Scrolling through Instagram there is no doubt you’ve spotted one of Dr. Maryam Zamani’s picture worthy products. Finding the perfect balance between luxe and girly, the various formulas feature pink and white packaging with sleek gold detailing. Originally hailing from Iran, Zamani who is originally an Oculoplastic Surgeon has created a skincare brand that offers everything a woman wants. Pioneering, fuss-free products that work. She unveils how it all MZ Skincare began, and what it’s like being a female entrepreneur in the beauty business.
How did your story begin?
It happened organically. I did my training in the states. I did medicine and then I became an oculoplastic surgeon, which is a plastic surgeon but just around the eyes. So really, I only do upper eyelid, blepharoplasty, and lower eyelids. Puffy eyes, or upper eyelids that have excessive skin, that’s where it all started. I then moved to London because I was getting married to my husband. I was board certified in America but it took a little bit longer to get those credentials transferred over to that higher standard in the UK. During this time I did another fellowship in facial plastics. I then moved to Monaco with my husband for two years, where I would come back to the UK for a week, trying to clear out the NHS list in eye surgeries just so I could learn. Then I found out I was pregnant.
I was really interested in the non-surgical stuff so I decided to move into dermatology. I did a course in Cardiff, and I thought this is kind of interesting. We moved back to London and I had my second baby. I decided to go into private practice and I started work at a clinic on Sloane street owned by a plastic surgeon and his dermatologist wife. I wanted to do non-surgical procedures too, so I bought a few lasers. Six years later it’s still doing really well. We’ve expanded, and I’ve bought a lot more machines. I believe in the ethos that there’s a lot to do before you need surgery. The earlier that you start with some things that are not necessarily invasive but stimulatory, the more likely you have the best chance of looking your best as you get older. That’s where skin started to come in. I’ve always loved skincare.
What was the next step in launching MZ Skincare?
I started dabbling. I worked with a pharmacist in London and started playing with ingredients. I loved the feel of those products, and how it made me feel. I wanted formulas that had a little bit more punch. So, I started creating them for a few friends and a couple of clients. My husband said to me “why don’t you just do it”, so I said “ok”. I had no idea that was the easy part. That was in 2014 when I was turning 40. It took me about two and a half years from conception to the launch in Harrods. I created a really nice range of concise and precise products. I didn’t want to have a messy or complicated program. I wanted something simple. I wanted something convenient, luxurious and girly. I wanted everything to be clinically trialed. I didn’t just use ingredients, whereas an example, we know retinol does this so therefore our products do this. I had independent clinical trials. I tried to be environmentally conscious, I give back to women’s gynecological fund and women’s breast cancer in London. I also wanted less packaging. My products are also free of any nasties. So no parabens and no silicons. I have real ingredients that work.
What is the ethos behind your brand?
My ethos is to reveal, enhance and to protect. The idea is you start out in your 20’s. I always tell people it’s not necessarily what you see or what you don’t see. It’s simple. To reveal you use nice cleansers and exfoliants. To enhance, you use the antioxidants, Vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid. For protection, it is important to use antioxidants and SPF. I also made everything in less than 100ml so you can put it in a carry-on, you don’t need a travel size. Even if you don’t travel much, people forget that you really should use skincare within six months. Even in the best of conditions, you don’t want to use something lying around. Its like eating old food, you want to eat it while its best.
Do you feel that consumers understand skincare more now than ever before?
Yes, I think my shopper is definitely intelligent and educated. They want more for their buck and also wants to be able to do things at home. We’re all really busy and while a facial is nice, it’s probably not going to do anything past the 48-hour mark. A facial massage helps in a lot of ways, for example, detoxification, but in terms of actual skincare, yes, you’ll get a nice clean feel and you’ll get hydration but you need to keep it up.
What age should women begin their skincare regime?
There are different stages and there are different strengths. I always tell everybody you start with good skincare in your 20’s and if you need to, add prescription strength.
What was the defining moment in your career with the brand?
I have to say it felt very organic. Making the creams was great because I was involved with every step of the process, it was really fun. And that continues to be the part that I love. And right now, I’m coming out with a few new things. One is my tinted moisturizer. I’m trying it because the one thing that I hate is heavy moisturizers that don’t get absorbed very well especially with an SPF. Mine has SPF 30. I’m very intuitive with how things feel and how they sit on the skin. So for me, that’s very important,
Do you find being a businesswoman now in the industry is easier?
I’m very appreciative of all the people in different industries who have helped in different ways. For instance, my friend and jewelry designer Diane Kordas, helped every time I reached out to her. She shared what was going well for her. I really appreciate those moments. There are a lot of people who don’t like to share, and there are a lot of people who are very competitive. Even in a saturated market, there is always room. My success will never hinder somebody else’s. I want everybody to succeed, we all have our little place in the market. I’m very much someone who likes to help other people, I’m always the first to answer an email.
MZ Skincare is available at Net-A-Porter.com