Cosmetic Dermatologist Simon Ourian is one of the most well-known names in the industry.
His Beverly Hills medical spa, Epione Beverly Hills welcomes an impressive celebrity clientele including the Kardashian sisters, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea, and many more. But it’s not just his A-list client list that makes Ourian so popular with women (and men) from all around the world, it’s his unique approach to enhancing the beauty of an individual through using innovative non-surgical procedures. Ourian’s philosophy is that almost anything is possible without the need of having to go under the knife, and he has developed his own exclusive non-invasive treatments that allow women and men to make the most of their body and faces without having to undergo surgery or endure long recovery times. From non-surgical jawline contouring to non-surgical facials, cellulite removal, non-invasive nose jobs – you name it Ourian has a unique method to do it. His Coolaser and Coolbeam techniques are particularly popular with clients looking for an anti-ageing approach and by the magic of science, Ourian developed these two exclusive methods that have completely changed the process for the better.
Not everyone wants to undergo even non-invasive cosmetic procedures in this way, but many would like to benefit from the knowledge of a globally known doctor. To fulfil this need Simon Ourian developed a line of skincare products. Medical Doctor Ourian (MDO) Professional skincare bridges the gap between beauty and medicine and allows women all around the world to benefit from Simon Ourian’s expertise. He developed the products to allow women to be able to achieve professional results safely and easily in the comfort of their own homes and he wanted to address a number of issues including ageing skin, hydration, radiance, and general skin health. As the products rollout across the world, we discover more about the philosophy behind them and what’s next for Simon Ourian.
How has this past year been for you and what is a lesson you’ve learnt?
That’s like asking me “how do you learn from your nightmares?” But truly, in retrospect, we were very lucky. We closed down for three or four months so we had to readjust to that. Aside from the economical aspect which affected everyone, there has also been the need for a difficult psychological adjustment. I don’t think my situation was any more unique or different from anyone else in the world. The toughest part for me was not being able to be in physical contact with the people I love and knowing people who got sick from COVID-19. I had a couple of close friends who had the virus and one of my colleagues passed away, which was very surreal and difficult. Until you know someone that it happens too, it’s hard to understand the reality. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a lot worse than we expected.
Luckily, since returning to work things have slowly gone back to normal (almost). The part that is not back to normal yet is our international clients. We have around 30 to 50 per cent of clients from overseas, many from the Middle East, and it is still difficult for them to travel. We miss them. Over the years they have become part of our extended family. Everyone in my team has been very fortunate to be vaccinated. And we have taken very extreme measures to make sure everything is clean and safe and it has been very effective.
You have become one of the most recognised names in your industry in the world – what was your aim when you started in this career and have you achieved it?
When I first started, my goal was really just to do something that I could be good at. That’s the only thing that mattered – I didn’t have a huge grandiose vision of how things were going to go and I didn’t want to change the world. I just wanted to do something that I’m good at. My background was art and sculpture and I had a huge affinity to aesthetics and I love to do things associated with that. Plus, I was already working in medicine and I thought this was a way that I could combine the two. When I was 18, I had a nose job and I realised how incredibly it could change not just a person’s appearance, but their psychology. And I thought that if I could do that for people in a few minutes, that would be great. Unfortunately, when I first started, things were pretty much 100 per cent surgical. So I think I was one of the very first to realise that non-surgical procedures were going to be the future. Twenty years ago when collagen first started to be talked about, I thought I could do a lot with it. I started to experiment with fat transfer processes for the face and body which was very effective but had limitations. I think the biggest thing that happened was when botox and fillers were introduced and I transferred my experience with sculpting to this world and that’s probably what gave me an edge over others. It wasn’t something that doctors were taught in medical school and no one had any background in it, so I had a natural advantage. I wasn’t being arrogant but there was no Blueprint to this so I had to, out of frustration, take things into my own hands and I got lucky that my way was also the way that people appreciated.
What is the philosophy you live by in terms of your career?
It’s a very broad philosophy but the bottom line is I think beauty is important and it’s powerful, and as much as people would like to deny it, beauty does matter. Being beautiful and attractive does give you a lot of advantages in life, and I find myself in a position where I can create certain types of beauty very simply, and I think that’s a huge privilege to have been blessed with. It’s a profound thing that I can do for people and that gives me the motivation to do more. I don’t have an ego attached to it, I have this capability where I can do something and make changes in people’s lives and I think if I can do that and make them feel better about themselves and live their lives better, then I have accomplished my goal.
Some might say that every woman is beautiful without needing to work on her appearance – what would you say to them?
Nobody needs to do these things, the same way we don’t need to get a haircut. It’s not a need, but there are certain tools available today, that you can decide if you want to use or not. Everything I do is elective and it’s nice that there is an option. Nobody has to drive a Rolls Royce or fly first class but if you want to do it, the options are available and thank god that they are. Ten, twenty, thirty years ago, in fact, throughout the history of mankind, vanity was frowned upon because there was nothing you could do about it. But in a very short time that has changed. That’s why you see a lot of celebrities who don’t mind talking about what they’ve had done or what they’re doing and that’s great because they are sharing the power with others. Not all of us are born with everything we want, but it’s nice to know that if you want to change something safely and effectively, then the options are there. The cartoon versions of cosmetic surgery that you see in the media are extreme cases of very unfortunate situations. I think if things are done in a tasteful, artistic, elegant way, most people shouldn’t know that you’ve even had a procedure done – it should look like you’ve had a good vacation!
What are some of the most common requests you are receiving from women currently?
Usually, it’s facial contouring – I suppose perhaps that is what I’m known for because of my celebrity clients. People notice that the jawline or cheeks of some of my famous clients have changed and they want to achieve the same results. If you go back to some of my patients who are well-known and look at their pictures from ten years ago, you will see a gradual difference over the years. Although they don’t necessarily share exactly what they have done, you can see how things have improved in their facial features. To me, it is a basic mathematical equation of trying to achieve certain proportions and symmetry, but that’s what my brain is programmed to do and what my hands are programmed to achieve. But the key is to make sure that it is done in a very proportional way. There is no standard approach for everyone. Every face is different and I have to work on each woman’s face individually. So facial contouring is by far our number one treatment. This is followed by stem cell treatments: taking a person’s own stem cells and rejuvenating their skin with it.
You have recently launched your skincare products – tell us a little about them and why they are different from anything else out there?
It wasn’t really the case that I wanted to launch them as much as it is something I have been using in my practice for the past twenty years. There was nothing available out there that was right for my patients, so I used to make a concoction in my office and give it to them. We started to get a cult following and friends of patients would come to buy it and eventually it became overwhelming so I needed to find someone to manufacture it for me in a larger quantity. I had very specific requirements: I wanted it to be preservative-free, clean, no animal testing – all the things that you would want to have in a product today. I found a company in Germany and they did everything exactly how I wanted it. I think we have a line of skincare that is second to none. I’m very proud of it and I’m very happy that people can now use it all over the world.
What are the key products we should look out for?
The first is our Intense Hydrating Moisturizer. It has nanotechnology and nanoparticles which penetrate the skin and create a film on your skin that you can’t even feel and keeps you hydrated. Our Ampoules are very important to me because they stay completely sterile and they keep their Ph value and their potency for as long as they haven’t been opened. They are single-use products, you use one a day and you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination. From the get-go I wanted my skincare to be very treatment-orientated, based on each woman’s concerns, so whatever the issues are, be it fine line, anti-ageing, hydration etc. we have a product for that issue.
Tell us a little about Coolaser therapy and why it is so effective?
Many years ago I was doing CO2 laser therapy for my patients but it had huge disadvantages. Some people would not tolerate it well, they would get discolouration, the recovery time was long and there was a lot of redness and sensitivity. So I contacted the manufacturing company in Germany that was producing these lasers and I asked them if they could make certain changes for me which I thought would be effective for most people; even for darker-skinned individuals who have really sensitive skin. After a few rounds of trial and error, they developed the Coolaser and the results were amazing. I remember when I first tried it and I couldn’t believe it. We were getting the same results as the CO2 laser but without the downtime or the side effects and it worked on all skin types. There are many different elements but the key factor is that I realised if you sent energy deep into the skin instead of to the top layer, you trick your skin into thinking that you have a third-degree burn (without actually having a third-degree burn), and your skin goes into an overdrive of producing collagen. That’s what our skin is programmed to do if you get burned; you produce collagen to replace the skin. So we fool your skin into thinking that it has been burned and it goes into overdrive to produce brand new baby skin. And that’s why in less than two months, people end up with beautiful, supple, healthy fresh skin.
Why do you think women are so concerned with looking younger?
Philosophically and traditionally my understanding is that throughout history, youthfulness has been associated with vitality and vitality for women has been associated with being more attractive. Because of that, being youthful is associated with being more valuable to society. Whether that’s true or not I cannot say, but that’s what we have been programmed to believe. So if you can do anything you can to make yourself look a little more youthful or fresh, the chances are, someone is going to take notice. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, you want to give the best first impression you can and luckily now we have tools to do that.
In this issue we talk about women’s empowerment – how do you think you make women feel more empowered with the treatments you provide for them?
It’s not uniquely something I do, but from cosmetic procedures in general I think beauty is power. For women and men, beauty opens doors for you. It has been scientifically proven that even children as young as six months old respond to more “beautiful” faces. Historically we are programmed to do this. So if you believe that being more attractive will allow you to have better interactions with people, it automatically gives you a lot of power – whether from a social or economical point of view. So the science is there. It is nothing unique to acknowledge that beauty will bring you a lot of power and to deny that is to take away some of the natural powers that women have. Obviously, in my personal life I have experienced times when I looked better and as I mentioned earlier, when I had a nose job at the age of 18, the way I perceived myself completely changed and because of that, my self-confidence increased which ultimately opened more doors for me. Even if you’ve never had a cosmetic procedure we all experience this concept. You take a shower, you get a haircut, you shave, and you feel differently about yourself and often you see people responding to you differently. So this is one step beyond that. I don’t want to minimise the risks or side effects, but as long as the treatment is done by a doctor who knows what he is doing and has plenty of experience I think your chances of getting good results are very high.
Do you have any recommendations or tips for women in the Middle East?
Luckily, most Middle Eastern women are very good at protecting their skin from the sun. Most of my patients in Saudi for example don’t leave the house until 2 pm! So they have learnt to deal with this extreme heat. There are two factors that I want to highlight. It is not just the sun but also the heat that causes discolouration. So sometimes you might feel like you’ve covered your face completely, but the heat is also an issue. You have to keep your skin cool and away from the sun completely. The Hydration Serum that we have is really powerful and it has a cooling effect as well as a moisturising effect. It keeps the temperature of your skin at least one or two degrees lower. So that would be my recommendation to clients in the Middle East.
Where do you stand on non-invasive Vs invasive treatments?
I think we have come a long way. 80 per cent of the things we were only able to do surgically, now we can do non-invasively. I think that surgical processes should be the very last result. We have plastic surgeons in the clinic of course, and we do offer facelifts, body contouring, tummy tucks etc. but we want to it as a very last resort when there are no other options left.
What is something that you still want to achieve?
My wish is to train a lot of doctors in the techniques that I do so that these techniques could be very mainstream. One of the worst things for me is when I see people with bad work on their face, some of which is irreversible. It can be heart-wrenching. You want to see really good results and there are amazing doctors worldwide, but I want everyone to be amazing and that’s what I would love to spend my time doing in the next chapter of my life.
What is the motto you live by?
I’m not much of a motto person but I really learned from my parents to be hardworking. They were immigrants when they came to this country and they instilled a very strong work ethic in me. I come to the office every day and work until I go home to take care of my family. I believe that 80 per cent of the job is done if you show up and I think if you do the best work that you can, people are going to be happy. It is a huge privilege to be in my position.
Can we expect to see you in the Middle East any time soon?
I would love nothing more! I used to visit Dubai and Qatar a lot – not to do procedures but to see a lot of my clients. I do some procedures for my clients who don’t like to travel but normally I like to see patients in a clinic setting. But hopefully, I’ll be back soon, even if it’s just for a visit because it’s a beautiful part of the world and it keeps getting more beautiful. I’m from Iran so for me, it feels like going back home and I miss it. I hope I can go back soon.