This month, Cohorted bring you an exclusive interview with Oculoplastic Surgeon, MZ Skin Founder and Podcast Host, Dr. Maryam Zamani.
Maryam talks to Cohorted about how MZ Skin was created, skincare trends to look out for and advice that will empower younger woman on their career paths. Don’t worry, we wouldn’t just tease you because featured in our October Beauty Box is the Brighten & Protect Vitamin C Serum, guaranteed to answer all your skincare questions.
1. What initially inspired you to make the MZ Skin brand and jump from being a Doctor & Surgeon to a brand founder?
Creating MZ Skin was truly an organic process and perhaps something I was preparing for all my life without knowing. My journey began when my mother introduced me to skincare when I was about 14 years old; I still remember when she gave me a tinted moisturiser and I wore it religiously. Fast forward a few years through college and medical school, I continued a nightly self-care routine comprising of a nice long shower and a skincare ritual.
When I moved to London, I did a lot of studies with hyaluronic acid fillers and developed an interest in non–surgical treatments, leading me to do a Dermatology Certificate with Cardiff University. That’s when I started using doctor skincare brand’s, but the formulations felt too medicinal and lacked the luxury sensory component that I loved so much. So, I experimented with some pharmacy grade products I had formulated with the chemist and shared with a few close friends.
One day, my husband casually said I should just create it for my patients too and that is where MZ Skin was born! My ambition was to have a concise, precise capsule collection of potent actives that work synergistically together to give glowing, beautiful skin, which needed to be simple yet effective, science backed and clinically tested; I wanted these formulas to be free from known or considered nasties, whilst being perfectly feminine and beautiful – the perfect alchemy. I have strived to create a brand made for the woman I am and the women I care for.
2. What do you think we’ll see in terms of skincare trends for the rest of 2020?
- Bespoke skincare and colour matching: I think that will continue to grow
- At home treatments: masks, derma–rollers, massage gadgets. As we are busier, consumers want to be able to treat themselves at home
- Intelligent skincare that works synergistically together; Consumers are more knowledgeable and savvier than ever before
- I think that cannabis skincare will likely become trendier with its anti-inflammatory and calming properties
- With an increase in awareness of air pollution and the effects on our skin health, skincare fighting pollution and inflammation will likely become a key growth area
3. From your experience with clients & in the industry, what do you think is one of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to skincare and aesthetic surgery?
I think the biggest mistake is multifold. For skincare, often people expect results before giving their skincare enough time to work and often, consumers use too many actives together that may or may not work well in combination and then do not know what may be exacerbating skin changes.
In terms of in aesthetic procedures, sometimes people go to many different doctors for treatments. I think it is best to do your research, perhaps see a couple different people that have been recommended to you, and then choose one doctor to build a relationship with. The goal is to be the best version of yourself and remember less is more! You can always add more or do more later.
4. If you could only use 3 skincare products for the rest of your life which would they be and why?
- MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal - Creating a good skin care routine is essential. Bi–weekly exfoliation with a chemical exfoliate like Radiance & Renewal will help remove excess dead skin, debris and pollutants and make skin more receptive to topical ingredients used. It’s also a great way to de-stress when I want to unwind in the bath.
- MZ Skin Hydrate & Nourish – This moisturiser provides SPF 30 and antioxidant protection and contains an encapsulated vitamin A, allowing deeper penetration of the Vitamin A as well as a surge of hydration for the skin.
- MZ Skin Rest & Revive - for instant and long-term hydration & to provide adequate building blocks to the skin & reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. What would be a typical working day for you as a Brand Founder, leading Oculoplastic Surgeon, Podcast Host & the list goes on…
Basically, it’s like that expression – ‘when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes’ type of day! I am not a super early riser, so I organise myself in the evening so that I can sleep in until the last possible moment, which is 7:40am to be precise! I quickly screen my inbox before getting ready, have breakfast with the kids, and we are out the door by 8:05 to drop them off at school. Fortunately, my office is nearby, so I am at my desk by 8:30am and start seeing patients at 8:45am. I try and finish up at the clinic for 1pm, as I usually have a lot of MZ Skin calls and meetings.
Then its school pick–ups and after school activities, during which I tend to check up on our daily plans with MZ skin. If we are home, we have dinner together as a family. I need to exercise pretty much every day and usually go to the gym (before lockdown obviously!) for 45 minutes most nights when the kids go to bed. Once I’ve worked out, I come back to the computer and catch up on the emails (which I am doing now) and prepare for the next day. My husband and I like to see friends in the evening too, so it’s not always possible to get everything done! I try to be in bed by midnight and start all over again. Weekends are family time and I tend to organise my week ahead so that I keep sane; I can’t go to sleep without an empty inbox so that can be tricky.
6. How do you find balance between the varying roles you have come to play, as well as home life?
I think like most working mothers, I am winging it! But in all seriousness, it is always a juggle wanting to get it all in and to enjoy the moment as well. I think that exercise keeps me sane; I also heavily rely on an excellent team to keep me on track and a supportive husband and family.
7. For our readers who aren’t familiar, could you tell us a little about your podcast and what inspires your weekly conversation topics?
I wanted to provide an educational and interesting forum to discuss pretty much what I chat about with my own girlfriends; I thought it would be a way to incorporate the medical knowledge with a person having the treatment. Sometimes, the patient does not know what questions to ask or really understand the risks, benefits and alternatives so these episodes function to help educate as our resident Guinea Pig goes through the process. It ranges from aesthetic to necessary type treatments.
8. What has been your favourite discussion on the podcast so far and why?
I was just discussing this with my co-host Fiona Golfar, and honestly, I find pretty much every episode interesting in its own way. Whether it is something light and we are speaking of brows to having treatments for varicose veins, I think we complement one another well and try to make it interesting without being too heavy.
9. What do you feel most grateful for at the moment?
I have a lot of gratitude in general! I am extremely fortunate to love what I do and feel fulfilled with my professional life as a doctor and surgeon. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful mentors who have guided me and helped me through my skincare journey, the team we have built who work so well together, the partnerships we have forged, the collaborations we have been able to do. Most importantly to the beautiful and supportive family I have at home, who really are my inspiration and my reason to be.
10. Having been successful in multiple industries, what advice would you give to young women who are trying to find their passion and start their career?
I think it’s important to stay true to your values and vision; Nurture and foster your path. Listen and take criticism as it comes because it will only help to make a better product or service, don’t take it personally. Try not to get discouraged- there were a few times I thought, “oh my, how am I going to fix this problem?’, but there is always a solution. You have to be able to change your prospective and adapt to situations; Find mentors to help you. I am so fortunate to have found some wonderfully fierce women who have helped me along the way, and I hope to provide the same to others. Be generous with your time and team and invest in yourself and others. I hope to build a team that wants to stay with me and grow and if their path takes them somewhere else, I hope it’s upward and onward. Don’t worry what others are doing and just plow along forging your own path; There are so many correct paths and only you know your goal! And always celebrate your successes, small or large, with the people who have helped you make it happen.
11. If you could travel back 10 years what advice would you give to your younger self?
That is a hard one. I was always a lists type of person and very obsessive in getting things done; I am sure that in part how I find myself where I am today, but I would say, to try to enjoy the moments more and not be so concerned with getting it all done right then. I look at my gorgeous little daughter who just brings so much joy to all the little things, and I find myself lucky to have that now because I didn’t do that as much when I was younger. Or perhaps I do not remember, ha! I would finally say, don’t sweat the small stuff so much because if it won’t matter in a year, then it really does not matter now.