NYC Derm Ellen Marmur on her summer sunscreen arsenal and cracking the aging code
If the future of dermatology has a face, it may look a lot like Ellen Marmur. As the former vice chair of cosmetic and dermatological surgery at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, the willowy brunette recently established a next generation anti-aging lab with the hospital's department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, where she is studying how your favorite moisturizer might influence everything from aging to sun-damaged skin on a genetic level. "This is the new frontier," says Marmur of harnessing novel gene-sequencing technology to track how topical serums and face creams can induce changes in collagen and elastin production, inflammation, immune protein response, and even pigmentation within the skin.
Her nine-month-old Upper East Side private practice is every bit as forward-thinking: In addition to her arsenal of skin-tightening lasers and line-smoothing injectables, she runs a state-of-the-art lab for Mohs skin cancer surgery on site- and retains a nutritionist, personal trainer, and homeopath as part of her extended team for interested patients. She even offers Pilates and yoga on weekends. "We know now that your genes are not necessarily your fate. If you can actually change your own DNA through a healthy lifestyle, why not make it that much easier?"
Of course, according to Marmur, one of the easiest (and most effective) habits you can cultivate to protect your skin is to apply your sunscreen daily, particularly in the summer months, when the sun's rays are strongest. "I don't cheat with my sunscreen. I always put it on in the morning," she says. And while she generally sticks to a lightweight formula-like L'Oréal Paris Sublime's Sun Advanced Sunscreen Liquid Silk Lotion for Face SPF30 or Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 30-for everyday use, she alternates between a range of formulas "from the superlight to the hardcore" depending on the occasion. For a sunny weekday afternoon lunch outdoors, for instance, she might apply Chanel's UV Essentiel Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Fluid or NIA 24's Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30; For sweating it out on the tennis court, she needs a thicker stick formula with a little more clout, like Clarins Sunscreen Stick for Sun-Sensitive Areas SPF 30 or Shiseido's tinted SPF Protection Stick Foundation SPF 35, which she particularly likes "for the [delicate] eye and mouth area." As for keeping her skin covered below the neck, she slathers on Previse's skin-cooling SunSheer Super Chill Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Mineral Based Sunscreen before walking out the door, then reapplies hourly with a spray, like Hawaiian Tropic's Sheer Touch Continuous Spray Sunblock SPF 30. "The scent makes me feel like I'm on holiday," she admits with a laugh.
Click through her full arsenal of favorite sunscreen formulas above.
More from Vogue:
10 Best Beauty Secrets and Tips
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Denim
Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
Michelle Obama's Best-Dressed Moments
Photo Credit: Getty Images