Boutique Clinic, SKINOVA: “A Place Where Beauty Whispers”

Here at Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, we are proud of the fact that each client is an individual with their own worldview and their own needs.

Most clients in aesthetics are women. Also, men have also embraced the fact that a well-groomed and neat appearance sells. They understand that in this day and age, it takes much more than a white shirt and tie to keep a client, win over new ones, and position oneself in a hierarchical business environment, and to present oneself in a social environment as well, Josip Lovrić , MD, founder of Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, explains.

Many years of experience in the beauty industry and working with clients has resulted in the creation of Boutique Clinic Skinova. When you opened the practice, what was your guiding idea?

I would rather say I’m lucky enough to work in aesthetic medicine which is just one of the extensions of the exponentially growing beauty industry. Numerically, it is the fastest growing branch of medicine in the world with an annual growth of about 8%. In 2019, more than 13 million non-surgical procedures and aesthetic treatments and more than 10 million aesthetic surgical corrections were performed globally! As a surgeon, I am trained to look at the morphology of the disease, see the problem, and eliminate it with surgical precision. There is no place for this in aesthetic medicine. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work for years on developing my soft skills, skills such as listening, understanding, comprehension, coping with stress, providing support and consequently developing empathy – a set of skills that is only now finding their way to undergraduate and graduate studies. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned, no matter how trivial it may sound, is to listen – listen to what clients want and turn those desires into reality within the limits of the possible. Boutique Clinic Skinova was created from this, as a response to clients’ desire to have an intimate and warm space, with a homey atmosphere, which does not exude sterile hospital walls, a space in which there will be no traditional “doctor-patient” barrier. Under the influence of social networks, aesthetic medicine has jumped out of the domain of taboos and positioned itself as a culture of nurturing oneself. In aesthetic medicine, the client is not a number; he is not a red referral. In aesthetics, every client is primarily a human being, and aesthetic medicine is the only branch of medicine in which there are no patients but clients, consumers. Therefore, in aesthetic medicine we often encounter different holistic approaches because doctors are not there only to provide treatment, but often to listen, advise, recommend, nurture, approve and guide, all in order to achieve a satisfied appearance of each client. When we combined all this in one intimate environment, Skinova was born.

“The Place Where Beauty Whispers” is your slogan. How do you define beauty and how do you convey it to your clients?

I think that the clinic’s slogan answered your question. Beauty should whisper. It should be visibly invisible; visible to the eye and yet unfathomable. Let me clarify. Each one of us tries to be the best version of self. For that reason we are careful about what we eat, we go to the gym, carefully choose the clothes we wear, etc. Care for ourselves and our appearance is woven into our genes and we can’t escape it. Trends are changing. Today we are bombarded with perfect faces and perfect bodies from all screens – the trick is how to keep your look, your personality and just emphasize and refine it a bit so that everyone around us would say “You look really good today. Rested. Fresh”. There in precisely lies this power of aesthetics and us physicians in the profession. Find what’s best for you, what works best for you, and what fits your personality to still be you, just a slightly better version of you.

On the business side, how risky was it to open a practice at a time when many are closing their businesses? How stable is the market and are there any changes compared to before?

The risk is always there. Whether it’s the pandemic or some other reason. However, risk should not discourage us. Risk can easily turn into fear, and fear is the biggest break. To take a chance is to leave your comfort zone and give it your best because you passionately believe in something. Sadly, we are witnesses that many business are closing down and of the consequences it has on us, small entrepreneurs, but also on the global economy. But, in a world where we are closed between our 4 walls exists some sort of a “paradox”, to call it that, where we want to please ourselves to make us feel better, so therefore aesthetic medicine might not have felt such a drop as some other activities have. Indeed, examinations and consults were digitalized and we conducted them via video links, but this inner desire for a good feeling and the “wow effect” always remains. The market is stabilizing slowly. After the initial lockdown in March, there was a global panic due to a shortage of all consumables – just remember that it was almost impossible to buy disposable masks and gloves. Things are slowly returning to normal today, and we are looking at the horizon with much hope that the masks will finally drop, that cafés, restaurants, theatres, museums and playgrounds will come back to life again, and the desire for social acceptance with grow with this.

There is an impression that your clients are mainly women, but there are also a large number of men. Why is a well-groomed look crucial in the business world today when we talk about the stronger sex and what does this mean?

Indeed, most clients in aesthetic medicine are women. According to the 2019 Global Annual Report of International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 86.9% of all aesthetic treatments and procedures was performed on women, while 13.1% was performed on men. When we translate this into numbers, men did 841,735 Botox treatments and 262,902 eye lift surgeries! I won’t even comment on liposuctions and dermal fillers. When it comes to care products for men, we are talking about an annual turnover of $34 trillion with an annual growth of 3%. Yes, men have embraced the fact that a well-groomed and neat look sells. They understand that in this day and age, it takes much more than a white shirt and tie to keep a client, win over new ones, and position oneself in a hierarchical business environment, and to present oneself in a social environment as well. There are numerous sociological and psychological studies confirming that it will be much easier for us to find approval for what is pleasing to our eyes. Whether it’s colorful food on a plate in a restaurant, sneaker design and car body shape, or a trendy hairstyle with a neat beard and clean facial skin. The world of business revolves around sales – we sell ourselves, the brand we represent, we sell ideas we believe in, etc. Appearance is crucial in sales. Period. Why do we choose branded clothing items rather than grandma’s knitted sweater? Because it doesn’t fit in the business milieu.

Also, the level of awareness of men has increased today so they are aware that acne scars on the face and a messy chin can affect the business results. Dark circles under the eyes and a wrinkled forehead give the impression of a tired, sleep deprived and exhausted man, which every co-worker and client can (and will) notice, and sweat stains on the shirt under the armpits can suggest poor hygiene habits and create a subjective feeling of inferiority.

What is it that men use the most, what is it they reach for when it comes to aesthetics?

Men are very simple. In the non-invasive segment of aesthetic medicine that doesn’t require surgical interventions they are concerned about 5 things: hair, chin and jaw, wrinkles/ skin quality, dark circles under the eyes and sweating.

Less often, they opt for more invasive surgical procedures that still require recovery time after surgery, but in this segment the most common inquiries are about liposuction and “high muscle definition” surgery, surgical correction of the nose and ears, eyelid correction and gynecomastia.

Luckily, all these issues can be resolved during “coffee break”, and that’s why men often contact us. They mainly come for the platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy for the scalp and hair growth, mesotherapy cocktails for a thicker and fuller beard, but more and more often they make inquiries and come for the formation of the jaw line with dermal fillers because a clearly and sharply defined jaw line is an expression of masculinity. A special category are men with problematic skin prone to oiliness, acne and scars, and in such cases a multimodal approach to treatment is used, which often includes certain cosmetic treatments in order to balance the pH of the skin.

But definitely, in the business men’s world, Botox is regularly applied against armpit sweating. We all spend 8 hours a day, and even longer, in a shirt and jacket, often indoors, which results in increased underarm sweating. In order to reduce the number of embarrassing situations in which we hide stains on the shirt, a large number of the male population comes twice a year for Botox treatment. But we’re not just talking about men in the business world; we’re also talking about athletes.

When using creams and other skin care products at home, men like the rule “the less the better” – daytime cream, night cream and aftershave serum, but they have to show results!

What would you offer to all the business people as a suggestion, and what do you offer to make their life and work easier and more beautiful?

If you take a look at online forums and men’s groups on Facebook, it’s interesting to see how often men ask questions like “How to get rid of scars on the face?”, “Which product to use for lush hair?”, “Does this deodorant work? ”, ”Do you guys have experience with beard oil?”,“My girlfriend went for Botox, it looks great. I would go too, but I’m scared. What are your experiences?”.

Aesthetic medicine is medicine, and not a beauty parlour. The first rule of medicine is “Primum non nocere”, meaning “First, do not harm”! Encouraged partly by imposed trends, and partly by your own desire to better position yourself in a competitive world, always seek advice and consultations from experienced doctors who will find a way in agreement with you to keep your own personality, build self-confidence by solving scalp problems, dark circles, tired looks, excessive sweating and, depending on the type of work you do, emphasize the characteristics that can set you apart from the competition.

Here at Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, we are proud of the fact that each client is an individual with their own worldview and their own needs. The motto “The Place Where Beauty Whispers” outlines the vision of approaching each person individually – together with you we give you the opportunity to eliminate all the “bugs” that bother you and discreetly “upgrade” you to be exactly what you want – full of confidence to become a better, groomed version of yourself, with the comment “You look great, let’s do business!“.