Anastasia Chu, PA-C, has a passion for aesthetics driven by psychology, firmly believing that when people feel confident in their appearance, their quality of life is improved. She discovered BOTOX through its use to treat migraines while practicing in neurology and has since fallen in love with preserving natural beauty.
Her favorite aesthetic procedure to do is full facial rejuvenation with dermal fillers because aging takes a hit to the entire face, not just the cheeks or lips. Hear how she realized her passion for helping people look and feel their best and learn which treatments you can visit her for at our Carlsbad Medspa office.
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.
Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Welcome everyone to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. Today I want to welcome to our studio, our brand new PA for our Carlsbad practice. Her name is Anastasia Chu. Welcome Anastasia.
Anastasia Chu (00:31):
Thank you so much for having me.
Monique Ramsey (00:34):
Tell us a little bit about yourself. You’re a pa, and so tell us about the kinds of things that you do as a PA.
Anastasia Chu (00:42):
Sure. As a physician assistant, we are able to see our own patients come up with a diagnosis as well as treating the patients too. We kind of get a little bit of everything, which is nice.
Monique Ramsey (00:58):
Now, where did you do your training and how did you go through starting to be in aesthetic medicine?
Anastasia Chu (01:04):
I went to PA school in New York, so I’ve been in SD almost all my life. So I wanted a little switch of scene, so I went to the other coast, got my physician assistant degree. And right out of PA school I practiced in neurology for three years. As many people know, Botox is also FDA indicated for migraines. That’s where I was first introduced to the world of Botox. I’ve always had an interest, I think most of us girls, we love to do makeup or hair, so I think it’s innate too, kind of aesthetics by nature. I got a little bit of experience in neurology during my clinical rotations too, and I just love doing Botox. I love using Botox in so many different ways.
Monique Ramsey (01:55):
I’m assuming the three years in neurology, did you use it quite a bit to treat migraines?
Anastasia Chu (02:01):
Oh, absolutely. It was a very, very common therapy for migraines.
Monique Ramsey (02:04):
Anastasia Chu (02:05):
It works tremendously to reduce migraines as well.
Monique Ramsey (02:08):
Well, that’s one of the things I get every once in a while, and that’s really good to know.
Anastasia Chu (02:14):
Oh yeah, come and see me.
Monique Ramsey (02:16):
Yeah, exactly. Now you’re going to be in our brand new Carlsbad location. What are some of the treatments that you will be providing to patients at that new location?
Anastasia Chu (02:30):
We’ll be offering neurotoxins, dermal fillers, biostimulators, so Sculptra and Radiesse as well as different kinds of lasers too.
Monique Ramsey (02:40):
You do all those things, I take it.
Anastasia Chu (02:42):
Monique Ramsey (02:43):
What’s your favorite thing to do?
Anastasia Chu (02:47):
If I have to choose one thing that is my favorite procedure, I would say full face rejuvenation with dermal fillers, just because as we mature, we age in so many different levels. What we see on the outside is just one part, but we are aging in the deeper layers as well. When people come in and they just want to address the wrinkle around their lips, you kind of want to also see what is supporting the lips. For example, the chin, the marinate shadows, you want to treat it as a whole instead of just looking at it individually. That way people can get the optimal results and kind of have an overall better look and satisfaction.
Monique Ramsey (03:32):
Yeah, I think when you say, you know, talking about just certain parts of the face, it makes me think of one of those Picasso paintings where there’s the eyes in the mouth and it’s not like all one congruent thing where the way that we see each other. I think that’s so true that you can’t just pick out one spot and say, “Okay, this is going to make everything better.” That it has to be a plan to address the whole face. Kind of like you say, there’s different layers and different structures and how to kind of come at that, which I think probably takes a lot of creativity. Have you always been a creative person?
Anastasia Chu (04:09):
There is actually a lot of medicine and science in aesthetics that not a lot of us talk about because we see the before and after we see the great results. There is so much science involved in aesthetics. Luckily, I don’t have to be too creative because I never grew up into painting or drawing or anything but I’ve always loved science, logical mathematics, things like that. When it comes to the face, we talk about facial balancing, facial symmetry, and there is a lot of ratios behind it too, to make people’s face look more aesthetically pleasing. There’s certain ratios that, certain balance or proportions that we try to go after.
Monique Ramsey (04:53):
Yeah, I’ve seen that chart and I can’t remember what it’s called. Is it the golden ratio or there’s something? Is that what it is?
Anastasia Chu (05:02):
Monique Ramsey (05:03):
Can you give us an example of what those ratios are?
Anastasia Chu (05:07):
For example, when we look at the face vertically, your forehead and in between your eyebrows should be one third, and that should be equal distance between the eyebrows to the top of your nose. And that should be equal distance to your tip of the nose to the bottom of your chin, so facial thirds.
Monique Ramsey (05:24):
Oh, okay. I love that. Now, what made you decide to be a PA? What was that one thing where you just said, you know what, this is what I want to do?
Anastasia Chu (05:36):
Yeah, I’ve always known that I wanted to be in the medical field ever since I was little. I just didn’t know the specific area in medicine that I wanted to be in until I had more experience. Growing up, I went to UCSD as undergrad, and they had a student organization for pre-pass. So I joined that student organization and I learned what the PA profession is. I got to shadow PAs, talk to PAs in different fields and really got to know the profession. That’s when I decided that it’s the career path for me.
Monique Ramsey (06:11):
Interesting. Within being a PA, like you said you were working in neurology, what inspired you to get into aesthetic medicine?
Anastasia Chu (06:24):
I’ve always wanted people to look and feel their best. There is a lot of psychology and aesthetics that people don’t talk about. When people don’t look how they feel on the inside, that disconnect can definitely affect their mood and therefore their quality of life. I really want to balance the inside and outside.
Monique Ramsey (06:46):
I think that people sometimes see aesthetic medicine as kind of either frivolous or oh, it’s just that you’re a vein or you’re being, I don’t know, they see it as kind of silly and I feel like that’s not a very fair representation. What do you think about making that connection between how they feel and how they look?
Anastasia Chu (07:10):
Right. I know a lot of times aesthetics has this misconception to be very superficial, but it translates to much deeper. When people feel confident, when they look into themselves in the mirror and they feel in a positive manner, that also translate into deeper emotion, deeper feelings as well. They’ll exude that confidence therefore from within, not just from the superficial.
Monique Ramsey (07:39):
Yeah, I think it’s one of those things when you go get your hair done or you know have a blowout or you get your makeup done for a party and you just kind of walk into that party feeling that much better. It’s that little edge.
Anastasia Chu (07:53):
Yeah. If you look good, you feel good, and therefore stress. There’s a lot of times when we have certain hormones excreted when we’re not feeling good, when we’re feeling stressed, and that can negatively impact our health as well.
Monique Ramsey (08:07):
Then when you are working with your patients, give us an example of maybe the first time you see a new patient. What can they expect for that visit?
Anastasia Chu (08:18):
When I see the patient for the first time, usually I like to take my time to talk to them, have a little consultation, see what their aesthetic goals are, and we’ll come up with a treatment plan depending on what it is they’re trying to achieve and talk about expectations and how we can set a timeline for the procedures that we need to perform to achieve their results.
Monique Ramsey (08:45):
What have you learned during your career in listening to patients?
Anastasia Chu (08:50):
I feel like during this time in our lives, everything is so busy. Our busy schedules, busy work life. We’re kind of go, go, go, always at a fast pace. A lot of times I feel like we need to just take a breath and really listen to our patients because what they’re saying is basically a clue or an answer in how you can help them.
Monique Ramsey (09:14):
That’s true. I think there’s always motivations underneath. It’s not just about their eyes or their lips or their cheeks. It’s like, what’s the goal? So it’s almost like psychology a little bit too, I’m sure to kind of figure out,
Anastasia Chu (09:28):
Yeah, absolutely. There is a lot of psychology in aesthetics too. The way we look can really reflect the type of mood that we are reflecting and how people react to what they’re seeing too.
Monique Ramsey (09:41):
That’s true. Tell us about you, Anastasia. Getting to know you about when you grew up and things that you like to do in your free time.
Anastasia Chu (09:54):
In my free time, I really liked spending time with my family friends. I recently just picked up golf, so that is very time consuming and takes a lot of dedication and patience for this sport.
Monique Ramsey (10:08):
It’s probably really relaxing in some ways because you have to focus on that so much to that little ball and getting it in the hole that you kind of don’t have time to worry about anything else because you’re just kind of focused on that one activity. So where have you been playing around San Diego? Do you have any favorite places?
Anastasia Chu (10:28):
Yeah, actually all my favorite courses are in Carlsbad, so right, very local to the new MedSpa location. There’s actually quite a few courses in Carlsbad area.
Monique Ramsey (10:39):
That’s awesome. I guess in getting to know you, what would you want patients to know about you and what you bring to the table?
Anastasia Chu (10:51):
So during a treatment or a consultation with me, I definitely take my time to make sure that I listen to their concerns. I never try to rush people. I feel like a lot of patients come in very nervous because they don’t know what to expect. So I do my best to make it a relaxing environment, make sure that they are comfortable, make sure that they understand everything that we talk about too, because sometimes there can be quite a lot of information and it can be overwhelming as well. So I feel like the main thing that I can bring to the table is really educating patients and make sure that they are relaxed and feeling comfortable.
Monique Ramsey (11:33):
Now your skin is absolutely glowing.
Anastasia Chu (11:37):
Oh, thank you. Thanks to the camera.
Monique Ramsey (11:41):
Well, maybe that’s part of it, but truly you must do something specific. Give us some of the Anastasia skin secrets.
Anastasia Chu (11:51):
Absolutely. Being in this field, I definitely take advantage of all of the perks. With my skin, skincare is definitely a must. It helps us maintain the treatments that we do in our office, helps us last longer, and also is good for preventative as well. Usually my routine for skincare in the morning after washing my face, I always put on an antioxidant. For example, vitamin C that fights environmental oxidative stress. It helps with pigmentation that is caused by UV damage and also stimulates collagen as well.
At nighttime after washing my face, I use either retinol and I alternate that with stem cell at nighttime because retinol can be a very irritating ingredient. It might be a little bit too much to use it every night. It can cause skin, peeling redness, kind of uncomfortable feeling. A lot of patients, I feel like they buy retinol, they never use it because they use either too soon or too fast and cost these little reactions. So I try to alternate that with stem cell. Stem cell has growth factors that can stimulate collagen production as well. After age 30, we are all losing collagen more than we are building it. We can definitely all need a little boost after 30.
Monique Ramsey (13:10):
I would think probably something, especially with your golfing, are you-
Anastasia Chu (13:16):
Oh, sunscreen. Yes. That’s a must-have.
Monique Ramsey (13:20):
Anastasia Chu (13:21):
Yes. Sunscreen is a must-have, whether it’s rain or shine, the UV light can penetrate through cloudy conditions as well. Anytime you are outdoors, I always wear sunscreen as part of my makeup routine. Reapplication after two hours is also very important too. The SPF no longer is protecting your skin after two hours. They say if you don’t reapply, you didn’t apply. Even if you’re working in an indoor condition, there can be windows. If you’re sitting next to a window, the UV light can still penetrate through as well. If you’re driving can definitely go through your window as well. Anytime you’re out and about, I always kind of carry my little travel SPF powder, which is very easy for reapplication.
Monique Ramsey (14:09):
Do you use the color science powder?
Anastasia Chu (14:12):
I heard that as a really good one, but I use Isdin, I-S-D-I-N.
Monique Ramsey (14:18):
Oh, Isdin. Okay. I haven’t heard of that one. Well, I know we sell color science. It’s a all mineral based sun protection. They’re actually based in Carlsbad. They’re a local company, so right down the road.
Anastasia Chu (14:32):
Oh, that’s amazing.
Monique Ramsey (14:33):
I think the thing about when you’re saying it’s one thing if you’re at the beach and some, or you’re hiking and somebody says, reapply your sunscreen, okay, you’ll do it. If you’re at work and you have your makeup on, thinking about reapplying sunscreen is the last thing you want to do. Any kind of powdered sun protection or UV protection, I think is a really good way to help people get from thinking I don’t want to mess up my makeup to having that protection. Now, do you also do physical protection when you’re golfing hats and gloves and things like that?
Anastasia Chu (15:07):
Yes. I wear golf as well as sometimes those sleeves, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, that covers up your arm as well. They’re very cooling, so it doesn’t increase heat. That can add additional SPF protection too. With the chemical sunscreen or mineral sunscreen as well as a physical barrier.
Monique Ramsey (15:26):
Yeah, I think especially in San Diego when there’s such pretty weather most of the time hiking or go walks on the beach or bicycling or golfing, like you say or tennis, pickleball, all the things that we’re out there doing. Is it true, I hear they say the number one thing that ages you is if you don’t wear sunscreen or sun protection is the biggest thing. Do you agree with that?
Anastasia Chu (15:52):
Yeah, sun damage can definitely age you faster. So wearing sunscreen can be a huge benefit for us to do as a prevention.
Monique Ramsey (16:02):
Always. Everywhere and always.
Anastasia Chu (16:05):
Always. Exactly. All throughout the seasons, every day of the year.
Monique Ramsey (16:11):
We have for our audience that if they subscribe to the podcast and they show us that they’re doing that, we’ll give $25 off of 50 or more of any product or service that we have. So if you were going to get a free $25 off of 50 or more, what would you use that towards?
Anastasia Chu (16:29):
It really depends on the skin concern or where you’re trying to achieve. If we are talking about sunscreen, definitely you can never use enough. You can always use more sunscreen. That’ll be a good product to purchase.
Monique Ramsey (16:43):
Does it matter which kind you use or how do you help patients figure that out?
Anastasia Chu (16:51):
So that is very controversial, I think. So mineral sunscreen are made out of zinc or titanium oxide. When it comes in a liquid form, most of the product can leave a white cast. That is the one downside. The chemical sunscreen, the way that it’s worked is absorbed into your body and it’s deflecting sun rays that way it never leaves a white cast. A lot of people prefer to use chemical sunscreen, however, some people do believe that it can cause some adverse health benefits or health side effects.
Monique Ramsey (17:24):
Is something better than nothing in that case?
Anastasia Chu (17:29):
Oh, absolutely. Yes. Any SPF is better than no SPF. I think the Color Science one too, they have different shades if I think so right, tinted ones so it’ll match with your skin tone.
Monique Ramsey (17:41):
They do. Yeah. A few of the different things that we sell, I think Elta MD has a tinted version, Elastin does, SkinMedica does. I don’t know if Skin Better does or not. Then the Color Science, the powdered ones, there’s like a light, medium, deep, so there’s definitely for the powder to kind of have it in your car. Those ones too. I remember talking with the rep, they’re like heat resistant, so you can keep one in your car and even if your car got really hot, it’s not going to break down that that sunscreen or the sunblock barrier. Some people will have one in their car, one in their purse, one at home, and just so you have it everywhere. That’s a good thing.
Anastasia Chu (18:27):
It also keeps you reminded too to reapply. If you see it in your car, you’ll remember to reapply. A lot of patients come in, actually, I see more hyperpigmentation on the left side and that is your driving side.
Monique Ramsey (18:40):
Yeah. Well that makes sense. Yeah. That UV is magnified almost through the glass. And so, all right. Well, thank you so much. It’s really exciting that we’ll have you at the new office. So are you going to be there full time?
Anastasia Chu (18:55):
Yes, I’ll be there Monday through Saturday.
Monique Ramsey (18:57):
Awesome. Monday through. Wow. You’re going to be busy. Thank you for coming on the podcast on your first day in. We really appreciate it and it’s going to be exciting. We’re really looking forward to serving all the people in North County and having such great providers such as yourself on our team.
Anastasia Chu (19:19):
Thank you so much, Monique. I really enjoyed talking to you. I look forward to meeting you in person.
Monique Ramsey (19:23):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego Freeway in the XiMed Building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.