Pioneering Skin Wellness Expert and Educator, Dr. Cynthia Bailey
By Cynthia Bailey MD. This page was updated on Wed, Apr 11, 2018
A Dermatologist Providing Analytical and Discerning Health Advice Since 1987
A Background on Skin Wellness Expert and Educator, Cynthia Bailey, MD, FAAD
As a teen growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970s, Dr. Cynthia Bailey already showed an interest in health from the nutrition, exercise and wellness perspective. She was inspired by the books of nutrition expert and visionary, Adelle Davis, especially Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit. And although they never met, Ms. Davis became Dr. Bailey’s female health mentor.
“Adelle Davis connected diet and lifestyle to health for me through her books. I went into science because of her,” says Dr. Bailey. “My first ambition was to get a PhD in biochemistry and forge a career studying the health ramifications of the increasing presence of processed foods and environmental chemicals in the human diet. I wanted to help people feel better by understanding how to take care of their bodies through lifestyle choices."
However, during the summer of her junior year in college, Dr. Bailey volunteered in an emergency room at night while doing a laboratory research internship at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. In the ER, she realized that clinical medicine helped people AND was immediately rewarding. She changed her years of planning and went to medical school.
Through medical school, her internal medicine internship and her dermatology residency, Dr. Bailey always looked at what she learned through the lens of wellness and lifestyle choices for health.
The connection between nutrition, exercise and overall wellness to a person's health was not emphasized in the medical school curriculum during the 1980s when Dr. Bailey was in medical school. She had to look for the connections herself.
She became a physician and started her own dermatology practice in 1991, bringing with her a unique perspective to skin health and skin problems. Over time, more and more patients wanted to talk to her about how they could improve their complexion or skin problems via diet, skin care and lifestyle choices rather than through beauty products and prescriptions. Often, she would provide a handwritten note with a layered and complete skin care routine as well as healthy lifestyle recommendations.
A Need for Skin Care Lifestyle Information
With so many people in need of factual information to help them deal with common skin problems, Dr. Bailey started her website and blog in 2009 to help others all over the world have their best skin possible. Both focused on healthy vitality that radiates beauty… not on external beauty shortcuts. She writes:
“At heart, I am an educator. I chose to raise my children close to nature in the country, but if I could have lived in the country AND been close to a medical school, I would have gone into academics to teach. Instead, I teach through my practice and on the web. The passion is unending, and I write constantly about skin health and wellness through diet, lifestyle, and creating health-promoting physiology through lifestyle choices. A healthy skin care routine is an integral part of this." - Dr. Cynthia Bailey
Dr. Bailey was one of first dermatologists to write about the scientific evolution connecting diet and acne for the lay public in articles such as Four Diet Changes That Can Improve Your Acne and Zinc Treatment for Acne. For her entire career, dermatology had erroneously dismissed the connection. Though her patients observed otherwise. Once the scientific evidence started coming in, she was thrilled. "My patients and I knew there was a connection, and I had been doing my best to figure it out one patient at a time," states Dr. Bailey. "Now the biochemistry and pathophysiology is becoming clearer, and we have guidelines that help many people all at once."
A Diagram from Dr. Bailey's eBook "How To Eat Your Way to Beauty and Health".
Dr. Bailey's blog at DrBaileySkinCare.com is known as the longest-running skin health blog in the world written by a dermatologist.
In addition, Dr. Bailey has written in depth eBooks that are available free to readers. She passionately educates by providing a complete perspective and actionable information, written by an expert.
To inspire readers towards even healthier diet choices, she invited a local natural-chef to post healthy eating information and recipes on her blog, hired a graphic artist to help her simplify how to eat well and continues to share complexion tips related to exercise, wellness, her passion as a microbiome-geek, and much more.
Dr. Bailey is a physician and Board Certified Dermatologist who has practiced medicine for 33+ years. She grew her dermatology practice in the Northern California Wine Country into a thriving medical and skin care business over the past 25 years.
She created her own line of skin care products, seeing a need for hypoallergenic, scientifically-based options to fit the full range of skin types and address the most common skin problems. Her products are tailored into highly-effective skin care routines. Her line also offers dermatologist-developed, natural and eco-friendly products.
Dr. Bailey is a unique and sought-after skin health expert quoted hundreds of times in top media venues worldwide including: USA Today, Health, Shape, Natural Health, Woman’s Day, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, and more.
Through her clinical practice and extensive writing, Dr. Bailey has helped well over 15,000 patients personally. Plus, she has assisted innumerable people all over the world overcome the frustration and embarrassment caused by rosacea, acne, melasma, sun damage, dry skin, sensitive skin, sallow complexion problems, wrinkles, and more.
In addition, Dr. Bailey has encouraged those fighting cancer and other life-changing illnesses with her own stories…
Both sides of Dr. Bailey's family suffered a variety of serious health conditions. As she says, "we don't have the best genes." As a "canary in the mine shaft" for the connection between lifestyle and health, she learned early on that stress, diet and exercise had to be mindfully-factored into her daily choices.
In her first few years of college, she often developed a culture-positive strep throat after midterm and final exams, landing her in bed during post-exam breaks when her friends were enjoying their time off. In addition, from childhood and throughout her entire life, she has had an uncommon collection of aches and pains, exercise-induced anaphylaxys, highly allergic skin, and more... so did her father, cousin, grandmother, and other family members. Tenaciously, and well before it was mainstream, she ferreted out the connection between diet, stress and her overall wellness to inciting her health frailties.
And just one month before turning 56, this became more important than ever.
Dr. Bailey was diagnosed with the BRCA 1 gene mutation and the dreaded, high-grade triple-negative type of breast cancer… and a separate tumor of this horrible type of cancer in each breast. The odds were against her, but she fought successfully by surrendering to aggressive chemotherapy and a year of surgeries.
In fact, Dr. Bailey chronicled her fight on her website and shared her insights with patients and others going through similar experiences. She credits much of her recovery to her healthy choices throughout life. She states:
“I think, if I were not so careful with my diet and healthy choices throughout my life, I would have gotten cancer at a much earlier age since most of the 87% of women with this mutation develop cancer earlier than I did. I also think I would have had debilitating arthritis. The 'gift' of my genetics has allowed me to test many of my hypotheses for wellness on myself and my family and then bring them to my patients.” - Dr. Bailey
Today, Dr. Bailey continues to live a very healthy life where she eats only whole foods, grows her own vegetables and shuns processed foods and food chemicals. She is convinced lifestyle choices play a huge role in having a healthy and comfortable body and a radiant complexion.
“I will continue to bring my audiences the latest actionable advice – not erudite advice to eat this type of berry or take that type of supplement – but advice for living a busy every day life AND making healthy choices.”