Pillow Talk with Dr. Shereene Idriss

Shereen Interview Photo 2

It’s about this time of the year, that we would have been in over a dozen new countries, researching hotels and staying at the top medical spas around the globe.  Don’t worry though; we’re still covering the likes of Altausee and Lanserhof  in our Top Detox Spots.  While this 2020 is not our typical year at Galavante, we’re making good use of our time at home by catching up with the top experts in health and beauty. Enter in celebrity derm, Dr. Shereene Idriss, at Union Square Laser Dermatology, whose philosophy is “Subtle is the new dramatic”.

shereene idriss instagram

Single-handedly, we think Shereene’s Instagram makes our social media time actually educational and value added to our life.  We could spend hours on her feed, watching Pillow Talk Derm.  Shereene just gets real, on everything from having babies, to making Nutella chocolate mousse.  Oh, also what she’s the top expert in, and that’s skin. We caught up with Dr. Shereene Idriss between Pillow Talks for the inside scoop.

shereene idriss office

Galavante:  A number of us have been in quarantine for a month, and wow besides no longer being blond, we’re due for our Botox, fillers, laser treatments and facials.  You name it, we need it.  In other words, we are going through massive withdrawal from you.  What are your top 3 tips for us to manage our upkeep until social distancing is relaxed?

Dr. Shereene Idriss:   I think now more than ever, having a routine is crucial, and that begins the moment you wake up! As tempting as it may be to want to spend our days in pjs, getting up and getting ready re-shifts our mindset and sets the tone for our day ahead.

Additionally, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are overlooking their skincare game because they feel that since they’re home all day they do not need the upkeep. I’m here to remind you that despite our lives feeling like they’ve been placed on hold during quarantine, the clock is still ticking my friends.  Quarantine is not going to freeze the aging process. That being said, consider your morning skincare routine your daily ritual.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pushing any product on you, except sunscreen, because yes, you still need it.  For all I care you could be using DIY skincare, but don’t forget the sunscreen. My point is, carve this time out of your day to truly look after yourself, because your skin and mental sanity will thank you for it later.

Finally, sticking to the theme of routine, I strongly encourage you to leave your home (while abiding to social distancing) and go for a walk around the time that you would usually get home from work. I have found that by simply doing this, I have maintained a sense of normalcy to my day and feel excited “to actually get back home” in time for dinner. And, once I do get back home, I do my PM skincare routine to ensure I don’t get lazy and forget about it before bed.

shereene idriss magazine

Galavante:    You always have the best life tips, because at the end of the day, our overall mental and physical health impacts our skin.  Speaking of which, if your skin is oily yet dry, prone to breakouts and clogged pores and needs constant exfoliation, what regiment do you recommend?  (Asking for a friend).

Dr. Shereene Idriss:  Dry skin can still be oily because it is compensating for its’ lack of oil and therefore going into overdrive.  Usually with dry skin, you may notice areas with greasy flakes, and  redness which may make you think you should skip essential steps like moisturizing. The reality is, when it comes to dry skin, maintenance is key. Start off by exfoliating with a chemical exfoliant 2-3 times a week. This helps rid your skin of dead skin cells, allowing for better product penetration. After exfoliating, I recommend a hydrating serum like Avene Hydrance Intense followed by a thicker moisturizer to help seal it in, something preferably loaded with ceramides.

Galavante:  How about for things like cystic acne, where in a normal world, we could pop in to see you for a cortisol shot, but right now, with social distancing, we’re in dire need of a DIY treatment.

Dr. Shereene Idriss:  If your cyst is truly coming to a head, then only after a hot shower can you try to gentle put pressure on it to see if you relieve some of the material inside. Additionally, hydrocolloid patches like Starface or Cosrx can also be a huge help in “sucking out” the cyst’s content. But honestly, less manipulation is more, as you may go overboard and may be risking more harm than good. So take advantage of the time since you’re not seeing anyone to learn how to be patient with yourself and allow your skin to heal without traumatizing it.

Galavante:  Great tips; thank you.  Now that our skin is going to be ready to mingle, we want to start thinking about life post-pandemic.  What is the first thing  you’re going to do in NYC when social distancing relaxes a bit?

Dr. Shereene Idriss:  Once Covid is 15789028% no longer a threat, I am going to 11 Madison and sitting through a 20 hour dinner and I plan on thoroughly enjoying every second of it.

shereene idriss

Galavante:  Once Covid is 15789028% no longer a threat and you plan a trip, what is your skincare regime on the airplane?

Dr. Shereene Idriss:  An anti-oxidant rich serum, followed by a thick moisturizer and sunscreen.  Always sunscreen.  Plus I close the shade — and apologize to my neighbor but tell them their skin will thank me later.

Galavante:  Speaking of trips, where is your first trip you’re planning to take?

Dr. Shereene Idriss:  The South of France, by the water, with my favorite people and amazing food, that I won’t be the one cooking!

Galavante:  We’ll see you in the South of France.  Thank you so much for these skin survival tips.

More with Dr. Shereene Idriss on Instagram @shereeneidriss and pillowtalkderm.com


Since we caught up with Shereene, she has opened up her own practice and launched her own skincare line, Pillowtalkderm, which you can purchase here. Congratulations Shereene for always inspiring.

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