Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter – Part 1

Lessons Beyond Skincare and Leaving Home

I am introducing a new series on my blog called “Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter.” This is where my daughter Jackie will be my guest blogger once a month, and today is her debut post. Hope you enjoy!  –Dr. H


IMG_1258.cropHey there, everybody! My name is Jackie, and I am Dr. Honet’s daughter. You’ve probably seen my face around before if you’re a frequent flyer on this blog, and even if you haven’t, you’d probably recognize me immediately—I am the spitting image of my mother. But beyond passing along her beautiful genes and filling me with the hope of looking as young as she does when I myself am in my fifties, my mother has given me so much more than just these surface-level qualities. This year has been one of self-reflection for me, as I grow and mature and become my own woman in college, and it is in these moments of introspection that I have truly begun to realize how greatly my life has been positively impacted by my mom, not just in her roles as mother, wife, or friend, but specifically in her role as a dermatologist. And so begins this series written by yours truly, which I am proud to call “The Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter.”

I am currently a sophomore at Yale University (my mom’s alma mater, by the way) and while I am loving college and having the time of my life, I would be lying if I said I did not have an entire laundry list of fears about college before stepping onto campus my first day of freshman year. At the very top of this list, above making friends and living with a complete stranger, was how I was going to survive when I no longer had on-demand, at-home skincare from my personal board-certified dermatologist. My friends always laugh at me when I say this, but it is honestly true. When I was little and I would scrape my knee, my mom was always there with the right tools and knowledge to ensure it wouldn’t leave a scar. When I was finally old enough to get acne, she was there with the perfect, personally tailored skin regimen to keep my skin unblemished. Even when that one wily zit would break through the surface and rear its ugly red head, my mom would inject it immediately and pop that bugger with finesse and the next day, it would be gone. I took all these perks for granted—it was just part of my normal life. That is, of course, until that fateful day when my mom had to leave me by myself in Connecticut, with only my retinoid to keep me company.

It may sound silly, but being left, bereft of the luxury of immediate skincare, truly did teach me a great deal. It has taught me patience (that is, do not keep poking at your zits—you’ll only make it worse). It has taught me to be proactive, for I can no longer have my skincare prescriptions filled at a moment’s notice. It has taught me to appreciate the days when I am home and can once again have my zits extracted on a whim by a professional (and maybe have a SilkPeel® or two by Adelle). Most importantly, however, it has taught me to appreciate just being home, surrounded by my family in the house, city, and community that I love. Personal skincare, to me, does not just epitomize an unblemished face. It’s a representation for everything that I love about my home that I do not have at school. Sure, it’s a spontaneous SilkPeel® on a Friday afternoon, but it’s also a home-cooked meal. It’s watching “The Bachelor” on Monday nights with my parents. It’s meandering the aisles of Costco on a Saturday afternoon, my mom grabbing what we actually need while the rest of us hunt down samples. It’s the warmth of my mother’s hug or the stroke of her hand in my hair, the love that cannot be conveyed over a phone call or Facetime session.

Having a dermatologist for a mother has its obvious perks. That much you can guess. And I am first to admit that I wholeheartedly take advantage of these perks. But what I am trying to convey is that it goes much farther than this. On the surface, my skin is quite pristine. When it comes to my other, deeper layers? Well, I can thank my mother, the dermatologist, for those, too.

–Jackie


Read more in Jackie’s series here:

“Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter – Part 2” – “My Community, Family, and Friendships at Yale

“Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter – Part 3” – “The Importance of Routines and Healthy Habits”

“Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter – Part 4” – “My Wonder Woman Wears No Cape”

Diary of a Dermatologist’s Daughter – Part 1