There is an interesting fact in history: during the financial collapse of the 1920s and 1930s, industrial production in the United States fell significantly, but the demand for cosmetics increased significantly. This phenomenon is called the "lipstick effect". In turbulent periods, people stop spending money on large purchases, preferring cosmetics - both care and decorative. Therefore, today, when the world is experiencing another crisis, we decided to talk with representatives of the fields of aesthetic cosmetology, dentistry and preventive medicine and learn from them about the latest trends in the field of health and beauty care.
Stanislav Vafin, Vadim Fedotov, Tatiana Al Sabunchi © press service
Vadim Fedotov is the CEO and founder of the biotechnology company bioniq. It focuses on personalized health solutions. Bioniq clients go through check-ups, and then, based on the results of tests that are submitted in partner laboratories and clinics, they receive recommendations from doctors on how to eat and keep in good physical shape, what nutrients to take. All of this is in line with the biohacking trend that has been incredibly popular lately. bioniq operates in England and Russia, prepares a launch in New York, and recently entered the United Arab Emirates market. In Russia, she collaborates with Medsi and laboratories throughout the country.
Tatyana Al Sabunchi is a candidate of medical sciences, cosmetologist, chief physician of the Tori aesthetic medicine clinic, which has gained fame as one of the most powerful Russian clinics in the field of aesthetic cosmetology. Tori employs doctors and aesthetists who work in virtually every field. The names of the devices and drugs used in the clinic can be listed endlessly.
Stanislav Vafin is the chief physician and co-founder of the Swiss Smile dental clinic in Moscow. Swiss Smile is a network of Swiss clinics: there are as many as 27 of them in the homeland of the brand, and one in Russia. Treatment can start in Geneva and end in our country, or vice versa. Swiss Smile clinics strive to create a mini-hotel atmosphere where the patient can feel like a guest and relax. This explains the peculiarities of the interior: dim light, crystal, no white hospital walls.
How did your personal interest in investing in health start?
Vadim: I used to be a professional basketball player, and I had to try different supplements. But I always felt that I was still far from the peak of opportunities. The doctors could not understand what was wrong with me and said: "You are not sick with anything." But I understood that just not getting sick was not enough for me. I wanted to feel better. At some point, I met Konstantin Karuzin, the future co-founder and medical director of our project. For the past twenty years, he has been involved in research that concerns, among other things, improving the level of cognitive and physical abilities of professional athletes. A colleague of mine was doing clinical testing in Switzerland and found that 97% of people have significant nutritional deficiencies. But with a personalized selection of the necessary substances, physical abilities are noticeably improved.
We thought: if such results can be achieved in the case of professional athletes, then what will happen to ordinary people, who usually have much higher nutritional deficiencies? This is how the idea of our company was born. We use Swiss technology, thanks to which the granules are absorbed by the body within 12 hours. Moreover, the nutrients are supplied in micro doses that do not block each other. Let's say if I were just taking a mountain of pills, they would start "arguing" with each other. Swiss development allows one person to assign 50, 60 or even 70 different components at the same time.
Tatiana: I advocate procedures that support natural beauty. I sincerely believe that there are no ugly women. We need to learn how to emphasize the pros and carefully mask the nuances. I work a lot with leather quality. For me, cosmetology is not a botox injection in the forehead, but first of all grooming.
Do you think Russian beauty clinics and companies dealing with health issues have already reached the global level?
Stanislav: If we compare dental services in Switzerland and in Moscow, then there is no fundamental difference between them. In Russia our services are slightly cheaper than in Switzerland, but in terms of quality and volume, they are in no way inferior. When Swiss doctors come to Moscow for consultation, they are often surprised that we have collected everything they need in one place. The specialist can take only one gown with him and get everything he needs for work at the clinic.
If we talk about the professionalism of doctors, then in Russia, as elsewhere, there are good ones, there are average ones, there are those who should not have gone to medicine at all. When I finished my studies, there were 12 dental faculties throughout the country. Now there are eight of them in Moscow alone, but if a student just graduated from the institute, this does not mean that he can already be considered a highly qualified doctor. I like the American system: after graduation, yesterday's student works as an assistant for five years, and then he gets a dentist's license. But, if we talk about really first-class specialists, then in Russia, and in Europe, and in the United States, they are approximately at the same professional level. I spoke with many of them at international conferences: we speak the same language and discuss the same problems.
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© press service
Tatiana: Human qualities are very important. When a doctor just starts working, he tries to be more careful and attentive, but over time he may well switch to the “I know everything and I can do everything” mode. It's like with a car: first we drive it carefully, then we start driving it. Star fever is dangerous for a doctor, but experience is necessary. A doctor who has been working for many years simply knows more and can cope with unforeseen circumstances, because anything can happen in medicine. If a specialist claims that you are guaranteed to have no complications, you need to leave him. On the other hand, a doctor who did not leave a patient helped to resolve a difficult situation can be considered a real professional.
Vadim: Of course, all countries have leaders and strong players. We started in the premium segment, and we were lucky to work with the best doctors, and our first partner spent seven months researching the proposed product. Before coming to Russia, we had the opportunity to work with leading English specialists who take on Harley Street in London, where top clinics are located. Then I realized that in any country there are both good and bad doctors. The main thing for our project is to find a partner who knows how to choose real professionals.
How would you describe your patients? Has their portrait changed due to the pandemic?
Stanislav: Our clinic has always worked in the premium segment, and this aspect has remained unchanged. But a new audience appeared, and it became even more interesting to work. Those who used to fly to Europe or America to treat teeth have come to us. On the other hand, some of our regular customers who have a residence permit in other countries stayed to wait out the pandemic there.
Tatiana: Our patients are mostly girls. Interesting, different, each with its own history. I cannot say that this year there are fewer of them. There are regular customers, new ones. Some come rarely, but regularly, for specific procedures. Others, on the contrary, walk often, and over the years of communication we have developed trusting, friendly relations. Probably, due to such relations, the pandemic as a whole did not change the situation much.
Tori Clinic © press service
Tori Clinic © press service
Vadim: We are working to prevent our clients from becoming patients, because our company is engaged in preventive medicine. The main task for us is to give people an understanding of what is happening with their body so that they do not have to seek medical help. Recently, we have noticed that people's attitudes towards health have changed. If earlier, the people who were wealthy and those who were in adulthood thought about preventive measures, now a new, younger audience has appeared: women of 22-23 years old, men of 28 years old. Such clients, as a rule, earn less, but they understand the value of health and put it above travel and material wealth. They ask more questions, are interested in biohacking, but, of course, are interested in a different price level. We even revised the product line to create offers tailored to their needs.
How has patients' attitudes towards aesthetics changed?
Stanislav: People began to be interested in her more. Many of our patients did not have time before to take care of the appearance of the teeth: to put veneers, to correct the occlusion. This year, the business has partially paused, so there is a demand for procedures that were previously postponed. Now many people turn to us for aesthetic services: we work with several laboratories, and all of them are overloaded. I think that as a result of the pandemic, people will spend less time in the office and pay more attention to themselves, family and health.
Is there a demand in cosmetology for beautiful, natural aging?
Tatiana: Fortunately, trends are changing. If earlier clients came with photographs of celebrities and the words “I want it the same”, now most prefer naturalness. People want to emphasize their individuality, not copy someone else - a movie star or a girlfriend. I myself advocate treatments that support natural beauty. I sincerely think that there are no ugly women: you just need to be able to emphasize your dignity and carefully mask the nuances. For me, cosmetology is not a botox injection in the forehead, but, first of all, grooming.
Stanislav: There is now a greater demand for naturalness in aesthetic dentistry. Our clients choose teeth that are light, but natural shades, and German technicians are happy to make them. In turn, the demand for unnaturally white teeth falls. We, as doctors, cannot but rejoice: we want to create masterpieces, not porcelain cups. Another trend is ultra-thin veneers. If earlier it was necessary to remove a lot of your own tissue, now technologies allow you to almost not prepare a tooth, but to glue thin plates of 0.3-0.7 mm. It looks very neat.
Tatiana, you are a cosmetologist, do you work in a team with dentists, nutritionists and other doctors?
Tatiana: Absolutely. The processes that take place in the body, in particular, chronic diseases, are displayed on the skin almost immediately. Changing bite, by the way, also affects the way our skin looks. Therefore, we involve other specialists in working with the patient, including dentists and even gynecologists.
When do you send your patient to the dentist?
Tatiana: Without consulting a dentist, it is impossible to do, for example, a chin correction. The client may have underdevelopment of the jaw, which also needs to be corrected beforehand. Working with a dentist requires the restoration of the face oval, the shape of the lips. In general, everything related to the lower jaw.
Stanislav: One of the latest trends is Dental Face Lift. She is gaining popularity not only in the West, but also in Russia. Over the years, a person's bite changes, teeth wear out, the lower third of the face decreases, folds and wrinkles appear. And if at the same time the patient has a distal bite (the upper jaw is shifted forward in relation to the lower one - "RBC Style"), then fillers cannot correct this. It is necessary first of all to bring the jaw into the correct position. Many wealthy women over forty do this procedure to look 10-15 years younger.
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Who is dominant among your patients: men or women?
Vadim: Women. They understand earlier that it is worth taking care of their health carefully. Usually a woman joins our system first, then advises her spouse to do the same, and her parents and friends come after him. It is interesting, by the way, that after seven months men, as a rule, give up everything, but then they feel that the energy has become less and return. Women are much more disciplined and stable, they are regularly tested.
At what age and under what circumstances do you think it is worth starting to think about investing in your health?
There is a strong opinion that a cosmetologist should be contacted for the first time at the age of 25. I don't like this approach. Each case is different. There are atopic children whose skin does not cope with the protective function, and they need to use external drugs from birth. On the other hand, I have patients with whom we will never have a conversation about botulinum toxin injections. In the case of youth preservation measures, it is advisable to consult with a beautician at about 28-30 years old in order to plan supportive procedures. This is necessary in order not to do everything at once. If we keep the room clean every day, then general cleaning will not be needed.
Vadim: Lifestyle and nutrition affect health. Yes, children absorb nutrients better: even if the tests show a deficiency of a substance, the body most often copes on its own. But explaining to the child what discipline is is already the task of the parents. If a family eats fast food several times a week, it is strange to expect children to develop healthy eating habits. If the father lies on the couch all day, then it will be difficult to instill in the child a love of sports. We must be an example for children, so that from an early age they learn to be attentive to their body. And they can turn to micronutrient help later.
Stanislav: If we talk about dental health, you need to start taking care of yourself from the first tooth. At four to five years old, you need to take your child to an orthodontist to see how the jaws develop. Healthy teeth and correct bite are the result of proper nutrition and well-functioning gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, it is never too late to start caring for your teeth. Don't be afraid that the dentist will tell you something scary. There are many technologies that can help you fix this. On the other hand, the approach to aesthetic dentistry can be practiced the same as, for example, clothing. Without clothes, you cannot leave the house, because you will simply freeze. But what it will be - sloppy or fitted to the figure, you decide.
What procedures do you most often recommend to patients and what do you use yourself?
Tatiana: I recommend everything that maintains the quality of the skin: biorevitalization, peels, plasma therapy. It is your skin that people see first. It may sound harsh, but no matter how old a sofa is, it will look different with new upholstery. Popular areas today are contouring and hardware cosmetology. The latter is developing rapidly, new techniques appear. In my opinion, alterotherapy is the safest procedure that gives a pronounced lifting effect. It is often touted as a replacement for circular braces. However, it is worth remembering that if the ptosis has already begun, and the oval of the face has "floated", hardware cosmetology may not cope. We'll have to go to a plastic surgeon.
As for myself, I have been injecting myself for 12 years. These are regular, supportive procedures: biorevitalization, peels, procedures using botulinum toxins. In general, prevention is very important. For example, the same botulinum toxin should be injected before wrinkles appear, especially for those who have too active facial expressions.
Vadim: Today we have two options for subscription to services - life and balance. The first involves a biochemical analysis based on fifty parameters. We check everything: from cholesterol levels to micronutrient and vitamin levels. We have more than sixteen thousand people in our database, so we have the opportunity to compare different cases and better understand who and what to assign. 70% of success is proper nutrition and micronutrients, which the client takes for two months, after which we again do tests and see what has changed. Almost a third of our patients, as a result of tests, revealed either a tendency to some kind of disease, or a pre-existing disease that they did not know about. In this case, we refer the person to a specialist for medical advice.
The balance subscription is aimed at checking the level of micronutrients in order to subsequently adjust the diet and understand what substances are missing in a particular person. I, like my whole family, use the life subscription, which takes into account more health parameters. I also practice intermittent fasting. It helps me to fully recover at the beginning of the week, to focus, to give my body a deload. I have been living in this mode for the fifth year already. As a former athlete, I also cannot deny myself physical activity: I try to do it five or six times a week or more often.
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© press service
Stanislav: In my opinion, the bite and position of the teeth are very important. At one time I wore braces for three years, and it was painful. Now, fortunately, everything can be corrected with aligners or transparent aligners, which will make the bite perfect in just a year and a half. We are actively working on mouthguards for sports: martial arts and fitness. If a person's jaw is in the correct position during physical exertion, then the impact force and training efficiency will be 10-15% higher.
Do you agree that investing in yourself is a long, in fact, lifelong history?
Tatiana: What do you think, is it possible to stop, for example, having breakfast? No matter how much you eat today, tomorrow morning your appetite will wake up again. Life goes on, situations change, new temptations appear, new sources of stress. Yes, you can choose the right products with the help of a beautician and make a beautiful smile at the dental clinic. But the effect must be maintained in any case.
Stanislav: Ceramic restoration is, of course, durable. In the end, ceramic vases are found at the bottom of the sea and then put in the Pushkin Museum. So if the veneers were just lying on the shelf, they would last five hundred years. But we chew food every day, teeth wear out, plaque forms on them. Therefore, at least once every six months, you need to go to a hygienist, and after forty years - to a periodontist. Then everything will be fine.
Vadim: Sometimes our clients ask: "How many cycles do I need to join the system?" Then I ask them a counter question: "At what point will your health become less important to you than it is today?" Then they conclude: "It turns out, we are with you forever?" Ideally, yes. This is a necessary measure to maintain the quality of life. Any temporary investment will not be as successful as a permanent investment.
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