#GIRLCRUSH: The Dazzling Dermatologist
Karen Hammerman MD
Accessorized and Accomplished
#GIRLCRUSH is a new section on Excessories Expert featuring crush-worthy gals who are both accessorized and accomplished. Several ladies come to mind who fit this description, but I couldn't think of a better first #GIRLCRUSH than my good friend, Karen Hammerman. Want to know why? Keep reading...
Karen was born to two doctor parents and grew up in Great Neck, New York as the eldest of three. Her parents encouraged her from a very young age to set high goals for personal achievement and professional success. Her mom told her, "You have two choices: you can be a lawyer or a doctor." She chose the latter. After earning her undergraduate degree at Barnard, she went on to medical school at Downstate where she also completed her residency in dermatology. She is passionate about "making people feel good about themselves by looking younger."
She married Jason, the love of her life, and had three sons (James, William, and Brody) back-to-back-to-back all while finishing residency and embarking on her dermatology career at Vanguard Dermatology. After 10+ years in NYC, she decided to move her beautiful, expanding family back to where her roots were laid. She lives in a gorgeous home in Great Neck where she enjoys spending downtime with her family and is a fixture in the Jewish community as a volunteer and leader for Shaare Zedek, Colel Chabad, and her local synagogues.
In addition to her amazing accomplishments, she is never without her fabulous accessories. This Chanel addict jazzes up her white coat with glittering tights, bangles, and Rockstuds. Her off-duty wardrobe? Equal parts girly and glamorous.
5 Fun Facts
- Are You My Mother?: All three of her sons have blonde hair and blue eyes even though she has dark hair and dark eyes.
- Shopacholic: When growing up, as a punishment for overspending, her dad would clear out her entire closet and leave her with only one dress.
- Fit Fam: She and her husband spend quality time together with Sunday morning gym dates and nightly "8 Minute Abs" YouTube workouts.
- Karen of All Trades: She is an accomplished tennis player, pianist, and oil-on-canvas painter. Is there anything she isn't good at?
- Who's the boss? Anxious to learn the dermatologic profession, she went to work at her mom's practice in high school. After a week of remedial tasks, she quit. She told her mom she needed to be the boss!
STYLE Q & A
Describe your style in 3 words:
Girly (tutus and huge bows), Trendy (I will try any trend once!), and Glamorous (love anything with sequins and sparkle!)
What is your first fashion memory?
I remember falling in love with fashion when my mom and I designed the gown for my bat mitzvah. She made it the most exciting experience for me. We went to my favorite store, Petit Chic on Central Avenue, and designed my dream dress from scratch with the owner. It was green tulle and gold lamé with poofy sleeves and shoulder pads--the whole nine yards! It was so fun coming up with fabrics, colors, and styles on my own! 16 years later we did it again, but this time it was on Madison Avenue at Vera Wang for my wedding gown. I cherish these unforgettable moments with my mom!
What is your favorite excessive accessory?
My first Chanel bag. Although my collection is growing (I'm an ADDICT), I will never forget my first. It is the small-medium black caviar leather with gold hardware and is so timeless and classic and it goes perfectly with everything.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I love ASOS because they make it so easy to shop. It comes so quickly and they have free shipping AND free returns. Since I have so little time these days, I do most of my shopping online. If I do make it to a store, it's Bloomingdales. They have everything and I count down to their Friends and Family promotions.
What goes through your mind when you get dressed in the morning?
Mainly comfort and professionalism, but with a little sparkle added in. I dream about the off-the-shoulder bodycon dress I want to wear on my next vacation, but that's just not practical for everyday since I spend hours on my feet, examining patients' skin. I like for my patients to see me as a friend who they can talk to about their skin, but also as a doctor who can treat them. Because it's still important for me to incorporate my personal style, I'll wear fun glittery or patterned tights, my Saint Laurent arty rings, leopard booties, or some layered necklaces. When I'm not at work I'm usually at home chasing my toddlers or feeding my newborn, so comfort is essential, but I still stay on trend with ripped jeans, fun hats, and fur vests.
Tips from the Skin Expert
Dr. Hammerman shares her top 3 secrets for great skin.
- See the light. A lot of patients come to me for treatment of under eye dark circles and puffiness. While injecting hyaluronic fillers to the area can lead to dramatic improvement, there are some at home remedies for those who don't want to undergo a procedure. Placing a cool object, like cold black tea bags, on the eyes can reduce the puffiness and darkness. It's and old wives tale, but it works! For shadows under the eyes, I tell my patients to use lightening agents like kojic acid, arbutin and retinol. Favorites: TNS illuminating eye cream and Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair eye cream
- Retin-A is your best friend. Prescription Retin-A or retinol (over the counter) is still one of the most important discoveries in dermatology over the last 50 years. Both forms prevent wrinkles, improve pigmentation and texture, and treat acne. It takes a while to see results, but the payoff is huge.
- Pour on the protection. Sunscreen is really the best way to keep your skin useful. Use products containing "zinc or avobenzone" listed in the active ingredients list. Apply daily, no matter what the cloud coverage is. The effects wear off within three hours so reapplication is key. Favorites: EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 sunscreen and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
For dermatological inquiries e-mail KHammerman@VanguardDermatology.com