Redefining Beauty Standards: Dr. Naana Boayke’s Dermatology Renaissance!

Dr. Naana Boayke and every aspect of her work is driven by a simple philosophy: Radiant skin is a lifestyle. She takes an inside-out approach to healthy skin, and believes diet, exercise, mindfulness and overall wellness all play a role in achieving healthy, glowing skin.

A practicing dermatologist who has treated more than 18,000 patients over the past 15 years, Dr. Boakye received her B.A. at Wellesley College, her M.P.H. from George Washington University and her M.D. from Temple University. She completed her dermatology residency at State University of New York Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Boakye is affiliated with numerous professional societies including the American Academy of Dermatology, Skin of Color Society and the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

In this inspiring interview, She shares her experiences, journey, tips on maintaining a healthy skin.

Dr. Boakye, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Could you start by telling us more about your journey and what led you to adopt the philosophy that “radiant skin is a lifestyle”? 

My dermatology journey has been a profound exploration of the connection between overall wellness and skin health. My experience in treating various skin conditions led me to realize that skincare is not just about treatments; it’s also a lifestyle that encompasses the choices we make in our daily lives. My philosophy “radiant skin is a lifestyle” emphasizes that factors such as diet, exercise, stress management, and emotional well-being are integral to skin health. 

How do you integrate the inside-out approach to healthy skin in your practice, and what inspired you to emphasize the role of diet, exercise, mindfulness, and overall wellness?

During each visit, I dive into those key pillars we touched on earlier and tailor them to fit each patient’s unique condition. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; it’s about crafting a personalized wellness plan. For me, wellness isn’t just a concept; it’s a journey I embarked on over eight years ago that entirely transformed my life. Experiencing that change firsthand inspired me to empower and educate my patients on their own wellness journey. I want to be more than a dermatologist; I aim to be an inspiration, showing others that positive transformations are possible.

With an impressive career treating over 18,000 patients in the last 15 years, what are some key insights you’ve gained about skin health during your practice?

 Over the course of 15 years and having the privilege to treat over 18,000 patients, a profound insight has emerged: lifestyle choices and skin health are intricately intertwined. In order to have sustainable results, it is important to delve into diet, exercise, and stress management. 

Dr. Boakye, as an African woman, how have your cultural background and experiences shaped your approach to skincare and the concept that “radiant skin is a lifestyle”?

 I take immense pride in my roots, and it serves as a powerful connector that enables me to relate to individuals from diverse cultures. Being grounded in my origins allows me to bridge gaps, and foster understanding and compassion.

Dermatology, like many fields, has faced challenges in terms of diversity and representation. How do you see your role as an African woman in the field, and what impact do you hope to have on the representation of women of color in dermatology?

I hope to empower and encourage women of color to become dermatologists since there are only 3% of African American dermatologists in the US.

Beauty standards vary across cultures. How do you navigate and address diverse beauty standards in your practice, ensuring that your patients feel seen and understood?

 I navigate diverse beauty standards by fostering an environment where all patients feel seen and understood. It involves recognizing and respecting varied cultural perspectives on beauty.

In what ways do you challenge or redefine conventional beauty norms through your work?

Through my work, I challenge conventional beauty norms by promoting individuality and self-expression. I encourage embracing one’s unique features and redefining beauty beyond societal expectations.

Your mission involves empowering individuals through skincare. How do you specifically aim to empower African women in embracing their skin and practicing self-care?

Your skin is the largest organ and it is impacted by the environment and stress daily. Therefore, it is important to treat it with the utmost respect by using ingredients to help maintain the health of the skin.

As a trailblazer in dermatology, what advice do you have for young African women aspiring to enter the field of skincare or dermatology?

To young African women aspiring to enter dermatology, I’d say: Be bold, pursue your passion relentlessly, and let your unique perspective enrich the field. You have the power to make a significant impact.

How can the industry better support and encourage diversity, ensuring that more voices from different backgrounds are represented?

The industry can support diversity by actively promoting inclusivity, providing mentorship opportunities, and amplifying voices from different backgrounds. Embracing diversity enhances the richness of perspectives and advancements in the field.

 

 

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