Skin Deep

How Launching A Company Changed These Beauty Founders’ Skincare Routines

by theSKIN

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Skin Deep

How Launching A Company Changed These Beauty Founders’ Skincare Routines

Danielle Nadick Levy

Instagram: @daniellenadick
Location: Los Angeles
Astrological Sign: Gemini
Book that changed your life: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: I don’t really listen to podcasts! I’m lucky enough to have a very short commute, so I don’t have the opportunity often. When I do, I’m down for anything with Oprah or Tony Robbins.
Instagram account you love to follow: @c__l__o
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: product: FACILE Essence and microinfusion treatments

Nancy Samolitis, MD

Instagram: @drsamolitis
Location: Los Angeles
Astrological Sign: Cancer
Book that changed your life: Gray’s Anatomy (yes, it’s a book)
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: Gloss Angeles
Instagram account you love to follow: @kramervsla (shameless plug for my dog)
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: FACILE Tinted SPF

Chances are if you’ve seen someone with excellent, natural cosmetic work, they’ve been to FACILE dermatology + boutique. The dermatology clinic slash boutique and sister company of theSKIN has made a name for themselves as a major player in the Los Angeles medical aesthetics scene. Between their extensive menu of treatments (lasers and injectables and facials, oh my) and their highly Instagrammable offices, it’s no wonder. 

The two co-founders of FACILE, Danielle Nadick Levy and Nancy Samolitis, MD (aka Dr. Sam), met as the result of a glowing recommendation. “I had a friend who seemed to be getting younger everyday, so I asked her where she went for aesthetic treatments,” says Levy, “she told me to see Dr. Sam.” The two hit it off immediately. “I wanted her to be my friend,” says Levy, “she’s very approachable, which I felt like was a unique quality for a doctor to have.” 

Not only did Levy leave her appointment with a new favorite doctor, she also gained a business idea: an elegant and accessible medical boutique that would allow customers to get natural looking cosmetic treatments in a gorgeous environment. “I’ve always wanted to start a business, but I never had the right concept,” she says, “I had the idea and was crazy enough to ask Dr. Sam if she wanted to go to lunch and discuss opening a business.”

“Danielle straight up asked me “Why don’t you have your own practice?,” says Samolitis, “It would have been very scary for me to do it alone, and once we started talking about the prospect, I realized that we had a similar vision of what Facile ultimately has come to be.” Less than a year later, they opened the doors of their West Hollywood location.

Five years later, the company has a second location in Pasadena and shows no signs of slowing down. We asked the FACILE co-founders to talk to each other about what they know best: all things skin.

NS

Ok Danielle, let’s start with your questions. What have I taught you about skincare?

DNL

I feel like you would say I’m a terrible patient! You give me so many pearls of wisdom as to how I should keep my skin looking its best and I tend to forget the instructions or not stick to them. The greatest piece of advice you’ve given me so far: wear sunscreen!

NS

What do you do to keep your skin looking great?

DNL

What works for me is using hyaluronic acid serum morning and night, staying consistent with my skincare regimen, doing medical-grade treatments on a regular basis (like facials, microneedling with PRP, and microinfusion with a custom cocktail of vitamins, hyaluronic acid serum, botox, and filler).

NS

What was your favorite skincare product or treatment when we founded FACILE? What’s your favorite now?

DNL

I think I was using Dr. Brandt products at that time. I was constantly adjusting my skincare at that time because I had such temperamental skin—I was breaking out easily and it was hard to find something that worked. What ended up doing the trick was spironolactone having you and the rest of the providers around to teach me which products were best for my skin specifically. Now I use mostly FACILE and Renée Rouleau products, although I also sprinkle in some products from Biologique Recherche, Avène, and Malin + Goetz.

NS

If you knew someone was booking an appointment with me, which treatment would you recommend they absolutely do?

DNL

I would say the million dollar consult. Everyone is different – the whole point of coming to FACILE as a first time patient is that everyone gets one-on-one time with your provider and opportunity to create a well rounded plan. Having that time to ask all your questions and address all concerns, that’s the best.

I had the idea and was crazy enough to ask Dr. Sam if she wanted to discuss opening a business.

NS

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as CEO of FACILE, and what have you learned from it?

DNL

There’s been a general learning curve: I didn’t come from this industry nor did I ever own or operate a larger business before. I had to learn everything. I was totally self-taught so everything from policies and procedures, hiring and firing, payroll, everything that comes along with a business I had never done before. I sat at the front desk for many days in the beginning and that was the best in getting to know what this business is all about. I just dove in headfirst and really had to figure it out, with many, many mistakes along the way. I think I’ve gotten better at acknowledging my weak points and growing from my mistakes, as well as hiring the right people to do what I can’t. 

NS

How has your outlook on beauty changed in the last five years?

DNL

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m growing older or if it’s because of being inundated in this industry, but my confidence level today is so much greater than it was before. It’s not because I’ve changed the way I look either. The whole point of FACILE is that your treatments will keep you looking like yourself. I do feel a sense of acceptance when it comes to my flaws—I’m no longer obsessing about changing them.

NS

What’s next for FACILE?

DNL

Obviously if you’re reading this, you know it’s theSKIN! The site is a big passion project of ours that we are excited to keep growing. In addition, we’re in the process of launching a product line that will hit stores in September. We’re also going to be opening a few more locations over the next couple of years.

DNL

Now that we’ve gotten some answers from me, it’s Dr. Sam’s turn. Tell us through what you do to keep your own skin looking great!

NS

I have been a dermatologist for 18 years, so I have literally done just about everything. My current maintenance and skincare program includes daily application of antioxidants and sunscreen in the morning and exfoliants, prescription-strength tretinoin, and niacinamide moisturizer at night.  I have a Clear and Brilliant laser or microneedling treatment with PRP about every 3 months and facials whenever I can squeeze one in.

DNL

What was your favorite skincare product or treatment at the time we founded FACILE? What’s your favorite now? 

NS

Prescription strength tretinoin will probably be my all-time favorite, but one of my new staples is Lotion P50 1970 by Biologique Recherche. I’m obsessed! 

DNL

What’s the best piece of skincare advice you’ve learned from working at FACILE?

NS

The most important thing I have learned is the importance of sun protection (on all of your skin, not just your face!). Over the years, I have detected and treated thousands of skin cancers and it’s so important to catch them in the early stages when they are less dangerous and destructive. Skin cancer does not discriminate and is fairly common in young healthy people.

DNL

What would you say to someone curious about but scared to try injectables or lasers?  

NS

Of course, I understand that it is normal to be nervous about trying something new, especially on your face! I explain to my patients that I have many years of experience with injectables and lasers, am extremely cautious, prepared for any potentially adverse effects, and am always available after the procedure in case they are worried or have any questions. Sometimes it makes them feel better to know that I have personally had most of the treatments that I am administering and have a lot of before & after pictures so you can know what to expect and see that my treatments look very natural and restorative.

DNL

What business lessons have you learned from me? 

NS

I have learned to trust my business partner and that we work better together! Growing a business can be incredibly stressful and emotional and having someone to share it with has helped me to get through the hard times and celebrate the success. 

DNL

Has your outlook on aesthetic medicine changed in the last five years?

NS

Social media has changed the face of aesthetic medicine tremendously in the past 5+ years and it keeps changing rapidly. When I first became interested in aesthetics during my dermatology residency in the early 2000s, it was a new frontier. In fact, many of my colleagues frowned upon medical dermatologists training in aesthetics, but this specialty has everything to do with dermatology because we are the original skin experts. We are trained in injectable and surgical procedures as a standard part of our 3-year dermatology residency, and we understand the basic science of laser-skin interaction. In fact, most of the pioneers who developed and researched the techniques in lasers, peels, and injectables were dermatologists. Now, social media has allowed just about anyone to market themselves as a “skincare expert” or “master injector” regardless of their training, and it’s a bit scary because their followers often don’t know any better. Do your research! 

DNL

What do you think the future of dermatology looks like?  

NS

I think that the future of dermatology, specifically aesthetic dermatology, will be focused on regenerative medicine. That means harvesting cells and activating pathways that help to grow new, healthy skin and tissue instead of injecting something off the shelf. We have already scratched the surface of this technology with fractionated skin resurfacing, use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and advanced skincare technology, but there is much more to come.

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