As Maharis Clinic celebrates its 10th anniversary, duo brothers-in-charge dr. Kevin Maharis and dr. Ricky Maharis share the story of how a one-room practice grew into one of the most distinguished aesthetics and wellness centers of today
What does Maharis Clinic, one of the foremost cosmetic dermatology clinics in Jakarta today, have in common with the likes of Microsoft or Google? Well, all of these names started with a dream, a lone founder and a single room. “I used to run a small private practice in my parents’ home and it started with one room, which used to be my late grandmother’s bedroom. I was working at another clinic at the time, so I worked on my practice before and afterwards,” dr. Kevin Maharis, the older of the two Maharis brothers, begins.
“When my brother was working at that other place, his salary was only around two million at the time, which was barely enough to cover his fuel and parking expenses,” dr. Ricky Maharis chimed in. “But our parents did indeed put more emphasis on experience rather than income.” And that experience paid off handsomely. As time went on, more and more people started to come to Kevin’s practice and he began thinking about working full-time on his private practice.
Fast forward two years from that point and Maharis Clinic was born. Kevin was joined by several like-minded doctors and the aforementioned one room grew into three. “So, we used a third of my parents’ home for the practice; that was in 2012,” Kevin recalls. “Then, four years later, after completing his medical specialist training in dermatology, Ricky joined.” Fast forward again to 2022 and as Maharis Clinic celebrates its 10th anniversary, it becomes all the more apparent how it has far outgrown its humble beginnings.
Besides growing in terms of space and number of doctors, Maharis Clinic also grew in scope. “We also developed our own products. Right now, perhaps 50 percent of the products we prescribe we produce ourselves,” Ricky explains. Kevin then adds: “Another important milestone for us was how in the middle of the pandemic – in mid-2020 – we started to hatch the idea of developing new clinics. Maybe you’ve heard about Clinic dé Votre Peau? That’s our sister clinic, which marks a very important milestone in our journey. Through Clinic dé Votre Peau, we hope that our services, and the results we are hopefully known for, become more easily accessible.”
Clinic dé Votre Peau, which literally means “your skin clinic,” was indeed conceptualised with millennials and Gen-Z customers in mind. “People are becoming more and more self-conscious; myself included,” Kevin shares. “Ever since the pandemic started, many of my friends and myself turned to social media, trying to make our own content. And while doing so, we actually started noticing our own flaws. If that’s how I felt as a doctor, imagine those, especially younger people, who are perhaps more insecure and more self-conscious.” This thought then led the Maharis brothers to establish Clinic dé Votre Peau which promises sustainable results at affordable costs.
On a more general note, they’ve also noticed how the increasing dependence on teleconferencing has affected aesthetic trends. “When you’re on Zoom you’re constantly looking at your own face, close up,” Ricky elaborates. “And we also have fewer distractions when we spend a lot of time at home. For instance, we used to go out to distract ourselves so we didn’t think too much about ourselves, right? But when we start spending most of our time at home, we start looking at our own faces more and more and we suddenly begin to notice the imperfections that have always been there. From there, people begin to become interested in self-care. Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the demand for the beauty industry’s services has grown, as evident from, say, the sale of skincare products.”
“This is a profession that many call superficial, but it’s actually more than skin deep. You can touch people on a much more emotional level”
Speaking of trends, the Maharis brothers are, naturally, constantly aware of the latest developments and preferences in the world of aesthetic medicine. “I’ve noticed that these days, patients are becoming increasingly interested in treatments with minimal downtime, so they can get treated today, attend an arisan tomorrow, and meet up with their friends when the weekend comes,” says Kevin. “And there’s an emphasis on maintenance. In the past, people would be, like, ‘Oh, I’m now how many years old, it’s time for a facelift.’ Now, our patients are more like: ‘What can I do now so that when I reach that age, I won’t need a facelift?’ For one, we can do tightening treatments; we have some of the best tightening devices such as Thermage and Ultherapy. Pico Laser is also another big trend right now.”
Maharis Clinic, as it happens, has made quite a name for itself with its three-steps Pico Laser. “When a patient comes in, we use three kinds of lasers, because each has its own advantage: There’s Pico Laser for brightening, there’s V-beam that’s good to deal with redness, and there’s Dermablate laser which is well-known for resurfacing pores and scars,” Ricky elaborates on the point. “So, a lot of people might think that laser treatment at Maharis is expensive. But at other clinics, only one type of laser might be used and it can eventually add up to quite a bit. Here, we use three top-tier at once to help our patients save time and money.”
Innovations like these might not seem readily apparent for the average person, but can become actual game-changers in the field of aesthetic medicine. Another example is how Maharis Clinic deals with acne scars. “Many would say just use micro-needling or just use skincare products, but we think that those treatments, when performed individually, are not as effective. Here, we combine platelet-rich plasma or PRP with subcision” Ricky elaborates. “There are plenty of doctors who do subcisions, but we’ve developed the right technique that’s being taught to the doctors at Maharis Clinic and Clinic dé Votre Peau. It’s all about knowing on what layer to do it, how much force to apply, the direction of the subcision. Then we can also use erbium laser resurfacing with Dermablade and provide concentrated hyaluronic acid injections like Profhilo to further stimulate collagen growth.”
To that, Kevin adds: “Many of those treatments are, individually, not that uncommon. But by combining all of those techniques in the correct way, with the proper parameters, we can achieve excellent results. It’s like cooking: Everyone has salt, pepper and sugar in their kitchen, but with the proper technique and recipe, we can get the best outcome.”
Providing the best possible results, however, often goes beyond trends and techniques into the realm of guiding and counselling. “There are places that do prey on people with body dysmorphia. There are providers who will go: ‘Oh, that’s what you want? Okay, then that’s what we’ll give you.’ I think that’s feeding into people’s insecurities,” Kevin warns. Then he adds: “What we’re trying to do here is to empower people. Taking care of yourself is a form of self-love, is it not? So, whatever you need to do to make you feel better about yourself, that’s what we’ll do – and we’ll become our patients’ guide. All of our doctors have been trained to say ‘no’ when necessary and to say ‘yes’ to the right patients, to provide suggestions and guidance in our patient’s aesthetic journey.”
The two seasoned doctors are, unsurprisingly, quite resolute in their ideas of how aesthetic doctors should learn the trade. “Cosmetic dermatology is broad, so before presuming to treat people you need to have experience and you need to be knowledgeable – and you have to rely on evidence-based medicine,” Ricky asserts. “As doctors we have a responsibility to our patients to give the best and provide treatments with minimal complications.”
“Aesthetic medicine is broad, so before presuming to treat people you need to have experience and you need to be knowledgeable – and you have to rely on evidence-based medicine”
Kevin also notes how there is a common misconception about his field of work. “People often over-glamourise our job, because the patients that come to us are usually in good health. When it comes to doctors in the conventional sense, the patients that come to them are those in need of medical treatment. With that in mind, aesthetic patients tend to have higher expectations. What is expected from doctors like us, besides results and improvement, is emotional guidance, in a way,” Kevin shares. “So, in my opinion, besides the more glamorous side of aesthetic medicine, there are many stressful elements to the job, which makes this line of work more challenging than what it seems.”
As challenging as it is, the Maharis brothers have found their work to be quite satisfying and fulfilling. On that note, patients to Maharis Clinic are photographed every time they come. While this certainly helps in tracking the progress of each patient’s treatment, it also allows the doctors to directly see how the effects of their hard work. And more important than that is the evolution in the patient’s confidence during subsequent visits. “When they’re in their fourth or fifth session, and they’re already looking and feeling better, the way they walk is different,” Kevin observes. “It’s like they have a spring in their step and a glimmer in their eyes. The way they smile is different, the way they speak is different. This is a profession that many call superficial, but it’s actually more than skin deep. You can touch people on a much more emotional level.”
That the two brothers are able to work together appeared to satisfy both parties as well. “Apparently, we’re very complementary, right?” Ricky quips, to which his brother adds: “In this company, dr. Ricky – who, as a dermatologist, actually has more medical training than I do – also happens to be a very good communicator. So, for PR, communications, branding strategy and so on, he takes care of it.” Meanwhile, Kevin, in his role as the clinics’ Medical Director, busies hiimself with everything from treatment selection, medical staff training to perfecting the customer experience at Maharis Clinic.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the doctor duo’s interests outside their work are still closely related to, well, their work. “Actually, Ricky likes skincare, makeup and watching beauty vlogs. And I think because of that, the formulas he creates are very makeup-friendly,” Kevin shares. Ricky then chimes in: “So, basically, I can apply my hobby to my work. Since I like skincare and trying out new products, I become aware of the kinds of texture, scents and ingredients I want to have in out own brands.”
For his part, Kevin’s passion for interior design is wonderfully reflected in the architecture and décor of Maharis Clinic and Clinic dé Votre Peau. “His eyes are trained to recognize good aesthetics,” Ricky says about his brother. “He has an eye for detail; he knows how to curate items that will reflect an air of both luxury and elegance when placed in the clinics.”
And last but not least, there will be plenty of clinics where patients will be introduced to dr. Ricky’s skincare ideas and dr. Kevin’s décor schemes. The original Maharis Clinic – the one set up at their parents’ home – is currently undergoing extensive renovations to update its look. By the end of the year, there will be nine clinics in Jakarta and beyond. “We all want to look good and we also want to be the best version of ourselves,” Ricky Maharis mentioned earlier during the interview. And that line certainly sums up the Maharis brothers’ mission: Being the best version of themselves to help others discover the same.
See the full video of our #PrestigeTalks with dr. Kevin Maharis & dr. Ricky Maharis through the video below:
Photographer Zaky Akbar | Styling Safina Harys | Grooming Geode Dinar F | Photographer assistant Avi Adritama | Digital imaging artist Satriya Wildan
MAHARIS CLINIC BARITO
Jl. Barito 2 No. 5, Kebayoran Baru