An Interview With Dr. Alina Sholar: The Beauty Expert Doctor To Doctors

Dr. Alina Sholar is a renowned plastic surgeon based in Austin, TX, the founder of Skin Science Soul by Dr. Sholar and her much-adored Dr2Dr skincare program exclusively for physicians. Dr. Sholar is recognized nationally as an aesthetic laser expert and is frequently featured in national media outlets. After completing a full five-year general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, she went on to a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Tennessee. Her plastic surgery training included not only aesthetic surgery, but also dermatology, non-invasive and laser aesthetic treatments, reconstruction related to craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, hand surgery, burn surgery, and breast surgery. She received multiple awards and publications in research areas such as the efficacy of treatment at Tertiary Care Wound Centers and the advanced reconstructive techniques required after major facial trauma and infections in journals including the prestigious Annals of Plastic Surgery. She was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 2008. Dr. Alina Sholar is not only known for her unparalleled medical background, she also builds a true connection with her patients, with an easy girl’s-girl relatability.

Dr. Alina SholarPhoto Credit: ShutterstockAustin, TX Plastic Surgeon Dr. Alina Sholar, M.D. opens up about why other physicians look to her for their unique skincare needs.

Starlets and models may flock to Beverly Hills facialists before big events, but physicians enthusiastically head to Dr. Alina Sholar, M.D. for their skincare needs and treatment recommendations.

A top-notch skin physician is a must for anyone who finds themselves in front of a camera or on the red carpet, but more and more discerning physicians need someone to turn to for au courant aesthetics, too. Flawless, ageless skin takes effort for everyone, so when physicians find themselves with a dull complexion, sensitive skin, or the tell-tale signs of aging, they seek out a skin expert who gives them the straight-up science on what’s going on in their skin. They don’t get fooled by fluffy marketing claims and hype, and Austin, TX Plastic Surgeon and skin physician, Dr. Alina Sholar is there for them with the evidence-based knowledge they demand. So, we asked Dr. Sholar why hundreds of other top physicians have her on speed-dial for their own skincare needs.

Haute Beauty: Dr. Sholar, what is your Dr2Dr program?

Dr2Dr is an especially fun and fulfilling part of my practice, where I am honored to consult with physicians- mostly other women physicians- from all over the country on their aesthetic and skincare needs. Together we discuss what skin concerns they may be having, any medical issues that may impact their skin, their lifestyle requirements, how certain nutritional factors impact the skin, and targeted questions about their skin’s individual physiologic behavior that help guide me toward a bespoke skincare regimen that suits them uniquely. I perform a “forensic” analysis of their current products’ ingredient list and formulations, then advise them on what products to keep and how to incorporate them into a properly applied regimen, what to repurpose, and what to toss.

HB: How do you choose skincare products for each physician?

The marketing of skin care products is a big business, and as such, there is a ton of misinformation out there. Product companies have misled consumers into believing certain things about personal care products by spending millions of dollars on brand management and advertising in the hopes of making their products seem especially appealing in the eyes of consumers. To that end, ads can use exaggerating claims and superlative subjective terms such as dermatologist-approved, clinically-tested, clinical strength, patented technology, and age-defying to name a few, with the intent to hoodwink.

I cut through all of that and get to the product science. Just as medical care is data-driven, I guide these physicians to products that do have solid research backing them up and have been developed with elegant, efficacious formulations that are shown to work with the biochemistry and physiology of the skin. Physicians, foremost and forever scientists, appreciate this. With an unwavering dedication to science, independent clinical testing, and results that prove the products work, I present to them only physician-directed, medical-grade products formulated with benefits of both high-tech and natural ingredients that protect, strengthen, and rejuvenate the skin, yet are without the use of parabens, phthalates, plasticizers, artificial fragrances and dyes, and harsh emulsifiers and detergents. Another bonus: all products I recommend are cruelty-free. This high-bar standard for skincare products is especially important for those who understand that products topically applied can impact the health of the skin as well as the rest of the body.

Finally, I choose products that suit their lifestyle, preferences, and skin needs. We carefully use biometric measurements and a directed interview to determine physiologically and uniquely what is going on in their individual skin. Just like a fingerprint, every person’s skin is unique to them, so I educate them about how to reach their individual skin goals and provide the step-by-step regimen for morning and night as a pathway to reach those goals. Skin doesn’t fit neatly into a few “type” categories but instead has an array of presentations and problems. What is most unique is that I can custom-formulate products in-house that are bespoke- tailored specifically to address their distinct skin needs.

HB: Physicians are always so busy! How do they have time to take care of their skin?

Currently, I have hundreds of physicians participating in the Dr2Dr program, receiving consults, recommendations, and complete skincare regimens. Flawless, ageless skin takes effort, and the proper mix of prevention and correction with skincare and in-office treatments is essential for a picture-perfect complexion. It is hard for most women to make time to take care of their skin, but it is a really essential part of self-care. Carving out five minutes to dedicate to yourself, especially when the rest of your life is devoted to taking care of others as a physician is, is truly valuable. And in this case, these physicians understand the importance of choosing skincare from the scientific perspective, as well as from a self-care standpoint. I offer both an in-person proprietary SkinRx Comprehensive Skin Analysis and “virtual visits” to physicians so they can have access to solid advice and physician-directed skincare.

In any case, I prefer starting them with a few foundational products that are multi-functional with a focus based on the findings of our consultation rather than a time-consuming 12-step skincare regimen. Let’s face it, who has time for twelve steps, anyway?

Versant with science, I solve skin problems as simply as possible!

HB: Don’t doctors already know about the skin from med school?

Well, yes and no. In medical school, we all learn about the skin’s histology and physiologic functions down to the molecular biologic level. However, only plastic surgeons and dermatologists are actually trained during residency about diseases of the skin and how to care for the skin. Then, the aesthetic dermatology field is even more specialized beyond that. It also helps to understand product chemistry and formulation. I am thrilled to be able to share my knowledge with other doctors, and I think they love the level of detail I provide.

“Thanks to Dr. Sholar for the unparalleled level of attention she has given my skin! Before using her bespoke regimen of products, my skin was unruly and reactive to everything. She cleverly identified problems my previous products were causing and showed me how to calm it, heal it, and treat it with a more core therapeutic approach that has literally made me look 10 years younger. I can’t believe it. And it was so simple. I thought getting great skin would require a ton of products, but instead, this was the easiest regimen ever!” -Dr. S. Mehta Vora

HB: Are non-physicians able to get in on this too?

Absolutely! That’s the real beauty of my program. I provide this level of care, maybe with a little less science-y jargon, for everyone willing to take a moment to care for their skin. I propose to you that this could be the most important five minutes of self-care you spend each day. It communicates love and self-worth through this simple daily ritual we create for ourselves. Everyone should experience evidence-based medical-grade skincare for themselves, and we make that possible with budget-friendly subscription programs. Not only will you look better, but you’ll feel better too!

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