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Meet Elisabeth Shim, MD of Verdure Botanoceuticals in Santa Monica and Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elisabeth Shim, MD.

Elisabeth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After training in dermatology in New York City at NYU, I finished a fellowship in Mohs surgery and cosmetic dermatologic surgery at Scripps Clinics, La Jolla. Since 2000, I’ve practiced in Santa Monica and Pasadena.

I became interested in starting my own skin care line because I am very particular about what I eat and what I put on my skin. Also, I have sensitive skin and at the time there was no dermatologist-developed skin care line focusing on natural ingredients with science behind them. Having a lot of skin cancer in my practice and dealing with my own aging and acne-prone skin, I had motivation to start my own brand. Since then, our products have been featured in magazines such as Allure and People Style Watch. Recently, our sunscreen, Verdure Matte Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen won the Best of Suncare 2017 award from LNE & Spa Magazine, an esthetician trade journal.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Building a dermatology practice in Los Angeles takes a lot of patience. I’m not a self-promoting type of person and patients in Los Angeles often respond to that type of marketing. I have relied on my abilities and my personality to eventually find that patients will find you and you will attract the type of patients that appreciate your knowledge and skills without having to flaunt yourself. Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons either are narcissistic or feel the need to act that way. Over the years, I’ve built a great practice, including celebrities and executives in the entertainment industry, TV, film and music, by just taking good care of people using my good training and good heart. My doctor peers have named me to the Best Dermatologists list in SuperDoctors for the past 10 years. For that I am grateful.

As for my skin care line, I definitely learned a lot about the whole aspect of starting a small business. I learned that I should have started with one product only, especially since I self-funded the company. At first I chose some ingredients that only had one source. When there’s a delay in the supply-chain, that’s bad news! But finally, I learned you can have a great product, but marketing it is a whole different ball game. I still struggle with that now! I loved the creative part of it, but the business part of it, not so much.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Verdure Botanoceuticals – what should we know?
I am a board-certified dermatologist known for my expertise in Mohs surgery, a specialized technique of removing skin cancers, and in cosmetic dermatology, including lasers, Botox and fillers.

What sets me apart from others is that I am fellowship-trained in these areas. I spent extra time training in these techniques, and I made a special effort to train all over the country to get the best experience. I was also fortunate to train with some of the best Mohs surgeons and laser experts in dermatology.

As for the skin care line, Verdure is the first dermatologist-developed skin care line focusing on natural ingredients. We were a pioneer in paraben-free skin care and many big skin care brands copied a lot of our ideas.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Integrity. My patients and peers recognize that I’m a decent person who has good skills and a wide knowledge base. I meet all sorts of executives and successful people in all types of industries in my practice. I’ve found that people who are successful at what they do, especially those with a certain skill set and level of expertise, will eventually be recognized. Most people see through all the other stuff.

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