An interview with a Dermatologist, Dr Noëlle Sherber.


Soleil recently collaborated with the Dr Noëlle Sherber to bring to life the wonderful Perpetual Radiance. Dr. Sherber is considered an expert in skin manifestations and treatment of collagen disorders. Collagen is the key protein involved in the appearance of youthful and healthy skin, and Dr. Sherber has pioneered multiple studies investigating the biology of collagen synthesis and remodeling. Her expertise in collagen biology gives her a unique perspective on diseases of collagen, aging, and the most advanced treatments to restore collagen.

Does skincare start with sun care?

When beauty editors, friends, and patients ask me for the best anti-aging skincare secret, I always answer: sunscreen.  UV light causes damage to our DNA and collagen that can lead to skin cancer, along with wrinkles and sunspots, over time.  While many people think about sunscreen on a beach vacation, what you do every day in terms of sun protection makes as much of a cumulative impact as what you do every day in terms of exercise.  I often show patients a photo from The New England Journal of Medicine of a truck driver who had significant driver's side sun damage from daily exposure through the window. The best cleansers, exfoliants, serums, and moisturizers aren't going to give you great skin in the long term if you aren't consistent with sunscreen.

Why should SPF be part of everyone's skin regimen?
We can't control our genetics, in terms of risk factors for skin cancer or in terms of how our skin is prone to aging, but we can control environmental exposure and sunscreen is our best defense.  Even deeper skin tones that aren't susceptible to sunburn are susceptible to skin aging over time from the sun, and so daily sunscreen is something everyone should think about.  Not all sunscreens are created equal, and you should always look for a "broad spectrum" formulation to make sure that it meets the new FDA standards.  Recent studies have shown that many sunscreens on the market aren't performing to their labeled SPF, and this probably relates to variability in labs' testing standards.  This places a premium on sourcing your sunscreen from a company that holds itself to the highest standards.  The younger one starts with sun protection the better, so I recommend starting children with mineral sun protection (such as the Soleil SPF45 100% mineral spray) at 6 months old and using UV-protective clothing to shield their skin from sunburn.

What is your idea of the best daily skin care routine - morning and night? 
I customize my recommendations for each patient, but a balanced skin care regimen includes hydration, moisture, antioxidants, ingredients that stimulate collagen production, and sun protection.  I talk with patients every day and hear from them that it's challenging to rope off time to work all of these beneficial ingredients into their routine, so when I developed the ingredient list for Perpetual Radiance I wanted to have each of these categories represented... and 3 labs and nearly 3 years later, we have done it!  Your skin care routine should also change with the seasons and with your skin's needs, so a summer regimen might feature more water-based hydrating products rich in antioxidants, while a winter regimen might focus more on moisturizing oils and retinols.  Of course, sunscreen is a year-round essential and I recommend that you identify a board-certified dermatologist who can consult with you for an annual skin cancer screening and to determine what products best suit your skin.

Is SPF 15 or 20 sufficient?
As SPF ratings increase, the percent of UV rays blocked starts to show diminishing returns, so, while an SPF15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UV rays, SPF20 blocks 95%, SPF30 blocks nearly 97%, while SPF50 blocks about 98% of UV rays.  One of the most important factors in getting adequate UV protection is applying enough sunscreen.  Many people use formulations that they find thick or otherwise don't enjoy applying and therefore apply the product sparingly and get about 1/3 of the labelled protection.  I wanted this to be a unique serum-textured sunscreen so that it could be applied in sufficient quantities to get the 95% UV protection of an SPF20 while still making the skin look and feel great.  Sometimes dermatologists may recommend a higher SPF sunscreen on the assumption that a person will under-apply it, but a fluid formulation makes is easy to apply the recommended quantity and get the protection you need.

How often should we reapply SPF?
My reapplication recommendations for sunscreen depend on the setting, but shoppers should look to see that sunscreens comply with the new FDA labelling guidelines and give a specific time for water resistance: Perpetual Radiance is rated for 80 minutes of water resistance.  An advantage of daily sunscreen application is that sun protection accumulates in the skin so that it may offer additional protection if you miss a spot or get separated from your sunscreen and can't reapply, a study in which subjects applied mineral sunscreen 3 times a day for 5 days showed that they were then able to stay in the sun 2.5x longer than usual before burning without sunscreen, and this worked with chemical sunscreen to postpone sunburn time 1.5x.  I interpret this for my patients to mean that applying sunscreen daily to the face and exposed skin is best, and before a sunny vacation you can apply several times a day to build up some extra defenses against the sun. [link to study:]

How would you define Perpetual Radiance? Why is it unique in the marketplace?

This product is unique as a true multi-tasker that is 7 products in one: a 100% mineral sunscreen; a potent antioxidant serum featuring superoxide dismutase (the most powerful free radical scavenger made by our cells); a lightweight hydrator; a peptide-rich facial essence; a skin-smoothing makeup primer; a subtle skin luminizer; and a golden complexion perfecting tint.  This is the first 100% mineral sunscreen with this high-performance blend of science-backed ingredients and sheer non-chalky finish on the skin.  Every day I hear from patients reasons for which they don't like wearing sunscreen, or don't wear sunscreen, and I wanted to develop a product that would address these concerns and would be super easy to apply and reapply on the go.  This is the first 100% mineral sunscreen that has a truly second-skin texture, and as someone with very sensitive skin I developed this in part for myself and for all of my patients who were telling me for years that they wanted a sunscreen that was lightweight and beautiful, and that they could wear without their skin reacting!

Does Perpetual Radiance offer full coverage? Can it be used alone or do you need another sunscreen under it? 
Perpetual Radiance is a truly modern formulation that is invisibly perfecting.  I see through working with beauty editors and directly with my patients that people are more interested than ever before in taking great care of their skin, and are looking for skincare products that give them a perfected my-skin-but-better look.  This product is designed to be worn alone for those who want a one-and-done approach, or layered over serums and moisturizers, or under makeup as you wish.  The subtle tint not only make skin look more even, but it ensures that you won't miss a spot and will be fully sun protected.  Enrique Valentino, our makeup artist in residence at SHERBER+RAD, likes Perpetual Radiance as a primer under foundation for those who like fuller coverage and has been getting a great response to the smooth and softly glowing finish it provides under makeup, also.

Why did you chose to collaborate with Soleil Toujours over other brands? Why does ST stand out?
I first discovered the Soleil Toujours products several years ago when reviewing sunscreens for a Vogue article on repairing DNA damage after sunburn.  I was impressed by the quality of antioxidants in the formulations, since these ingredients enhance the body's ability to repair DNA after sun exposure, provide a second line of defense against DNA and collagen damage from UV light, and are only meaningfully effective if they are high quality.  I am always looking for top notch mineral sunscreens.  Mineral SPF can be the best choice for those with sensitivity or allergy to chemical sunscreen, after laser treatment, for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, for travellers who are concerned with coral reef safety, or for those with acne-prone skin (zinc is a classic anti-acne ingredient), but historically the challenge has been that the formulations have tended to be chalky.  Mineral sunscreens also have to be made very carefully so that the ingredients stay suspended evenly in order to coat the skin uniformly to give reliable protection.  When I eventually met Soleil's CEO, Val McMurray in New York, I saw is really committed to accomplishing something superior with her products.  She doesn't want to make "me-too" sunscreens that resemble others on the market, and I saw with her the opportunity to create something really unique that didn't exist in the sunscreen market.  Throughout the development process Val never wavered in her commitment for me to choose the highest quality ingredients, and we had to work through 3 different labs until we got the formulation just right, but we are both of the mind that if something's worth doing it's worth doing well. 
Why do you feel that SPF is not included in all skincare yet?
Formulating skincare products that include UV protection is much more time- and resource-intensive than formulating a non-sunscreen skincare product, because the FDA guides sunscreen testing and SPF-containing products have to pass many extra steps in research and development that non-sunscreen products do not.  In the U.S., sunscreen development is particularly complicated and the FDA has been slow to approve new active ingredients, but the Sunscreen Innovation Act was signed into law in November 2014 and this may make a positive impact on the process and help streamline the process for companies.

What are the most common skin/health problems that you see and what is the best way to avoid them?
Skin cancer will affect 1 in 5 people in the U.S., and so it is a major concern for us all.  While we can't control our genetics, we can try to protect ourselves from environmental exposure by consistency with daily sunscreen and incorporating high quality antioxidants into our sunscreens and skin care regimens since these defend the skin against UV damage.  As a dermatologist I also see a lot of patients coming in with skin irritation, and I attribute a lot of it to over-combining of products: people may layer on products from different brands that aren't designed to "play nicely" together and then end result is red and irritated skin or inflammatory breakouts.  One way to avoid skin irritation is to use multitasking products that contain multiple active ingredients in one, because the ingredients have already been designed and tested to work well together so you aren't taking a chance about how separate products with the same ingredients may interact in combination.

Why are mineral sunscreens important if you suffer from hyper/hypo- pigmentation or melasma?
Recent dermatology research has shown that even visible light contributes to uneven pigmentation in the skin such as melasma, so mineral-containing sunscreens are the best choice for this since they offer physical protection from light like wearing a teeshirt.  Emerging data are showing that indoor fluorescent lights can worsen pigmentation issues in some skin types, so physical sunscreens are becoming more in demand as protection against these types of light beyond UVA and UVB outdoor exposure.  For my melasma patients for whom pregnancy is the trigger, they have been so happy with this 100% mineral sunscreen formulation to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding since chemical sunscreens pass into the bloodstream and into breastmilk - I am so happy that, after years of research and development, we have brought this great product to market!
Soleil would like to thank Dr Sherber for helping us create such a beautiful product, which was made possible with her touch of genius. Perpetual Radiance is now available on our website, at Sherberandrad, and will soon be coming to Net-a-Porter globally.


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