Dr. Howard Sobel has been a practicing New York City dermatologist and dermatologic cosmetic surgeon for more than 25 years, combining modern technology with cosmetic skin care. He has been recognized by New York magazine and the Castle Connelly Guide as voted top dermatologic cosmetic surgeon by his peers for the past 10 years. He was the first editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology and is a clinical attending in dermatology and dermatologic surgery at both Lenox Hill and Beth Israel hospitals in New York City.
In 1991, Dr. Sobel was among the first to pioneer the union of cosmetic dermatology and topical skin care when he founded HDS Cosmetic Lab, a line of skin-care products that delivered excellent results without a prescription. The line quickly became popular and was available through upscale spas, estheticians, and small retail stores.
Educating the Market
In 1993, Dr. Sobel was joined by his sister, nutritional expert Elaine Linker, to help expand HDS’s retail distribution, making true dermatologic products available to consumers. In an effort to formally educate the esthetic market, Dr. Sobel began giving lectures around the country, while Elaine published a newsletter and conducted workshops. HDS was now in position to become the informative brand in the esthetic marketplace.
In 1994, HDS formed a relationship with a leading biochemist and began exploring cell physiology. At the same time, Dr. Sobel co-authored the first of numerous articles on the benefits of growth factors, proteins, and peptides.
DDF Is Born
In 1995, the name was changed to DDF (Doctor's Dermatologic Formula) to help define the brand as a doctor's dermatologic line. DDF developed its legendary mantra — Cleanse. Protect. Treat. — focusing on anti-aging (preventative and restorative), acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, sun protection, and sensitive-allergic conditions. DDF expanded distribution to spas, retail stores, and international markets, becoming one of the first doctor-preferred skin-care lines sold at Sephora when the chain debuted in the U.S. in 1998.
Proter & Gamble
In 2007, DDF was acquired by Procter & Gamble. Dr Sobel and Elaine Linker continue to serve as consultants to the brand. P&G's portfolio of leading global beauty brands includes SK-II, Olay®, Hugo Boss, Wella, Graham Webb, Sebastian, and Pantene®.