Her Skincare Secrets: An Interview With Top NYC’s Dermatologist Ellen Marmur

by Gio
dr ellen marmur interview

Dr Ellen Marmur discovered her love for skincare later in life, but since then, she’s been unstoppable.

In 2012, she opened her own practice, Marmur Medical, where she offers a wide variety of treatments, from chemical peels to lasers and injectable.

Then, she became the first Chief of Dermatologic Surgery at Mount Sinai in NYC, where she created the first Skin Cancer & Anti-Aging Biobank, bridging a pioneering collaboration between the Department of Genetics & Genomic Science and the Department of Dermatology.

Along the way, she also used the feedback from her patients to create her own skincare line, MMSkincare. It features anti-aging serums and cutting-edge LED tools to give you the next best thing to a professional facial in your bathroom.

In the middle of it all, she also found the time to pen a book, Simple Skin Beauty. It’s like having a dermatologist friend right at home with you answering all your skincare questions.

But… how does Dr Ellen take care of her skin? In this interview, she reveals her skincare routine, top 3 tips for flawless skin, and lots more:

1. When did you become interested in skincare?

As a swimmer, I was blessed with really good skin until my mid-20s when hormones, sun damage, and life caught up with me. I had melasma and rosacea into my early thirties when I started to get really smart about skincare. Dermatology residency is about hard core skin care–but from a medical and therapeutic science view point, not at all about beauty.

As Chief of Dermatologic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, I responded to hundreds of media questions and patient questions about beauty, which is when I decided to research the science of beauty. I initiated the first skin tissue database looking at the epigenetics of skincare and found YES, products do make a difference!

From there, I published a book Simple Skin Beauty to share everything I knew about skincare, as if your best friend were a dermatologist. Since then, I developed an entire skincare system called MMSkincare with a home device called MMSphere and an app called MMSkincare App.

2. What’s your skincare routine like?

I try to sleep at least 7 hours, wake up before 6am and do cardio for 30-60 minutes before work, take a 3 min shower, and get ready in less than 5 minutes–makeup and all! My kids still let me make them breakfast or walk them to middle school, so every moment counts.

For my skin, I skip the harsh soaps and do not wash my face in the morning. Instead, I rinse in the shower and then use Beauty Counter make up remover for any leftover mascara. I love to use the MMSkincare Balance Serum every morning to help calm and balance my rosacea prone sensitive skin. It is the perfect primer for my Chanel Vitalumiere SPF 20 layer plus Shiseido tinted liquid SPF 50 on sunny days before light make-up. 

At night, I use Neutrogena Oil Free make-up remover liquid (NO WIPES! Just apply it with your fingers and rinse, or use a super soft baby washcloth.) If I need a stronger cleanser I use Skin Fix foaming cleanser.  Finally I love to apply two pumps of the MMSkincare Repose Serum to my eyelids, full face, and neck and relax with a 20 minute RED light session with the MMSphere LED light.

Once a week I use the MMSkincare Repose Mask at nighttime to help to moisturize my skin and get me ready for bed. The ingredients and aromatherapy quench my skin and ease my mind to de-stress and let my natural circadian rhythm aka sleep take over! I swear I have plumper skin in the morning after my combo session!

3. If you could only use three skincare products for the rest of your life, what would they be?

I would use the MMSphere paired with the MMSkincare BALANCE Serum, the EltaMD UV tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40.

4. What are your fave skincare brands and why?

I spent 10 years of research and learned from over 40,000 patients to make my favorite skincare, MMSkincare. I also recommend BeautyCounter, EltaMD, Chanel, Shiseido, and Skinfix as they are gentle on the skin and not too heavy.

5. What are your top 3 skincare tips to take care of your skin?

  1. Skip the soap — sweat is nature’s ideal cleanser. Sweat cleans your pores and skin and just needs a quick rinse. If very oily, just dab some gentle cleanser on the T zone.
  2. Next, fall in love with the perfect water based moisturizer. I love MMBalance Serum and use two pumps once to twice daily on my face, eyes, lips, and neck.  It is lightweight plus super moisturizing to make skin more radiant and supple plus reduces redness and breakouts.
  3. Never pick!

6. What skincare treatments do you regularly have done?

Thermage FLX tightening yearly is my birthday present! IPL three times a year definitely works for my rosacea and sun spots. Finally, I am in need of at least one fractional laser per year like Sciton Joule or Fraxel Dual Restore. 

7. What lifestyle habits do you have that keep your skin in top shape?

Everyone can benefit from a the most affordable and accessible anti-aging treatment ever invented: a healthy lifestyle.  Yes, just a few teaspoons of sunscreen and moisturizer, plus a pretty good diet, fairly regular exercise, and a steady habit of 7 hours of sleep nightly will give you some gorgeous results! I definitely live life to the max–adventures, work, family, love to eat and love to imbibe, but I always come back to the core healthy lifestyle where joy is my meditation. 

8. What’s in your makeup bag?

Thank you, dr Marmur!

You can keep up with Dr Ellen Marmur on Instagram. You can also check out her skincare line at MMSkincare.

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