Q&A with Beauty Blogger and Doctor: Aegean Chan, M.D.
Beauty blogger newbie and dermatologist-in-the-making, Aegean Chan, has always been a self-proclaimed "beauty fiend." Chan, a recent graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, was named one of renowned fashion website Refinery29's "30 under 30" in New York City last month. Her beauty blog Aegmora is a perfect combination of an empathetic doctor and a witty best friend; it truly inspires beauty inside and out. We had the opportunity to ask Chan a few questions about her life as an M.D. and what she plans to achieve with Aegmora (a combination of her name, Aegean, and fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons-- you'll understand after the jump).
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to become a doctor? Unlike most Asian kids, I didn't need to be convinced to be a doctor. I knew that from a very young age. I was in the 7th grade volunteering at a homeless medical clinic when a woman came in with a large ulcer on her leg. As I was helping bandage her leg and observing the doctor at work, it occurred to me that helping and healing people could actually be someone's job. This simple truth, which created such a warm and fuzzy feeling, is still what motivates me and has sustained me through the challenging physics and chemistry classes, late nights studying, and 24-hour shifts in the hospital. I am proud to be a doctor today and can say it was all worth it.
What prompted your decision to pursue dermatology? Dermatology was not an obvious route for me, but it is the perfect choice. I love absolutely every aspect of it. I look forward to going to work every day, and the most complex to mundane skin problems are fascinating to me. There's a deep sense of satisfaction in being that resource and support for people in their time of crisis.
When and why did you decide to start Aegmora? Where does the name come from? I have been a beauty fiend for as long as I can remember, and people are always asking me for skincare advice and the best products to use. So the second I became legit and earned my M.D., I decided I should share my insight with the rest of world through my very own blog. There are a lot of products out there and people telling you what you have to use. I made it my mission to help differentiate what's essential for your skin using a little bit of science and a lot of common sense. Don't get me wrong, I love me some luxe, but I never want anyone to feel like you have to spend hundreds of dollars to have great skin. It's also a great creative outlet for me, after long days slaving away in the hospital.
The concept of "aegmora" started a few years ago when my good friend photoshopped my face on a picture of Kimora Lee Simmons. She is just such a diva and always looks like she's having a blast, while being a savvy, bossy businesswoman. I mean, who wouldn't want to emulate that? So combine my name with hers and you get aegmora!
What message do you hope to convey or what goal do you hope to achieve with Aegmora? My personal philosophy is all about simplicity. I want to show women that they don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on complex beauty systems to have a glowing complexion. For me, it's about teaching people the basics of good skincare from a scientific perspective and then experimenting and treasure hunting for those rare products that are amazing and supplement your skincare routine. I will never ever write about anything I wouldn't use myself or believe strongly in, which I think sets me apart from other beauty blogs.
What is the most important beauty tip you can give to our readers? Be faithful to your beauty regimen! I recommend a 5-10% benzoyl peroxide wash at night and a nice and gentle face wash in the morning. Finish with a moisturizer of your choosing, although I personally love anything from Kiehl's. Even if it's 4 am, I still always go through my skin routine. And, don't forget to use sunscreen. It's easier to preserve the skin that you have than fix the sun damage. Once you have clear, beautiful skin, the rest will follow!
Photo Credit: James J. Song