Talking to… Dr Maryam Zamani |

6 mins

Talking to… Dr Maryam Zamani

The aesthetic doctor and clinic owner tells Kezia Parkins her subtle approach to aesthetic treatments and the importance of showing up responsibly on social media

Dr Maryam Zamani has become renowned across the globe for her knowledge and expertise in the aesthetics industry. Originally hailing from Iran, Zamani moved to the US to study medicine, choosing to focus on the eyes to become an oculoplastic surgeon, mainly carrying out upper and lower eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty.

In 2012, the States’ loss became our gain when Zamani relocated to London with her British husband. Around this time she was becoming increasingly interested in non-surgical intervention.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she says. “When I started out, I never thought I would end up on an aesthetics route or incorporating the non-surgical with the surgical.”

“While I was waiting for my board certification to be transferred over to GMC regulations, I did fellowships in oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery. I was able to see how using non-surgical techniques, whether energy-based equipment, laser or injectables, really can improve the quality of life for some people who have had multiple previous surgeries from trauma, cancer or something else… I thought, ‘wow, there is really so much you can do before surgery’.”

Since relocating to the UK, Zamani has opened a stunning clinic, The Clinic by Dr Maryam Zamani, in Chelsea, London, where she offers surgical and non-surgical treatments, injectables, peels, lasers and energybased equipment for face and body. “I have a very specific aesthetic – it’s really artistic, subtle improvement and meticulous attention to detail to help people feel and look their best at any age,” she says.

Over the past decade it’s this aesthetic that has caught the eye of some the most well-respected names in beauty, landing her regular features in glossy mags like Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Good Housekeeping, as well as being named in Tatler’s Beauty & Cosmetic Surgery guide.

All eyes on Dr Zamani

Social media has played a huge role in Dr Zamani’s impact in aesthetics, or rather her approach and execution of it has. On Instagram alone, she has amassed almost 63k followers, thanks to her highly educational content, which sheds light on everything from how to layer skincare ingredients to controversial topics such as facial filler distortion and tween skincare.

Unlike a lot of US surgeons and doctors on social media, you won’t find a sniff of promotional or advertorial messaging around the aesthetic interventions she discusses. “Americans are much more open about sharing and leading with advertising. I have my own ethical standards and here in the UK ethics are really important for doctors being governed by the GMC. For me, it’s about creating an ethical sense of responsibility and commitment to practice that is good and safe and isn’t about selling,” she says.

“It’s important to have professional boundaries on social media. I try to be very mindful of what I share. I am trying to educate my audience and give my most accurate view or opinion on treatments and modalities, doing my own research and, of course, using them in my own hands.”

Despite having a successful skincare range, MZ Skin, which launched online and in Harrods in 2016, she never promotes her brand on her Dr Maryam Zamani channels. Her ethical standpoint aside, she doesn’t need to – the brand’s page has over 100k followers and the products have a loyal fanbase.

Power and responsibility

As a mother to two Gen Z children, Zamani often finds herself worrying about the influx of information and messaging they get from social media. Now more than ever, kids are seeking out skincare and treatments they don’t need, which has been highlighted by the beauty-crazed tweens wreaking havoc in stores like Sephora.

This has a lot to do with influencers and “skinfluencers”, many of whom are nonprofessionals, being paid to promote products by brands. While Zamani would never consider herself a skinfluencer, she undeniably is very influential in the aesthetics space – a responsibility she doesn’t take lightly. “In this world where people are being paid to promote things, you often don’t know who is being paid and who isn’t. Nothing that I do on my social media is paid, it’s purely educational,” says Zamani.

“Those that do get paid can garner a loyal following but then I think you can lose some of that ability to be authentic. Everyone is out to make a quick buck online and will say positive things about whoever is giving them a little money, and that for me is very dangerous.”

She continues, “When I look at other skinfluencers, there are some people who have a lot of knowledge and are usually not specific to a brand, and they talk about products that aren’t their own. I think that’s really important. But if you see somebody who every day is using a different skincare product because it was gifted, those are the ones you should look out for.”

Zamani says she is concerned by the way her son and daughter’s generation are so influenced by what they see on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. “There are so many different channels that are targeting them for different things,” she adds. “Misinformation is rampant, so experts now are really important. As professionals, we have to first understand the needs of the people we are addressing our content to, to be able to educate and elevate what they need to know so they can make better decisions for themselves in the future.”

Unfortunately, social media has increased obsession with appearance and celebrity, fuelling body dysmorphia and creating a lack of self-confidence instead of empowering people to make better decisions to feel good about themselves.

“This quest for a flawless appearance and the use of all these filters is very hard on generation Z – I feel bad for them. I’m almost 50 and grew up with fashion magazines that were about being aspirational – nobody walking around the street looked like Cindy Crawford. Now you have people morphing themselves into different celebrities because they think that’s what beauty is.”

In recent years, the Advertising Standards Agency put a renewed focus on clamping down on practitioners advertising prescription-only medicines and promoting celebrity inspired aesthetic treatment packages but as Zamani says, on social media it’s difficult to police everybody. “The bottom line is, if I don’t have the knowledge, I don’t speak about it or I do some research on it,” she says.

“I try to regularly address popular questions and offer a medical perspective, showing demonstrations on different people, showing before and afters, even doing treatments on myself so people can see it on a day-to-day basis.

“I really want to create a broad representation for all age groups and be really authentic, not just about my message but the outcome I’m able to produce because expectation is really important in the world of aesthetics. If a client has the wrong expectations they will never be happy, no matter where they go.”

Aside from other respectable professionals doing their bit to cut through misinformation and educate, Zamani says a lot of power lies in the hands of microinfluencers. “Once you get big, you can make a lot of money from your social media channels. That’s why I think micro-influencers are actually more impactful in society than the larger ones. Their followers are very engaged so it’s more of a holistic approach.”

Doing it all

Influencer Molly-Mae Hague’s controversial one liner “Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in the day that we do” came to mind when thinking about how Zamani has juggled motherhood, a successful clinic, a product brand and the world of social media “skinfluencing”.

But Zamani insists she doesn’t have a Queen Bey-style entourage and getting it all done requires a lot of hard work. Her secret to consistently posting aesthetically pleasing, educational content while making it all look easy is batch filming.

“I usually research in advance and have a list of points I want to make. I keep content varied because I am very conscious of increasingly short attention spans so I mix it up – some before and afters, some educating on skin conditions or ingredients.”

She admits it takes a lot of time and effort. “I spend an hour a week filming content every Friday morning, so when you see me in my white coat and think I have the same hairstyle in every video, it’s because I do. I’ve filmed a whole bunch in one go,” she says.

This article appears in April 2024

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