Photo Credit: dukemedicine.org
It was early in her training days that oculufacial surgeon Julie Woodward, MD, knew she had found her true calling. “Art always brought me so much joy. The idea of helping patients see better to also enjoy beautiful things in the world was always very exciting,” says Woodward, who is now the chief of oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery service at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC.
Woodward received her MD at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. It was here that hosted an art show and sold every last painting. After residency, Woodward did a fellowship in Oculofacial and Reconstructive Surgery and Laser Facial Aesthetic Surgery at Cimarron Eye Clinic of the Baker Laser Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Woodward sat down with Beauty in the Bag to gab about what she does, why she loves it as well as what she does every day to keep her skin looking so radiant and dewy.
Here’s what she told us:
1. Tell us more about why you choose to become an oculofacial surgeon?
Ever since I was a child I was a natural artist. I loved to create beautiful things from paintings and sculpture to jewelry. Art history was my favorite subject in high school. During my residency, I had an art show where I sold every painting. During my ophthalmology residency, I found that the only subspecialty that satisfied my artistic needs as well as my desire to help patients see better was oculofacial surgery. This field gives me the perfect blend of making patients beautiful, while helping them to see better, all while using my medical and artistic skills to improve their skin and eyes.
2. Tell us what an oculofacial surgeon does?
Oculofacial surgeons are physicians that are trained to take care of the eyes along with surrounding structures, namely the eyelids, brow, and face. Oculofacial surgeons routinely operate on the eyelids, orbit (structures behind the eye), the brow, and the face. This means blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts), brow lift, laser skin resurfacing, facelift, are typical aesthetic procedures in addition to an array of functional surgeries such as eyelid cancer reconstruction, orbital tumors, and lacrimal (tear duct) surgery. It is a broad field that requires 2 years of fellowship training after residency. Oculofacial surgeons work closely with neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, facial plastic surgeons, and dermatologists.
The oculofacial surgeon has completed an ophthalmology residency where he or she becomes an expert with examination equipment such as the slit lamp to examine the cornea, ophthalmoscopes to examine the retina and optic nerve, and the tonometer to monitor the intraocular pressure. These skills are necessary to take care of patients’ eyes Should there ever be injury to any of those structures during eyelid surgery, only the oculofacial surgeon is trained to immediately handle a situation that could harm ones vision.
My aesthetic practice focuses on laser eyelid surgery, laser skin resurfacing, and facial fillers where the eyes can be rejuvenated without the use of a knife. The skin can be vastly improved with ablative fractional and traditional laser resurfacing, but maintaining this investment with scientifically proven skin care products is one of my passions as well; hence my interest in cosmeceuticals.
3. What is your go-to skin care product line and why?
My favorite “go-to” skin care product is CE Ferulic by SkinCeuticals®. I have used it on my face nearly every day for about 15 years. This synergistic antioxidant blend minimizes damage to the skin from ultraviolet rays, as well as from pollution and poor diet. It works by sequestering free radicals cause by these insults and injury to the skin. It has been proven to minimize erythema from sunburn, increase the immunity of the cells in the skin, as well as decrease the occurrence of genetic mutations in the skin that can potentially trigger skin cancer. It is also a skin lightener. It does so many things to make your skin healthy that it is my “everyday must-use” product.
4. How does beauty and skin rejuvenation play a role in your day?
I wake up at 5:15 to go to hot yoga. I wash with any variety of cleansers. I apply SkinCeuticals® Resveratrol B E™ to my eyelids because it contains caffeine to help wake me up and de-puff my eyelids. I then apply Clarity MD clarifying gel by Envy medical with bakuchiol and bisabolol that together help salicylic acid or SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Defense to battle my acne. About 20 minutes into my yoga class when I begin to sweat, I can feel a refreshing sting on my skin as these acids enter my pores to help get rid of acne.
At 7:15, I shower then apply SkinCeuticals® CE Ferulic™ followed by either Glo Minerals SPF 40™ to face, and SkinCeuticals® Physical Eye UV Defense™ to my eyes because it is the highest periocular sunblock approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. I often use Advanced Pigment Corrector™ by Skin Ceuticals® because it was shown to be as effective as hydroquinone 4% at 12 weeks without many of the side effects. Then I apply La Prairie™ powder and go.
After lunch I clean my pores with Glow Therapeutics Clear Complexion Pads and refresh with some Glo Minerals™ powder and lipstick. Then I zip off to surgery. Before bed, I cleanse then apply a small amount of Tretenoin on acne-prone areas. I use Revitalash™ or Latisse™ on lashes and brows. I apply Neocutis’ new Micro Eyes powered with their new Micro Protein Complex™ that increases collagen 1,3, and 7 and their Bio Serum Intensive Treatment™ to my face. I also use Elure™ with lignin peroxidase (a bleach derived from fungus) that can gently bleach existing pigment. Then it’s off to bed.
5. How do you address crow’s feet?
I tend to alternate between the available toxins -Dysport™, Xeomin™, and Botox™ -to my own face and neck, and I do the same for my patients. About twice per year, I have my fellow perform fractional laser resurfacing on my lower lids and neck with the Lutronic laser. I may look scary for about 4-5 days, but CE Ferulic Q am and the Bio Serum Intensive Treatment Q pm helps me heal quickly. I do a variety of fractional and traditional laser to improve my patients’ crow’s feet. Occasionally Belotero Basic™ and Restylane Silk™ are fillers that can be injected into very deep lines in the thin eyelid skin.
6. How do you treat under-eye bags or dark circles?
Injections with Restylane-L™ and Belotero Basic™ both work well in the infra-orbital hollows to minimize dark circles. The CO2 laser softens wrinkles and increases collagen to make the eyelids less translucent and more opaque. This helps to hide underlying dark muscle. Since the new collagen is white, the darkness of the lower lids will be more camouflaged. Of course a lower lid laser transconjunctival blepharoplasty is the most fabulous “no stitch” way to “unpack the bags”.