Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Ava: Dedication, work and luck. I’ve learned a lot from poor business decisions and not listening to my heart when I’m hiring and firing.
Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned from your career in dermatology?
Ava: That people are proud about how they look and that there truly is a deep connection between appearance and self-confidence. That dermatology is extraordinarily important as a specialty.
Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned through your other career – as a public speaker and a “media personality”?
Ava: Always be authentic and never do anything that compromises your values.
Adam: Do you have any especially interesting stories from your time on Extreme Makeover or The Doctors worth sharing?
Ava: Extreme Makeover was the most profound experience I’ve had in my career. Treating these patients gave me a real time view of the transformation in people self-esteem over the course of their treatment of their physical issues. Seeing the people grow and flower and take new pride in their appearance meant the world to me. One of the most significant patients was a man who it’s been 10 years on death row and was exonerated through DNA testing before he was put to death. He came to the show with a significant degree of acne scarring, dental problems, trouble breathing through broken nose. After the team worked on him he was transformed and was able to resume his life as a public speaker.
Adam: Between all of the products and treatments currently available and those in the testing phase, how close do you believe we are to an aesthetic fountain of youth?
Ava: We’re getting closer! There are so many new technologies and techniques that can not only help reverse the appearance of aging, but also help change the course of a gene. It is very exciting to be part of this field as it accelerates and develops!
Adam: What are your best tips on the topic of attaining and maintaining clear, clean and healthy skin?
Ava: Sunscreen every day. Take off all of your make up every night and apply an antioxidant and a retinoid. Eat a nutritionally sound diet, sleep enough hours, drink plenty of water, develop a meditation practice. Good rules for a good life.
Adam: With all of the skincare products on the market, it can be confusing to understand what is effective, healthy, safe and worth the cost. How should the average consumer evaluate skincare products?
Ava: It’s not about the price on the label. And elevator price could just be from packaging. Look at the list of ingredients and see where the actives are on that list. The closer to the top the higher the concentration. Look every product up online and find out what the factors are and if they’ve been studied.
Adam: What are your thoughts on the explosion of the skincare influencer business?
Ava: It’s an interesting trend. Not sure why all of a sudden they are the authorities.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Ava: Be able to be bold, but not too bold!
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Ava: Mentoring for sure go out and vote. Take care the planet. Take care of yourself!
Adam: What is something about you that would surprise people?
Ava: I like to read historical fiction. My favorite vacation includes hiking.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Ava: A lot of outdoor activities. Hiking, skiing and tennis. Yoga is more indoors, but it helps settle the body and the mind. Read as much as you can. Reading has informed me in so many different ways. Being in tune with nature has also supported me and reminded me of my place in the world.