Dr. Sandy Skotnicki is the author of Beyond Soap: The Real Truth About What You Are Doing to Your Skin and How to Fix It for a Beautiful, Healthy Glow and founder of Toronto's Bay Dermatology Centre and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, divisions of Dermatology and Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Toronto. She is a consultant dermatologist at Toronto's St. Michael Hospital. A well-known expert on skin allergy, Dr. Skotnicki has been quoted in Oprah, Flare, Elle Canada, Chatelaine and The Globe and Mail. Her television and radio appearances include ET Canada, CTV, CityTV, Global News, CBC Radio, The National and CBC national news.
What was your inspiration for writing your book Beyond Soap?
Several years ago I was on a trip to the magnetic North Pole. I was in a tent with some very interesting and inspiring people in different fields and we were talking about where we saw ourselves over the next 10 years. I realized then that I wanted to write a book which focused on my specialty of skin sensitivities and contact dermatitis. I felt that the general public was uneducated on the effects of over washing and too many chemicals in their skincare products. I was seeing more and more people with mild to severe skin reactions in my office on a daily basis. Most of these reactions were being caused by the overuse of their skincare and shampoo products. These reactions actually had a very simple fix. Most people do not understand the difference between hygiene and cleanliness. Certain parts of the body do need to be washed to be kept clean (most importantly your hands which come into contact with germs all of the time), but we do not need to constantly scrub our bodies with harsh chemicals. In the end, we do more harm than good by compromising the outer layer of our skin and making it more prone to react and become irritated.
What's Dr. Sandy Skotnicki's regime?
I basically don't wash my face anymore! I use Bioderma Micellar Cleanser to remove makeup and cleanse. Every morning I use a few drop of the C E Feurlic by SkinCeuticals which is a vitamin C serum. I follow this with Chantecaille's Just Skin tinted moisturizer which I love because it has a SPF 30 with titanium, it's tinted so it's my make-up and it also has pollution screen. At night I use retinol by SkinCeuticals, to remove dead skin and diminish fine lines. If I use eye cream I use Redermic C Eye Cream which is available at drugstores. I do a couple of a IPL's a year to keep the brown spots away and I do my Botox regularly. I do very little filler because I have big Polish cheeks!
When did your love of fashion start?
It has been a long path! I was a jock in high school and university - always in sweatpants and a ponytail. In my 2nd year of medical school I had to start to wearing dressier clothes, so I went to Tom's Place in Kensington Market where I could afford to buy some nice clothes at a reasonable price (I was a student on a budget!). I realized with my height and lean body that I could wear clothes well and fit into sample sizes. I started to understand that there was a big difference between fashion and style. The real turning point came when I was newly married, I had started to make some money and my husband and I decided we would go out on Boxing Day and buy each other something special. We went down to Bloor Street and my husband convinced me to go into Prada. Everything was on sale so we bought a few things. Once I experienced clothes of such amazing quality and style, I started to understand the value of the designer brands. I still have many of those pieces today - 20 years later! That changed my attitude - I bought less but I bought better quality. It helped my business because the clothes gave me confidence and made me feel fantastic.
Who are your fashion icons?
I love classic fashion icons like Grace Kelly and Katherine Hepburn. I also like Naomi Watts for her chic bob and sense of style. She's not afraid to post pictures of herself in a t-shirt and jeans with her kids - not always perfectly coiffed like most actresses these days. Another one I like is Delphine Figueras - she's so natural, has five kids and rides horses. That appeals to the outdoorsy/farm girl side of me. On the other side of the spectrum, I have become quite enamoured with Sabine Getty. She's on the extreme side of glamour, wearing Valentino walking around her English garden. I love that kind of thing too.
How has art influenced your love of fashion?
My love and appreciation of art happened by accident. I wanted to buy my husband a gift and our neighbours at the time happened to be famous Canadian artist Tony Scherman and his wife Margaret Priest. I told them I wanted to start collecting art so they introduced me to gallery owner Jane Corkin because she represented photographers and photographs were more affordable at the time. I ended up falling in love with fashion photography which I have been collecting for 20 years now. When I moved into this house after my separation my decorators helped me put my photography wall together and we realized all the photographs were all of female subjects. Photographers like Lillian Bassman, Richard Avedon, Melvin Sokolsky, Mapplethorpe to name a few. And a work on a paper by Chagall.
So art has influenced my fashion primarily by the people I have met in the art industry. People in the art industry are so interested in life, curious about different things, they love to travel - art makes you look at things differently. Most of those people love style - it goes hand in hand I think.
How do you decide which pieces to part with when you decided to sell with Suite Adore?
I often think about - because i have 3 sons - timeless pieces and ones with meaning I want to give to my future grandkids or daughters-in-law like my Chanel suit and some iconic jewellery pieces. Things that are more avant-garde or trendy I am more likely to sell. I think consignment is a nice way for women to share their love of fashion in a way where all parties can benefit. We all have pieces that we have only worn a couple of times but are ready to part with for whatever reason. It allows people the opportunity to have to access to those items they may not have been able to afford at retail.
What pieces do you like to buy from Suite Adore?
I earn a good income but I can't afford to wear brands such as Chanel, Carolina Herrera or Dior all the time. If I can experience those labels at a fraction of the price - what a great solution!
I also love finding true vintage piece on the site, such as this stunning coat by Elizabeth Mason that I just purchased. I love the history of these pieces. I think consignment can be a great way to access those special pieces that are of such high quality.
Because I am always busy I love that I can quickly look through the Suite Adore Instagram page and see how to put the pieces together and check out new arrivals each week.
How has your fashion sense evolve and how do you stay current?
One of my closest friends, Marlo Sutton, just happens to be an amazing personal shopper. She knows me well, my lifestyle, body type and what I already have in my closet! I also love to shop when I travel because I find things that maybe aren't available at home.
I think my fashion sense has evolved as I have gotten older and my body has changed. I used to wear very form fitting things and I still do to a certain extent but again it comes back to style versus fashion - you have to pick the fashion pieces that work for your body. For me it might mean covering my arms a little more and wearing shoes that aren't so high!
Shop Dr. Sandy Skotnicki's looks:
Metallic Mixed Print Single Breasted Coat
$1,125.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $4,505.00 CAD
Sleeveless Striped Sheer Blouse
$475.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $950.00
Metallic Leather Ankle Strap Sandals
$350.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $950.00 CAD
Double Breasted Trench Coat
$425.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $1,600.00 CAD
Sleeveless Blouse with Tie
$295.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $1,025.00 CAD
'Gourmette' Suede Bag
$1,795.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $3,750.00 CAD
Denim Mid Sleeve Peplum Dress
$1,395.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $4,595.00 CAD
Sleeveless Fitted Dress with Waistbelt
$675.00 CAD | Apprx. Retail: $2,295.00 CAD