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Dr. Anna Guanche: “Take time to care for yourself”

Get up, dress up, show up! Take time to care for yourself, apply your makeup, fix your hair. Add extensions if you have them. Put some lashes and gloss on. Add pumps. It is your mindset that changes when you pull yourself together. Especially during these crazy COVID times, people are spending day and night […]

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Get up, dress up, show up! Take time to care for yourself, apply your makeup, fix your hair. Add extensions if you have them. Put some lashes and gloss on. Add pumps. It is your mindset that changes when you pull yourself together. Especially during these crazy COVID times, people are spending day and night in their sweatpants — and it is not good for morale!


Asa part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Anna Guanche.

Dr. Anna Guanche is a board certified dermatologist, author and celebrity beauty expert. She is the founder of Bella Skin Institute in Calabasas, California


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Myplan was to become an orthopedic hand microsurgeon. Everything I did, from rotations to research, were to boost my applications and acceptance to an orthopedic residency. I was working on a radiology rotation, so that I could be proficient at reading orthopedic x-rays. The resident working with me kept asking why I wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon and why not dermatology? I said I love detailed procedures. I love to fix things. I don’t just want to see skin rashes all day long. I want to DO things. She said of course, that dermatology does involve doing things. She was married to a guy whose twin brother was doing dermatology and who had just discontinued his orthopedic residency to try to apply and get into dermatology. She saw the difference in hours, and the difference in happiness levels between the twin brothers. She was kind enough to set up a two week rotation in Miami for me, and I reluctantly went in. And that is when everything changed. I went straight from the hand service to a dermatology rotation where in one morning, we did a lip augmentation, skin cancer excision, and laser resurfacing. By noon I had turned it all around and I have never looked back. Dermatology is exactly the perfect specialty for me. That woman resident was an angel!

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success?

A couple of years ago I realized that the nagging desire to be visible and be known was not fading. I decided to get intentional: hire a PR person and hire a marketing person and really allow myself to rise. Prior to that I listened to the inner voice saying “Who do you think you are?” The voice is still there so I press my heel into it as often as I can.

Did you start doing anything different?

Yes! I started meditation and yoga. My mantras were love but also: bravery. Could I be brave enough to do public speaking? Could I be brave enough to put myself out there and risk judgement? I know that self-actualization for me would require bravery. And now I relish things that make me uncomfortable, things that require boldness, and frankly: things that make my pits sweat. That is when I know I am stretching and growing. I am being challenged and despite the fear and hesitation, doing it.

Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I have learned that with every mistake or failure, you must immediately hop up and try again. I had a few appearances in the past and for whatever reason, deemed them a failure. Instead of pushing to learn and grow and do better, I shriveled up and sabotaged any other opportunities for fear of a second “failure.” I was the greatest obstacle to myself. I learned to go back and do better the next time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are?

I must thank my family. My husband has always been a team player and has supported me. He and my two kids are the solid foundation from which I operate. And I would be remiss not to mention my best friend, with whom I speak every day. We have been there for each other since we were 7 years old. From there I must say my team at work supports me and cheers me on. I simply could not do any of this without an incredible support system.

Can you share a story about that?

Every day, all day the team comes together to make something great happen. We collaborate, discuss, design and execute. I feel we can accomplish anything with these intelligent, talented people who work with me. They also serve as my alternate brain, scheduling and reminding me where I need to be, what I need to say and wear. I am open to all of their ideas, as I truly respect and admire the members of my team.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry?

My book Seven Days to Sexy, Insider Secrets of a Celebrity Beauty Doctor, is currently available on Amazon.com. It is full of celebrity beauty secrets, tips and tricks, procedures, mindset: all of it! Besides that we have developed a new topical Miracle Cream to spot-treat pimples, available in the next three months. It was our best-selling prescription compound for acne, and so I worked with top chemists to develop an over-the-counter version with the same efficacy. We will be launching a new anti-aging skin care line by 2021 and it will have novel age-reversing ingredients that I have been researching for decades.

How do you think that will help people?

I love to help people look and feel their best. Of course I help people medically by removing skin cancers and treating other dermatologic conditions, but I also help them with self-esteem and confidence. The beauty procedures I perform are meant to keep people “whole.” They are minimally invasive with minimal down time and minus the fallout horrible feelings many have when recovering from more aggressive surgical procedures. I love to see people blossom when they look and feel their best. The big smile, the desire to go on dates, to apply for the job they dream of, and the general feeling of confidence.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?

I am thrilled that there is a new injectable for cellulite, FDA cleared just a few days ago! We hope to be involved with the launch of this procedure. The GuancheLift (TM) that I devised and Bella Microgold, are just a few newer techniques that have evolved from the fact that I have done over 35,000 injectable procedures. The natural history of becoming an expert is that you start creating, innovating and exploring possibilities of new benefits you can bring to your patients.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry?

I am concerned about individuals with limited training (or none) entering the beauty specialty because they see dollar signs. The most beautiful and safe work is done by someone who has something to lose. Door to door practitioners, if we can call them that, are dangerous because you have no recourse with them when something goes wrong. One overdone face can deter thousands of people from ever trying injectables.

If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?

I think training and credentials should be displayed on a badge to the patient receiving treatment: full disclosure about qualifications.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

Get up, dress up, show up! Take time to care for yourself, apply your makeup, fix your hair. Add extensions if you have them. Put some lashes and gloss on. Add pumps. It is your mindset that changes when you pull yourself together. Especially during these crazy COVID times, people are spending day and night in their sweatpants — and it is not good for morale!

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”.

  • Decide what you want — your decision in itself moves mountains! It sets your intentions and dictates many of the actions that you take, both consciously and unconsciously.
  • Take strides towards it — work, or plan, or dream your vision in a consistent manner, on a daily basis inch toward it or take strides toward it.
  • See it starting to happen — when you see things starting to happen, and you will — recognize them. Be ready
  • Receive it — be sure to have the deserving feeling inside that this good was meant for you. That you fully deserve it so that you won’t sabotage yourself. Sometimes when the good is coming your way you may actually fear it — go boldly towards it!
  • And most importantly — Persevere. Go back again and again and again. Each time things go awry or don’t go your way, learn and grow. Go back and get it! Right away! No breaks!

Please share a story or an example, for each.

Decide: I want my own practice

Work: Look for leases, design site, learn a million things that have to do with regulations… and on and on

Achieve: Find a lease — don’t hesitate and let it pass. Don’t think about other options so much that you lose this one. Sign!

Receive: When the good following comes to you and you see success happening, receive it. Don’t feel unworthy or guilty or hesitant. This is for you!

Persevere: There will be setbacks: there will be ups and downs. The market crash of 2008 dropped our collections below what would sustain us. We dipped into the savings account. I didn’t pay myself, but I NEVER thought of quitting. And recently, with COVID, so much uncertainty: but I would not quit and now I know that I can come back from lean times just FINE! I have done it before.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

THE KINDNESS MOVEMENT! Why are people being so mean to each other these days? We need more love and support for each other — and more TOLERANCE. “Be kind and open your mind” would be my tagline.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP — Winston Churchill

WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN OR THINK YOU CAN’T, EITHER WAY YOU ARE RIGHT! — Henry Ford

Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have had a lot of hard knocks in the early part of my life. I adopted a ‘no excuses’ policy and have stuck to it. I try to never give up and it has served me well. I love my life, my family, my team, my patients. I am full of gratitude.

Social media:

Instagram: @annaguanchemd @bellaskininstitute

Facebook: bellaskininstitute

Website: bellaskininstitute.com

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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