Dr. Fredric Brandt, Beloved Dermatologist To The Stars, Passed Away Yesterday

Today, the beauty world lost one of our most beloved stars. Dr. Fredric Brandt, cosmetic dermatologist and one of the industry’s leading product innovators, was found dead yesterday in his Miami home. He was only 65. 

To call Dr. Brandt a legend seems a little bit reductive. This was the man who helped pioneer the era of derm-led product lines, most of which made their splash at Sephora in the early aughts. Dr. Brandt’s approach to skin care was mostly one of removal: His products had clever names like “Dark Circles Away,” “Pores No More,” and “Do Not Age.” His latest product Needles No More is an anti-aging revolution: It essentially acts as a face-numbing cream, relaxing the wrinkles temporarily, which is supposed to help lessen their depth over time. A representative for Sephora told us just a couple of weeks ago that it's one of the company’s current best-sellers, flying off the shelves in stores across the country. The beloved Glow Hydracrème is also a leader in its category, having brought retinol to the masses long before that became the trend. The same is true of the at-home Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant — a majorly powerful lactic-acid scrub that promises to deliver in-office results. Dr. Brandt's line was a little bit like bringing the doctor home with you, at a time when Botox became a household word and everyone was hoping to unlock the skin secrets of the stars.

All of this made perfect sense, because few had better access to celebrities than Dr. Brandt. Madonna proclaimed her love and adulation for him, as did the supermodel Stephanie Seymour and television host Kelly Ripa. He had allegiances to women who insisted on owning their age and looking their best. Laurin Sydney, a former CNN anchor, recently told Guy Trebay of The New York Times: “I saw Fred and lasted 18 more years on the job…and in my business, that is way past your use-by date.” When Marc Jacobs joined Instagram with an inaugural self-portrait, the caption read: “No filter, (some filler)!” Dr. Brandt reposted it, with the hashtag #fabulous. 

As a cosmetic dermatologist, he spent his life devoted to the pursuit of beauty — he was known just as much for his stunning work on famous faces as he was for performing his own, self-administered injectables, often using himself as a guinea pig for new procedures. His goal was to achieve an ageless beauty, both for himself and for his clients: “I approach each face with a visual perception, an artistic perception, and a medical perception,” he told Trebay.

Since his passing just yesterday, much speculation has been made, drawing comparisons of the late doctor to a character named Dr. Grant on the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This is the perfect thing for the press to latch onto in the wake of tragedy, searching for someone to blame and point the finger at.

To do so, however, diminishes the life’s work of a man who was devoted to making people feel better about themselves. Instead, we’d like to take a moment today to remember his mission, use his wonderful products, and feel absolutely, confidently beautiful. Here’s hoping that he’s now finding the kind of beauty he always wanted to give others.


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