Who Writes This Stuff?

15 Minute Beauty

My name is Christine, I’m a Pediatric Critical Care doctor in the midwest. I’m married to a great guy, and we have two adorable little girls that I don’t mention much on the site. They keep me super busy, most of my time is spent trying to be super mom (I’m only partially successful).

I’m a product junkie and always have been. In high school I had every flavor of Lip Smacker, I tried about 20 types of Noxema, I couldn’t just have the “original” Noxema. I have to try everything that is new in Makeup, Skin Care, etc. I can’t help it, this is just the way I am.

Most mornings I struggle to get time to pull myself together. I am not a morning person, so I want every last minute of sleep that I can get. But I still want to be able to do something each morning. I don’t need to be the hot, trying much too hard mom, but I don’t want to be frump mom either. I haven’t given up yet!

15 Minute Beauty started as a way for me to stop offering comments on every one else’s beauty blog everyday and keep track of stuff I have loved. I like to look at the science behind a product to see why something will (or won’t) work, and to educate others. Hearing about pores opening and closing is like nails on a chalkboard for me, the pores can’t do that!

Hopefully I’ve pointed my readers in the direction of some great products, steered them clear of some horrible ones and given them some info on the science behind beauty!


  1. Brett
    February 2, 2011 / 2:59 pm

    Love the site and love the honesty. It is inspirational.

  2. February 20, 2011 / 4:15 am

    very good, keep it up

  3. March 10, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    Great blog! I love that you are a doctor and love to write about something other than health. I am a pharmacy student but also have a makeup addiction, haha 🙂

  4. May 26, 2011 / 4:34 am

    Hi Christine, I love your blog! I have been reading it from time to time for a couple of months now. I found your blog when I was looking for more information on Creme de la mer and Kiehl. Love those products and I bought those after confirming my interest by reading your blog 🙂

    I am currently on ceramic braces, and they stained easily. Living in south east Asia, where all the food mostly use colorful herbs such as turmeric really makes it hard to maintain the clarity of my ligatures.

    I noticed you rarely discuss about toothpaste. I wonder if you can share some of your experience in whitening toothpaste or some sort.
    That is if you happen to have used a good one. If your recommendation is available around here, I'll try it on for a couple of weeks and I am more than happy to share the results with you.

    Thank you.

  5. May 26, 2011 / 11:00 am

    Hi Tralala- I don't cover dental products at all on purpose. As I'm a physician, I think readers would expect a certain level of info about these products, and I'm simply not a dentist, nor have I been trained about dental health (the teeth received a whopping 1/2 day of coverage in my medical school training) I don't really have any products to recommend as I don't use whitening products. Perhaps there are some friends that could give you a recommendation? I'm sorry I can't be more helpful!

  6. June 14, 2011 / 6:22 am

    I just discovered your blog and enjoy your no nonsense, straight forward approach. Thank you for sharing your helpful new blogger tips. I started blogging about a year ago about my mission work (I am an OB/GYN and surgeon) to increase awareness about the lack of access to healthcare for women and children. I also introduced my skincare line which funds my mission work. I will be back for more of your helpful tips.
    Thank you

  7. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    You post on here that you cannot use hydroxy acids while pregnant. I have read conflicting information: that alpha hydroxy acids are okay to use, but beta hydroxy acids are not. Also, you wrote put that benzoyl peroxide is not okay to use, but my OB told me that it was okay. Thoughts? Slightly concerned because i have been using topical alpha hydroxy acid on and off during my pregnancy – 29 weeks today

  8. July 19, 2011 / 6:29 pm

    In the post on ingredients to avoid while pregnant I've made a lot of generalizations about ingredient categories. For example, the group "hydroxy acids" is really about 20 different things, all of which have different evidence saying they are or are not safe in pregnancy. In general, the little bit of evidence out there for both any hydroxy acid (except Lactic Acid) and for Benzoyl Peroxide is from animal data and is somewhat conflicting. I try to keep my site readable for those in the general public, which is why I didn't launch into a full literature review in the post. 😀

    As far as I know ACOG doesn't have a list of topical ingredients that they tell members to tell their patients to avoid while pregnant. So, depending on how conservative your OB is regarding their recommendations for this (not super conservative if they are saying that Benzoyl Peroxide is safe), that will sway their recommendations.

    My OB when I was pregnant was conservative, as am I in my recommendations (I'm looking at the evidence from a pediatrician's perspective, not that of an OB.) Benzoyl Peroxide was actually written in caps, bold letters on the list of things to avoid during pregnancy and the education nurse made a point of pointing it out along with the hydroxy acids on my hand out, telling me I wasn't allowed to use any of the over the counter acne meds. Because I would want to use them. But they strongly recommended against it.

    So really this is all about how you look at the literature. Those that are really conservative will say that something has to be proven safe (me and my OB), others will say that something that has been in widespread use and not found to cause harm in humans is probably fine (I'm guessing that this is your OB). And honestly, it isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer regarding those ingredients right now, it's just a style of interpreting the scientific literature. What would really be wrong would be ignoring the evidence about retinoids during pregnancy and saying that's ok. This is definitely not the same thing. Your body produces Lactic Acid on its own anyways, it's not like you can completely avoid that.

    Having said all of that, since the evidence isn't strong about not using Benzoyl Peroxide or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, I wouldn't stress about it now if I was you. Those have been used by plenty of pregnant women around the world without them having issues or worrying too much about it. The evidence that is available is mostly in animals, and even then who really knows how much of this stuff can be absorbed into your body and actually become systemic? The correct answer is a lot less than they used in those studies. Which again, done in animals. Not the same as humans.

    I think just decide which approach to ingredient avoidance you prefer, that of your OB (who is probably a bit more practical than me), or me and my OB and our very conservative approach. 😀 Whichever you feel jives better for you, go with that. And don't worry about what has happened until now. Instead worry about things like nursery colors and deciding about cloth vs. disposable diapers. I recommend going to read the Lazy Mom's Guide to Cloth Diapering. I spent my 3rd trimester obsessing over the diaper situation!

  9. Anonymous
    September 1, 2011 / 5:03 am

    Just found this blog. SO GREAT! I think your idea of reviewing products with your unbiased opinion is fantastic.

    I stumbled upon this in a google search for Rosacea and Creme de La Mer. I have tried those tiny samples but I don't think I have enough to really see a difference. Also, I have somewhat oily skin (not dry at all) and it's very sensitive. All of that to say I was hunting for reviews from people like me and somehow found this adorable blog. Love it!! =)

    I love to try new products (my bathroom could literally pass as a Sephora) and love reviewing them for friends. Your blog is exactly what I would do myself if I ever wrote down all of my findings/thoughts.

    Just thought i'd tell you it's a great blog and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you and your product reviews.


  10. September 1, 2011 / 12:58 pm

    Thanks J! I always love to hear when people enjoy the crazy blog I create in my free time. 😀

  11. CeCe
    January 19, 2012 / 3:04 am

    I found this blog a few days ago and love it!
    I got my friends to read and try a few ideas with me, and all your advice has been spectacular. It is a fresh, inspirational way of taking the beauty blog (which, hello, hasn't everyone done that), and turning it into something people want to read. I am a fellow beauty addict, and have to do quick makeup, like you, to get to class on time, and still look good. Thanks for writing!

  12. January 19, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks so much for your kind words CeCe! Let me know if there are any topics you'd like to have covered that would be particularly helpful for you!

  13. February 2, 2012 / 10:13 am

    Hi Christine! I'm Syen, a long time reader of your blog from Malaysia, even though I rarely comment. So glad to finally now see the beautiful person behind the blog. It feels like I'm finally meeting you! =) Keep up the great work!

  14. February 2, 2012 / 5:39 pm

    Thanks Syen!

  15. February 21, 2012 / 1:35 am

    Hi Christine,
    Thanks for making such a great site! I found it through your comparison between La Mer and Nivea and love that you not only try it but also review the ingredients and what you know about how they might work. I also love that you are almost exactly my age, skin-type etc etc 🙂
    Could you please review a few more New Zealand made products such as Trilogy Rosehip Oil (I use just a few drops and only apply after washing my face to very slightly moist skin – doesn't make me break out and does seem to do what they say it does) and Living Nature foundations? I'm the opposite of you in that I am scared to put anything on my skin (so many things go wrong if I do) so these are among the very few things I ever use regularly (along with a Dr Hauschka eye-liner & mascara that doesn't irritate my eyes). I'd really love to know what you think and how they compare.

  16. February 21, 2012 / 2:51 am

    Hi Ru!
    Thanks for your kind words about my blog! I'll add them to my list of things to check out. Hopefully sometime! 😀

  17. April 28, 2012 / 11:00 pm

    Nicole Kidman has nothing on you. You are incredibly beautiful with your little Mona Lisa smile!

  18. Linda Hamel
    May 14, 2012 / 2:39 pm

    Hi Christine- I am a 56 year old female, who has always had dry skin. My biggest problem is under eye dryness with wrinkles where makeup tends to lay and darkness. I have tried so many things. What would you suggest?
    ps..you know my daughter Melissa.
    Thank you,

  19. Anonymous
    May 25, 2012 / 5:16 pm

    Have you ever tried the Rodan+Fields Skin Care Regimen's? IF you have what do you think of them. I understand that the Dr's who created the skin care line created Proactiv.

  20. May 28, 2012 / 12:35 am

    I'm sending some things to you via Melissa! 😀

    Anon- I haven't tried it out, but I've heard really good things about the line.

  21. Linda Hamel
    May 30, 2012 / 11:41 am

    Christine – thank you!

  22. Linda Hamel
    June 18, 2012 / 3:52 pm

    I will let you know how I like the eye products, thanks so much!

  23. August 2, 2012 / 3:45 pm

    I am a huge fan of Rodan and Fields products. How can I get you to try them out and review them? 🙂

  24. August 2, 2012 / 9:58 pm

    I'm working with the company now, though we've started with the classic ProActiv products. Hopefully soon!

  25. Anonymous
    August 7, 2012 / 7:49 pm

    I found this site from searching for reviews for darphin products. And I cannot be more happy~ Thank you!

    A PICU RN from Sickkids.

  26. Anonymous
    November 28, 2012 / 7:34 pm

    Hi, Ive just stumbled across your blog in my mad googling of ingredients that are safe during pregnancy. In regard to retinyl palmitate, I find it funny that you are so against it being in a topical product in any quantity. I am fairly cautious myself but logically my thoughts are that Vitamin A is in most of the mainstream prenatals recommended by doctors i.e. Materna. Of course there is a limit to how much should be taken so perhaps this is why you dont want people to use it in a topical form as well? Personally I would never use Materna as I am interested in quality natural products so I have a whole food multivitamin that has the Beta Carotene. That way I dont have to worry about the synthetic vitamin A. I have struggled with breakouts since I was 14 and now I am mid 30's – the childbearing years so finding products I can still use to keep my skin clear is very important. I use the PCA clearskin product which does contain a small amount of retinyl palmitate (one of the last ingredients) and I am not worried about it. I believe my mineral makeup has it as well but I am sure that I am not absorbing nearly close to what would be considered too high especially since I am not consuming any synthetic vitamin A in supplement form.
    I think this is a great forum to discuss these things as it is very daunting all of the misinformation on the internet. Really everyone has their own thoughts and even in health there doesn't appear to be one truth. However one thing for sure is that stress and worry is not helpful and pregnant women will already have that anyways so no point in stressing over topical beauty products?? I will probably still worry though!

  27. December 6, 2012 / 1:56 am

    just found you. You are right on the money!

  28. January 19, 2013 / 6:46 am

    just got to know you, congrats for so many awards..keep up the good work

  29. Yelena
    April 28, 2013 / 5:22 pm

    I literally just discovered your blog and feel like I want to be your friend already, lol. I can relate to wanting to know the science behind things 1st and to the minor eczema and itchy scalp that's not dandruff ;/,haha. Glad I discovered you, antiaging consumes a good bit of my time as well.

  30. Anonymous
    April 28, 2013 / 5:51 pm

    i'm also a picu doc in the midwest — just wanted to say that i love your blog, check it all the time, and have been following you for at least a few years — it's awesome!! (and very applicable to my lifestyle, which is extremely helpful to me) i can't wait to try your manicure tips — i always love to get manicures but hate to see them destroyed in the process of the gel soap and hand washing — so i forgo them. maybe this will be the trick for me! keep up the great work 🙂

  31. April 28, 2013 / 6:42 pm

    Thanks everyone!!

    And Anon, another PICU doc??? There are so few of us! Send me an email sometime or maybe we'll meet up at SCCM!

  32. May 17, 2013 / 7:59 pm

    You've inspired me so much & I love your blog ^-^ I was totally clueless to make-up until I found a picture from your blog when I was googling something. Eventually, I found your blog & subscribed! 🙂

  33. May 26, 2013 / 11:10 am

    Christine, you are just awesome! I love your blogs. I'm a boy. I know the viewers of your blog may be the girls mostly but I became conscious for my skin since I got acne on my face. I still have them although in less quantity. I feel your blog will be very helpful for me. Love your Blog. Thanks!

  34. June 1, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    Christine count me as one of your new followers. Just discovered your blog a few months ago. I. LOVE coming here for my product fix. Amazed at all the recognition you've received in so many publications. HOW do you find time to put out such excellent and well researched blogs?

    Love the graphics so much. Your eye makeup is lovely in this pic.

  35. June 1, 2013 / 9:35 pm

    @manoj- Thank you! I love hearing that people find my site helpful. And there's definitely a lot here that can be helpful for guys too!

    @Brigid- I have no idea how I find the time! I'm a bit obsessed. And I love this picture of me (It was Nov 2011, I'm sitting on my office floor…), I think I'm mostly wearing a TON of eye liner! LOL

  36. September 1, 2013 / 12:26 am

    I used to have that porcelain– nay, alabaster– skintone, and it was nigh impossible to find good foundation and powder. Thankfully that has gotten somewhat easier. You look fantastic. How's that Midwestern climate lately? I used to live in Indy, so I'm pretty sure I know where you're coming from.

    If ever you're near Buffalo, NY, do let me know– we can have a girly beauty chat.

    Peace, Mari

  37. October 14, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    Nice to read that I am not the only beauty junkie working in the medical field (I just started my recidency in Ob/gyn.) There were quite a few similarities 😉

  38. October 14, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    I love your blog and check it out everyday whenever you post a tweet! I see that you are my age (also born in 77 eeeeks!). How did you feel starting out when you were a newborn blogger? My blog is only a month old but it's a little discouraging when I see so many young ladies in their early 20s with these amazing blogs…I even stumbled upon a great blog the other day from a 15 year old!

    I do love blogging and I will continue but I just wanted to see what your thoughts were on the age thing.


  39. October 16, 2013 / 12:44 am

    Hi there!
    When I started my blog waaaaay back in 2007, there were no where near as many bloggers as there are now. It's completely insane to me how many there are now. I think the important thing is to keep at it on your own, ignore other people and develop your own voice/niche.

    I think there are blogs out there for everyone! I personally don't relate to blogs at all from the really young ones. We have nothing in common, I hate ReadIng WordS tHat are strangely spelled/ capitalized (though that's obviously a generalization), and I don't really have the same taste as them. Most of the bloggers that I read are over 25. I think just ignore them, read what you relate to, but keep plugging away! Most bloggers don't make it longer than 6 months. If you make it to that point, go back to read your first few posts and you'll be amazed at how much your voice has changed.

  40. December 2, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    Hi Christine,
    My name is Vik Sachar, I too am an MD, I am a double board certified high risk Ob/Gyn (Maternal Fetal Medicine). Congratulations on your great blog!
    To address alot of the concerns you brought up, I created the world's first Cosmetic/Makeup line dedicated toward safe, non-toxic cosmetics for pregnancy. My site is at http://www.VSacharMD.com , I would love to hear your review. I didn't want to be just a product site, so I have also included a site called the Pregnancy Channel, where I have videos,and blog posts on important pregnancy topics. Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
    V.Sachar, MD
    [email protected]

  41. February 8, 2014 / 8:29 pm

    hi like your blog
    I agree its hard to get ready with little time in the morning especially when you have kids lol


  42. February 13, 2014 / 7:14 pm

    Love your blog!!! I have had a love for beauty products (call it an obsession) for as long as I can remember. After reading this post I created a blog! Lots of great info, thanks:)

  43. Anonymous
    March 14, 2014 / 5:09 pm

    Is it safe to use dry shampoos on 8 year old girls. Sometimes my daughter sweats so much at night her hair will be greasy the next day and sometimes smell like sweat. Are those sprays safe for that age? (She takes her baths the night before)

  44. March 15, 2014 / 12:41 am

    My only concern for using dry shampoo on your daughter would be if she has asthma or another pulmonary issue, the mist wouldn't be great. Otherwise it is worth a shot! I do think it would be hard to switch to am showers/tubs at this age before school, but that might be what you need to do.