Blog written by Erin Kirwan of Savvy Media PR for Sonterra Dermatology
I have a crush. I have a major, heart-pounding, desire-filled skin crush on my Dermatologist, friend, and the person for whom I do all things PR (Public Relations), Dr. Annabelle Garcia, Board Certified Dermatologist and Owner at Sonterra Dermatology.
And I doubt I’m alone.
I suspect I speak for most of Dr. Garcia’s patients- women and men, personal friends, and one hundred percent of Dr. Garcia’s staff when I say that we want Dr. Garcia’s skin in a bad way. Just one glance at it and you fall. Hard.
I remember when I first set eyes on this physician with whom I was interviewing to become a part of her team. As a public relations manager it is my job to examine, look at, and read my clients head to toe. Honestly, one of my first impressions of Dr. Garcia was that her practice should be using her as its poster child for every treatment and product it promotes. Forget celebrities. Forget models. Dr. Garcia was the real deal. Authentic, intelligent, skilled, kind, and with a face - her basis for being in business - that we would all hashtag #skingoals.
It is not just Dr. Garcia’s skin tone, texture or its clarity. And it’s not just the absence of blemishes or fine lines. It is the way these finite elements of Dr. Garcia’s skin all seem to come together beautifully, painting a picture of perfection.
But I learned something interesting when talking with Dr. Garcia to write this article. I was introduced to the fact that Dr. Garcia didn’t always have great skin. Actually, it was quite the opposite.
For most of her life Dr. Garcia said she has suffered from many of the same skin conditions that so many of us come to Sonterra Dermatology as patients seeking help for. In fact, when I asked Dr. Garcia for photos from her childhood she said she didn’t have many to share with me. Dr. Garcia said she avoided being photographed every chance she could as a pre-teen and teenager. Dr. Garcia’s husband and Business Manager at Sonterra Dermatology, confirmed this for me. “You would be hard pressed to find a photograph of Annabelle,” Rene said. “I’ve looked. And they do not exist.”
Dr. Garcia once suffered from rosacea and acne.
“When I diagnose acne or rosacea with my patients and we talk about how it makes them feel I truly understand what they are going through,” stated Dr. Garcia.
And that opportunity to share this small part of her personal battle with problem skin was integral behind Dr. Garcia’s desire to pursue Dermatology in medical school. “My dermatologist growing up was like a hero in my eyes,” Dr. Garcia said. But not only did Dr. Garcia’s dermatologist treat her nodulocystic acne with Accutane, one of the higher-level treatments for acne, her dermatologist also taught Dr. Garcia the importance of instituting a healthy skin regimen from as early an age possible. In turn, Dr. Garcia said, she became religious about not going to bed with makeup at night and routinely washed her face morning and night, two rules she still follows today and encourages her patients to do as well.
Another skin condition Dr. Garcia has dealt with more recently is melasma. During her pregnancy with her second daughter, Dr. Garcia recalled having what’s often referred to as a “melasma mustache”. Basically, she had brown spots and patches surrounding her upper lip. Melasma is a common skin problem often developed most on areas of the face that get a lot of sun. As a Dermatologist, Dr. Garcia used brightening creams like Brightenx and became even more strict on sun protection.
It worked. Dr. Garcia was quick to remind me, however, that melasma can be very stubborn. It is something she continually has to work on.
Of course, it’s helpful that Dr. Garcia is a Board Certified Dermatologist and has a ton of clinically-proven product and cosmetic treatments at her fingertips. To think Dr. Garcia looks as good as she does without any help would be wishful thinking, in her words. Dr. Garcia is honest, straight-forward, and, proud to have tried every single product and cosmetic treatment her clinic offers. In fact, she will not recommend or offer such unless she has seen, firsthand, that the treatment or product does what it claims to do.
Aren’t you curious, though, what Dr. Garcia does and has done to get her skin looking so great?! I was. So you can bet I asked her to spill her secrets. And she did!
Dr. Garcia’s AM & PM Skin Routines
Every Morning (in this order):
- Washes face using Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser
- Applies Sente Dermal Repair Cream
- Applies C & E Serum
- Applies Elta MD Sunscreen
- Makeup (On most days at work she wears very little)
Every Evening (in this order)
- Washes face using Sonterra Dermatology Gentle Wash
- (Alternating nights) Applies Sente Bio Complete & Epionce Intense Nourishing Cream
Dr. Garcia is also not shy about sharing the treatments she has done, cosmetically, to enhance her skin. As we might suspect, she has done a lot, mostly because she believes in the importance of trying and trusting each and every cosmetic procedure she offers to her patients. She is our cosmetic dermatology guinea pig, in many ways. And that’s paid off for her and us.
One thing Dr. Garcia has not done, however, is go under the knife. She isn’t opposed to cosmetic surgery but has never personally done it.
“We are so lucky to have incredible, non-invasive treatments today for so many things relating to our skin,” Dr. Garcia told me. “So far, these have me totally satisfied!”
While Dr. Garcia has undergone a variety of these non-invasive cosmetic treatments - “I’ve tried it all,” she often tells her patients at events and seminars, here’s what our 38-year-old dream dermatologist does regularly in order to maintain her youthful look:
- Botox every 3 months, routinely.
- Filler in several areas on her face including the jaw line
- Halo, yearly, for maintenance.
- BBL, 3-4 treatments per year for maintenance
- CoolSculpting addressing stubborn fat on abdomen, thighs, chin, and arms. Dr. Garcia told me she absolutely loves the results CoolSculpting can have on the arms.
- Emsculpt, yearly. (She is currently trying and loving!)
The list of what’s available and will be available to Dr. Garcia is growing rapidly. As such, Dr. Garcia is adamant about staying on top of the latest and greatest innovation in dermatology, both general/medical and cosmetic.
I asked Dr. Garcia what she foresees for the future when it comes to skincare and dermatology and she had two words for me: oral sunscreen.
Wow. Imagine how easy and more convenient protecting our skin from the damaging rays of the sun could be for us someday, and even more importantly, our children!
Throughout my time interviewing and talking with Dr. Garcia - let’s be honest - asking her a lot of personal questions that most physicians may not like to entertain, Dr. Garcia remained not only open but humble.
“I’m flattered to receive compliments on my skin because I truly have worked hard to get it looking healthy which to me, is beautiful. I work on it every day. I’m faithful. I’m border-line psychotic when it comes to sunscreen,” said Dr. Garcia. “And, I want the same for my patients.”
Also, Dr. Garcia was realistic about the skin we’re given, each uniquely and perfectly, our own. She reminded me that “we only get one” (skin) so it is crucial to protect it, nurture it, and show it love. “It will love you back,” she said.
Thankfully, with Dr. Garcia’s help, we can do just that. And maybe, just maybe, achieve the same healthy, radiant skin that we have come to know and love on our top-rated dermatologist.