If 2020 (and 2021…) was the year of the celebrity-owned beauty brand, 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the dermatologists. In recent years, you couldn’t walk into a beauty supply store without seeing a famous face plastered above the shelves. Now, there’s a new kind of brand founder joining the skincare market in droves — and they’re coming with years of expertise.
To be clear, it’s not that dermatologist-owned brands are new: Acclaimed dermatologist Howard Murad founded Murad Skincare in 1989, followed by Dr. Brandt Skincare by dermatologist Fredric Brandt in 1995, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare by dermatologist Dennis Gross in 2000, and a few others over the years. That’s because until recently, the number of MD-owned lines seemed small compared to the number of beauty brands today (about 114,841 in the US in 2022).
All that changes. In the past few months alone, there has been an increase in dermatologist-owned brands, especially as major retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty have expanded their expert-backed product selections.
This month, for example, saw the launch of Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, created by dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, with a combined inside-out approach to skincare. Then in May came Jori Skincare, which was created by Cori Zeichner — wife of dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD — as a doctor-formulated adult acne brand, with Dr. Zeichner serving as medical advisor. In April, dermatologist Angela Casey, MD, founded Bright Girl, a skincare brand designed specifically for teens. In March, dermatologist Anthony Rossi, MD launched Dr. Rossi Derm MD with a first five-piece collection. And that’s just the beginning.
Surely, if anyone is qualified to start a skincare brand, it’s dermatologists — people who have spent up to 13 years studying, training, and treating various skin conditions and issues. They know the ins and outs of the industry and can answer the most complex questions about skin. offer proven product recommendations; and give advice to prevent fine lines, correct hyperpigmentation, treat acne, etc. This is certainly why this new trend only makes sense.
“I’m a board-certified dermatologist, but I’m also a research scientist,” Dr. Bowe told POPSUGAR. “I have published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters, and have lectured internationally, presenting my research at numerous scientific conferences around the world.”
Yet why is the surge in brand launches happening now? Social media might have something to do with it as many dermatologists are on Instagram and TikTok and have amassed huge followings on the apps. TikTok, in particular, has become a playground for beauty lovers, but with it the risk of misinformation is spreading fast. You’ll find doctors debunking myths, clarifying rumors, and providing sound, science-based advice, and their followers just can’t seem to get enough.
For decades, many skincare brands have claimed to be “dermatologist tested,” which may mean they’ve consulted a doctor about formulation, safety, or effectiveness, but there’s no no legal process behind the allegation, and the meaning may vary. When the doctor formulates the products themselves, on the other hand, it creates a new level of trust with the consumer: “When I say science-based skin care, I feel that could be very fashionable – you can sound very marketing,” says Dr. Bowe. “But I take it very seriously because as a researcher trained in clinical studies, epidemiology, biostatistics, I take my testing protocols very, very seriously.”
You also know you’re getting the best ingredients and formulations, endorsed by real industry insiders through years of research and patient experience. For Jori Skincare, Dr. Zeichner says it took more than three years of development and testing to get the perfect ingredients.
Given the shortage of dermatologists in the United States – studies have estimated that there are approximately 3.65 dermatologists for every 100,000 people – selling products to the masses provides a level of access to an expert that someone might not have otherwise. On the other hand, however, these high-quality formulations often come at a steep price. On average, you can expect to pay compared to most luxury brands on the market; a dermatologist-owned face cream can cost you between $60 and $360, for example, depending on the brand and what exactly you’re looking for.
The truth is, there’s a lot of money to be made in skincare — and people are willing to pay for results. According to the research department of Statista, in 2020 alone, the global skincare market generated around $136.4 billion, with the United States generating the most revenue. That’s why, if you’re looking to renew your serum, choosing to buy from a dermatologist-owned brand is a safe and increasingly popular option. As long as you can justify the price.