What do Lisa Vanderpump, Kim Kardashian, and Iggy Azalea all have in common? They have amazing skin thanks to Beverly Hills cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Simon Ourian.
You may not have heard of Dr. Ourian's name before (although, you probably have), you've definitely seen his work. If you're one of Hollywood's elite looking for more youthful, radiant skin, you're probably going to see Dr. Ourian. In addition to those aforementioned celebs, Dr. Ourian has also worked his magic on Lady Gaga and Kylie Jenner — yes, he's the one responsible for those legendary lips. Dr. Ourian is also quite beloved by Bravolebs, having performed treatments on the likes of Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Porsha Williams, and Lisa Rinna in the past.
So why is Dr. Ourian such a favorite among celebs, and how can you achieve red carpet-ready skin at home? The Daily Dish found out some of his best skincare secrets.
How did you get to know so many Bravolebs?
Dr. Simon Ourian: I think it started with my good friend Lisa Vanderpump. I've known her for 10 years, and we were neighbors. I was treating her for awhile, and we developed this skincare line together many years ago. Our friendship has been very strong, so one of the things that I'm known for is the fact that I don't make people look artificial, so a lot of people were going up to Lisa and asking her how she looks young and healthy, so she [told] a lot of her friends and a lot of her Housewives friends, and they started coming one-by-one, and the word got out.
Yes, when she was on Watch What Happens Live recently she said she uses your skincare line, Epione, and that she "defers to the best" (clip below).
She's awesome. I love her. And then, just like anything else, if you try to do really, really your best work, something magical happens. People start to tell each other. The proof is in the pudding. If they like the results, they want to find out what the secret is, and people who need to do things or want to do things find the secret the way they can.
What was it like to work with Lisa on the skincare line?
Obviously, she's extremely smart. She's a great businessperson. Both her and [her husband] Ken [Todd] are amazing businesspeople. When we first started, it was 10 years ago. We started a skincare line together, and it was amazing working together. The skincare line, which was called Epione, just got a great response. People loved it. But of course, we're no longer partners, but our friendship continues. Every once in a while, she wants to just have a little treatment, just a little bit of Botox or laser fillers here and the skincare, that's really what she's been doing.
Is Lisa the 'Wife you see the most?
When she's not busy shooting five different shows at one time — and I have my practice, too — we see each other probably once or twice a week. Not professionally, but we're friends, so we go to dinner together. We see each other pretty regularly when we're not both extremely busy. But she is one of my best friends. Once in a while, she calls me and says, "Simon, I need to see you at 9 p.m. or 6 a.m. or as soon as you open the office or on the weekend," and I see her quickly for a little pick-me-up and if she has a special show to do.
Beverly Hills must be a very competitive landscape for a cosmetic dermatologist. What do you think it is that you're doing that your clients love so much and keep coming back to you for?
For one thing, before I even opened my office, my background was in sculpting and design and painting, so I've always had a real appreciation for aesthetics. I studied classic beauty and classic aesthetics and classic sculpting. For many years since I was a kid and even college and even afterwards. To this day, I still do that. That's my avocation. I use that same technique and same visual aesthetics that I had in my mind to work on people's faces to make them look like they're a better version of themselves without making them look cartoonish or a caricature, just basically enhancing the same features that they have without exaggerating them. That's been, I think, my signature, and that's what people see and they come and they want to have treatments done... I hope that I do a great job. And I hope that they keep telling their friends what I do, and they refer their friends. Every time I work on anyone's face, I feel that is my work of art and that is my best work that I have to put out, and that seems to resonate with people who tell their friends, and they refer others.
What is the most common procedure people ask for?
Coolaser is No.1. Basically, it is a laser skin [technique] that removes cell damage and tightens the skin and removes the fine lines and discoloration and really kind of emulates a facelift without having to get it cut. The recovery for it is only two or three days, so people can look a little bit red for maybe a day or two or over the weekend, and maybe Monday they can be in front of the camera. So that's one of the reasons why Coolaser is the No.1 most requested treatment. Followed by dermal fillers that are for enhancing the cheeks to lifting the cheek up to making the chin a little stronger to fill in the areas that Mother Nature takes away because of stress or lots of fat in the face. And also lips. Kylie Jenner, a year ago talked about how I did her lips. Since then, people who want to have nicer lips have been coming in to get their lips done.
Kylie and Brielle Biermann are younger women you've treated in the past. So how young is too young to have these kinds of procedures done, or what do you think is the age that someone could start doing them?
I don't tell anyone there's an age that you should start. You should do it when you feel comfortable, and you're in the best place in your life. You don't feel pressured, and the timing is good for you. So I can't judge that for people. I do have a cut-off age of 18, so under most circumstances, I don't work with anyone who's younger than 18. [There are] special circumstances, like the person has issues like a deformity, that they have to do something to help their self-esteem, but even then it becomes a lot more involved than just to achieve it. I have to talk to their pediatrician, to their psychologist, to their parents to make sure that this is a good decision for them. But I normally tell people who come that are younger than 18 that I don't see them under any circumstance.
For people that are over 18, normally I do treatments that are not permanent and they're not really trying to look like someone else. If someone is 18 or 19 and comes in and says, "I want to look like Kim Kardashian," or someone else or Kylie Jenner, that's probably not a good sign. If they want to enhance their own looks or they want to have maybe a little bit fuller lips or maybe their cheeks are a little bit too hollow, we consider that, we talk to them to see how mature they are and how thoughtful and well-thought-out their decision-making is, so we can see, if everything seems reasonable, I think we can do that.
But for most people, to answer your question, when is a good time to start thinking about anti-aging? If you want to look good for a longer period of time, prevention is a lot better than treatment. So stay away from the sun, don't smoke. If you drink alcohol, drink very moderately. Keep your face moisturized. Do minor treatments, such as microdermabrasion or maintain your skin and wiping your makeup as much as you can every night. Basically, these are things that you should do at a very, very early age. As you get older, of course, these are not going to be enough anymore to maintain your face, so you can do little things like Botox or dermal fillers or minor Coolaser to just remove the cell damage. So those are things that you can do to maintain your skin to have that youthful appearance for a longer period of time.
Do a lot of people come in wanting to look like a certain celebrity?
Daily, I get somebody who wants to have somebody's cheekbones or nose or [parts of other celebrities' faces, like] Kylie Jenner's lips or Kim Kardashian's cheekbones or Lisa Vanderpump's cheekbones, you name it, depending on the age group. Those are OK, usually the direction they want to go. Things become uncomfortable for me... when people say I want to look exactly like Kim Kardashian. I want to look exactly like a celebrity. Then I know that this is not the right thing. I will not do the right [thing] to treat them because I don't like to make people look like someone else, just have the same look you have, just enhancing. That is all I want to promise my work can be.
What are your tips for achieving great skin?
Not smoking, stay away from the sun, making sure that when you exercise, if you sweat, you wash your face really quickly so you don't clog the pores. Getting facials once a month or so just to maintain your skin or do your own facial cleansing at home... and really give yourself a facial at least once a week or so. Have a humidifier in your bedroom just for eight hours, and that's if your skin is constantly getting dried up, especially as we get closer to the summer months. It's useful to have a humidifier close to your bed. Taking multivitamins, especially vitamin B is great for your skin to retain the health of your skin.
What are some skincare myths that you can debunk for us?
One of the things that people believe is that if they use sunblock, their skin is going to be OK if they go in the sun. Sunblock is really, first of all, it's a misnomer. At best it's sunscreen; it doesn't block the rays of the sun. You still get the damages of the sun when you go in the sun. The second thing is when people think they go to tanning beds, [it somehow protects them from aging], the harmful rays of the sun are not going to get to them, which is not true. The tanning beds are just as bad as going into the sun because you still get the rays, the UV lights and the UVA and B, whatever rays that the tanning bed delivers to your skin. And all of these UV lights have a higher tendency to break down the collagen and also discolor your skin. So your skin becomes less elastic and more loosey, goosey, so tanning beds are not good. Somehow some got into a myth that if you drink one or two glasses of alcohol, it's good for you. It's actually a pure myth. It's not good for you... Alcohol is really not good for your skin or for your health. It's OK if you want to drink it, but at least don't call it a healthy habit. Drinking water is always a good thing, so [drink] at least five or six glasses of water a day. Cleaning your face. A lot of people think that the more they scrub their face, the better it is so they have the same tendency [as having] OCD on ceramic [as] they [do] on their face. It causes the skin to get irritated and damaged, so keep your skin clean once or twice a day and remove your makeup and that's pretty much it. You don't need to really brush it. Just wash it with a cleanser. That's usually enough for most people.
You're also good friends with Mohamed Hadid. How did you two meet?
I've known Mohamed for probably 10 or 15 years, too. Just through Beverly Hills, we have the same circle of friends. I think I once got invited to his house, and we became good friends. He's funny. I've known him since his kids were like 6 or 7. Both Gigi [Hadid] and Bella [Hadid], the kids have become major supermodels now, so it's amazing to watch them grow, and they've become so well known everywhere in the world.
From left: Shiva Safai, Gigi Hadid, Mohamed Hadid, Alana Hadid, and Dr. Simon Ourian at the grand opening of Royal Personal Training on January 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
What's that like for you, having known them as little kids and now seeing them as huge supermodels? Did you ever imagine that they would get to that level?
No, they're extremely beautiful kids. They were beautiful kids. They were very young when I used to see them here and there... I never thought they would really take on such career paths. They're obviously successful, and I'm incredibly happy for them. They're very hardworking kids... Their success doesn't come to them just because they are pretty. They really, really are hardworking kids. So yes, I see why they're doing so well.
Do you know Yolanda Hadid as well?
Yes, I knew Yolanda before she became a star of [The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills]. She was still good friends with Mohamed, and of course, the mother of the kids, and I've always had a very friendly relationship with Mohamed, so I always see her at Thanksgiving parties and [sometimes with] Lisa. Lisa has always been very friendly, and then they started to be on the show. When Lisa and Yolanda start to have uncomfortable moments, it's a little bit uncomfortable [for me], but other than that, they've always been very good friends, and I try to keep myself away from the drama as much as I can.
Yeah, that must be hard for you since you're friends with both of them, especially this season of RHOBH, they've definitely had their fair share of uncomfortable moments.
I try not to get involved with that. Whenever they start talking to each other, I just let them have their own conversations.
Is there anything you could tell us that would surprise us about Mohamed?
One thing that probably doesn't come through is that he has an amazing sense of humor, first of all. I think the camera doesn't show enough of [it]. He is extremely loving towards his family, he's genuinely a role model, the way he treats his kids and everyone in his family. From the moment he wakes up, he truly thinks of what he can do to make the life of everyone around him better. It sounds kind of like I'm saying that because he's my friend, but it really, truly is the case. He's a very good man, hardworking, loves his fiancée, Shiva [Safai], loves his kids. And he's got an amazing sense of humor. And of course, he's talented at building homes and renovating things and creating mansions out of thin air. It's just magical.
Do you ever feel more nervous when you treat someone who is in the public eye and has a famous face? Does that put more pressure on you?
Yeah, of course. It leaves very little room for error. There are a bunch of paparazzi every time a famous face comes here, and they take tons of pictures. A little bruise could look very bad, especially if it's captured in a picture and could be in the tabloids for months and years on the Internet to [show] look how bad they look. So it's extremely important for me to ensure that it's gonna look very different and that they get what they need after a couple treatments. So yes, it's a huge pressure. I can't make someone look like a cartoonish version of themselves or make them look too different. In cases when people want to have results that are slightly different than [what they currently look like], for example, if they really want to have nice, high cheekbones, and they don't have high cheekbones, I have to do these gradual steps so that if you see a picture from two years ago you can tell there's a difference, but because people take pictures of them every day, you won't see a major difference in their appearance.
From left: Christian Biscocho, Trish Kulick, Joanna Krupa, and Dr. Simon Ourian at the grand opeing of Royal Personal Training on January 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
You performed a non-surgical nose job on Porsha Williams earlier this month. Can you talk a little bit about those kinds of procedures and what their benefits are as opposed to going under the knife?
So one thing, it's non-incision. There's no risk of anesthesia, and there's no risk of really having scar tissue. There's no risk of getting results that when you wake up you have absolutely no idea of what it's going to look like. So it takes away a lot of the anxiety from the patient's point-of-view. The risks can be reduced because there's no incision, there's no risk of cutting, there's no risk of bleeding, there's no risk of infection. Another huge advantage of it is that I will do the treatment, and the patient is awake and alert. And I do the treatment on them, and they can see what's going on. We even do a full-on facelift with minor incisions, which is called an endoscopic facelift. We put the mirror in front of [patients], and ask their opinion, too. When I get a haircut, I will still have them cut my hair, so it just makes sense that if you want to alter your face, you want to see that as it goes also. So I give patients a mirror to see what's going on and tell them to decide if that's a good look or that's in the right direction.
An advantage is that most of these non-surgical procedures are reversible, so if somebody does a procedure, and let's say they go home and two weeks later, a month later, they say, "You know what? This was a bad idea," you can usually reverse it. It's not something that they have to be stuck with for the rest of their life and think that was a big mistake.
All of these are procedures for people that are not necessarily ready to get a surgery or don't want to go to surgery... Patients like it, and I like it myself because it allows me to communicate with patients better, and I can do exactly what they want me to do.
Could you get a non-surgical procedure done and then decide to undergo an invasive procedure on the same part of your body later?
Actually, yes, you can. A lot of times people say, "I want to get a nose job, but I'm not ready for a nose job." Or, "I don't know how it's going to look." So I say we can try this non-surgical way and if you like it, then you can do [a more permanent nose job]... Also, if they're not ready for a tummy tuck, but they have stretch marks, they have loose skin, they want to get rid of some of the pockets of fat on their body and they're not ready for liposuction or major surgery, we can do these procedures, and if you like the results, great, we can keep doing them every couple of years or every few years. And if they like it a lot, and they want to get surgery, they can. And if they don't like it, they just stop doing it. So it gives you a lot of options.
Have you seen an increase in people wanting to get these non-surgical procedures done lately since they've been in the news more in recent months?
Absolutely. When I first started doing non-surgical procedures, I think I was one of the odd men out. Not that many doctors were offering non-surgical procedures. It seemed almost futuristic... But as we did them more and more, and I showed a lot of my colleagues and people saw the results and how easy they are and saw the advantages, now I have heard from doctors who come from all over the world who want to learn the techniques and take them back to their own countries and do them in their own countries instead of surgery.
You're a bit of an Instagram celebrity. You currently have 756,000 Instagram followers, and you're always sharing news about your practice and the results of various procedures, often featuring famous faces. How important to you is it to use social media to promote your practice?
Obviously, Instagram, it promotes my practice, but when I first started, it wasn't just to promote my practice. To this day, it's really meant to be very educational. Every day, I have at least 10 or 15 doctors from all over the world who respond to each of the pictures and ask questions. It's a nice way of communicating with other doctors and to other patients all over the world. Obviously, I can't see a patient who's living in India right now or in London or any other city in the world, but they kind of see what can be done, what's available, and it at least educates them.
I try to keep the information on Instagram as transparent as possible and as easy to understand as possible without much of the medical jargon. That way, people can really benefit from it. I try to show treatments that are visually interesting and informational.
And each Instagram post is so detailed. You describe the procedure, the results, and the price. It's not just a photo; you're really posting everything you should know about the procedure.
Yeah, I think most of us have only 15 seconds or 20 seconds to really pay attention to these things. I want to give as much information in the 60 seconds that you're on that page or the site that helps you at least decide if this is the right decision for you or not, because a lot of people are speaking to me from other countries, and they say they are considering getting surgery and none of these options are available... Also, doctors have said they have now integrated a lot more of these non-surgical procedures into their practice, and they're very happy. The general response is very positive from most people who read [the Instagram posts]. It makes me want to get up in the morning and post a new picture every day.
Do you feel like you've achieved a level of fame and have become a celebrity yourself, in a way, now that you've treated so many famous people and have a popular Instagram account?
I hope not. I never really liked fame. I think it's troubling. [For] a lot of my patients who are famous, [fame] interferes with their life a lot. I'm a very private person. I like to do my work. Really, my passion is my work. I have no interest in becoming a movie star or a famous person or sign autographs. I want to wake up in the morning, come to work, and do what I do best, and that's it. I want my work to become famous but not myself. I'd like what I do to be well known because I think I could change people's lives and I could really enhance people's lives in a positive way.
One of the things that I think makes me want to do this more is when people say "I have no hope" and then they're not even deciding to do a treatment now or they may not even do one of these treatments ever, but at least they know that there's something that they can do about whatever bothers them, whatever insecurities they have. And once you have that answer in your head, then it relieves a lot of your anxieties and a lot of your insecurities because you know that whenever I'm ready I can go do it. Where can I find that answer? I think that's the most important part of what cosmetic procedures can do for people, not necessarily when you actually go ahead and do them, but a very big part of it is to know that something's available.
Want more beauty secrets? Find out how else the Real Housewives stay looking gorgeous, below.
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