North Carolina doctor posting skincare advice on TikTok gets more than 10 million followers

He's in his fourth year as a dermatology resident physician in Wilmington, but to most people scouring the internet for skincare advice, Dr. Muneeb Shah is known simply as the "dermdoctor."

With nearly 10 and a half million followers on the social media website TikTok, Dr. Shah regularly posts short, entertaining videos where he offers up practical skincare recommendations and reacts to other skin or hair-related videos making the rounds online.

"I always wanted to have good skin and it felt unachievable because there wasn't a lot of good information out there," said Shah. "You walk into Sephora, you walk into Ulta, thousands of skin care products. They all seem to do the same thing. So for me, the most important thing when I was going to create content on social media was to make it simple for everybody to understand it."

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Campbell University sponsors Shah's residency program at Atlantic Dermatology in Wilmington where the clinic remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, Shah signed up on TikTok and posted his first video in May of that year. Within a few months, he had garnered his first million followers.

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"I came into a platform that was exploding in the middle of a pandemic when everybody's at home on their phones," he said.

You can also find Dr. Shah on Instagram and YouTube where he said his video content is driven by user comments.

"I was able to reach this audience of people that was really interested in skincare, really interested in things like acne," he said.

Shah, who said he suffered from acne as a child, also used to spend a lot of time tanning in his late teens, a practice that eventually led to a skin cancer he had to have removed from his chest.

"I just want people to know what I didn't know as a teenager," said Shah, who uses his platform to address misinformation about skincare and sun damage.

Next week in New York City, the Melanoma Research Foundation is honoring Shah with its Influencer Award.

Striking that balance between doctor and influencer is something Shah said he keeps top of mind when deciding to recommend products in posts, whether they are sponsored or not, always asking himself first: "Would I recommend this to my family member?" he said.

"If there's ever a second where I feel like, no, I wouldn't recommend this to my sister, or my wife, or my mom, then I will not talk about it on social media."

So what is the dermdoctor's number one pro tip for your skincare?

Shah said it's important to first, identify your area of concern and keep it simple.

"Say it's anti-aging, saying it's hyperpigmentation, say it's acne. Single out that concern, pick products that are actually gonna target that concern and then make a 1,2,3 step skincare routine," said Shah.

Second, Shah is all about the sunscreen and protecting your skin against the sun's harmful rays.

"It makes your pores larger, increases your risk of skin cancer, causes wrinkles, it causes hyperpigmentation so everybody really should be wearing sunscreen every single day and if they did I wouldn't have a job," Shah said. "SPF 30-plus every single day, broad spectrum, just do it."
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