MEET OUR TEAM
We designed SKINxFIVE around the 'greatest hits' principle in choosing our most favored skin-renewing technologies.
Ava Shamban M.D. is a renowned board-certiﬁed dermatologist licensed to practice medicine in California, New York, Illinois and Hawaii. As owner and director of two medical practices, AVA MD Santa Monica and AVA MD Beverly Hills, she is also the co-founder of the new skin concept venue, SKINxFIVE in Paciﬁc Palisades, California. Plus, she serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine, lectures nationally and internationally, and is principal investigator on many clinical and FDA trials. Her book Heal Your Skin: The Breakthrough Plan for Renewal (Wiley) was published in 2010.
A favorite with both patients and media, Dr. Ava Shamban has always understood the close link between appearance and self-esteem, and dedicates herself to helping patients of all ages improve their skin to live happier lives.
Many know her from her regular television appearances on CBS’ The Doctors, as the skin maven on ABC’s Extreme Makeover or as a frequently quoted health and beauty expert in fashion glossies all over the world. A California native, Dr. Shamban graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Our success here is an accessible skincare venue with streamlines, yet still derm-quality, services that many people can enjoy.
SKINxFIVE managing partner and co-owner Christine Nell, F.N.P., has worked with Dr. Shamban since the year 2000. A nurse since 1997, she graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certiﬁcate in 2002 from Azusa Paciﬁc University. During graduate school, she was mentored by Dr. Shamban as a dermatology intern and earned a Certiﬁcate of Academic Excellence. In 2007, she partnered with Dr. Shamban in opening Ava MD Beverly Hills and presently serves patients while running the practice.
At AVA MD, Christine’s personalized, monitored programs combining the best of both medical dermatology and aesthetics to deliver unsurpassed results have earned her an avid fan base of loyal patients.
Christine very much the entrepreneur too. In 2016, she and her sister KarriAnn Khalil – also a popular provider at AVA MD Beverly Hills – formed their company, Skin Sisters, whose ﬁrst interprise was the launching of SKINxFIVE. “SKINxFIVE has an enormous potential for growth,” she says. “We’re designing a protocol offering lighter versions of derm services that occupies its own niche. My dream is for SKINxFIVE to be like Soul Cycle, consistently offering the best and with locations all over.”
Doing what we do requires a keen eye, steady hand, lively intellect and a big heart.
SKINxFIVE managing partner and co-owner KarriAnn Khalil is equal parts complexion healer and innovative entrepreneur. Having been obsessed with skin and science from as long as she can remember, she’s always enjoyed working with people too. So she couldn’t be happier than she is today delivering skin services to patients at AVA MD in Beverly Hills as well as working on the launch of SKINxFIVE in Paciﬁc Palisades.
KarriAnn is a Wisconsin girl – born in Milwaukee, raised in Oshkosh, and a B.S. in History (with an Environmental Sciences minor) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work as a behavioral therapist for autistic children followed by three years as a psychiatric nurse were rewarding to be sure. But she couldn’t get dermatology out of her mind.
She started interning at Ava MD in 2008 while ﬁnishing up her studies. A member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing, she became a permanent part of the AVA MD team since 2010. In 2016, KarriAnn and Christine Nell formed their company, Skin Sisters, that teamed up with Dr. Shamban on SKINxFIVE.
“My own personal struggle with acne and psoriasis prompted me towards a career as a Nurse Practitioner in Dermatology.”
Cristina Shallenberger was born and raised in Calabasas, California.
From the time she was a girl, Cristina aspired to be an opera singer. She subsequently earned a B.A. in Music and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California.
In helping clear her acne and psoriasis, the skills of the AVA MD laser nurses inspired Cristina to study skin science. She became a Registered Nurse and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College in 2010 and went on to complete her Master’s Degree as a Nurse Practitioner from Azusa Pacific University in 2012.
Working for Dr. Shamban at AVA MD fulfilled a major career goal. Cristina’s first introduction to the practice was in 2001 as a patient. Flash forward to 2012 and she was hired as a Nurse Practitioner at AVA MD, excelling in the use of injectable fillers and neurotoxins along with an array of anti-aging lasers.
In Spring 2017, Cristina joined SKINxFIVE, and now divides her time between the AVA MD practice in Beverly Hills and our studio here in the Palisades.
“I have always had a love for skincare and a passion for making people feel good about themselves.”
Viktoriya Kostikian was born in Russia and moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was five years old. Aside from a few interim years in Denver, she married in 2010 and has been an Angelino ever since.
Viktoriya attended The College of International Esthetics in Arvada, Colorado and became licensed in 2008. Soon enough, however, she realized she wanted to deepen her knowledge of skin physiology and expand her opportunities while still capitalizing on her aesthetics skills. Knowing she wanted to work in the dermatology field, she went back to school, this time at West Coast University in Los Angeles and graduated in April 2016 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She also has certifications in CoolSculpting and Botox training with Allergan in September 2016, she joined AVA MD and SKINxFIVE and has already built a popular following.
“I experience a career high point every day,” Viktoriya says, “When a client thanks me and lets me know that I actually made a difference on their skin.”
The many moments of connecting and creating relationships with our clients are what I've always wanted in a career.
Front desk maestro Kerry Stirling keeps SKINxFIVE running ship shape from day to day handling the phones, scheduling, product sales and customer service with exceptional aplomb.
Kerry knows the neighborhood backwards, having grown up just a few blocks from our premises. She knows skin issues backwards too, having grown up with a father who was a prominent dermatologist.
After graduating from Crossroads High School for Arts & Sciences where she discovered a passion for art and design, she majored in Fashion at Otis College of Art & Design. As it turned out though, fashion design did not fulﬁll Kerry’s penchant for helping others through personal contact.
“I ﬁnd that the ﬁeld of aesthetic dermatology really fulﬁlls my eye for beauty and desire to help others,” she says. “In addition to the years that I assisted my father with his practice, I have been back working in skincare services for the past three years. I have ﬁnally found the ﬁeld that utilizes my skills, artistic eye as well as my creative and compassionate personality.”
Dr. Shamban, Christine Nell and KarriAnn Khalil and our amazing team do a great job in educating both staff and clientele.
As SKINxFIVE Office Manager, Liz Romero brings elegance to enterprise and logistics. Born and raised in Mexico, she attended high school in Los Angeles and went on to study business at USC.
She’s worked in dermatology oﬃces for 12 years now, the last nine being with AVA MD Beverly Hills from its inception. Starting as a receptionist, after four years on the job she was promoted to management. As a manager, she has strong feelings about the critical role of receptionist, “The front desk, both on the phone and in person, is the ﬁrst point of contact. Knowledge, friendliness and honesty is what you’ll ﬁnd with us.”
With the launch of SKINxFIVE, Dr. Shamban, Christine Nell and KarriAnn Khalil knew they had to get Liz on board to organize everything about the business aside for the actual treatments themselves.
“What I love about SKINxFIVE,” says Liz, “is that we can help more people with convenient, affordable skin treatment services that actually work! Many busy people just don’t have the time or the money that most services out there require. We’ve changed that paradigm forever! We want to give everyone the ability to get healthy glowing skin.