your skin deserves couture," Shirazi tells us. "What works for your friend’s skin may not work for you. Know your skin type. Know your skin concerns to better design a skincare routine for you derived from nature and backed by science."
A tried-and-true, Epionce was founded in 2002 by clinical dermatologist Carl Thornfeldt, MD, a specialist in dermatologic surgery with an emphasis on skin barrier research. He received the first-ever patent on skin barrier health in 1997, then worked to create his medical skincare line that would launch five years later."Epionce is barrier-obsessed because we’ve proven that when you nurture your barrier, your skin thrives," the brand shares. "As a barrier-first company, we are highly selective towards our ingredients and botanically based. Thornfeldt was one of the first to look to botanicals for a solution in creating effective skincare products that drive active ingredients into the skin without breaking down or irritating the skin barrier." Epionce's Renewal Facial Cream ($102) is the brand's staple product, with a barrier repair formula that leverages safflower, rosa canina, avocado, and flax extracts to achieve the optimum lipid ratio. Key benefits include anti-aging properties and hydrated, smooth skin. When asked about the reason he founded the brand, Thornfeldt says, "first and foremost, I'm a doctor. I developed Epionce to help me be a better doctor. We’re proud to say that we have helped millions of people achieve their skincare goals without the use of harmful chemicals that damage the skin barrier. If you keep the skin barrier healthy, beautiful skin follows."
Board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD—who earned fame on social media for her "Pillow Talk Derm" series—launched her skincare line in 2022. The brand is known for efficacious, no-nonsense formulas that deliver on results and packaging. Notably absent from PillowtalkDerm's products is the clinical, minimalistic marketing typically associated with dermatologist-founded skincare brands. Instead, Idriss opted to package her products in swaths of calming lavender and joyful sunset hues—a personal nod to the evening she decided to launch the brand.As Idriss recently revealed on social media, she was on the fence about launching her brand, but received meaningful encouragement from her husband while they enjoyed watching a sunset together. The sunset later became the inspiration for the outer packaging of the brand's Major Fade collection.
Dr. Zenovia Skincare
Dr. Zenovia Skincare was founded in 2020 as the namesake brand of Zenovia Gabriel, MD, FAAD, an internationally distinguished board-certified dermatologist, hormonal skin expert, and Mohs micrographic surgeon. Gabriel is an active researcher in the field of hormonal dermatology, conducting clinical trials in her office. Her practice, Zena Medical, is in the heart of Newport Beach, California, and patients from all over the world consult her for skincare advice, laser medicine, and aesthetic and skin cancer treatments.Gabriel focuses on researching and developing innovative methods to combat leading skin issues from a holistic perspective, including hormonal balance for healthier skin at every stage of life. "Ingredients are medicine and medicine is science," she explains. "Beautiful skin comes from effective daily skincare and research-proven remedies, not hype and marketing." Dr. Zenovia Skincare has a major emphasis on repairing hormonal skin issues like hormonal acne, melasma, psoriasis, and accelerated aging. The brand has two hero products: the Inflam-Aging Night Repair Treatment ($72) and the 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser ($30). "Inflam-Aging is a powerful, triple-antioxidant formula with the Regulate-360 complex, and it addresses the full spectrum of oxidative stress in our skin that leads to aging, inflammation, and collagen breakdown," Gabriel tells us. "It's a powerhouse must-have for all skin types. The Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser is highly micronized, and therefore, it is molecularly effective without being irritating. If you have acne, this cleanser should be your first step to more clear, less pimply and inflamed skin."
Rose Ingleton MD
Dr. Dennis Gross
A true OG dermatologist-founded brand if you will, Dr. Dennis Gross has been around for 25 years. The board-certified dermatologist, whose skin cancer research background gives him a deeper perspective on both medical and cosmetic dermatology, has developed a cult following with his line of products that feature optimized active ingredients for results without downtime. The brand's mission is safety, strength, success, and the skin you want to see.While Dr. Dennis Gross is known for multiple staple products, the brand's daily peel takes the top spot. The Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel ($92 for 30 treatments) is a fast-acting, two-step daily treatment with seven AHA/BHAs that boost radiance, refine pores, clear breakouts, and smooth lines and wrinkles. "Our daily peel changes your skin instantly and for life—no matter what type of skin you have," the brand states. "Because it gently lifts away dead skin, your fresh, high-functioning, and more vibrant skin cells come to the surface and make the most of any products you apply. [The result is] more vibrancy, better tone and texture, reduced lines, refined pores, and less discoloration. A peel a day changes everything. There’s a peel that’s safe and effective for every type, age, and stage of skin."
Purvisha Patel, MD, wears many hats. The board-certified dermatologist, Mohs and cosmetic surgeon, and Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates owner/founder entered the world of skincare entrepreneurship by founding Visha Skincare in 2014.
Patel works to be inclusive to all ethnicities and genders through Visha Skincare, which offers safe and simple products that deliver quick, effective results against early signs of aging and more. The brand includes three lines: The Advanced Line, which is suitable for all skin types, the Mommy Line, which is best for dry and sensitive skin as well as those who are pregnant or nursing, and the Fitness Line, the newest line made for an active lifestyle.
"Since starting Visha Skincare, my mission has been to create beautiful skin efficiently and affordably for all skin types, genders, ethnicities, and ages," Patel emphasizes. "I wanted to create products that were a simple add to your skincare routine, but able to address multiple issues at once." Visha's hero product, the Advanced Correcting Serum ($65), contains retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to target fine lines, hyperpigmentation, pore size, and acne scars.
When Devanshi Garg decided to create her brand Motif, she knew she needed a dermatologist to create formulas that would work best for the majority of skin types. She brought on Indy Chabra, MD, a Stanford-educated, board-certified dermatologist with a PhD in chemistry, to help formulate the Abundance Plumping Phytoceramide Cleanser ($65), Motif's hero product that works to cleanse, hydrate, and nourish all skin types.Chabra specializes in micrographic dermatologic surgery and is passionate about providing easier, faster access to dermatologic care, so it comes as no surprise that he partnered with Motif, which offers vegan, research-backed products designed to deliver transformative skin results without irritation. "Motif is a modern skincare brand that gets consumers excited and is backed by scientific evidence that my dermatologist peers and I can stand behind," Garg says.
Having just celebrated its first birthday, MDAiRE Skincare was founded by board-certified dermatologist Stefani Kappel, MD, in January 2022. A former dermatology professor at UCLA, Kappel specializes in cosmetic dermatology, dermatologic surgery, Mohs skin cancer surgery, and laser medicine. She shares that innovative technology helps her brand to uniquely bridge the gap between the medical/scientific communities and the consumer."Healthy skin starts at the cellular level," Kappel says. "MDAiRE skincare uses innovative science and advanced technology to offer real-life results. MDAiRE is the next generation of translational skincare." The brand's hero product, the Regenerative ECM Eye Complex ($122), uses green tea extract to visibly brighten, hydrate, and smooth the eye area while reducing the appearance of dark circles over time.
Macrene Actives is a "farm-to-face" skincare brand founded by Macrene Alexiades, MD, PhD, a double-board-certified dermatologist and scientist. She has a head-turning resume, with three degrees in medicine and genetics from Harvard University, a Fulbright in agricultural science, and her own organic farm and lab.Alexiades uses plant and sea-sourced ingredients from farms in upstate New York and Greece for her brand's skincare solutions. Organic, scientifically proven, and clinically tested plant derivatives are handmade in small batches to deliver dermatologic-grade efficacy that helps diminish signs of aging and protect skin from environmental damage. Alexiades notes that Macrene Actives is "the first luxury skincare to deliver the medicinal properties of Greece cultivated over thousands of years." Macrene Actives' award-winning serum, the High Performance Face Serum ($195), uses a range of ingredients including vitamin C, peptides, and microalgae to soothe, hydrate, firm, brighten, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.