Dr. Hayley Leight, our newest provider, knew she wanted to study dermatology early in her educational journey. “I’ve known since my second year of medical school,” explains Dr. Leight. “For me, it’s always been such an exciting field, because it’s constantly evolving,” she continues. “We are always getting better and finding new ways to deliver incredible results for patients and improve the overall health and quality of their skin. I also love that you get to develop long-term relationships with patients and take care of them for years or even decades–something you don’t always get to do in other disciplines.”
Providing the best care, all while forging and maintaining relationships with her patients, has continued to drive Dr. Leight in her career and it shows. As one of our own patients recently raved, “She was WONDERFUL! So very thorough and personable.”
We wanted more patients to have the opportunity to get to know Dr. Leight, so we sat down with her to ask her a few questions about her views as a provider, and how she’s finding life in Charlotte so far. (Responses have been edited for brevity.)
Welcome to Charlotte! How are you enjoying life in the Queen City so far?
I’m really loving living here, I feel very welcome by the practice, by patients and everyone I’ve met so far. Both my husband and I agree Charlotte is an incredibly warm, friendly place!
Have you had a chance to do much exploring? Where might patients spot you on the weekend?
My husband JJ, and I are foodies, so we love to eat out. I’ve been asking all of my patients for recommendations and we’ve enjoyed checking out Charlotte’s food scene. Some favorite spots so far include Bistro La Bon and Foxcroft Wine Bar, both were fantastic.
We’ve also explored the White Water Center and tried zip lining and the ropes course. We’re outdoorsy people, so we really enjoyed that. We’re getting a dog soon, so once that happens, you’ll also find us at the dog park, or taking long walks exploring.
Shifting back to being a provider, you’re known for being incredibly patient-focused, tell us what that means for your patients and why it’s so important.
I really am committed to building relationships with my patients. Not only do I want to see them as a person and really get to know them (and their skin!) but I want to be available for them whenever they need me. If someone has a concern and needs to see me quickly, we’ll make that happen. If they need to speak with me, I’ll make myself available.
What part of practicing dermatology gives you the most pleasure?
I really enjoy cosmetics. A lot of people think this side of medicine is really surface level, but we’re helping patients regain control of their skin and helping them feel better about themselves, and about their skin. Aging is very hard, especially in today’s social media-driven world. There’s also a lot of ageism–as a society we tend to value youth and beauty–I really love being able to help people celebrate their skin and feel more confident in themselves at any age.
Do you have a favorite procedure?
Well, I actually have two–Fillers are great because you immediately see the results. Patients are often thrilled with how quickly they can address a concern or see an improvement.
I also really like doing Fraxel in the fall/winter because of the longevity of results. It’s also just a really dynamic treatment that allows us to address wrinkles, build new collagen, treat brown spots, brighten the skin overall, or even treat precancerous lesions. The results are amazing and there are just so many benefits to the treatment.
You’re active on social media – any TikTok or Instagram skincare trends that make you cringe?
Oh goodness, don’t get me started on this! In general, the thought of people taking medical and skincare advice from unqualified influencers, and the idea that suddenly anyone can give you medical advice is really scary. For me, social media is an educational platform where I can offer high quality information and advice. People should only be listening to someone who is knowledgeable, and with the extensive training and education to actually back up what they’re saying, not TikTok stars!
But, to answer the question, there are a few trends that were especially cringeworthy.
When it was popular, the DIY lip filler was very alarming. (For those not familiar, people were injecting their lips with Hylauron pens, which were originally developed for insulin injections. Instead of a needle, people were told to inject air as a “pain-free” way to plump lips). There are just too many complications that could happen from doing something like this, you should absolutely never try to do fillers or anything similar on yourself.
Sunscreen contouring was another scary trend–you need sunscreen on your entire face! This kind of stuff is silly, and dangerous! Please only take skincare advice from a professional, or at least check with them first!
What is some legitimate skincare advice that people should follow instead?
I can’t stress this enough: wear sunscreen every day. Wake up and put it on. It’s important not only for beauty, but also for the medical side. You should wear it anywhere that is exposed to the sun, or might be exposed: your face, neck, chest, hands. And be sure to re-apply throughout the day. If you aren’t already doing this, please know it’s never too late to start a healthy sunscreen habit–better late than never!
Do you have a favorite sunscreen product?
ISDIN is hands down my favorite sunscreen. It’s a physical sunscreen that goes on very easily, especially under make-up. It doesn’t clog pores. And, it has antioxidants and helps repair DNA damage.
For someone looking for more of a budget sunscreen, I love Elta MD physical–both this and ISDIN are sold at Skin Secrets, DLVSC’s on-site skincare boutique.
Any other favorite products?
I’m a bit of a skincare junkie, so I have a ton of products that I love. However, some of my favorites in our store include Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment and the AlphaRet® Exfoliating Peel Pads from skinbetter science–these in particular are like a mini facial at home and are perfect when you’re between treatments!