[9 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday all! As we approach the peak of Spring, COVID-19 and whatever else the world chooses to throw at us, it has never been more important to use this time to heal and restore. Who better to speak to then than Dr. Heather D. Rogers?
Dr. Heather D. Rogers is the founder and CEO of Doctor Rogers RESTORE and the cofounder of Modern Dermatology in Seattle. Dr. Heather D. Rogers originally only intended to create one product to help healing skin post-surgery or laser treatments, and as they say, the rest is history.
We hope you can use these extra pockets of downtime in your day to do some healing of your own. If you're onboard, then this week's interview might be a good place to start. We hope you enjoy...
Welcome! Could you begin by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
I was raised in Olympia, Washington by liberal/almost-hippie parents. My sister and I could have been called ‘River’ and ‘Flower’ but were lucky to be named Brooke and Heather. My commitment to our environment comes from my parents and a childhood of nature hikes and early recycling. In terms of values, my father is an incredibly moral individual; he can only do the right thing and I think I inherited that gene, an overactive superego. I have never been able to lie or cheat...even in drinking games! For the patients and reporters who love me, it is because they know they can count on me to be honest.
That is a brilliant quality to possess and a rarity! So, how did you get started in the beauty industry?
My father was a primary care physician and my mother a PA. My sister was never interested in science and medicine, but I always was. I started medical school in the year 2000. My interest in beauty and skincare came from my dermatologist training. I saw patient after patient harming their skin with beauty products sold to them under the guise of helping and it just felt wrong. I started out as a voice of reason to try and point people towards cleaner, safer products. However, at a certain point, I could not find anything that was clinically effective and safe for the skin and our environment. It was this that made me realise I had to do something about it.
"I do not make products for Instagrammable moments. I make products based on science to provide our skin with what it needs to be and stay healthy and beautiful."
I’m glad you did! So could you describe the process of starting up your business Doctor Rogers RESTORE?
Firstly, I knew I needed to create a product for my patients to use after procedures in my office to speed up the healing process without irritation; something to put on their stitches after skin cancer surgery, and on their face after laser treatments. Most physicians still recommend Aquaphor, Neosporin, and triple Antibiotic ointment - all of which pose significant risks of allergic reactions. This is why I made Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm. Once I started down this road, I realised there was a gap in the market for beautifully simple and effective daily products we could count on for our skin. I made a Face Wash, a Face Cream and a Face Lotion. I do not make products for Instagrammable moments. I make products based on science to provide our skin with what it needs to be and stay healthy and beautiful.
As someone with environmentally-sensitive skin, I really appreciate that. In what ways do you consider sensitive skin throughout the process of selecting the ingredients to use?
We consider sensitive, healing skin throughout every step of the development process. I want my products to be the ones people can turn to when nothing seems to work, or when they don't know what they can use. Have you just had your face lasered? Well, then you can use Doctor Rogers RESTORE. Do you have a rash on your face and every product you try burns your skin? You can use Doctor Rogers RESTORE. Does your skin look great and you want to keep it that way? You can use Doctor Rogers RESTORE.
I love a multi-faceted skincare product! What strategies have been key to the success of Doctor Rogers RESTORE?
Doctor Rogers is built on my knowledge as a dermatologist as well as extreme transparency, which is rare in the beauty industry. I think people are looking for a brand they can truly rely on amidst all the noise.
Definitely. Why do you think sensitive skin is such an important issue for you?
Everyone tends to develop sensitive skin at some point in their lives and yet, we don’t seem to have enough trustworthy options to address it. As a doctor, I like to be that person that people can trust in their time of need, and the same goes for my skincare products.
So, what is your favourite thing about having started Doctor Rogers RESTORE?
Helping people. The reviews we receive are so incredible they make me cry.
That’s amazing! I think I might already know the answer to this one but what is the best part of your job day-to-day?
It has to be helping people and being able to care for more people than just my patients.
That sounds very rewarding. Why do you think people are more conscious of the ingredients they use in their beauty products nowadays?
We are starting to see real complications from our actions towards the environment. Protecting it is something we all need to take seriously if we want a world with snow-capped mountains and coral reefs.
Absolutely. So how does sustainability factor into your business?
At every turn in the process, I pick the more sustainable option. I only use the most easily recyclable packing, biodegradable ingredients, and all my products are made in the US to limit our carbon footprint.
That’s great to hear. And in terms of products, which is your absolute favourite that you have created?
The Healing Balm is our hero product and what we are known for. It was the first product I created, and it really does fix everything. We have a joke in the office: “first try the Healing Balm and if that doesn’t fix it then... you probably need surgery.” That said, our face wash is becoming widely recognised for its efficacy in cleansing skin without stripping it and has even won multiple awards. Our lotion and cream have only recently launched but are already proving popular; the cream is widely used by women over 35 and the lotion amongst men.
It sounds like you have a product for everyone, which is awesome! What were your biggest challenges in starting up a beauty business?
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was able to develop an amazing product; I made thousands and thousands of Healing Balms which were then delivered to my house, and that was where it all stopped... Originally, I had no plans for marketing the product or even building a website. I was just excited that I had solved a problem by creating a product that could be used on healing skin. However, I quickly realised that I had to get the word out there in order for people to know that this product existed. I am not good at selling my own products, so I had to find people who had these skill sets already. After a few missteps, I was incredibly lucky to find a beauty veteran named Michelle Olsen to join the team as President; she has made this part of the process so much better.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am currently only seeing patients with urgent issues and I’m using the downtime to homeschool my kids. We are also planting a garden and have a puppy named Lulu who brings us immense joy!"
The right team can make all the difference in the early stages of starting up a business. What do you think makes Doctor Rogers RESTORE stand out in the skincare sector?
We are “CLEAN-ICAL”; meaning that Doctor Rogers is clean, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly and medical. I don’t think there is another brand out there like us.
I agree! What has been your biggest “pinch-me” moment?
It was pretty exciting to be in the January 2020 edition of Vogue magazine for our collaboration with the celebrity tattoo artist, Winter Stone.
Vogue is huge! What inspires you?
People who are brave.
I love that answer! Could you describe what your average day is like?
Busy! I am usually up at 6 AM since my two children have to be at school by 7:30 AM. I see my first patient at 8 AM and I tend to see over 35 patients a day. If there’s any time in between patients, I’ll respond to emails. There’s a lot of them! I typically take conference calls during my drive home. Then, between 6-8 PM I hide my phone for family time and dig it out to catch up again before I go to bed.
Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am only seeing patients with urgent issues and I’m using the downtime to homeschool my kids. We are also planting a garden and have a puppy named Lulu who brings us immense joy!
Aww, that’s lovely! Do you think you have a work/life balance?
Well, in the past my husband teased me that I was like Hamilton, “Nonstop!” However, over the past year, I have made progress with this because I am learning to delegate more in order to spend more time with family. I now work with two RNs (registered nurses) and a MA (Medical Assistant) in-clinic. Our team at Doctor Rogers RESTORE has grown and I have more administrative help, which I am grateful for as it allows me to stop and smell the roses with my family.
That’s so important! What words do you live by?
There are two that I love. The first is something I came up with: “Care more, love more, do more.” The second comes from Winston Churchill: “I like things to happen and if they don’t happen I like to make them happen.”
Two excellent ones! So, what’s next for Doctor Rogers RESTORE?
We are going to launch body products this fall!
Want more from CAROLINAGMX? Check this out: Trying...Bjork & Berries With Sensitive Skin