Jennifer Linder, M.D. | Board-Certified Dermatologist, Chief Scientific Officer, Author and Educator

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Jennifer Linder, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic skin surgeon, serving as Chief Scientific Officer for PCA skin®, guiding all product development and clinical trials for the company. She is one of the foremost U.S. experts in the use of the cosmetic filler, Sculptra®, and is also on medical advisory boards for Botox® and Juvéderm®. She holds a clinical faculty position in the Department of Dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Linder has also written chapters on chemical peels and cosmeceuticals in medical textbooks, authoring multiple articles for industry journals annually.

She is a national spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation, as well as a member of the American Academy of Dermatology; the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery; and the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology.

I have been a dermatologist since 2000. After my surgical internship at the University of Pennsylvania, I completed my residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Department of Dermatology in Philadelphia in 2003. I then did a Mohs College Fellowship for Mohs skin cancer surgery, laser and cosmetic dermatology with George Hruza, M.D., in St. Louis, MO in 2004. In 2006, I became the Chief Scientific Officer for PCA skin® out of Scottsdale, Arizona. My main function in the industry is one of guiding the research and product development of our company. My scientific background helps me to evaluate claims and efficacy of ingredients. I also participate as an educator at many aesthetic and medical conferences, working to share my knowledge and passion with others in the industry. I truly enjoy my opportunities to educate.

Watching the 'ah-hah' moments happen for clinicians in the room is wonderful. It is so exciting to watch someone get it and know that they are going to use that information to help their own patients. I love how information can be passed along to improve people's lives. Personally, I believe that you should never stop learning – I am a voracious reader and consumer of information when I get curious about something, I find I have to dig deeper. I started with product development because I believed it had to be possible to make an elegant sunscreen that patients liked. This opened up the whole interesting world of skin care to me. I still believe, and it has become a core belief at PCA skin®, that intellectual curiosity is paramount to the success of clinicians. As a surgeon, one traditionally thinks that you have to be aggressive to make changes. I have found that superficial chemical peels and skin care can make huge improvements in the skin if done consistently with products that work. I used to do aggressive peels and laser treatments in my practice; now I see a better value and outcomes with superficial peels for my patients. Healthy skin is possible from these less aggressive options with little down time. Also with skin care, a little bit every day can trigger long-term improvements. In fact, I think the American mentality of 'more is better' can really get clinicians into trouble. A progressive – rather than aggressive – approach to treatment is not only safer but typically provides a patient with little to no downtime and better results – without complications. I always recommend that people rely on science to make decisions on products. Marketing can be highly convincing – and totally untrue. It can certainly be overwhelming, but when presented with an exciting list of all the great things a product or line can do for you and your business, ask to see the science behind the claims.

More from our interview with Jennifer:

DERMASCOPE:
How long have you been in the aesthetics industry? continued…

Jennifer:
I became the Chief Scientific Officer for PCA skin® out of Scottsdale, Arizona in 2006, a company that educates and trains aestheticians, as well as dermatologists, physicians and plastic surgeons, about the skin and how to use PCA skin® products and peels.

DERMASCOPE:
Do you have any regrets, or is there any one thing you can point to and think, “I wish I would have done that differently” or “if only I had known then what I know now?” Please explain.

Jennifer:
Do you have any regrets, or is there any one thing you can point to and think, “I wish I would have done that differently” or “if only I had known then what I know now?” Please explain.

DERMASCOPE:
Why do you think people come to a particular spa/skin care clinic?

Jennifer:
I do believe that the products and services that a practice offers impacts whether patients choose to come. That said, people being treated with respect and an honest desire to help by the staff is critical.  People want to return to clinicians they trust and who will provide them with visible results.

DERMASCOPE:
What do you believe separates the best clinics from the rest?

Jennifer:
I think an honest passion for helping others amongst the staff creates a positive and productive atmosphere that patients can sense. This keeps them coming back.

DERMASCOPE:
Do you have a signature treatment that your clients love – a classic of sorts? What makes it so loved?

Jennifer:
PCA skin®’s Sensi Oxy Peel (which is Sensi Peel followed by the Oxygenating Trio®) is a favorite, because it makes the skin glow, which always looks great. I personally always get this treatment the day before a lecture or TV appearance.

DERMASCOPE:
What tool or tools would your treatment room not be complete without? Why?

Jennifer:
My treatment room would not be complete without any one of our company’s broad spectrum sunscreens! Daily compliance with broad spectrum sunscreen use is critical to achieving and maintaining healthy skin.

DERMASCOPE:
What adaptations have you made over the years to stay relevant in the treatment room?

Jennifer:
I used to work in a practice with 14 lasers; now I do not have any in my practice. We have moved more toward injectables and highly customized blended peel protocols. I also think that hands-on experience with our nurses and aestheticians is really important. They do a fantastic job of helping patients make the right customized choices for their skin. Patients have felt rushed in and out of physicians’ offices in the past.

DERMASCOPE:
Do you or your company support any particular causes or charitable organizations? If so, who and why?

Jennifer:
PCA skin® has annual days of service where our employees are able to choose one of several organizations to volunteer with for a day. Among many charities we have given back to over the years are HALO Animal Rescue (a safety net for homeless dogs and cats in the Phoenix-area), Hunkapi Horse Program (a nonprofit helping kids with ADD, ADHD and autism develop though interaction with horses), Ronald McDonald House (encompassing multiple programs to improve the health and well-being of children) and the Sojourner Center (the nation’s largest domestic violence shelter for victims and their families).
My medical practice gave $25,000 to the Skin Cancer Foundation because we believe in their mission. They support public awareness of skin cancer. I also volunteer my time to them to do free skin cancer screenings and to act as a spokesperson. PCA also donates to them as a corporate sponsor and all of our sunscreens have earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.
PCA skin® has donated $300,000 to Face to Face and Faces of Honor, which provide funding for battered women and soldiers, respectively, to receive reconstructive surgery at no charge.
In addition, PCA is dedicated to being as environmentally responsible as possible through the use of recyclable packaging, including biodegradable packing peanuts, locally-sourced packing services, in-office recycling, the implementation of bike racks and a shower to encourage cycling to work. Our newly renovated World Headquarters was painted with all low VOC paint and our cafe features a living wall made up of the plants that NASA deemed the most effective at cleaning indoor air of common pollutants. Using the NASA list as a guide, we filled our Headquarters with 10 times the number of plants that you would find in a typical office. Additionally, we have the lights in all of the offices on motion sensors to minimize the unnecessary use of electricity.
As a company, we have a passion for improving people’s lives, whether it be our customers, the internal team or the larger community. It is important for us to get out into that community to give back as it is part of the PCA skin® mission to touch lives in positive ways every day.

DERMASCOPE:
What is the one piece of advice you give to every client you see?

Jennifer:
Wear your broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF of 30 or higher every day!

 

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