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Expert Interview with Leena Sukumar on Wellness, Health, Beauty and Skincare


“Healthy skin is achievable when you follow a healthy lifestyle in addition to using the right products for your unique skin,” explains Leena Sukumar of mySkin. She recently chatted with us about the intersection of wellness, health, beauty, and skincare. Read on to also discover her must-have beauty products – as well as a beauty myth she’d like to debunk.

What is your professional background? How has it served you in your position with mySkin?

I have been passionate about skincare, health and wellness all my life. My educational background is in engineering. Prior to mySkin, I helped launched cell phones across the world at Motorola, so I was already very familiar with creating and delivering quality devices to consumers.

After I got an MBA in Marketing and Strategy to supplement my technical skills, I was at that stage in my career where I wanted to be part of a tech startup in the health and wellness space. At that time, there was no way to really measure the health of skin, the largest organ of the human body; but the founders at mySkin had a vision of creating cutting edge products at the intersection of skincare and technology – which instantly resonated with me.

My interest and background were perfectly suited to the endeavor of creating this new category of skincare diagnostics, where I could make an immediate difference since I understood the tech world and consumer world well.

What’s so great and unique about the services offered by mySkin?

Our products and services are unparalleled in the skincare diagnostics space. The genesis of our technology is in skin cancer and melanoma detection, so we come from a very strong medical background. Our technology was developed against the gold standard of diagnostic tools used in research labs within the skin care industry, and it has been proven effective in tests on thousands of people with many different skin types all over the world.

It is the only transdermal skin diagnostic system which tells you more about the health of your skin by using visible spectrum of light (no UV or IR light) to read below the surface. Dermograph is now being used in five continents worldwide, and our partners are very happy with the level of skin care expertise it allows beauty advisors and estheticians to offer customers.

OKU is poised to transform the consumer skincare diagnostic space. It is a one-of-a-kind device designed to be your personal skin coach to help you achieve better skin and maintain it. It’s a power-packed cube which works with our proprietary app to: analyze your skin; provide you personalized lifestyle and product recommendations to address your skin concerns via crowdsourcing and connections to your SkinTwin (someone who has an identical skin profile as yours); and track your skin health over time to ensure your skin is improving or staying great.

What are your own must-have beauty products?

I try to keep it simple and often use fresh kitchen ingredients to create moisturizing and topically nutritious face masks, such as vegetables, yogurt, milk cream, gram flour, and lime juice. However, I do have some store bought products in my skincare cabinet: tinted organic sunscreen by Marie Veronique, Dickenson’s witch hazel for toning/cleansing, Keihl’s Skin brightening exfoliator once a week to slough off dead skin cells (crucial especially in summer), and retinol-based PCA skincare for night time. I use oils to keep my skin supple and moist; olive, almond and jojoba oils are my favorites. VMW Hypoallergenics has a great acne treatment gel that I use for periodic zits that show up.

What’s a skin care secret that you wish more people knew?

Frown less! It causes more wrinkles and lines on your face than you could care for. Happiness, less stress, and more sleep are key to better skin. These are not secrets, but I’d like to emphasize them.

How important do you think it is for people to have a regular skin care regimen?

I believe it is very important. I know a few people who have amazing skin even though they do not cleanse or moisturize regularly, but they are in the minority of people who are blessed with great genes and a low-stress lifestyle. For most of us, the effects of time, genes and collagen breakdown will all show on our faces as we age. So start young with a consistent skin care regimen appropriate for your skin type (cleanse, moisturize, and treat), and the efforts you put in will pay off in the long term with great results.

What’s one skin myth that you wish you could permanently debunk?

That oily skin is bad for you! Oil keeps your moisture locked in and helps you look younger as you age, so it’s a blessing in disguise – provided it doesn’t result in clogged pores or acne, which sometimes is a part of the growing pains of oily skin in your youth. Blotting out excess oils is okay, but don’t deplete your skin of its natural oils.

How do you think you achieved your success with mySkin?

Patience, perseverance, creativity, openness to new ideas, and working with a super talented team have all helped fuel our success and allowed us to stay two steps ahead of industry advancements. It’s all a team effort. Also, we pay close attention to our customer’s needs. They help us succeed in building successful products and services that fit or exceed their expectations.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Use the right products for your unique skin. Also, avoid tanning booths and excessive sun exposure. Eat healthy and maintain an active lifestyle. Get facials and massages periodically to pamper yourself.

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