Dr. Jackie Walters Talks Married To Medicine And Her Beauty Collabs - Exclusive Interview

Dr. Jackie Walters has been a mainstay on "Married to Medicine" since the reality series debuted in 2013. The Atlanta-based OB-GYN plays a key role in the cast, and her authentic personality makes her a favorite with fans who will get to see more of her during the show's ninth season. The trailer promises that a fair share of must-see drama will go down as the cast gets together. Seeing as Season 8 required a three-part reunion, it stands to reason that this season will bring as much or more excitement.

The reality TV star might be most recognizable for her time on Bravo, but her career extends well beyond her tenure on screen; it even extends beyond her medical practice. The celebrated physician wrote a book, which she expanded into a podcast, according to her Bravo bio. She's also recently partnered with Volition Beauty to create her first two beauty products — the Skin Rhythm Balancing & Clearing Serum and the Adaptint Super Seamless Mineral Shield SPF 30. And she's just getting started!

Walters spoke exclusively to The List about what to expect on the new season of "Married to Medicine" — including some insight on her rekindled friendship with Dr. Simone Whitmore. She spoke about her future as a doctor and businesswoman, and the mogul also broke down what sets her sunscreen apart from other options on the market, shared a handy tip on how to incorporate the product into your daily routine, and spilled on what else she's watching on Bravo. Spoiler alert: She's a "Real Housewives" fan.

Dr. Jackie Walters' castmates are 'like family'

"Married to Medicine" launched in 2013, which means that you've been working at it for almost a decade now. Did you think that you would still be here this far into the future when you first started?

I didn't doubt that I [would] be. I'm excited that I am, so I had no doubts that I would be. The first season ... I'll be honest — when I was there, I was like, "Oh, my God." But after that, it became like family, so I didn't doubt that I would hang around the family.

Over the years, some intimate family and personal situations have played out on screen. Is that ever hard for you? Is it ever hard to show so much of yourself to the public?

Oh, yeah. It's hard because the public, the Twitter world, judges hard. There have been some moments that were really hard because you actually live it out, and then you live it again during the season, and then you relive it again for reunions. You have to live that scene three times.

How do you normally handle those sorts of situations where you're constantly revisiting them?

Well, the good part about my life is I get to see 40 women a day. What I realize is my life is not making history — it has happened to somebody else or it is happening to somebody else. I've learned [in] the process that I'm not perfect, and all my pain has had a purpose and my struggles have made me stronger.

That's an incredible lesson. It's an important lesson for anyone to learn from.

Yes. I let my life be a teaching tool, and sometimes it's not always what to do. Sometimes I tell people, "Don't do this — it's what not to do."

Speaking about this season, what should people expect?

There will be a lot of excitement. When we all get together, there's never a dull moment. We will see, as we've seen in seasons past, what happens when we have our white coats on, so you'll get to live the lives through the office. Especially for me, I get to share some patient moments. 

You get to see us when the white coats come off. Now, that's a whole different world right there. Friendships are challenged. We filmed during what we feel was a COVID season that was going out, so it was still a little hard, but not as hard as the last two seasons. We got lots of excitement, lots of drama. We have tears, we have laughter, and we have a lot of teachable moments.

She missed her friendship with Dr. Simone Whitmore

One thing that's being teased is your rekindled friendship with Dr. Simone [Whitmore]. Can you tell us anything about the friendship as it is right now?

I can tell you I missed my friend. We want the world to see what happened, so we won't share much, but I can certainly tell you I've missed her. We're working on being good friends again. Sometimes it's not always to get what you had back, but to get the new and improved [version]. We are definitely working our way up a hill.

I'm glad it's working out for you — that sounds like a very special friendship. Aside from working as a doctor and filming the show, you do a couple other things ... You've released a book and run a podcast. How do you balance everything?

A lot of people ask, and I don't know if there's a true balance in life. I make it work. I start the day off with a list, and I put those things that are most important there, and I keep doing it. I make it work. I've learned this year that rest and relaxation is important. But podcasts, book ... I've created my second beauty product this year, and I'm making it work. I enjoy my life. That's what a lot of people see — it looks like it's tiring, but I enjoy what I do, so I'm never overwhelmed to the point that I'm miserable.

Another thing that was mentioned in the teaser for this season is that you're thinking about maybe finishing up your career as a doctor and looking at other business options.

I wouldn't say finishing. I wouldn't say finishing because I don't think I'll ever stop being a doctor. When you retire, you get old. But I wanted to cut back so that I could spend my time doing some other things.

Last year, you saw I created my first beauty product with Volition Beauty — a Skin Rhythm Balancing & Clearing Serum, which has been amazing. This year, I'm creating a new one, a new product with Volition — a mineral-tinted sunscreen that women of color or people of color don't focus on as much. I wanted to bring that back so that we could make sure that we're wearing sunscreen. I'm a two-time breast cancer survivor; I don't want another cancer. If I can prevent anybody from getting cancer, I wanted to do that.

Dr. Jackie Walters blends her sunscreen with her foundation

I wanted to talk about your collabs with Volition. What would you say sets your sunscreen apart from others?

Well, one — mine is a mineral seamless shield where you won't see much of a tint. For African Americans, when we put on sunscreen, we see white. I wanted to create a product — and I did — with Volition where you have minimal visible white residue when you put it on so that it fades into the skin. African Americans come in a range of beautiful melanin, so we created two tinted colors — a cool neutral undertone and a warm undertone so that we get the right color. What I've been doing is [putting a] dab of makeup in mine because that's what I want to do and put it on. You can't even tell that it's there.

You put it on with your makeup?

I put a drop of makeup in mine because I do want a little bit of coverage.

[Is this with] foundation?

Yes — [I use] a little foundation, and I put it on. I was in Greece for nine days, and I wore it every day in Greece, and it was amazing. It looked like I had on makeup.

Does adding foundation to a sunscreen product dilute how effective it is?

Adding this drop of foundation won't change its contents at all.

You mentioned that your product is a mineral sunscreen. How does that differ from other types of sunscreens?

Now you're taking me into the dermatology world ... It's a healthier coverage. It's a thinner coverage, and you're getting more protection.

What is something that you wished more people would understand about sunscreen and how important it is?

The first thing I'm going to say [is]: Everybody should wear sunscreen. Man, woman, boy, girl — everybody should wear sunscreen. For the first time this year, I actually saw a skin cancer in the genital area. I'm like, "Wow, you'd never think that would happen." [It] brought me back to why we need this product, and that it is protective to the skin. We're out in the sun a lot. We're in Atlanta where it's really hot, but everybody should wear it. Nobody thinks about it because we always think as people of color [that] the melanin protects us, and it doesn't.

Her tip for incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine is easy

Sunscreen is so important, and it's one of the products that I'm always trying to remind myself not to forget. Do you have any tips on how to smartly start putting it into your routine if you're not someone who normally uses it?

I put mine [on] with my makeup, so if it's in the same area of my makeup, I put a dab of foundation and I cover my entire face and neck with it so that I don't forget it. It's almost like I tell my patients: Put your birth control pills with your toothpaste.

Yes, so it's right there.

Yes. [It's] something you do every day and should never forget it. I make sure my sunscreen is on my makeup counter.

That's smart. Is there a minimum SPF you'd recommend for someone to look for in a sunscreen?

Yes. [SPF] 30.

Why is that?

The 30 goes with "You can reapply this every two hours as needed." When I started talking to a dermatologist about sunscreen, I had somebody tell me, "Do a SPF 100." This dermatologist said, "You don't need all that. If you stick with 30, you got the coverage you need." Typically, you're supposed to reapply it if you are out in the sun [or] in the pool every two hours or as needed, but I don't always get that done. But 30 gives you the absolute protection that you need. You don't need much more than that.

For those sunscreens that are lighter SPF protection, is it worth buying something like that, or are those things that you probably don't even need to invest in?

I'm going to go out on a limb speaking and saying I would stick with 30.

Dr. Jackie Walters is just getting started in the beauty industry

Thank you for putting on your dermatologist hat for the moment. What inspired your other Volition collab — the Skin Rhythm Balancing & Clearing Serum?

Let me tell you — that is some of the best stuff in the whole wide world. I see women ... Believe it or not, when you see your OB-GYN, most women don't just talk about female issues. We talk about skin. We talk about hair [and] nails, and women are always complaining about their skin. It's either acne or "My skin is too oily." 

I see patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome where they're very oily and [have] cystic acne. I have spoken with dermatologists who will compound products. I wanted something that everybody could use that would take care of all those hormonal imbalances we get as women. My collaboration with Volition was the idea. It has three assets in it and it has worked. Everybody who uses it tells me they love it.

I see it keeps selling out. I saw your video on Instagram that you were advertising for the restock. It looks like it's doing incredible — congratulations.

Yes. It's on Ulta.com, and every time we do a special with them, it sells out.

The beauty world is so competitive, so to see that sort of success means that you've nailed on something that's working.

What I'm learning is there's so much room for everybody in the beauty world because everybody likes something different. This one has worked well. I'm sure it's going to be just as well with the sunscreen because getting the word out there that we need to wear sunscreen is half the battle. That's what I intend to do this year.

Do you picture a third collab with Volition, or do you think maybe you're done with the beauty industry for a while?

Oh, no. I can see me having a whole beauty line.

What would you want to do next if you had the choice?


What's your favorite makeup product?

We mix and match in my beauty world, so we don't really take one color. We have a color over here, and a color over here to actually get the color that I want. My favorite right now is a little bit of NARS and a little bit of MAC.

I started playing in makeup during the pandemic, and I have an embarrassingly large eyeshadow collection.

Oh, me too! You end up with the same colors over and over, but the palettes are so attractive.

'Your greatest wealth is your health'

The other thing you've spoken candidly about is your experience with breast cancer. What is something that you wish people understood about cancer?

It's not prejudiced. Cancer — period — it doesn't [discriminate in] who it impacts. Your greatest wealth is your health. I want to tell all women that early detection is your best protection. Do your breast self-exams; eat to live; make sure you're doing your clinical breast exams. If you are of the age, make sure you're getting a mammogram and then know your family history. Genetics is so important. A lot of family lines will [be like] my mother had it, my cousin had it, and my sister had it. Know your family history.

What advice do you have for someone if they have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer?

Understand which diagnosis you have, understand your treatment plan, [and] keep a journal because the journey isn't always for you. Sometimes, journaling is just to look back and be able to tell somebody else what they can do and how you did it. But have a great relationship with your doctors, ask questions, and always have a support person who can ask those questions when you're too weak sometimes to ask.

The idea of journaling is such a smart thing that people might not think about in particular.

We created [the] 50 Shades of Pink Foundation because I would dress up to go to chemo. That's what I needed — I wanted to look good. We know when people look good, they feel good, and that's our motto: Look good, feel good, do good. I truly encourage if it's a little bit of lipstick ... and I don't want to talk about vanity. But that's what helped me and tons of other women I know — a fingernail polish to cover those nails, lipstick ... Anything you found or like that makes you feel good, use it.

Dr. Jackie Walters is down for Season 10 of Married to Medicine

Shifting back over to "Married to Medicine," how would you say your experience with this show has changed over the years?

It's become almost easier to deal with. I don't want to say "deal with" — that sounds negative. But it's become easier. We know each other; we know the expectations; we share our lives. It has become easier for me.

Speaking to you, you're such an authentic person. How do you stay true to yourself while living life in front of the camera?

Well, I'm going to tell you, after two breast cancers, chemo, radiation, and infertility, living out infidelity on TV — I have no shame. We started out with me saying I used my life as a teaching tool, and it's sometimes to tell people I messed up. I didn't get it right, I messed up with my friend, and [I'm] being transparent.

Are you thinking at all about the possibility of a Season 10 for the show yet? Or is that something where you'll cross that bridge when it comes?

Oh, no, I like that idea. That's a great suggestion!

Who do we have to talk to?

Yes. After people watch "Married to Medicine" this season, they can't get enough. I promise you, this is probably one of those seasons where everybody will be on the edge of their seat like, "What's happening next?"

We need more! Last season you guys had three reunions. Will you do that many again this season?

I don't get to decide that one, but I would love to think we may have to have four.

Do it bigger and better.

We got a lot to unpack this season.

What else do you watch on Bravo?

I absolutely love "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." You've definitely seen my patients, and nobody has better patients than me. I love "[The Real] Housewives of Potomac." You can never get enough of "Watch What Happens Live," so I love Andy [Cohen]. I love Andy. But those are my two big shows. I don't have a lot of time, but I make sure I set my DVR so if I can't see those two [live], I'm watching those.

I haven't watched "Housewives" yet, but those are going to have to get added to my watch list because I've heard so many great things ... Sounds like a good place to start.

They're good. They'll keep you going too. After you watch "Married to Medicine," then you can catch the "Real Housewives"!

New episodes of "Married to Medicine" air Sundays on Bravo at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.

This interview was edited for clarity.