Upon meeting Calabasas, CA, board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Anna Guanche, the first thing many people notice is her bright smile. When faced with the warm welcome of those pearly whites and bubbly personality, it’s easy for Dr. Guanche’s positive energy to rub off on you. And that’s the goal for the Louisiana State University School of Medicine graduate. As a self-proclaimed “empath,” she prides herself on her ability to sympathize with her patients and be sensitive to both their feelings and needs — all while having fun.
“I am an extrovert and definitely love to connect with people,” she explains. “I love to affect people's lives in a positive way.” Similar to Dr. Guanche, the team at her practice — Bella Skin Institute — are affable and friendly, as well. (If you need proof, just check out how much fun Dr. Guanche and her staff had while performing The Shiggy ChallengeTM in her office last year).
Her practice offers a few extra perks in order to make patients feel extra comfortable — particularly when those patients are of a higher profile. Valet services and a private waiting room are available upon request, intended to take additional stress out of VIP appointments and provide privacy. “We have many celebrity clients,” explains Dr. Guanche. “Some allow us to name them and others don't.” Simply scroll Dr. Guanche’s Instagram® account for countless celebrity sightings, with Olivia Culpo making quite a few appearances throughout her grid.
Here, Dr. Guanche shares a closer look at her practice, including the inside scoop on which treatments those celebrity patients book most frequently, as well as her own treatment preferences, and the skincare formulas she relies on to keep her complexion glowing. Keep reading!
Spotlyte: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
Dr. Anna Guanche: By becoming a doctor, I’d be able to be in a caring profession where I am on the same team as my patient. Also, I found I need constant intellectual stimulation — I am always searching for new information, so this was a great fit. I was going to become a hand microsurgeon, and one half-day in dermatology switched me over for life. Discovering dermatology as my passion — which happened toward the end of medical school — was a gift. I have never looked back.
Spotlyte: How have your passions — unrelated to aesthetics — led you to becoming a successful dermatologist?
AG: I have always been a perfectionist, striving to be better in all categories of life and doing things more perfectly each time. I have also always naturally analyzed faces and seen every detail, whether it’s a person on television or someone I'm sitting across from. From a young age, I was a beauty aficionado.
In all aspects, this profession is perfect for me: I love attention to detail; I love making people feel happy; I love these procedures myself, which allows me to relate first-hand to my patients. I feel my work is not like work at all. It truly is a passion that brings me great joy. My patients feel my enthusiasm and excitement when I celebrate their results with them.
Spotlyte: What is the most-requested procedure or treatment in your practice?
AG: Injectable wrinkle reducers and fillers. [They can have] minimal downtime: People these days cannot seem to afford much downtime, so I find these are not only the most popular, but also provide the most satisfying [results].
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.]
Spotlyte: What are the steps in your skincare regimen that are an absolute must every day?
AG: I wash my face and eye makeup off thoroughly every day. Going to bed with makeup on is an absolute no-no. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser ($14) and SkinCeuticals® Gentle Cleanser ($35) are my favorite cleansers. Alastin® HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 ($55) and Elta MD® UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($35) are my favorites. Also, I use tretinoin 0.025% cream every night. It’s a powerful, prescription-strength, anti-aging cream.
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by those who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
Spotlyte: What medical aesthetic treatments do you get yourself?
AG: I do pretty much every [treatment] we offer at my office — which is everything! Injectable wrinkle reducer, filler, Jessner's peels, Global Glow UpTM, Bella MicroGoldTM, VBeam®, Fraxel®, Thermage®, and Bella FXTM. I started [injections] at age 26. I [also] do CoolSculpting®. There are so many procedures, and I avail myself of all [of them] when I am vetting them for the practice.
[Editor’s note: The CoolSculpting treatment is a non-invasive fat-freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” in the submental and submandibular areas, thigh, abdomen, flank, and upper arm, along with bra fat, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (you know, those bulges that just won’t go away, regardless of how much you sweat it out on the treadmill). While it isn’t a weight loss solution, fat-freezing can reduce pouches of fat. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.]
Spotlyte: Not only is your skin flawless, but your hair looks super thick and glossy, too. What is your secret?
AG: For my hair, I take Viviscal® Advanced Hair Health Supplements ($102) — two tabs a day — and 10 drops of Jarrosil® ($15) in water every evening. A high-protein diet provides plenty of raw materials for my hair to grow. Also, I am careful about sun exposure in general, but I also do not expose my hair to harsh elements. I use sun protectant gel if I’m out all day or swimming.
Spotlyte: What are popular treatments among your celebrity clients?
AG: Generally, [celebrities’] regular treatments include injectable wrinkle reducer, filler, Bella MicroGold, and the Global Glowup. They also [rely on] skincare [products] and all of the things I listed above.
Spotlyte: What is your top tip for having beautiful skin?
AG: The one thing that flawless skin requires is maintenance. The skin is a living organ and needs great care, protection, and regularly spaced treatments.
Spotlyte: What’s the one piece of skincare advice you give to all your patients?
AG: [Wear] sunscreen! There is no point investing in a bunch of anti-aging procedures [for your] wrinkles, brown spots, broken blood vessels, and more if you are going to simply accumulate more of these via sun damage.
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CoolSculpting® is an Allergan®-owned non-invasive fat reduction treatment.
CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information
The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for weight loss.
Important Safety Information
The CoolSculpting procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
Tell your licensed healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions including recent surgery, pre-existing hernia, and any known sensitivities or allergies.
During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment.
Rare side effects may also occur. CoolSculpting may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area which may develop two to five months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction.