Q+A with Dermatologist Dr. Chris Tomassian
Dr. Chris Tomassian chats with us about the importance of sunscreen, how COVID-19 changed how he interacts with his patients, and more.
Dr. Chris Tomassian is a Kansas City-based dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. When he's not practicing, you can find him on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where he shares his skincare expertise by way of informative and engaging video content. Because of this deep passion for informing others, we were excited for Dr. Tomassian to talk to us about all things skincare.
Q: How did you get into skincare?
I’ve always had an interest in skincare and beauty, which drove me to pursue a medical degree in dermatology. Unlike most diseases of the body, skin disease is visible to everyone and affects people profoundly, which resonated with me very strongly. Understanding that most of my patients will be using over the counter products, I use my medical training to help navigate my patients’ decisions and use my platforms to educate my followers on what will actually help them.
Q: What do you love the most about what you do?
Watching a patient come back to the office or message me on social media platforms with a newfound confidence and joy after successfully curing their skin’s ailments. Because skin changes are visible to everyone, it affects people socially, emotionally, and physically.
Q: What is a myth about skincare that you want to debunk?
People think that expensive is better. This is not true! There are many products on the market that have similar ingredients but vary in price due to the name. Also, “you don’t need sunscreen indoors” is not true. UVA, which is primarily responsible for skin aging, but also skin cancer, is able to penetrate through windows. Therefore, it’s best to get in the habit of always wearing sunscreen.
Q: What is one product everyone should be using, no matter what their skin type?
Sunscreen! I hear this all the time, “I can’t wear sunscreen because I’m allergic/I break out.” There are so many different products out there. If you have sensitive skin, use a mineral sunscreen with zinc and titanium dioxide, as these are not chemical-based and will give you less chance of an allergic reaction.
Q: What is one thing you wish people would stop doing in terms of skincare?
Changing products before you give the product a chance to work. Skin changes from topical therapies take about 3-6 weeks to see a result. Stop wasting your money and give your product a chance to work.
Q: What do you wish people were talking more about in skincare?
Simplifying skincare routines! Most routines I see on social media are 6-10 steps! A basic skincare routine should be 3 steps, or 5 steps for anti-aging.
Q: You often use TikTok to engage a younger audience in conversations about skincare products. What inspired you to do that and what is the response you’ve gotten from it?
I started making TikTok videos during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, in-person dermatology visits slowed tremendously, which also meant fewer patients were able to be seen. I thought about many of the questions I get asked in my patients’ visits and realized many other people must have the same questions. So I started making videos on ways you can treat your skin with over the counter medications, as well as debunking silly skincare myths. The response was amazing! I never thought so many people would want to watch and listen to what I have to say. Reading the comments from the many people I have had the privilege to help is what keeps me going!
Rapid Fire Round
Q: Splurge-worthy item:
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.
Q: Favorite drugstore find:
Adapalene, by Differin or La Roche-Posay.
Q: Latest beauty empty:
MAELOVE Glow Maker.
Q: Recent discovery:
Aveeno Oat Cleanser and Moisturizer.
Q: Product you can’t leave home without:
Aquaphor for my lips.
You can shop more of Dr. Tomassian's favorite products at his shop below: