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This TikTok-Famous Derm Thinks There’s a Step Missing from Your Skin Care Routine

This TikTok-Famous Derm Thinks There’s a Step Missing from Your Skin Care Routine Image
  • Posted on 12th Jun, 2022 12:32 PM
  • 1366 Views

Dr. Whitney Bowe is launching two products focused on the "skin-gut-mind connection."

With more than 365,000 followers on TikTok and another 85,000-plus on Instagram, Dr. Whitney Bowe is one of the best-known names in dermfluencing. But long before she was doling out helpful advice and reacting to cat facials, Bowe was a renowned board-certified dermatologist with a background in research science and experience treating thousands of patients.

Today, she's launching her namesake line, Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, with just two products: Bowe Glowe, a lightweight, ceramide-rich moisturizer; and Bowe Growe, a fruity, microbiome-supporting daily elixir you drink with water. Her goal? Persuade people to start thinking about skin care from the inside out, rather than just topically.

Bowe sits down with BAZAAR.com to talk about why the formulas are so groundbreaking, how they work better together, and why Bowe Growe may be the one beauty supplement that's worth the hype. Read on for the full skin care chat.


Courtesy

What sets Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty apart from other skincare brands?

I think about the skin-gut-mind connection with every product I’m creating. I formulate them together to work synergistically. I actually test them that way, using clinical testing to show that they work together.

There are a lot of products out there, even the ones that are marketed as very scientific or very clinical, that make certain claims that when you read the fine print, they’re based on ingredient supplier data. Meaning, [the benefits are] based on the individual ingredient. So you’ll see something like “improves the skin barrier,” “improves hydration,” or “improves the microbiome,” but when you do a deeper dive, it’s one particular ingredient that was studied to do that.

An ingredient is important, but it’s not as important as the final formulation. If you eat two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, that’s not the same thing as if you eat sugar cookies for breakfast that happen to have two eggs in the recipe. You can’t necessarily extrapolate the claims from one to the other. So if I’m going to make a claim that a product does something, it’s really the final formulation. I take that testing very seriously.

Tell me about the two products you launched with, Bowe Glowe and Bowe Growe.

The key to a successful skin care routine is healthy balanced skin and a healthy balanced gut. Bowe Glowe is a silky, luxurious, dynamic moisturizer. It dives into the skin and is really fast absorbing, so it layers beautifully under skincare in the morning and works really well under makeup. But it’s intensely nourishing, so you can use it as a standalone moisturizer at night too. It’s got prebiotics and postbiotics, ceramides, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. It took me 17 iterations to nail the formulation, because I really wanted to drive those results.

The packaging is what I consider "high-performance sustainable." It's high performance because I want every drop to be potent and active. So this is in an airless pump [to avoid oxidation], and it’s opaque. It’s also sustainable. It’s refillable, [the outside] is recycled glass, [the refill] is PCR plastic. You keep the pump, you keep the outer, and you just change the cartridge.

NICK STOKES
BOWE GLOWE
Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty drwhitneybowebeauty.com
$95.00

What about Bowe Growe?

Bowe Growe is a delicious elixir. You actually get enough polyphenols [micronutrients from pomegranate, blackberry, blueberry, black currant, cranberry, and Concord grape] in one dropper, but for flavor purposes, it’s safe to have up to three.

Polyphenols—we know that they act as antioxidants, but the newer science is showing that they actually have prebiotics as well. The gut and the skin are intimately connected. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can show up in your skin. Your skin can be dehydrated, you’re more likely to have signs of aging. It's more likely to have sensitivity, stinging, burning. It can exacerbate flares of eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis. If you don’t heal your gut lining, you’re sort of always on the defensive. Your skin isn’t able to behave optimally.

NICK STOKES
Bowe Growe
Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty drwhitneybowebeauty.com
$49.00

Personally, I’m skeptical about skincare supplements. Convert me!

I love healthy skepticism! I think there are some brands that have given supplements a bad name. The quality—you don’t know what you’re getting, and it’s not done in a very evidence-based way. But the science is my North Star when it comes to this stuff.

When I was in training, when I was in my residency, we were taught that diet has no effect on skin. I actually challenged the scientific dogma at the time. I published a groundbreaking study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2010 called "Diet and Acne," and I made an argument that when you go from a high-glycemic to a low-glycemic diet, it can benefit acne, and there are certain implications when it comes to dairy as well. And we now have revised our textbooks. Dermatologists now widely accept that nutrition is a part of how we counsel our patients.

I’m talking to gastroenterologists, I’m talking to immunologists. I think it brings a new lens to the supplement world. I don’t know if I know of, off the top of my head, another dietary supplement brand that’s taking their final formulation and doing clinical testing in a third-party laboratory and combining it with a skincare product and measuring those outcomes.

Courtesy

Will you see results if you use just one of the products?

I am testing them independently. Independently they are powerful, but together, they work better. Part of that study design was to look at hydration in the skin. I actually measured, again in a clinical study, having people use Bowe Growe every day and Bowe Glowe twice a day, and I tested hydration using a [tool called a] Corneometer. Within the first application of Bowe Glowe and the first dose of Bowe Growe, 100 percent of users saw a statistically significant improvement in hydration. You can’t get that kind of improvement from one product or the other.

You’re really active on TikTok. Was social media a factor in what you developed?

When I started talking about [the skin-gut-mind connection] on social media, I would recommend a microbiome-friendly diet. I would recommend fermented foods—sauerkraut and kimchi, and lots of sources of prebiotic fiber, like garlic, leeks, dandelion greens. Some people, both in my practice and on social media, would be like, "This is awesome, I feel so much better, my skin looks so much better, my energy levels are up." But I had a significant portion of people who were like, "Dr. Bowe, I can’t tolerate this diet. I’m getting gas, bloating. Practically speaking, I can’t do it."

That was right around the time that the data was coming out around plant-based polyphenols. We have to make it more practical, and that was a big reason why I developed the elixir in this specific format. And [our testing shows] it not only doesn’t cause bloating, but people actually felt like their GI system was running more smoothly. And I wanted to do something that makes you want to drink water.

Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty is available now online at drwhitneybowebeauty.com.

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