Dr Xavier Goodarzian discusses his pathway into the aesthetics specialty and shares his passion for topical products and treatments.
More than 10 years into his aesthetics career, it’s fair to say that Dr Xavier Goodarzian has achieved a lot. Whether he is lecturing or training delegates all over the globe or running his aesthetic practice in Southampton, there is one thing that’s clear when talking to this Belgium-born practitioner; he has always had a keen interest and passion for all things skin and topical treatments.
Dr Xavier Goodarzian begins his interview with Aesthetics by emphasising, “Topicals are the baseline; the foundation of great skin and skin health. You can do a lot of toxin and filler treatments, but if the surface of the skin doesn’t look great then that’s the first thing that everyone is going to notice.”
His interest in topical treatments and formulations really started when he studied dermatology during his medical degree, which originally made him consider a career in cosmetic production. That, however, was soon eliminated when Dr Goodarzian realised his love for helping patients.
“I’m a really sociable person and I love making others feel good. Being able to help my patients through the use of aesthetic treatments and skincare is so rewarding. Seeing patients flourish and become confident because of the work I have done is just amazing.”
Dr Goodarzian completed his degree in medicine at the University of Louvain in 2000 and then decided to move to the UK where he undertook his post-graduate degree in clinical dermatology at Queen Mary University of London. It was later that year that Dr Goodarzian attended his first botulinum toxin training course with MediZen and spent the next five years attending several courses and aesthetics-focused conferences, alongside working full-time in general practice. In 2005 he decided to set up his clinic, Xavier G. Clinic in Southampton. A year later he left the NHS and began working in aesthetics full time.
Now, teaching and lecturing other practitioners is something that Dr Goodarzian is particularly passionate about. He says, “The first time I started teaching was in 2006 and I absolutely love this element of my work. When you teach someone it’s great revision for yourself. It’s essential to update and educate yourself constantly, no matter how long you have been in a sector.”
When asked how he incorporates topicals into patients’ treatment protocols, Dr Goodarzian notes that one of the biggest challenges is actually getting patients to recognise their importance, “I always talk to my patients about topicals in their initial consultation and ask what their current routine is at home and how they feel about their skin. It can be a challenge to sell regimes to your patients, but by doing this I am able to understand their needs and advise accordingly. I will begin by introducing one or two key ingredients until they are ready to commit to something a bit stronger,” he explains.
Dr Goodarzian declares that he is no stranger to trying treatments himself; in fact, he encourages all practitioners to undergo aesthetic treatments to help understand the patient journey and experience. He says, “When you are treating patients, you should have some personal experience with not only the products, but the treatments too. I’m not saying that every practitioner should have everything done, but I think you should at least have had botulinum toxin once, know how a filler feels when its injected in the skin so you can empathise with the pain, or try a chemical peel if you are offering them in your clinic; having first-hand experience of the necessary downtime and how it affects your daily life will benefit your communication with patients.”
Dr Goodarzian believes in this so much that he provides a booklet in the reception area of his clinic featuring images of himself and his staff detailing exactly what procedures they have had and how they make them feel. He says, “I’ve always been very open about everything I’ve had done. In this field, your face is your marketing and you are a walking advertisement for the work that you do. For example, you wouldn’t go to an obese personal trainer or nutritionist, would you? I believe that if you can’t look after yourself, how can people expect you to look after them? As an absolute minimum, you should be looking after your skin.”
Despite his extensive experience, Dr Goodarzian still remains humble when sharing his biggest achievements to date; he says, “Although I have lots of professional achievements, the one thing that mainly sticks out to me is a lot more personal. I came to the UK with £800 and wanted to make something of myself, I wanted to be different. I am comfortable with my own capabilities and knowing that I have achieved what I wanted to achieve is priceless.”