We are excited to introduce you to Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD who is a Miami-based board certified dermatologist with over 40 years’ experience. Dr. Loretta was amongst the first (and one of the only women) to study the effects of UVA radiation on skin at Harvard’s photobiology lab in the seventies. She’s a mother of four, grandmother of two, has a successful dermatology practice in Miami, and started an award winning vegan skincare line, Dr. Loretta. Dr. Loretta has been featured in Vogue, US Weekly, Well + Good, Allure among many others. Emily Ratajkowski, Cardi B & Alexa Chung are fans of her Dr. Loretta skincare line! We can’t wait to learn all about her skincare brand, more about what makes our skin age, how her products differ from competitors & more. Scroll to the bottom of the post to try out Dr. Loretta’s products for yourself:
What led you to start your skincare brand?
I wanted to create a brand of clinically proven skincare that can help womankind to feel self-confident about their skin at every age. Since 1993, I have been formulating skincare for professionals-only, and I am well-versed in both dermatology and skincare formulation but I wanted to make my line with a new approach to keeping our skin youthful and healthy. Our vegan line takes a holistic approach to skin by addressing the spectrum of external aggressors that I have identified as being responsible for unwanted aging changes.
What makes our skin age and how can we combat signs of aging?
After extensive research I’ve discovered that there are four major factors contributing to signs of skin aging. Interestingly only the skin that gets exposed to the environment shows the signs of aging, like wrinkles and age spots. The four factors our products protect from are pollution (now recognized to cause more age spots and wrinkles than the sun, probably because we have 24/7 exposure to pollution and much more limited exposure to the sun), light, including the damage done by blue light (the sun emits more blue light than all UV combined and blue light causes free radical damage leading to skin aging), climate (including both seasonal changes in our skin as well as the effects of indoor climate controlled environments that literally suck moisture right out of our skin), and irritating ingredients (so we need to be cautious about not overdoing potentially irritating ingredients like AHAs and retinoids as well as omitting known irritants like sulfates form our skincare routines).
My favorite products I’m trying are the Sunscreen & the Intense Replenishing Serum! Do you want to tell us how these are different from other sunscreens & serums? -Delia
Sure! Our Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 is the realization of my long standing “dream” to have a sunscreen that we would actually want to apply to our skin because it has so many other benefits besides UV protection. It’s a universally tinted moisturizer that features Indian Ginseng for HEV protection (see below for more on HEV!), powerhouse antioxidant Lipochroman for maximum pollution protection, hydrating peptides to firm, and light diffusing agents to make our skin look more flawless on application. We are thrilled to have this product recognized by Refinery 29 with their Beauty Innovation Award.
Our Intense Replenishing Serum has gotten nice coverage since it is a favorite of Emily Ratajkowski, Alexa Chung and others. It is a hydrating antioxidant serum that also features the strongest antioxidant that exists, Lipochroman, and hydrating and barrier-replenishing lipids. On application, it gives an instant radiance so it’s really a big hero in our line.
If you’re working from home all day should you still apply sunscreen? Ex. I usually don’t incorporate sunscreen in my routine if I am not planning to leave the apartment during the day! -Delia
Great question! As a dermatologist who has practiced in Miami for nearly 40 years and removed thousands of pre-cancers and skin cancers from patient’s faces, I do recommend that you apply SPF as part of your morning routine because we often get “inadvertent” sun exposure … possibly you run out in your car to do errands and you get the sun through your car window, you run into a friend when you’re out walking a couple of blocks, etc. Because I feel very strongly that SPF can prevent skin cancer as well as some unwanted aging changes I do recommend that you find a sunscreen you like and start to apply it every morning as part of a safe-sun routine.
How do Dr. Loretta products stand apart from other skincare brands?
I formulate all our products to address the issues that are of major concern to my patients. We strive to brighten, soften and firm skin and also to lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles. But we also formulate to produce improvement in skin tightening and elasticity since this is something that I felt was missing in the skincare marketplace. One of our hero serums, Anti-aging Repair Serum, has been proven in instrumentation testing to increase skin’s elasticity by 58% in just eight weeks. We dermatologists know that we lose about 1% of elasticity a year starting in our thirties. So this is just one example of what sets us apart – the clinical results that really are missing in most other skincare lines.
As a mother daughter business, we love that you work with your two daughters on your brand! What is it like working with your daughters?
Heavenly is the first word that comes to mind. My husband/their Dad, and I are both 100% Italian, from big close-knit Italian families and we’ve raised our children in a very family-oriented environment. It is just a dream come true to be able to work with two of our daughters side-by-side. And as far as what we each bring to the brand, the age range, with Liza being early thirties, Gina early 40’s, and me 69, we cast a wide net of relatability for our Dr. Loretta community.
We hear you have some empowering and positive advice about aging. Tell us more!
At 69, I have never felt more self-confident and determined to make other women feel comfortable about themselves and their appearance at any age. I was recently one of a dozen dermatologists interviewed for an article on “baby Botox” that appeared in the NY Times Science section. I was the only dermatologist who spoke out against women feeling they must start to have procedures and injectables done even before they see any visible signs of aging. I’m walking around with 11’s and big smile lines and I don’t feel they make me look unattractive. I want to be the voice of reason to make women realize that we should be able to believe we are beautiful at any age. I’ve only used products I’ve formulated since the age of 40 and I am a living testament to the benefits of consistently using a skincare routine that you’ve proven works for you.
Can you share tips on transitioning your beauty routine between seasons?
Absolutely! Let’s start by remembering that skin hydration levels vary seasonally. Also, our natural dead-cell shedding slows down in colder months.
So, in colder months you may need more moisturizing products and you often need to exfoliate more regularly than during summer months.
In summer we typically don’t need as much moisturization and it is often a good time to rely on a tinted hydrating SPF as your morning moisturizer. Also, for many younger women they may still be acne prone into their forties and summer time often does bring on some breakouts. I recommend you look for products that are more mattifying in summer months.
How does stress affect our skin?
Stress raises cortisol levels in our skin. Increased cortisol levels are associated with increased production of unhealthy skin oils leading to more acne, acceleration of collagen breakdown leading to wrinkles and sagging, and increased skin redness. Stress is really bad for our skin both short- and long-term. In many of my patients I include “stress relief” in their plan to improve their skin!
What does the HEV light from our screens do to our skin?
HEV light is also called High Energy Visible light. This is emitted by our screens and it is the same light that is emitted from the sun. The sun emits mostly blue light and that is why the sky is blue. We know that this HEV/blue light causes free radical damage in the skin that leads to lines, wrinkles and age spots. Our screens emit much less of this light but we are in front of our screens with our faces directly glaring into them, for many hours each day. I don’t believe we have the final word on how much damage may be coming for our screens. A simple thing to do is to put your computer and cellular settings on low light so you get less HEV exposure from your screen.
What dermatological advancements are you excited about?
As a practicing dermatologist for the last 40 years I am most excited about the advancements in the treatment of melanoma, the most deadly skin issue. I am very pleased that the American Academy of Dermatology, of which I have been a Fellow for decades, has made great strides in the programs to emphasize early detection and treatment. All of this is saving thousands of lives a year.
Do you have any advice that you’d like to share with entrepreneurs?
Always believe in yourself. If we don’t believe in ourselves it will be very difficult to convince others of our value and the value of what we are setting out to accomplish.
On a personal level, I think it is also extremely important to maintain personal balance and to be sure that you have time for loved ones and friends as well as time for yourself all through your entrepreneurial journey.
What’s next for you?
Some of my great love of life comes from never knowing just what tomorrow will bring. For our skincare, we are launching an super effective enzyme scrub that I hope will be a great at home product for women.
Want to try Dr. Loretta’s products? You can find them all below!
Alison + Delia