The biggest misconception about skincare is that it’s to do with appearing fairer. Nothing can be further from the truth. Skincare deals with nourishing and protecting our existing skin tone from changing weather conditions. To shed more light on the issue, Haider Rifaat got in touch with dermatologist Dr Maleeha Jawaid for an insightful conversation about redefining beauty standards, switching to summer skincare and her new role as Pakistan’s official representative of the L’OrÃ©al Paris Skin Expert MENA Dermatology Board
Maleeha, please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am a full-time doctor and a part-time blogger. I practice clinical and aesthetic dermatology in Karachi at a leading private skin clinic located in the heart of DHA. My practice revolves around helping my patients via medical means along with teaching them the importance of self-love and acceptance.
On the other hand, my Instagram blog (@inyourfacebymaleeha) is me in my unfiltered, raw form with content ranging from skincare and makeup advice to smashing society standards set upon us, especially women.
How does it feel to be a part of the Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris Skin Expert MENA Dermatology Board representing Pakistan?
It feels fantastic! Itâ€™s such an honour to be handpicked by the Lâ€™OrÃ©al Skin Expert team in Paris to be on the MENA Dermatology Board and to represent Pakistan. Itâ€™s been extremely overwhelming and Iâ€™m extremely grateful for all the love and support Iâ€™ve gotten over this.
What core responsibilities come with this role?
Being a part of the MENA Board for Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris comes with a huge responsibility of validating formulae and ingredients for products thatâ€™re about to be launched or endorsing products thatâ€™re already in the market. The recent launch of the Hyaluron Expert Hyaluronic Acid Serum involved all of us from the board to be a part of a virtual tour of the very lab that developed this product. Learning about what goes on behind the scenes helps build more confidence in the product, and most importantly, helps us impart the right kind of information thatâ€™s needed, given the fact that thereâ€™s so much misinformation on the internet.
What would the new skincare products achieve differently this time around?
Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris, as a brand, has always been very progressive and up to date with consumer demand. This is something I can say for sure, since Iâ€™ve been using Lâ€™OrÃ©al products forever. In the current day and age, with very little spare time on hand, everyone wants products thatâ€™re effective and can be used easily. Launching a key skincare ingredient like hyaluronic acid in serum form is just the right thing to do. Itâ€™s easy to apply, has great results, can be used by all age groups and genders, and does not burn a hole in your pocket in doing so.
As a dermatologist, what can women and men working outdoors throughout the day do to protect themselves against sunburn living in climatic conditions where temperatures are extremely hot all year round? Guide us through the skincare process here.
This is something I repeat so often in my clinic to all my patients. Skincare has to change according to the season and your geographical location. Skincare in summer is all about oil control, sun protection (this is all year round though), and keeping your skin as clean as possible, given the increase in sweat and sebum production.
Summer skincare involves gel-based products, SPF, oil blotting sheets and of course, lots and lots of water. A majority of the Lâ€™OrÃ©al day creams contain SPF in them, which can be great for additional sun protection. Just because itâ€™s hot, doesnâ€™t mean your skin requires no hydration. The Hyaluron Expert Hyaluronic Acid Serum helps with this particularly as it retains moisture in the skin without making it feel too greasy or heavy.
In South Asia, appearing fairer than oneâ€™s actual skin tone is considered common practice. Light skin equates to beauty, which beauty brands shouldnâ€™t encourage in the first place. Whatâ€™re your thoughts?
This is something I come across in my clinic and my Instagram more often than Iâ€™d want it to. Iâ€™m a firm believer of self-love and acceptance and this is something Iâ€™ve been preaching through both platforms of mine. Most often, families and societal pressure push people to look for treatments that can change their skin tone, or theyâ€™ve been compared to their sibling or cousin who is fairer and thatâ€™s what they aspire to look like. Before I started working, I always thought this would be an issue for females only, but I was surprised to see how prevalent this is across genders.
Will Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris follow a similar footprint when it comes to embracing all skin types in their upcoming campaigns?
Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris is already based on inclusivity and empowerment. The products are made for use for all individuals regardless of their gender, colour, ethnicity, or age. Iâ€™m a hundred per cent sure that theyâ€™ll continue this practice in the future as well.