In our monthly must-have, Positive Luxury selects an iconic item from #brandstotrust that we’ve been coveting. September’s selection is inspired by the changing weather, and the subsequent need to upgrade our skincare regime. We caught up with KAPLAN MD Founder, Dr. Stuart H. Kaplan MD, who gave us the low-down on all things skincare.
Talk us through your philosophy
My philosophy can be summed up in three words: Quality, Simplicity, and Integrity. There is deep meaning behind each of these words for me, and they are the guiding principles for not just my skincare line, but for my entire career as a physician.
I grew up extremely poor in the Bronx; my father was a decorated WWII Veteran who could speak six languages and served as a spy during the war, but suffered so much post-traumatic stress from the terrible things he had seen that he did menial jobs for the rest of his life. When you have limited resources, you learn early on to be selective and to always shop for quality.
At the age of 12, I received a full scholarship to a prestigious prep school in NY. Being surrounded by such wealth and privilege, I learned that true luxury is about simplicity. I will never forget when I first left for prep school, my father said sadly that his biggest fear was that I would see things he could never give me. But he was wrong. To this day, my father is still the smartest, most honourable man I have ever known. He showed me that integrity is priceless, and something no one could take away from you.
How do you apply that philosophy to your skincare regime?
Those are the principles that have guided my life, and resulted in a successful, over 30-year dermatology career in Beverly Hills.
When I created my skincare brand, I applied these same principles. I combined all the best, most effective anti-ageing skincare ingredients into each formula, and all in their clinically tested concentrations. I made the line as simple and easy to use as possible, so my patients felt comfort in knowing all the thinking was done for them. That they didn’t have to worry if they were missing an ingredient or overlooking a skin symptom to treat.
And equally as important as what is in my products, is what is not in them. I manufacture all my products right in Los Angeles, and I am proud to say KAPLAN MD was one of the first prestige skincare lines to be 100% paraben, sulphate and BPA free. My products are high-quality formulas, crafted into a simple regimen and made with integrity so we can all ‘wear our best skin.’
How can people work out what their skin type is?
My belief is that there is no such thing as a ‘skin type’. Just like every other organ of our body, skin ageing is caused by three distinct, yet overlapping, factors: time, environment, and what I like to call, ‘natural hormonal progression’. These three causes of ageing affect everyone, regardless of age, gender or nationality. And they result in various skin symptoms, such as dryness, wrinkles, acne, and pigmentation.
The term ‘skin type’ to me is really more of a marketing term, meant to help consumers decide which product they should buy. But in reality, skin is skin, and we should be focusing on the bigger picture, which is treating both the causes and the symptoms of skin ageing.
What are the best anti-ageing ingredients to look out for?
There are not one or two best ingredients to look for. When you think about a healthy, balanced diet for your body, it is not about eating one type of vegetable or fruit. Rather, it is a combination of various fruits, vegetables, and proteins to give your body the best nutrition. So if you understand that our skin is also an organ, it then makes sense that we need to nourish it with a healthy, balanced diet of antioxidants, vitamins and peptides.
I really feel that is one of the biggest problems in the skincare industry. Too many brands market their products with a focus on one star ingredient, and customers get really confused about what they need and what really works. The beauty of KAPLAN MD is that I have taken my 30-plus years of dermatology experience and created formulas that combine 22 organic extracts with three plant stem cells, with patented peptides and antioxidants, and with DNA technology so your skin is nourished and treated for all three causes of skin ageing, all at once.
What’s your number one skin-improving habit?
Stay out of the sun! I literally get asked this question every day at my clinic. In 30 years, the answer has not changed: wear sunscreen daily, and stay out of the sun. Sun damage is the number one cause of premature skin ageing.
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