Wouldn’t you want to know what dermatologists use to get their skin looking that good? In this post on my summer skincare series during quarantine, I interviewed Dr. Apratim Goel, a cosmetic dermatologist based in Mumbai. A quick browse through her clinic’s Instagram will give you a sneak peek of clients like actor Sumit Vyas, Karan Kundra, Varun & Priyanka from MTV’s Ace of Space, Priyank Sharma from MTV Splitsvilla and Asim Riaz, Shefali Bagga from Big Boss Season 13. Here is her full interview on her skincare routine, procedures she opts for, the most common skincare questions she gets on her Instagram and hype around d some skincare ingredients (I’m talking to you, retinol!).
Get To Know Me
Q: Please tell your full name, age, where you’re from and how long you’ve been practising as a dermatologist
Answer: Hi everyone! I’m Dr. Apratim Goel, and I am a board-certified dermatologist. I come from a small hill station Mussoorie in North India but studied in Karnataka. Mussoorie gave me dreams, Karnataka gave me wings and Mumbai gave me the sky to fly. My qualifications include MBBS and then MD and DNB in Dermatology. Apart from this, I’ve gotten certifications on lasers and injectables from Singapore, Bangkok, Europe and the US.
I specialise in Dermatology with a special interest in lasers, threads, Medispa and injectables. I’ve been at this for 19 years! I have 3 clinics in Mumbai: Cutis Skin Solutions at Kemps Corner, Bandra and Andheri (W).
Dr Apratim Goel’s Bulletproof Skincare Routine
Q: Are there particular ingredients that have always been a part of your skincare routine?
Answer: Well, my childhood had a lot of home remedies as a part of my skincare. I recall an ubtan used to be my mom’s favourite go-to, and for a good reason. As a dermatologist, I’m obsessed with moisturisers. I feel my skin will only look good when it’s hydrated. Apart from this, retinol has become my favourite too! I must also say here, that I have not been a big fan of sunscreens since ever, but lately due to the improved texture, sunscreens have become an essential part of my morning routine.
Q: What’s your summer skincare routine? Please try to mention specific products since readers may try to pick up these products.
Answer: Since I am mostly in my clinic, I don’t have major changes in my summer skincare routine versus the rest of the year. I am a big believer of oral glutathione, Vit C and oral sunscreen: I use CosmeTox, Fair C and Heliocare. In sunscreens, I like UVMax Gel Sunscreen, ZO Skin Health by Dr. Obagi OCLIPSE Sunscreen + SPF 30 Primer (which is a nice tinted sunscreen) as well as Heliocare (it’s good for mornings). When I am flying, I use an additional serum with hyaluronic acid before applying my sunscreen to keep my skin hydrated. At night, I apply Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0 Anti-Age Serum/ Sesderma Retinol Cream followed by a moisturiser called Firmer. I’ve just started using eco-conscious microfiber sheets infused with actives from a Swiss brand, Filabe, and I quite like it.
Q: Please tell us your quarantine skincare routine and hair routine.
Answer: I have kept it simple yet effective. I’m trying some fun home DIY’s that we also share on our blogs along with my routine.
I just used this downtime for a significantly heavy amount of retinol… 4% retinol peel by Sesderma. I figured there’s no better time than now.
As for my hair, I haven’t washed it in 8 years! Yes, believe me, I’ve always relied on the salon, so my hair routine is pretty simple. I wash my hair every alternate day, and I use a hair mask called Nutricerat by Abbot.
I don’t oil my hair, I’ve never been a fan!
Q: A DIY mask that has done wonders for you.
Answer: I stick to fenugreek (methi dana) and egg mask for my hair. For my face, I like to mix orange, honey and a pinch of turmeric with 1-2 tablespoons of yoghurt.
Q: How often do you opt for a facial as a dermatologist? Please shed more light on the ones you get.
Answer: I’m nearing 50 now so I should be a lot more, but I haven’t had the time to get a facial for 6 months now. However, I am a big fan of Helios Advanced Fractional Laser Therapy which helps with skin resurfacing and tightening, and also Exilis Ultra 360 (radiofrequency and ultrasound to tighten skin and address body concerns). I opt for a session a month: it’s quick and immediately lifts my skin. But if I have time, I would love to do facial massages with hyaluronic acid, seaweed and minerals everyday.
Q: Gua sha, jade rollers and face massage are a rage right now. How often do you do it yourself?
Answer: I don’t. I have heavy-duty machines in my clinics and so never really put my head into these.
Q: We know that beautiful skin has a lot to do with mental health, food and lifestyle. Please give us a snippet of the same. When it comes to living a wholesome life, what are some of the things that you do to keep you glowing inside and out?
Answer: Eat less, sleep more. I don’t go to the gym, but I practise yoga every day for 30 minutes. Once I sit in my car commuting between clinics, I shut my phone and listen to old Hindi songs. I am also trying to learn a new language and so spend my time hearing that online.
Q: Which supplements do you take daily?
Answer: Curcumin ( Kurik tab)
Polypodium leucotomas ( Heliocare cap)
Glutathione ( Cosmetox tab)
Vitamin C (Fair C )
Let’s Talk Skincare, Skincare Ingredients, Anti-Ageing and Instagram!
Q: What are the most common skincare queries you see on Instagram, and when clients come to see you?
Answer: Some of the common queries that we get are routine skincare queries, safe home remedies, acne-related, pigmentation related, hair loss queries, some suffering from skin infections like fungal, viral infections. But the most familiar skincare query is often a request on fair skin. The quest for skin is a rage across all age groups. Another problem on Instagram and other social media platforms is that everyone wants to know the prices of the treatment which can be decided when we consult and discuss their prime concerns. I try not to give out generalised advice and encourage dermatological consultation in-person or digitally.
Q: According to you, what are Indian customers most interested in when it comes to beauty treatments? Is it correctional/enhancement/cosmetic?
Answer: The majority of Indians are interested in correctional treatments that offer permanent results. However, I do believe that there is a spike in enhancements through non-invasive methods like Botox, dermal fillers, lasers, threads etc. I do want to say that it’s a must to give counselling before opting for treatments.
Q: More and more of us are going to dermatologists after seeing someone else on Instagram or otherwise, what’s your take on this? Do you think this is starting a copy-cat culture?
Answer: There is an increasing sense of awareness amongst my clients, which is excellent, but there are a lot of non-reliable sources on social media. It puts a lot of pressure on me as a practising dermatologist as my patient expectations are rocketing the sky to the point of imagining magical results. So my suggestion would be to consult a dermatologist and take a proper consultation before opting for any treatments you see online.
Q: Most dermatologists are now telling us to include Vitamin C, Retinol in our weekly skincare routine. Are there any dos and don’ts when adding these products to our skincare routine?
Answer: That’s because both ingredients, Vitamin C and retinol enhance your skin. However, each individual is different and hence consultation which includes a thorough examination and history taking becomes vital before starting any of these products to make sure you do not react to them and use in the dosage appropriate for your skin. Retinols can react with your existing skincare, and hence it should be used after taking a doctor’s advice. We face many cases where clients have used all sorts of vitamins and retinols on their skin along with steroids (they took Internet advice), and by the time they come to me, it’s almost impossible to undo the damage.
Q: A lot of working women, single moms don’t have that much time for self care. What’s the one thing they must do every day?
Answer: I would say the no-fuss routine would include cleansing, moisturising and using a sunscreen. This takes less than 5 minutes and can do wonders in the long run. If you have a little more time, opt for active ingredients and masking. Take out time for a facial or cleanup once a month. If you are in your 30s, or above that, Botox /Xeomin are good elective treatments to keep wrinkles away.
Q: What’s the right age to start an anti-ageing routine?
Answer: Ideally, anti ageing can be started when you’re in your late twenties or early thirties depending on your skin concerns. In fact there is no right number to pick up here. The prescription changes with age and skin type. I would say, start taking care of your skin as soon as possible.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post.