Prestige Indonesia - - Profile -

Time was when most men didn’t bother too much about their ap­pear­ance. It was only the women who went in for acid fillers for their lips and chin, laser treat­ments for skin re­ju­ve­na­tion and eye boost­ing, or Botox in­jec­tions to elim­i­nate wrin­kles.

That’s all changed in the last few years, how­ever. An ev­er­in­creas­ing num­ber of men have been seek­ing so­lu­tions to their skin prob­lems by vis­it­ing es­tab­lish­ments like Ma­haris Clinic in Jakarta, which of­fers aes­thetic and well­ness so­lu­tions for the face, body, hair and ag­ing-re­lated is­sues, as well as other cos­metic der­ma­to­log­i­cal con­cerns.

“When we started in 2012, 70 per­cent of our pa­tients were women,” says Dr. Kevin Ma­haris, the fresh-faced, just turned 34-year-old founder of the two lux­u­ri­ously ap­pointed clin­ics in Se­tiabudi and Ke­bay­oran Baru that bear his name. “Now it’s 65 per­cent women, and the trend is for more and more men to come through the door. So, five years from now, the ra­tio will be 60 to 40. It could even go to 50-50.”

Why are so many men seek­ing the ex­per­tise of pro­fes­sion­als like Dr. Ma­haris? “In to­day’s world, men are un­der more and more pressure to get ahead, to com­pete for that great job or that all-im­por­tant pro­mo­tion,” he replies dur­ing an in­ter­view in his con­sult­ing room at his plush new, state-of-the-art four-storey Ma­haris Clinic at Jl. Bar­ito No. 5 in Ke­bay­oran Baru.

“Whether they re­ally need it or not, men in­creas­ingly think they must look good to be suc­cess­ful. We even have mil­len­ni­als, self-con­scious about how they look in their self­ies, com­ing in for treat­ment. Once it was male ac­tors, tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ters and pop stars who wanted cos­metic der­ma­tol­ogy. Nowa­days, the men who come to us are from all walks of life.

“They’re quite likely to be bank­ing and fi­nance ex­ec­u­tives, or cor­po­rate pro­fes­sion­als des­per­ate to climb the ca­reer lad­der. The older ones be­lieve they need to look young and rejuvenated to com­pete with the younger movers and shak­ers, and to look like they still have the en­ergy to run the com­pany.

“We have pa­tients of all ages at Ma­haris Clinic, but the bulk of them are be­tween 35 and 40 years old. We even have cou­ples com­ing in for ap­point­ments. If you look at the dé­cor here ( cre­ated by in­te­rior de­signer Andi Lim), it’s sub­tle, very clean and the colours are neu­tral, suit­able for both gen­ders. It doesn’t look like a beauty par­lour be­cause it isn’t one. It’s a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity.”

The place is dis­creet, too. Al­though there is a pub­lic en­trance at street level, many of Dr. Ma­haris’ pa­tients pre­fer to use the clinic’s “se­cret” un­der­ground en­trance. “They drive in, park their ve­hi­cle and come straight up in the el­e­va­tor for their treat­ments,” he says. “No one would know they were here.”

Dr. Ma­haris be­came in­ter­ested in aes­thet­ics and well­ness when he was a teenager. “Most med­i­cal stu­dents don’t de­cide what to spe­cialise in un­til their fi­nal year of school­ing, But I knew what I wanted to do from day one,” he smiles. “Why did I choose this ca­reer for my­self ? My grand­fa­ther was a gold­smith and my par­ents founded a very suc­cess­ful jew­ellery busi­ness. But that kind of work was never for me. Now, my younger brother is study­ing der­ma­tol­ogy in Bali.

“I’ve al­ways been very artis­tic. I like vis­ual things. When I was at school I en­joyed art lessons, es­pe­cially sculpt­ing. Later, when I re­alised I wasn’t good enough to be­come a full-time sculptor, cos­metic medicine be­came my pas­sion. It’s a way of sculpt­ing faces and bod­ies, if you like. I thought I could com­bine art and sci­ence, and change how peo­ple feel about them­selves.”

Dr. Ma­haris ob­tained his Bach­e­lor of Med­i­cal Sciences de­gree from the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne. He gained his med­i­cal de­gree from the Univer­sity of In­done­sia, and a post-grad­u­ate Diploma in Der­ma­tol­ogy from Cardiff Univer­sity in South Wales. He worked at sev­eral aes­thet­ics clin­ics in Jakarta for a two years be­fore launch­ing Ma­haris Clinic.

“When I was work­ing at the clin­ics, I also had a home prac­tice,” says Dr. Ma­haris. “Pa­tients would come and see me in the even­ings. At first, it was just a few rel­a­tives and friends. As time went on, though, more and more pa­tients

“I thought I could com­bine art and sci­ence, and change how peo­ple feel about them­selves,” says Dr. KevIn Ma­harIs of his de­ci­sion to spe­cialise in cos­metic medicine, in an in­ter­view with Chris han­ra­han

started com­ing to the house. I was blessed to have some very good pa­tients and so, af­ter a cou­ple of years, I was con­fi­dent enough to go out on my own and open the first Ma­haris Clinic in Se­tiabudi.”

Dr. Ma­haris and his fel­low med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers at Ma­haris Clinic – Dr. Yofine In­dri, Dr. Ellen Theodora and Dr. Lisa Pon­i­man – com­bine es­tab­lished treat­ments with ed­u­ca­tion of their clients on the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing good skin­care habits in or­der to achieve nat­u­ral-look­ing cos­metic results.

They have put to­gether an in­te­grated pro­gramme for pa­tients. This in­volves sev­eral treat­ments that lift, shape, tighten and clar­ify the skin, im­prove the body (in­clud­ing Coolsculpt­ing, a non-sur­gi­cal, FDA-ap­proved con­tour­ing treat­ment that freezes stub­born fat, which is then nat­u­rally elim­i­nated from the body) and re­verse in­ter­nal ag­ing. An ex­am­ple of the last is Ulther­apy, which uses ul­tra­sound en­ergy to firm, tighten and lift deep tis­sue, caus­ing a nat­u­ral, re­gen­er­a­tive re­sponse.

The two clin­ics do no plas­tic surgery, go­ing no fur­ther than min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dures, such as in­jec­tions. For ex­am­ple, the Ma­haris Clinic neu­ro­mod­u­la­tor treat­ment works by re­lax­ing tar­geted mus­cles to smooth out dynamic wrin­kles. Square jaw lines can be ta­pered to give a more oval or V-shaped ap­pear­ance. Un­pleas­ant look­ing brows and frown lines are cor­rected to pro­vide a more ap­proach­able look.

“All of our treat­ments are non-sur­gi­cally de­liv­ered. That means there’s no down­time for the pa­tients. They can go straight back to work or what­ever they’re do­ing and, a week af­ter the pro­ce­dure, they find they have a nat­u­rally youth­ful look,” says Dr. Ma­haris, who trains other doc­tors in the field of hyaluronic acid (HA) in­jec­tions.

HA is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring sub­stance in the body that gives the skin its full and sup­ple ap­pear­ance. Says Dr. Ma­haris: “The level of HA in our skin re­duces with age, caus­ing all sorts of prob­lems, such as a sunken or sal­low ap­pear­ance, excessive smile lines or un­even facial tex­ture. Th­ese prob­lems arise from a loss of skin vol­ume. But that can be re­versed by re­plac­ing lost nat­u­ral HA through small in­jec­tions, re­sult­ing in a more youth­ful ap­pear­ance im­me­di­ately af­ter a sin­gle treat­ment ses­sion.”

Much as he chose not to work for the fam­ily busi­ness, Dr. Ma­haris has in­her­ited some of his par­ents’ en­tre­pre­neur­ial in­cli­na­tions. He has launched Ma­haris Beauty, an on­line and off­line re­tailer of beauty prod­ucts. “Our Votre Peau skin­care line is now avail­able at Plaza In­done­sia and is do­ing very well,” he says. “Look­ing ahead, I see us stick­ing with the two Ma­haris Clin­ics while grow­ing Ma­haris Beauty. I’d like to see Votre Peau in every mall in Jakarta, and then in every city in In­done­sia.”

In his free time, Dr. Ma­haris swims, cy­cles and works out at the gym. He trav­els a lot, at­tend­ing train­ing pro­grammes

“What mo­ti­vates me is see­ing my pa­tients’ eyes light up when they look in the mir­ror”

in Tai­wan, South Korea and other coun­tries. “In our field, there are al­ways new dis­cov­er­ies, new treat­ments, new tech­niques, new meth­ods to learn about,” he ex­plains. “You have to keep up with the changes, so a doc­tor never stops learn­ing. When I’m on such a trip I al­ways ex­tend it for a few days so that I can have a break and do some sight­see­ing.”

His most im­por­tant an­nual trip is to Monte Carlo for AMWC, the Aes­thetic & Anti-Ag­ing Medicine World Congress. “Go­ing to AMWC each year is an ab­so­lute must for cos­metic doc­tors,” he says. As for holiday trips, Mar­rakesh is a favourite des­ti­na­tion.

At the close of the in­ter­view, Dr. Ma­haris muses on his phi­los­o­phy of beauty. “You could say that no one re­ally needs a der­ma­tol­o­gist,” he de­clares. “But the im­por­tant thing is how we make peo­ple feel about them­selves, and how we give them re­newed self-con­fi­dence. It’s ab­so­lutely not about van­ity or nar­cis­sism.

“There are peo­ple who are vain, of course, Some come to see me and ask me to do im­pos­si­ble things for them – you know, make them look like their favourite movie star or some­thing. They want me to change their nose or their lips, even when there’s noth­ing wrong with their nose or lips - and to do it could lead to extremely un­de­sir­able results.

“I’m straight with them, I tell them there’s only so much we can do. We are not miracle work­ers, we are med­i­cal care givers, and I won’t go against my beauty prin­ci­ples. I won’t just give them what they want. I let them know what I think they need. If they can’t ac­cept that, I ad­vise them to try an­other clinic that will serve their pur­pose.

“In the end, what mo­ti­vates and moves me is see­ing my pa­tients’ eyes light up when they sit in the ‘be­fore-and-af­ter’ chair and look at them­selves in the mir­ror. In just 15 to 30 min­utes, I can make them look like an op­ti­mised ver­sion of them­selves.”

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