Marie’s 23 Questions are designed to raise the profile of experts in the skincare and cosmetic industry.
The skincare field and beauty industry is often known to be superficial; at SkinScience, we want to shine a light on leaders who are authentic and those who bring depth while raising awareness of what they do and who they really are.
Dr. Julie Russak MD is a Board Certified Dermatologist, Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and founder of the Russak Dermatology Clinic in New York. Dr. Russak has received numerous honors and recognition of her clinical excellence, including being selected as a “New York Super Doctor” by The New York Times.
She has created a state-of-the art practice providing comprehensive care in medical and cosmetic dermatology and is a main resource to the media, including beauty editors, research analysts and journalists.
1. Which talent would you most like to have?
Not to dwell on the past.
2. Name one thing on your bucket list:
I’ve never been to Japan. I’d like to go there to ski, be in the presence of sacred trees and sit under a cherry blossom.
3. What does authenticity mean to you?
Being true to myself. I think we can unfortunately lose sight of who we are when we try and convey to others who we are not. We cannot please anyone if we are not pleased with ourselves first.
4. Where do you hope to be 15 years from now?
Living in Sardinia, or spending most of my time there.
5. When have you felt the most proud?
When I graduated from Medical School and when I held my first born in my hands. There are choices and sacrifices you make to have a career and especially as a woman. There were times in my life I worried if I’d ever have children.
6. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
You may be surprised to know that I am of this stature and can hunt. I grew up in Siberia and my father took me hunting. I may not always have the time to do so, but I can grill a mean whole fish too!
7. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Who was it from, and why was it so special?
The best gift I’ve ever received is from my husband – and it is always travel. We don’t exchange material gifts, only travel. He took me to Tuscany recently, late in the fall when the tourists were gone and it was quieter. The waiter at the hotel we were staying in, guided us to chairs just outside overlooking nothing.
He brought drinks back and said, “this is the most beautiful view,” but we looked at him puzzled. It was no spectacular view. He then said something I will never forget, which is, “it’s the most beautiful view of nothing and everything.”
8. What is your greatest extravagance?
9. What do you like most about your appearance?
As women, it is very hard to hone in on the things we actually like about ourselves, isn’t it? I’d have to say my posture. As a gymnast, I worked very hard to get it and work even harder now to keep it.
10. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
You’d have to ask my nurses.
Nurses: “Older and wiser” and “You are so cute.” She uses these phrases a lot.
11. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness to me is being in the presence of my loved ones, with a good book, and a view of nothing and everything.
12. What is your greatest fear?
Not having enough time. There’s still so much I want to do.
13. What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
Unfinished anything, traffic, and lacking a good skincare regimen.
14. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would you choose to come back as?
A Bonsai tree. They are so peaceful.
15. What is your most treasured possession?
16. What is your most distinctive characteristic?
The girls (my staff) say my blonde hair.
17. Describe yourself in one word.
Can I cheat and say three? Driven, compassionate and attentive.
18. What is your favorite skincare product?
Revision’s DEJ eye cream. I don’t travel without it- not even to and from work.
19. What excites you about your career?
I often see patients who see faults in themselves. So there’s a special moment after treatment when, they look at themselves in the mirror and feel beautiful. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life in a positive way is deeply rewarding.
20. How do you relax after a stressful day?
A glass of Hourglass Cabernet and a good book.
21. How does your background shape your outlook?
It is easier to see what you want in life when you’ve never had it.
22. What is your favorite part about being a dermatologist?
Talking with my patients. They are some of the most fascinating people.
23. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing your industry?
Commercialization of patient-doctor relationships. I still strive to preserve what patient-doctor relationship used to be. Quality over quantity is my highest priority.
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