Aside from wanting to witness the Korean beauty fascination, we travelled to Seoul to take part in SkinCeuticals’ Master Physician Program, hosted for local dermatologists. Dr. McGillivray was invited as the main speaker, while live translation was offered as Dr. McGillivray’s Korean is a bit rusty! Sharing the podium was the talented and knowledgable Geneviève Bibeau – Brand Director for SkinCeuticals Canada. We were invited to share our success in integrating skincare to our patient journey with the intention to increase results’ longevity and overall satisfaction. In attendance were 30 of Seoul’s most influential dermatologists – eager to learn and improve their patient outcomes.
The event was beautifully organized and it truly was truly special to share and collaborate with Korean physicians. At Project Skin MD we love what we do. Helping patients with their skincare needs and aging gracefully with them along their journey is our passion. That’s why we wake up in the morning; we know we make a difference in our patients’ lives. When our approach gets recognized around the world like this, we always feel incredibly humble and in all honesty, we often feel surprised as it seems we are only doing what feels right! Perhaps that’s the key?
The event was a huge success and Dr. McGillivray did share his full-size love for C E Ferulic!
We also had the pleasure of visiting the L’Oréal Korea head office to learn more about the Korean consumers and aesthetic market. In 2017, South Korea’s beauty industry was estimated to be worth just over 13 billion dollars, according to retail researchers Mintel. It is real; Koreans are obsessed with beauty and it all starts with skincare.
Although the country is indeed a trendsetter in skincare and beauty treatments, we discovered that Korea, particularly Seoul, is a challenging environment for aesthetic physicians. The strong competitive market (Seoul proper has over 500 dermatologists offering cosmetic procedures) has pressured clinics to purchase cheaper, Korean-produced injectable products in order to offer injections at a lower, competitive price point. Unfortunately some of these neuromodulators and dermal fillers are without proven safety and efficacy profiles, posing more potential for side effects and/or migration. When given the option of proven brand names such as Botox or Xeomin, Juvéderm or Belotero, patients still often choose the cheaper alternative. Another surprising fact learned from the physicians we met was that the demand for cosmetic procedures, such as injection of dermal fillers for nose shaping, starts as early as 13 years old (pre high-school graduation)!
Dr. McGillivray and Dr. Hann
When it comes to skincare, the dermatologists we visited are reluctant to advise their patients about products as they are mindful of the plethora of skincare brands in shops and department stores. Somehow they feel the patients will preferentially listen to the Beauty Advisor. We were surprised to see that they haven’t been offering their knowledge to simply educate and properly advise patients. It is clear that the Korean consumers are looking for results and it only seems reasonable to think that they would benefit from appropriate recommendations and physician expertise.
During our visit at L’Oréal, Dr. McGillivray was interviewed by two key Korean magazines who were fascinated with our approach where indeed, the physician plays a key role in the skincare routine of patients. At first we were surprised to see how interested journalists were in our PS story. We soon realized that integrated skincare in cosmetic dermatology and surgery clinics is certainly not an established practice but everyone agreed; it should be.
Perhaps this will be the new Korean revolution? Elevating skincare education to ensure more sustainable and long-term results? We sure think that it the future!
Dr. McGillivray, Bev, Vanessa visiting Dr. Lee of Widwin Clinic in Seoul with Genevieve Bibeau, SkinCeuticals Canada.