Get to know Dr. Sarmela Sunder

Get to know Dr. Sarmela Sunder

At Pore House, our philosophy is to bring all things skin health under one roof. So when we met Dr. Sarmela Sunder, we knew she would be the perfect addition to our team. Dr. Sunder is a double-board certified, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon whose pioneering techniques have gained global recognition from her patients, colleagues and the media. 

Dr. Sunder studied at Johns Hopkins University and continued her medical education at Cornell Medical College and completed a residency program at Stanford University culminating with her serving as Chief Resident. As a globally recognized master injector with Allergan, she trains fellow providers on her innovative techniques and we are thrilled to give our patients and providers access to her expertise! 


Why did you choose plastic surgery as a specialty?

"I wanted to enable people to feel more empowered about their appearance. For me, going into plastic surgery was a way to help people take control of their confidence, empowering them to feel their best selves and live their best lives. I also love how this specialty combines art with medicine – I truly feel like I practice art on a regular basis to bring harmony and balance to the faces of my patients."


Do you have any areas of skin health that you are particularly interested in?  

"I’m particularly interested in skin of color and injectables. As a woman of color, I think it is so important to coach patients on the nuances in how skin ages and courses of treatment that can vary dramatically depending on skin tone and melanin content. I also love how much more empowered people have become when it comes to injectables. While there has been traditionally a stigma against all sorts of cosmetic treatments, I feel like that has really abated over the past few years. I also love the surgical aspect of my job. My favorite surgeries are face lifts, neck lifts, brow lifts, eyelid lifts and rhinoplasty." 


What is one adjective that your patients would use to describe you?

"Honest and compassionate"


Tell us about your personal skincare routine.

"I start my skincare routine with serums. In the morning, for medical grade skincare, I like using SkinCeuticals® Phloretin CF® to help prevent pigmentation, followed by a moisturizer and finishing off with SPF. During colder months, I often switch to a heavier, more hydrating moisturizer like SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore. I usually opt, if possible, for a foundation that includes SPF for an additional layer of sun protection. Each night, I double cleanse with an oil based balm and then a gentle water-based cleanser to remove any additional impurities. Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with a glycolic acid or salicylic acid formula. I also use a prescription-strength retinoid several times per week. On nights I’m not using retinoids, I use antioxidant resveratrol. In my early thirties I started using injectable wrinkle reducers, which I do every three to six months."


What is your favorite wellness routine or favorite way to de-stress? 

"I love spending time outside with my husband and kids. I try to regularly practice gratitude and mindfulness – something that has been so important in recent months. 

I also look to skincare as a form of self-care. The few minutes I spend at night, applying my nighttime skincare really serves as a way for me to decompress from the day."


Any other fun facts? 

"My mom was the first person to teach me about skincare. She passed down a lot of DIY tips – like washing my face with milk or yogurt on certain occasions. I now realize why – lactic acid for exfoliation in the milk and yogurt.

Over the past few years, I have dedicated time towards humanitarian causes in various parts of India, Ecuador and the Philippines, and have gone on trips to perform cleft lip and cleft palate repairs as well as ear reconstructions for patients born without an ear (microtia repair). I’m also a participant in programs offering my services pro bono to victims of domestic abuse."

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