By Laurel Busby
Taking care of skin is a passion for sisters Christine Nell and KarriAnn Erdmann.
The two nurse practitioners, who are co-owners of the new business SKINxFIVE with Dr. Ava Shamban, began focusing on skin in their teens.
“I suffered from acne, and it really affected me and my self-esteem,” said Nell, 41. As a nurse, “I was passionate about focusing on thorough and effective acne treatment.”
Erdmann added, “At 35, I still suffer from acne. I have very sensitive skin. If someone looks at me too long, I feel like I bruise. Skin has always always been such a passion. Right now, I feel like my skin is looking top-notch. But it takes a lot of work. You have to really nurture your skin. You can’t take it for granted.”
Their business, SKINxFIVE (skin times five), which opened in June at 970 Monument (upstairs), has a particularly focused approach to skin care that is all cosmetic with five specific offerings, Nell said. The idea is to provide quick in-and-out services that offer instant results with no pain or downtime.
The five services are called refresher (exfoliating enzyme masks tailored to various skin types/issues), infuser (infusing microderm abrasion facials), lineless (botox injections), spotless (gentle laser treatments to rejuvenate skin) and firminator (radio frequency treatments that “lift, tighten and iron out wrinkles”).
The infuser, a combination treatment, has quickly become their top seller. “It’s a fan favorite,” Nell said. It works through “sloughing off dead skin cells and suctioning up clogged pores like blackheads, while also infusing vitamins, peptides, and hyaluronic, salicylic and glycolic acids to brighten, hydrate and clean all at once.”
She and Erdmann said that many patients deal with skin issues from aging while also getting clogged pores more stereotypically associated with the teen years.
“A lot of patients are bummed out,” Erdmann said. “They say, ‘I thought I was supposed to stop breaking out when I get wrinkles,’ but with hormones, it’s a constant battle. Luckily with its ingredients, the infuser helps with both.”
Neither Erdmann nor Nell work regularly in the Palisades, but they trained the nurse practitioners who do. The sisters come to SKINxFIVE about once a month to do filler injections, a sixth treatment that was added due to Palisadian requests. On most days, they work out of Dr. Shamban’s Beverly Hills office, a full-service dermatology center that Nell has co-owned with the doctor for nine years. Dr. Shamban also has a full-service center in Santa Monica.
Dr. Shamban met Nell in 2000, two years after she moved to Los Angeles. Nell, who now lives in Beverly Hills with her husband and two daughters, had moved to L.A. after graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, her hometown, and passing her nursing board exam in 1998.
Moving to L.A. “was my grand plan,” Nell said. “I just love the idea of Los Angeles. I wanted somewhere where it was warm all year. I loved the idea of all sorts of cultures, all sorts of food. It was very exciting to go from the Midwest to Los Angeles.”
Nell enrolled in graduate school in nursing at Azuza Pacific University and then became an intern with Dr. Shamban. A year later in 2001, the internship became a job, and in 2002, she graduated from Azusa.
Her sister, now a newlywed in Redondo Beach, had a less direct path to dermatology. Erdmann initially earned a history degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and worked doing therapy with autistic children. She eventually earned a combined bachelor’s/master’s at Azusa Pacific in nursing in 2010. While at Azusa, she tried interning with her sister for Dr. Shamban.
“I loved it,” Erdmann said. “I felt really natural with it.” She had initially wanted to go to art school, and those artistic instincts are still there. “I look at the face a little differently—in an artistic way.”
She and her sister have worked with Dr. Shamban ever since, and they have found both working and opening a business together rewarding.
“We are not only sisters, but we’re best friends and great coworkers,” Nell said. “We have a mutual respect for one another and for Dr. Shamban. The three of us work well together. We enjoy each other’s company, and we are all similarly minded when it comes to business.”
SKINxFIVE’s website is skinxfive.com, and their phone number is (424) 322-8780.