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Dubai cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Julien Bachour of Elborno Clinic, discusses the best way to get optimum skin results and how to sustain them.

Talk us through your career.

My journey be- gan in 2007 when I earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry at the University of Balamand, and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 2015 at the University of Balamand in Beirut, Lebanon. I then completed my internship in internal medicine, and residency in dermatology at Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, where I found I could merge my dedication to healing with my passion for healthy, beautiful skin. I graduated with a Master’s degree in dermatology speciality in 2019 after which I was engaged at Broomfield hospital located in Chelmsford, UK. I went on to complete my training in the UK where I received a postgraduate diploma in cosmetic medicine from South Wales University. I even received a certificate in Dermoscopy from HealthCert, Australia, that allowed me to be a well-trained dermatologist providing the most up-to-date dermatological care and cosmetic procedures. The training and education I gained made me ready to assemble my clinical ability and practice to give quality patient care and meet the future human services needs in the nation and district. I am focused on giving the highest quality of dermatologic care in an unmistakably ex- pert, extensive, and caring way. I like to offer evidence-based and clinically proven treatments to my patients to deliver optimal re- results in medicine, beauty and overall health.

What made you decide to go into the dermatology field?

In short, I want to make people feel powerful, beautiful, capable and strong. It’s really hard to explain how the appearance of a human being plays a role in self-consciousness and personality. Skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema are associated with a significant impairment in the quality of the patient’s daily life. You cannot believe how many of my friends were ashamed, shy and lost self-confidence in themselves due to acne problems. Again, non-invasive cosmetic procedures have great efficacy in decreasing shyness and anxiety, betterment of interpersonal inter-actions and improving self-esteem, attractiveness and self-image. The second reason I chose dermatology is rooted in my personal life since my father is a dermatologist. I used to go sometimes with him to the clinic and I just loved it. If I’ve ever met you, I’ve studied every line, bump, and pigmentation of your face. It’s a rewarding field, and it’s inspiring to keep people’s skin healthy.

When it comes to taking care of our skin, what are the biggest mistakes you see?

There are many! But the number one is skipping cleansing your face. Even when you’re so tired and just want to go to sleep, make sure you remove your makeup. It can trap dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin, and this type of environmental stress can result in increased free radicals which can cause DNA mutations, collagen degradation and, over time, can result in premature ageing. Prolonged wearing of makeup during sleep also can clog pores, resulting in acne. Daily sunscreen is a must. Even if it’s cloudy, rainy or snowy, you really need sunscreen every day. Exposure to sunlight can cause black spots and skin damage, which can lead to skin cancer. You don’t have to be on the beach to be overexposed to the sun. You may not be aware that you are doing it, but constant plucking of your skin can cause irritation, skin irritation, and bacterial spread. This can lead to scarring or infection since your hands have a significant amount of bacteria. Regular use of a tanning bed is worse than forgetting to wear sunscreen every day. They increase the risk of melanoma, make the skin look less elastic and accelerate ageing.

In terms of skincare, “natural” does not necessarily mean that it is good for the skin. Remember that poison ivy is natural. Essential oils are often very concentrated and can cause skin reactions. Therefore, it is better to choose a dermatologically tested cream instead. It is also important to note that not all creams are intended to be used for all skin types, so if a friend really had benefited from a specific cream, that does not mean it will be suitable for your skin too. It can lead to acne breakout or eczema.

When it comes to achieving optimum skin results, how do we maintain them? Besides having the correct skincare routine, we should eat healthily, avoid smoking and exercise regularly. In addition, exfoliating is really helpful in removing dead skin cells. I always say prevention is better than treatment, therefore undergoing regular noninvasive cosmetic procedures to slow down the ageing process is a must. For example, if we have wrinkles on movement it is time to do botulinum toxin, we should not wait till the wrinkles show without muscle movement which is irreversible. If that happens then the botulinum toxin will not be capable of removing the fine wrinkles. There are a lot of machines that make your skin look more vibrant and youthful so it is always a good idea to have this youthful appearance with the help of technologies that can postpone or even eliminate surgical cosmetic procedures that may be needed if we did not fight the ageing.

Skincare Dr Julian

Image supplied by Getty 

What is the most popular non-invasive treatment your clients have and why do you think this is?

Botulinum toxin remains the most popular noninvasive treatment worldwide and in my clinic. I believe this is because everyone hates having wrinkles. Botox is one of the oldest non-surgical cosmetic treatments so it has a proven track record of safety and efficacy. It is also popular since there is no downtime and no discomfort. In addition, treatment is very quick and convenient. There’s been a common misconception in the past that skincare is only for females, but it’s just as important in a male’s grooming routine. What products and treatments do you recommend for men? Male patients also develop acne, skin cancer and ageing spots. Because of this skincare routine for men is also essential. This involves having an appropriate cleanser, daily sunscreen and a treating cream at night like vitamin A to help the skin glow. Usage of skincare for men and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures have been increasing massively especially amid the pandemic, with the de- sire to look presentable on video calls. We have developed great techniques to administer botox and still leave some expressions giving the natural look to everyone. Men in their 30s begin to encounter extending wrinkles around the face. These wrinkles at the beginning only show up upon movement. But in the long run, a few of these lines start showing up at rest. Botox and other neurotoxins are applied to address these wrinkles by paralyzing the muscle involved. There is growing interest among men to start on preventive Botox. Injectable fillers can be used to smooth wrinkles and look more youthful. But masculinity has evolved and more men than ever are seeking a more square-looking face with sharp cheekbones and a more defined prominent jaw. In addition to this, a lot of men nowadays are seeking removal of hair body or in defining their beard.

How do you hope to help your clients both outside and inside?

I actually practice active listening. I like to ask about the things that are bothering the client before giving my opinion. I then educate the patient about the ageing process and what tools we have to counteract the bothering problem, then give my advice about treatment. I like to build a treatment strategy for patients and do things in sessions, gaining their trust session by session. I always try to do my best and build a good reputation. I like to focus on skin quality and not just the problem that bothers the client. When the problem they hate, they will definitely be happy, but when they see that the problem is solved and the texture of their skin is 5 years younger, they will love my work. Building trust and satisfaction with my clients is the most important thing. It is also important to say no to clients when I believe a procedure will do more harm than benefits.

Dr. Julien Bachour’s top five tips for sustaining your skin

We all wish to have glowing skin. It is the largest organ in our bodies, so investing in it is extremely valuable. To start with every person should have the right skincare products suitable for him/her.

  1. Use the correct cleanser for your skin type. You should cleanse every morning when you wake up and every night before sleeping. For oily or acne-prone skin, a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great. Use either a glycolic or milky cleanser if you have dry skin. Consider a brightening cleanser that has alpha hydroxy acid for example if you have melasma or hyperpigmentation. For skin with brown spots or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser.
  2. Apply a moisturizer daily. If your skin is greasy, you may think that it is better to skip the morning moisturizer, but drying your skin can actually make your acne worse. However, choose the right moisturizer so that it does not exacerbate acne or make the skin greasy (non-comedogenic or oil-free products).
  3. Always wear sunscreen. Wear sunscreen 365 days a year whether it’s raining or sunny, indoors or outdoors, you must have your sunscreen. Many feel that they need to protect themselves only on sunny days or when going to the beach. But the truth is that we need to protect our skin, whether we’re driving, flying, or sitting at home. It is daily UV exposure that contributes to the visible signs of ageing. The sunscreen should be SPF 30 or higher and should be renewed on the face every two hours if you are outside.
  4. Eat healthily and stop smoking. A balanced diet is important, but there are several ways to add vitamins to your skin. There are also topical antioxidants that are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin like Vitamin C serum. 5. Always wash your face at night. In the evening, clean your face again and apply a cream with active ingredients like vitamin A creams. It is important not to use too many products. It can strain the skin and cause more breakouts and clogged pores.

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Images: Supplied & Feature image: Instagram @haileybeiber