ELLE Beauty Awards 2021: Ace Dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad Talks All Things Skincare

Jaishree Sharad Interview

We’re celebrating all things makeup, skin, and hair with Dr Jaishree Sharad, one of the most sought-after dermatologists in the industry. With decades of experience, the renowned celebrity cosmetic dermatologist’s work portfolio boasts of some of the biggest names in Bollywood. An ‘expert influencer’ in her own league, Dr Jaishree also uses her social media platform to offer beauty advice to her massive following. Here, she spills the beans on all things skincare in this freewheeling chat:

To start with, let’s hear what a dermat’s skincare routine looks like?

I start with a cleanser in the morning and then follow it up with a moisturiser and obviously, sunscreen. I use a water-based sunscreen with hyaluronic acid and vitamin D. At night, I use the same face wash and follow it up with a cleansing lotion to remove my makeup if I am wearing any. I use almond oil especially to take off the eye makeup. I also apply retinol in my PM routine twice a week. I do not use too much on my skin.

These days, ten-step or seven-step routines are trending but I am not a believer in those. If you use the minimum and the right kind of ingredients, which are meant for your skin type and target the issues, that’s more than enough. Just remember to moisturise the skin and follow it up with sunscreen every time. 

How to choose the right sunscreen?

There are multiple doubts regarding sunscreen – should it be worn indoors? Which one to choose from mineral and chemical sunscreen? When you choose sunscreen, it should be a combination of a chemical and mineral sunscreen unless you have extremely sensitive skin or during pregnancy when only a mineral sunscreen is recommended. 

Mineral sunscreen has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide whereas a chemical one comes with oxybenzone, avobenzone, and many other ingredients. One must check that the product offers UVA and UVB coverage. There are sunscreens with iron oxide which give infrared and visible light coverage. So, to answer the first question about wearing it indoors, if you have zero glass or French windows then 70% of UVA penetrates through the glass and you have to use sunscreen. 

If you are in front of the screen mostly, then you need to use blue light coverage as well, so opt for sunscreens that have vitamin E, C, as well as some antioxidants. So you have to look at those ingredients. If you don’t have one such sunscreen and are exposed to blue light throughout the day, you can apply a vitamin C serum and layer it with a usual sunscreen. 

If we ask you to vote, which one is your favourite ingredient in a product?

Retinol is one of my favourites! It’s a vitamin A with a wide spectrum of activity and can be used for acne, open pores, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, to stimulate collagen, tighten the skin, and even be prescribed to teenagers. However, it has to be used in the right way; apply a little quantity, start by using it once a week, and gradually increase the frequency. Also, use it at night because it becomes inactive quickly if applied during the day and follow it up with a moisturiser. There might be a slight burning or tingling initially but the skin will adapt to it gradually. Do not slather the face with it.

When should one actually start using anti-ageing products? 

After the age of 25, one should start with an anti-ageing routine. If you start at the age of 45, the damage is already done by then which no products can reverse. It’s better to start in the 20s as a preventive measure.

What is your opinion of fragrance in skincare? 

It should be banned! Hyperpigmentation and skin sensitivity are issues that fragrance in skincare products can lead to. Those who have issues like dermatitis, eczema, allergies, or asthma should stay away from fragrance-based products, especially synthetic fragrances. 

What are some common skincare mistakes?

Not being mindful about using home remedies is a big mistake. For instance, using curd on acne-prone skin can flare up the condition. Similarly, using toothpaste or lemon on acne can irritate the skin even more. You can do home remedies but be cautious about the skin type and concerns. Secondly, people with dry and sensitive skin aren’t required to use toner if they are using a non-soap face wash.

Another mistake that many of us commit is to believe that products with nice fragrances are better and more effective. There are many myths like that; a common one that we need to bust in skincare is that drinking water guarantees hydrated skin. It’s not true because the skin doesn’t get its moisture from within. Also, do not pick and squeeze acne at home. Lastly, using derma rollers of more than 0.5mm at home should be avoided because it can cause infection and scarring. 

What’s your opinion on face shaving?  

It is a myth that the hair grows out thicker after shaving. It’s not true. Shaving doesn’t remove hair from its shaft which grows out quicker and feels thicker. Remember to shave in the direction of the hair because doing so in reverse will cause ingrown hair. Also, do not dry shave. Make sure you form a good lather or use a good shaving cream. Always apply a moisturiser after shaving. If you follow these steps, face shaving is absolutely safe.

Can you list scenarios in which one must visit a dermatologist?

One must consult an expert before including a new product in the skincare routine. Also, if your skin condition isn’t getting better, like if the acne isn’t going away or if the skin suddenly has started to break out. If you have redness, itching, burning, or anything that’s different than usual on the skin, see a dermatologist.

If at all you notice incessant hair fall or abnormal hair growth on the face or body, you must check with a dermat. Itching in the groin, in the underarm area, and white discharge also need to be checked because these might be an indication of an underlying or undiagnosed illness. To put it simply, your skin talks to you, you have to listen to it all the time.

What are some of the trending cosmetic procedures?

Booster injections in which we inject hyaluronic acid into the skin are popular these days. These are absolutely safe procedures. Under-eye and lip fillers are also becoming popular. Good old laser hair removal and botox procedures are always in demand.

How does it feel to be a part of EBA?

I have been associated with ELLE for a long time. I was one of the winners in 2016 and being on the jury after five years does feel good. I feel honoured.

- Digital Writer


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