Pioneering aesthetics doctor Radmila Lukian, the founder of Lucia Clinic, discusses staying ahead of the curve when it comes to beauty and how she’s championing game-changing treatments here in the region.

Talk us through your career.

I am the Medical Director and founder of Lucia Clinic, where Dubai goes for beauty. I’m a dermatologist and anti-ageing specialist with more than 20 years of experience in beauty treatments and skin rejuvenation techniques. I earned my academic degree from a prestigious Belgrade university and previously worked at the Clinical Centre of Serbia. I always have the opportunity to learn something new and exchange knowledge. Dermatology is linked with immunology. The skin reveals how our body, soul, and emotions are our most significant organs and this is why I did my master’s studies in nutrition and skin. Very early on in my career as a dermatologist, I discovered my talents for aesthetic medicine since my results were outstanding. Creativity and knowledge in aesthetic medicine are my specialities. My results have been recognized in the USA, and I am thankful that I became an educator for the new techniques and technologies for non-surgical facelifts.

What brought you to Dubai?

When I was invited to give training and lecture at a dermatology conference in Dubai, I received offers to stay here and work in Dubai. I quickly realized this was a great opportunity for me as a dermatologist and aesthetic doctor. In Dubai, we have a superb mix of different skin types and approaches to every skin type.

Why did you decide to open your own clinic in 2012?

I realised I could not implement my knowledge by working in another clinic. I was limited. I felt that I could not grow and could not be the decision-maker. The business and commercial approach was always more vital than the approach of the doctor or expert in another place where I worked. So, my main aim was to create a new concept where the doctor’s expert opinion comes first. My vision and focus were always on implementing all my international experience and knowledge first, but always providing the best safety solutions with excellent results, never compromising quality. And then, the focus is on the business. The biggest challenge was that I did everything by myself without any support, investors, or agency. So, I did all procedures, studied laws and more by myself, but the experience I gained has been priceless. During that journey, I realized that if somebody opens a business, they should know every single step of the process.

How have things developed for Lucia Clinic over the last decade?

Currently, we are a team of 40+ international professional team members full-time, plus external consultants, marketing and legal. We’re growing every day since this is a natural process when your business is developing. Our services include dermatology, plastic surgery, and aesthetic and cosmetic treatments for the face and body. When I started, I was the only doctor, but now we have six doctors in the clinic and patients from all over the world. Before I had one person at the reception, today at Lucia Clinic, we have six people at the reception. Before I didn’t have anybody in marketing, today, we have an entire strong marketing team. We are a team that is committed to providing tailored treatment options that help our esteemed clients enjoy healthier and more beautiful lives.

In terms of beauty, how have things changed over the years in this region?

Beauty standards don’t last and are always changing. The idea of beauty has changed and will continue to change throughout history. What was once a beauty standard is no longer the norm, and things are constantly changing. In ancient Egypt, you were considered beautiful if you were slim with a symmetrical body. Typically, younger females and males with muscles were most attractive. Similarly, Greeks valued a symmetrical face, but men’s bodies were valued over women’s. Women during the Renaissance era typically had longer hair, wider hips, and were on the heavier side. The Victorian era was also when makeup was controversial but also when it became popular. The 21st century may have just begun 20 years ago, but the concept of beauty continues to change. Most women aim for a slender look with larger breasts and flat stomachs. While many of us were growing up, we were led to believe that being thin was the “ideal” which is not true. Curvy has been considered the ideal throughout most of history.

Lucia Clinic Jumeirah

You’re a pioneering clinic here in the region. How do you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to aesthetics?

At Lucia Clinic, we always love constructive challenges and we are always improving the quality of service and treatment daily. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to know the market very well, not only in the Middle East, but the international market as well. As a leader in the GCC market, we are always first with new devices, products, and solutions. In the last 12 months, we launched four of the latest revolutionary technologies at Lucia Clinic; the first in the Gulf and Asia. Continuous improvement is our company culture that encourages all employees to look for ways to enhance the business’ operations. This includes suggesting ideas to improve efficiencies, evaluating current processes, and finding opportunities to cut unproductive work. And as a chief physical dermatologist, I am the person who is responsible for every procedure and even new product. We are following trends, regularly attending world congresses, listening to and understanding our clients, and setting the trends. We worked very, very hard to be where we are today. We have a fantastic team at Lucia Clinic, for which I am very grateful.

Lucia Clinic welcomes clients from the globe over. Can you outline some of the most famous faces you have coming to the clinic?

I am always honest with my clients and in business. For me, this is super im- important to have this transparent relationship. It is fantastic when your work as a doctor and your brand, Lucia Clinic is recognised by celebrities such as: Huda Kattan, Mona Kattan, Naomi Campbell, Eva Longoria, Lindsay Lohan, Salama Mohamed, Kha- lif Al Ameri, Maria Bravo, Amir Khan and more. All these ladies and gents often call Lucia Clinic the first destination to visit in Dubai or their second home.

What new trends do you see emerging in the region regarding beauty?

The latest trend is a healthy lifestyle – living, feeling and looking healthier. This trend is bringing new clients to the clinic for the first time. This is why it’s essential to follow the research, trends, techniques and more. The clinic which implements the same, with the most successful results, is the winner. Men’s interest and participation in cosmetic procedures have increased in recent years. The increase in male patients undergoing cosmetic procedures is multifactorial. A desire to be more competitive and youthful in the workforce, the growing social acceptability of cosmetic procedures, and increased awareness of safety and efficacy contribute to the increase in male patients. In addition, more and more younger people (gen Z) are looking for dermatologists.

How do you hope to help your clients feel from the inside and out?

We all have different stories, different skin and a different life. First of all, I am a doctor, a dermatologist. My role as a doctor is to maintain and restores human health through the practice of medicine. We only get one precious face and taking excellent care of our skin to prevent premature ageing is one of the best ways to show ourselves love. Your skin is unique. Skincare is healthcare. We, as doctors, should always listen to our patients. Listening to your clients indicates that you care about what they think. It makes them feel important and valued, which helps build trust. A doctor-patient relationship is considered to be the core element in the ethical principles of medicine. This is critical for vulnerable patients as they experience a heightened reliance on the physician’s competence and skills. And don’t forget to smile. The key is to validate their feelings and offer genuinely helpful solutions.

This is The Pioneer Issue – to you, what does it take to be a pioneer?

A pioneer, for me, is someone who sees potential, an innovator who is willing to try new things. Pioneers are typically free-thinking, adventurous, spontaneous, and highly creative. They are independent-minded, often clever and always original.

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