Dr Ava Shamban
Featuring in top publications and websites and appearing on shows like “Extreme Makeover” and “The Doctors” as a dermatology expert, it’s clear Dr Ava Shamban’s skin care ethos is an international sensation. The Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine, who also has practices in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and writes in medical journals, has a skin care line and a book to boot.
Shamban, a Harvard University and Case Western Reserve Medical School graduate, talks to Roula Allam about her multimodal approach, the best ways to rejuvenate skin and the importance of always looking good.
You’re a pioneer in developing the multimodal treatment approach to skin problems like acne. How does it work?
Acne is a multi-faceted condition that has interplay of bacteria, oil production and inflammation. Effective results means targeting every aspect of acne and developing a treatment programme that includes multiple devices, hence the term multimodal, to address every aspect of the condition. For example, a series of peels and laser treatments for the redness and scarring as well as injectables for old scars and a topical skin care programme.
What about when it comes to ageing?
I apply the same philosophy to the treatment of ageing. As we age, we see changes that occur at every layer of the skin. The top layer can get brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Below the skin we see a shrinking and decent of fat pads…even the bones shrink. The face takes on a flat, hallow appearance. I use a combination of peels, lasers, fillers and skin tighteners to give the optimal results.
What are the most important steps to achieving rejuvenated skin naturally, including our nutritional and physical habits?
There is significant research data to support that more sleep, more exercise and a diet that is mostly plant-based without any refined foods, not only makes your internal organs healthier, but also your skin healthier and prettier.
What are your guidelines for the approaching spring/summer season?
Over the winter your skin can get dull and sallow-looking. To rejuvenate your skin from the winter months, use a microdermabrasion followed by skin care that includes hyaluronic and alpha-hydroxy acids, which can brighten your skin. Also, having a peel, and of course, breaking out your sunscreen, are a must as we approach the summer season!
In your book “Heal Your Skin” you touch on how women should look their best even in trying times. Can you share your thoughts on this?
When everything else is out of control in your life, it’s nice to be able to take charge of your skin. There is a positive feedback loop that exists when you look better, you feel better. Your self-esteem is stronger and you can make better choices in your life. I’m a strong believer that no matter what happens in your life, it doesn’t have to show on your skin. At the end of the day, no matter what is going on in your life, you want to look better than you feel, because you don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
Research has shown women in the Middle East have the healthiest and youngest-looking skin. How are they getting things right?
The fresh, delicious food and enjoyment of life, which is simply part of the culture, plays a big role in youthful-looking skin.
Is your skin care line available to women in the region?
It’s available online in the US at www.avamd.com.
Can you give us some skin care tips we can follow easily at home?
Here are a couple of do-it-yourself at-home skin care recipes that can also be found in my book, “Heal Your Skin”:
GREEN TEA-ROSEWATER MIST
½ cup water
2 green tea bags
½ cup rose water
Boil water, add tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add rosewater. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Refrigerate and rest in a sealed jar.
OATMEAL & HONEY SCRUB
1 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon honey, warm
In a blender, grind the oats with sunflower seeds. In a glass bowl, combine mixture with yogurt and honey. Gently massage onto your face, neck or chest. Leave on for three minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
For skin that tends to be a little drier, try my Milk Mask:
2 tablespoons powdered milk
¼ cup yogurt
½ teaspoon honey
Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl until well blended. Apply to your face, neck or chest. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with room temperature water.