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Drink Water, Mind Your Business: Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton Debunks Skincare Myths

The celeb-frequented dermatologist gets to the root of healthy skin, how her practice goes hand-in-hand with therapy, and why her black doesn't crack.

The celeb-frequented dermatologist gets to the root of healthy skin, how her practice goes hand-in-hand with therapy, and why her black doesn't crack.

Raise your hand if, at least once a week online, you've scrolled past a meme of a clear-skinned individual attributing their lack of pores and IG filter-free glow to downing unspecified amounts of H2O and "minding their business"? As summertime inches closer, more and more emphasis goes into not only showing off the fruits of months in the gym (or not), but also achieving the right balance of sun-kissed skin.

However, the road to a healthy epidermis takes more than social media's succinct advice to just drink water, especially for melanin-proficient skin. Jamaican-born and New York-based dermatologist Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton has dedicated over 20 years to helping her clients—both top secret celebrities and everyday people, alike—achieve, maintain (and sometimes enhance) their best skin. If you ask her, she'll sincerely tell you that working skin magic is her calling.

"It chose me. It really did. I did not know what dermatology was when I was in medical school. I didn't meet any dermatologist; never been to one in my life. I was just about to graduate when they made me do an ambulatory rotation in dermatology and ophthalmology, these outpatient type specialties, and that was the first time ever that I even knew about it," she says with a smile from her Ingleton Dermatology office in NoHo, cheeks aglow. "I'm a happy person that loves looking at people and diagnosing all the spots I can help them."

Here, Dr. Ingleton debunks beauty and social media myths about skincare, offers a counterpoint to shea and cocoa butter leading to Angela Bassett-like skin, and why mild cleansing products (like Dove Beauty Bar) are the safest bet for moisture maintenance.


There's a major benefit in black dermatologists tending to black skin

We weren't specifically trained at how to look at skin of color, but because I'm in the skin, I've figured it out over the years. Some trial and error and some common sense stuff that's common to us, but not common to the masses who don't have to deal with curly hair and don't have to deal with things that just aren't part of their life. It's really evolved into something beautiful.

Opt for simple routines versus chasing the newest, hottest skincare trends

I'm Jamaican, born and raised. There was no particular focus on skincare so to speak. Basic cleansing, maybe moisturizing but nothing about sunscreen. I've never had any real acne. I had a little bit, so I didn't come to a dermatologist because I struggled with my skin or anything. What I found was that I had become more a creature of habit. When I find a regimen that works for me, for whatever reason, I will stick with it. I'm not one of those that needs to try every new thing that comes down the pike. I would say consistency is key. I feel like I have really great skin. I've been working on it for years. I always wash my face twice a day. I never go to bed with makeup on. I always wear sun protection moisturizer. There are things that I've been doing for a long time and I'm seeing the benefits now. My skin isn't aging like somebody my age. Part of that is I'm black, I'm blessed with my mom's skin. The other part is I've taken really good care of what they gave me. I'm hoping it will pay off and hold up for many more years.

Product shopping for skin-type and prevention is the key aspect of skincare

There are some basics. You need a cleanser that is suited to your skin type. If you have super oily skin, you might need a gel-type cleanser or something that's for oily skin. If you're really dry, you might need a creamy cleanser, something that's not going to dry you out even further. I am a big believer in antioxidants which are like your vitamin C or vitamin E, those kinds of products. They help you to prevent a lot of environmental damage to your skin. I think of it as armor. You're putting on your skin armor before you go out in the morning: A cleanser, an antioxidant and sun-protecting moisturizer. You're hitting the things that are major issues during the day. That's when you're going to hit pollution and car exhaust and cigarette smoke, people talking to you all day and spitting on your face. And then the sun. Those are the things that are attacking you when you're out and we're just trying not to allow for those free radicals to form in the skin and start breaking down your collagen. That's the whole purpose of what we do during the daytime. At nighttime, I think whatever the skin issue is, that's the time to target it - when you go to bed. First of all, clean your face. I can't imagine going to bed with New York City on my face. It's all over your pillow. Everything you encounter during the day is with you. You went to the club, it's all on your face.

"Drinking water" helps achieve next-to-flawless skin...to an extent

Water is fantastic. We're mostly water and you want to replenish as much as you can. Having said that, if you have a skin issue -- you have acne, you have eczema -- water is not going to cure that. It's great for you. It's going to hydrate all the cells in your body, you'll probably be moist on the outside and on the inside but it's not going to stop the breakouts. It's not going to stop your eczema from going wacko because you're using products you're otherwise allergic to and you won't stop using it. Or you're walking into pollen as you're walking down the street and it's not going to change those kinds of things, but it's fantastic for your body. You have to focus on what can it do for you. You can't use it to treat a skin condition. But for the general suppleness of your skin and level of hydration, it's fantastic. I wish that it could be an easy fix like that where you just drink something. Coconut water and it's like, "Woah, look at me."

We should be revamping our skincare set-up every season

In the winter months, just switch everything up. You can use gel cleansers in the summer. Winter, once September comes, I personally change my whole bathroom stuff out. Whatever I bathe with changes, the level of thickness of my body changes. I change from lotion to cream because in the winter I need something heavier, but in the summer I can't stand cream. I want lotion or spray or oil spray. Same thing with your skin. Cleanser in the winter should be something that's a little milky. The way Dove is, it's a quarter of moisturizing cream, so something like that.

"The butters" people of color love—shea, cocoa and the like—may not be the secret behind total skin excellence

It's not true. We have to think of this [the face] as very different from this [the body]. You can bathe with coconut butter, shea butter, whatever, but the face behaves totally different. You can't get away with certain things there. You'll have two products. You'll have something that's geared for this and one that's for this. You're not going to break out in acne on your legs because you put cocoa butter or shea butter on your legs. But you try that on your face. That's what people do; if it's good for this it's good for everything. My hair, my nose, my eyebrow, my everything. Eat it. One spoon a day. [Laughs]

There is an overlooked link between dermatology, psychiatry and therapy

I didn't realize at the time when I was in college - I had a dual major in psychobiology - I didn't know how much I'd be using the psychology of it. It's immense. Without that, I wouldn't be as good, I wouldn't be able to relate to people, the inner turmoil that makes them pull their hair out or dig up their skin. You've got to understand, some people need a psychiatrist instead of a dermatologist. I have to find a gentle way of saying it's not, I'm helping you with the skin but there's something deeper. People don't go to therapists because the rest of the world needs therapy. I have my list of referring people. I say, "I've had a lot of success with this person. Just have a conversation. Just talk." If there's nothing there, don't go back.

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity.

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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