Dr. Amir Karam: Founder of KaramMDSkin & Facial Plastic Surgeon

Episode 541

In this exciting episode, we delve into the world of beauty and innovation with Dr. Amir Karam, a renowned Facial Plastic Surgeon and the creative force behind KaramMD. Based in Southern California, Dr. Karam has brilliantly extended his medical expertise into the skincare industry, pioneering a three-step anti-aging routine, known as Trifecta, designed to deliver significant, long-term results. Known for his revolutionary Vertical Restore™ procedure, Dr. Karam discusses his journey from performing complex facial surgeries to developing a skincare line that simplifies beauty routines while maximizing effectiveness. You will love hearing Dr. Karam’s passion for medicine and commitment to innovation in this episode as well as how that has shaped his approach to entrepreneurship and setting new standards in skincare. Don’t miss this insightful conversation about transforming challenges into opportunities and making a tangible impact in the beauty world. Now on this episode of The Kara Goldin Show! 

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be you just want to make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go Let’s go. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the Kara Goldin show. Super excited to be with our next guest today. Dr. Amir Karam is a distinguished facial plastic surgeon and the visionary founder and CEO of Karam MD, which is based in Southern California, Dr. Karam has taken his expertise beyond the operating room to innovate within the skincare industry, creating a simple yet powerful, starting with a three step anti aging routine designed for remarkable long term results. He’s expanded beyond that, but is really known for developing the groundbreaking vertical restore procedure. He has now channeled his medical expertise into crafting the skincare line, which is absolutely terrific. You can see a lot more of him on social media as well. He’s got a totally on fire, tick tock and Instagram that is very educational, and very, very, very, very great. So he’s here with us today to talk about not only what he’s doing as an extension of his career in medicine, but also entrepreneurship and discussing how his strategic approach is transforming skincare. So I can’t wait to dive in and hear Dr. caroms journey. So thank you so much for coming on with us today.

Dr. Amir Karam 2:09
It was a pleasure of mine. And when I got this invitation, I was so excited to be able to chat with you and and you know, have this mutual conversation. I’m really excited to share some of this and and also get into the in a little bit more depth about all this.

Kara Goldin 2:21
I love it. Well as I was telling you, I was at the hairdresser yesterday and I told her that I was interviewing you today. And she was just going crazy. She was like no way i i watched all his tic TOCs there’s so educational, they’re so great. So you have fans up in the northern California area as well all over the world, actually. But so could you start by just sharing what initially drew you into medicine and and later led you to specialize in facial plastic surgery?

Dr. Amir Karam 2:51
Yeah, absolutely. So my my story was a little bit, I would say different than most in the sense that, you know, I, I was a single child I was born. And at the time of my birth, my mom ended up getting diagnosed literally like postpartum with a condition called Congenital cardiomyopathy, which is basically like a heart condition that was initiated through the pregnancy. So the pregnancy sort of like turned on the genetic switches that that led to her heart enlarging and then she went into basically like early heart failure after the birth. And you know, the doctors got her under control, et cetera, but literally my entire life. It’s been in and out of doctors offices, dealing with, you know, different types of treatments, etc. And then it finally culminated to a point where all the medicine medical treatments had basically been exhausted. And somewhere, I think it was like the first year in college. At that point, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was like, you know, like every other college student thinking about all the different careers in medicine was not one of them. I just didn’t think I was either smart enough or like, you know, there wasn’t a sort of reason I was I was gonna go this direction. But I always had a kind of an interest in it because of all the things in my mom went through. But then, when she was literally without exaggerating, kind of like at the end of her her life, they referred us to a heart transplant center, they happen to be here at UCSD with one of the legendary founding, you know, surgeons that actually performed the first heart lung transplant at Stanford, you know, years before and then brought his his entire program to UCSD and and so they perform this heart transplant honor what appeared to be like the because you know, you have to get on a waitlist and stay on and so you’re watching somebody deteriorate hoping that you know, a heart recipient heart will come in and be able to perform the transplant. So what appeared to be literally like the last night that she was going to be on this earth like truly, I mean, visually, she was like, dusky purple barely could move, you know, etc. And you’re just Oh, puts like, there’s nothing there’s nothing to do except for is, you know, if you don’t get that call, you don’t get that call. And at 1am That night, she got the call and we, you know me and my father took her to UCSD, they willed her into the, into the O R, and she’s, you know, again, purple dusky, four hours later comes out of the operating room, completely pink, like blushed cheeks, and like blood flow finally coming to her face for the first time. And that moment, literally, that moment I had this little journal for I was journaling back then, and I have this little journal, I still have it, like I wrote, right then that this is what I want to do for people, like I want to basically, you know, because from that moment on, like, basically gave my mom back and as a single child, you’re like, very tight, you know, very close knit family and cetera. And, and she just, you know, just blossomed after that point. And right, then I changed all my courses when pre med took all the classes they needed to take and I got linked up with a surgeon who performed her transplant and stuck by his side for the next four years at UCSD, where I was at. And what was fascinating is So, you know, that was that was like my, I felt like all the suffering that we went through as a family was my destiny to become a heart transplant surgeon or surgeon for you know, heart surgeon for other people. But what was fascinating is during that period of time, the surgeons in that department were like, you know, heart surgery is changing, it’s no longer like what it was, you know, pioneering history and all this kind of stuff, because now the cardiologists are doing everything non invasively, through the you know, through catheterizations, etc, like the field is just is is changing, and you probably are better off not going into heart surgery, and other fields of medicine. But it was like such a emotional thing for me to to carry this on, like help other people in exactly the way they, the surgeon helped my mom, and he became my idol really like. And so when I got into med school, I applied all over, but all the top of hearts heart programs in the country, and I got waitlisted at all UCSF, Stanford UCLA, UCSD, although, really, I got wait listed all of them. And I had really strong like application, but one program accepted me right out of the gates. And that was UC Irvine. And what was fascinating is of all the programs that was sort of like I don’t even know why I applied there, because they didn’t have a heart, they didn’t have like a heart program there. And, and my mentor is like, Don’t worry, like you’ll finish your stuff. And then we’ll bring you back. If you feel like you want to be a heart surgeon, we’ll bring it back for fellowship and residency back here. So anyway, so I get there. And immediately in the first year, again, another surprising sort of thing happens some facial plastic surgeon comes and gives a talk at our anatomy class. And all of a sudden, I see this like unbelievable profession that is like doing things from reconstruction, to cosmetics to like, you know, trauma, all it’s really fascinating, kind of working, he did it as a correlate to the anatomy that we’re studying. And then I thought, wow, this is kind of interesting, but I felt guilty about it at the same time because I thought I was supposed to be a heart surgeon. But then sure enough, you know, I didn’t have any heart, you know, research to do, I was doing like all this research before I ended up getting hooked up with a facial plastic surgeon who had a very basic research lab it and at the Beckman Laser Institute. And long story short, I fell in love with the profession because it was so, so intricate, surgically, which I always felt like I wanted that type of challenge. It’s on a person’s face. So there’s literally no room for like error, you have to get it right every single time. And that’s the kind of pressure that I’ve, you know, I think I enjoyed that pressure, or wanted that pressure because, you know, heart surgery also has a lot of pressure associated with it. And, but there was one thing that that facial classes had that heart didn’t have it. And that was it was had a creative component to it, which I always considered myself a very creative person, artistic or whatever, but I never thought I’d be able to express it professionally. And then suddenly, I found like a field that was challenging, meant a lot to people and was creative. And then boom, off we go heading down like the facial plastics, you know, future which at that time was like the most unpopular choice you can make as a medical student. This was today like facial plastics and all this stuff is like it’s a common people talk about it all the time. But back then it wasn’t really a profession that it is today. So a lot has changed in that way as well. But that was my sort of, you know, direction into into medicine but the essence in the spirit of what happened with my mom has carried with me as like my intention and purpose surgically and as we’ll talk about with the brand as well, it’s like it’s really fundamentally to like help people quality of life, you know, whatever it is to like make an impact solve their problems, just like the surgeon solve my problem, or my mom is probably in our family’s problem at that moment.

Kara Goldin 9:58
Wow, that’s that’s such a good Great story. So, so the you are known for the vertical restore procedure. I can’t imagine that that was right out of the gate that you were doing it. How long did it take you before you actually kind of perfected that? Yeah, so

Dr. Amir Karam 10:13
I mean, it was probably a year or 12 into practice, right out of the gates. Like from the first time, this is actually interesting because literally all that I do now is facial rejuvenation surgery, right. But when I was in training, residency, etc, and I was watching, you know, all these all these outcomes of facelifts and things like that, they just looked so weird. They look so ugly, really, I mean, the pull tight, you know, Mauser have stretched across. So I thought for sure there’s no way I’m gonna go into I’m not going to do facelifts as a facial plastic surgeon, I’m going to do rhinoplasty I’m gonna do and which nose jobs and cancer reconstruction those are going to be my two things. Because everything I saw outcome was wasn’t wasn’t good. Was it natural looking wasn’t you know. But I also had the advantage of kind of having a head like a head start in terms of figuring stuff out compared to most people who decide later that they want to go into facial plastic. So I started looking at ways of how can you make a face look natural? Like what what is a face look like when it’s a natural face? Why can’t we restore it back to that level, one component that I realized was so important when it came to face lifts was the vector of lift vertical, makes the face look more natural. The traditional face book that you open up a textbook and read about pose a face sideways. So I started doing a vertically oriented facelift right out of the gates, despite the fact that no one taught me that in residency or my fellowship. And right away all my outcomes right from the very beginning, were totally natural, like I had a clinic one day a week and fellowship, where I could operate on my own patients. And I was literally getting referrals from like, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, like people were coming and referring to my little fellows clinic for their facelifts. And it was really the claim to fame was that they look really normal and natural. So the vertical restore was it was like an extension of that, you know, that foundation, but I wanted to make it even better, longer lasting, more powerful. So I included a deep plane into it. And I brought basically the notion that the entire side of the face from the from the temples, mid face, jawline, neck all age at the same time in the same way. So everything needs to be brought back up into position at this in this in the same moment to in order to look harmonious and look natural. And facelifts by by the definition are just pulling the the jawline tighter. So you get these like mismatches between different subunits of the face. And in vertical restorative kind of like brings it all together.

Kara Goldin 12:39
That’s, that’s awesome. I’ve heard you actually talk a lot about fillers on your and so could you want to give a quick snippet of of that before we get into the skincare?

Dr. Amir Karam 12:50
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, fillers, it’s interesting, because they’ve been, you know, they’ve been around for over 20 years. Now, surprisingly, it’s not like been around for forever, but it’s relatively new, new, you know, piece of art sort of toolbox. And like anything else, it’s new for starts off with, like, you know, a lot of hope and promise that it’s going to potentially replace surgery. So people were using it, you know, with each, each iteration of failure, they will come out, they would use it in different ways, like try to put a bunch of your cheek to lift the jawline, put a bunch along your jawline, to mask the jowls. And what ended up happening is easy watch these results over time, including the ones that I would even perform myself, what you would see as it faces would start to look abnormal after a while of getting injected, you just started looking deformed. Like you’re full in places where you don’t actually lose volume, and you still have jobs and you still have neck laxity. So it’s not really effective. And you start to run the risk of looking weird. And so the concept was, I mean, I basically stopped doing it that way, you know, second, I started noticing. But now as a paradigm. This is for the for the audiences like if you’re in like your late 40s or early 50s, for example, you’re seeing normal signs of aging, which is like laxity along your jawline and neck and all that kind of stuff. And you’re hoping that filler will address it, it won’t. And that’s not going to get it done. And more and more filler is just going to make you look weirder, and potentially make surgery a lot more difficult for the surgeon because these things scar into into the tissues and things like that makes us sloppy or Messier when the surgeon is trying to operate in these delicate planes. So just as a general thing, it’s a good thing for like a 30 something year old who wants a little bit of augmentation here and there. But less is more and it really isn’t going to ever lift your face. So that’s kind of like the the, the I guess the consensus, observational knowledge that has come from nearly 20 years of like, trying fillers in different ways. That’s probably the most simple way to look at. Once you get to the point where laxity is happening. That’s where surgery really is like your cleanest and best option.

Kara Goldin 14:47
So interesting. So okay, so moving into skincare, you’ve interacted with many patients, I’m sure over the years who have talked to you about products that they’re using and what inspired you to launch Kerim MD, I mean, what was kind of, I mean, you’re busy enough, you could always say just just go use whatever and but you just decided that, that you’re going to launch this brand into a crowded skincare market.

Dr. Amir Karam 15:17
So it’s actually kind of interesting. It wasn’t, there was no intention to launch the brand when I when I created the product actually. So here’s, here’s the story. So we’re in our early 30s, my wife and I were in Orange County still in residency, and, and fellowship, probably the last year or so, my wife meets a dermatologist, a neighborhood dermatologist, you know, who’s in our age group. And she basically told my wife at that time, were good friends at that time, that look, you know, most important thing you can do at this stage of your life is go bonkers, like super obsessive about skin, about sun protection, number one, so SPF, you know, hats, etc. Be really, really diligent about that. And then number two, start using, like retinol, vitamin C, these certain actives, start now. And you will literally your skin will never Ah, right, boom. So I’m barely paying attention. I’m a surgeon, I don’t care that much about how the skin looks right. It’s I’m talking more as my anatomical stipes type stuff. But I’m watching my wife be very, very like committed and very mindful about this year after year, what I see is, we start taking pictures of her at different points in time, because you know, I have my little blue background, I took that with me from residency to my practice, anytime I would do anything for her, I would always have a photo of her. And in 33, when we look at those pictures, she has like sunspots, Her skin’s a little doll, you know, just because she was a cross country runner, and a tennis player growing up, like walks all the time outside. So she gets a lot of sun and a 33, she already had some of those signs of skin changes. And then as we’re, you know, I did her fat transfer at age 36. So now like three, four years later, we have another set of photos of her, and suddenly your skin looks amazing, like it looks a lot better. spots are less for skin looks more subtle. And then, you know, that process carries on, what I realized was that there’s something to this skin care piece, you know, this kind of like skincare as a treatment that a person does on their own, and the sun protection aspect of it. And I realized also just observing my patients that the ones who started off having awesome looking skin, regardless of their age, it could be 6070, whatever age and then I got their surgery combined with them, their face would look truly young. And so I realized, like there’s two things that make a person look young, it’s young looking skin and young looking facial shape, because if you look at like a 2030 year old, they have both those things every single time. So as a facial rejuvenation surgeon, I started getting really into, you know, doing chemical peels, lasers, and then always putting my patients we had a whole program where after surgery, they would have like a 45 minute appointment with with our estheticians or nurses organizing them on their skincare routine. None of which I you know, I own these were all like Obagi and Skin Medica and all that kind of like medical brands. And the but what was fascinating is when you when you know how the skin ages, and you try to properly pair it with the components that address each of those changes, you end up with like eight to 10 steps. Because if you if you know enough about it, you can’t omit the various components, like you can’t omit a lightener if you’re you know, you can’t emit vitamin C, you can’t emit retinol, nice cinema peptides like moisturizer, you know, all these different aspects are, are necessary because they’re addressing different parts of the skin aging, you know, components. So I would put it, we would go through this, like very extensive process, educate, put all these, but then they come back for their system of follow up. And literally like 80% of them couldn’t tolerate eight or nine steps, you know, routines. They just couldn’t so. So I would be kind of like, you know, a little bit disheartened. Meanwhile, I’m watching my wife do eight or nine steps very religiously no problem, no complaints. She’s doing it. I couldn’t do it. myself. I couldn’t do like I knew better. But I couldn’t do it. So I put the sunscreen on wash my face with, you know, Dove soap and in the shower or whatever. And that was it because I couldn’t commit to that type of a 15 minute routine every night. So at one point, this was like six, seven, probably at this point a little bit longer years ago, I said, Well, why can’t we just put all this stuff together in one one bottle. And then I could just literally give it to my patients after surgery and not have to go through a 45 minute conversation waste all that time. And then and then if the problem is they can’t handle all these steps, then maybe, you know, having less steps is going to be the you know the thing. So anyway, so it was a challenge from a laboratory point of view, to bring all of these actives together in an effective way because these actives, a lot of them don’t like it Living next next to one another that is like, it took about four years from a chemistry point of view to get this thing to actually work. Now meanwhile, what was happening is once that happened 2017 I think I posted my first Instagram post, you know, and, and it happened because my wife’s like, oh, there’s this Instagram thing. I mean, it’s been around for a long time, obviously, but I wasn’t into social media, I don’t use it myself. And so it’s just this Instagram thing, it might be fun for you to like, you know, educate, because I love to educate, somebody might be fun to educate, show, whatever, you creative, maybe you’ll enjoy it. So I did my first post, and then I got committed to, you know, using as a way to educate and, and teach people stuff. And then the thing blew up, like it just, it just was climbing like crazy. Now we have like, whatever 500 And something 1000 followers or whatever it is, and, and a real community got built, but it was happening in parallel with this product being developed for my surgical patients. And then by the time that happened, I may have had, like, I don’t know, a couple 100,000 Or two, you know, whatever it was followers, and I was like, You know what? I can’t Why give it to only, like the 30 patients a month that I operate on? Why not let everyone in, you know, enjoy, because here’s the thing. On the on the other side of it. I’ve always been pissed off about how much BS there is in this space, like, a patient will kind of sit down with him and like, Oh, are you You know what, oh, I’m already on skincare. Oh, really? What do you what do you want to like, here, I’m on blah, blah, blah, you know, some French like, basically moisturizer. And you know, I buy for $300 A bottle at you know, Nordstroms or whatever it is. And I’m like, I look at the ingredients. It’s literally just a moisturizer, right. And there’s no actives, like there’s no retinol, there’s no nothing. And so they’re literally they’re thinking they’re doing skincare, they’re thinking they’re doing anti aging skincare, because the title of the product is some kind of like Rejuve something, and they’re on it. And the whole time, they’re actually not doing anything to help their skin, you know, resist or restore skin aging. So I’ve always been very, like, disenchanted and upset about how much BS there is in the space, that I thought you know, what we need to, we basically need stuff that actually works. So that the person, you know, can who’s going to like commit to actually doing it can actually see real results with it. And it only I knew only one way of doing that. And that is like actual, biologically active components that are changing the DNA and the output of, of the DNA. Because as you as you probably already know, it’s like the whole story of skin aging, from a structure point of view, fine lines and wrinkles and all the stuff that craziness happens because you lose collagen in your skin. As the years and decades go by. And collagen loss is tied to estrogen with for women, and you know perimenopause and menopause, there’s a steep drop in that, and what the only way to bypass that is basically using things that are going to switch the genes on to keep producing collagen and elastin and all these structural molecules that keep the skin from physically thinning and becoming, you know, creepy and weak. And, and so that was I was like, you know, my intention was just to build something that actually worked, that was worthwhile for the person to actually put on their skin. And then yeah, then at that point, were like, you know, let’s sell this to our community and beyond. And that’s where the evolution of the brand came came through in terms of launch. It wasn’t like an intention to start it that way and and then go forward that way. It’s kind of like an afterthought. So

Kara Goldin 23:34
you launch with the trifecta line. So the three products can you talk about those products.

Dr. Amir Karam 23:40
So remember, the concept was put everything in one bottle. And that’s illuminate basically like everything, all the key actives are all in illuminate, which is the third step of the trifecta, step but you realize that in order to get those actives to work really well, you also need to prep the skin by cleansing it properly. So So you know, you need a cleanser, you can’t just like go wash like it with this foamy, sudsy cleanser, because that dries the skin makes it inflamed. So we had to control cleansing properly. So a gentle cleanser with aloe with all these other things that basically calm the skin to allow whatever you put on top of it to actually work was the intention behind rinse, which is our cleanser, step one. Then step two, as you learn more about this stuff, you realize how powerful Vitamin C is in terms of being a like a, you know, multipurpose type of a product doing a lot of different things. So I wanted to really get like a powerful vitamin C aspect to to, to the trifecta where you couldn’t go all in on on it in the illuminate because it just wasn’t you know, the the pH and all these other things. So I wanted to really dedicate and I didn’t want to use ascorbic acid because that’s very harsh on the skin and especially a concentrate. So we use a proprietary blend of like three different types of vitamin C’s and fundamentally you And then you know, so that’s step two. And then step three is the one where he has like 14 Different actives in there, including retinol, anti Semite, and all the things that affect lipids, which is what clogs the pores and you know, hydrate the skin with hyaluronic acid and all that stuff. And the idea was, if you use these three steps, it takes like a minute or two to do, you’ve got everything you could possibly possibly need for your skin in three steps, like, you know, from an anti aging perspective. And what I didn’t realize at the time was, my whole thought was, if I make it easy enough, if the person understands that, you know, everyone who was serious about skincare has like retinol in their routine, etc, etc, that they would just use this, over the years, their skin would would get better and better. What I didn’t realize was how quickly they would see signs of improvement in their skin. So that was, honestly like a surprise, that wasn’t like an intentional thing that I said, Hey, you got to make this thing work, like within the first month or two or whatever it is the show changes. But the minute you start using this after even a few weeks a month, you start to see the skin looking better, like more supple, like brighter, etc. But what’s fascinating because I see people on it, they’ve been on an app for like, over two years, a lot of my patients who, who I do surgery on have been on it from like day one. And I follow up with him obviously for their surgical stuff. And there’s this quality about the skin, which is this like incredible, beautiful light reflects, you know, this brightness to the skin that you see there on the foreheads and the cheek, the light reflex, which was luminosity was the intention behind illuminate which is the the, the name of the product, create luminosity to the skin. And the that kind of like glow is almost telltale. So what happens now, when I talk to a patient, whether it’s on a consultation, or whether it’s, I can tell literally within a split second that they’re on. And I always just say, Hey, your skin looks great. Like that’s how I started it. Like, oh, it’s thanks to you, thanks to your product, I’ve been on it for like six months I’ve been on it for for a year or whatever it is. And, and, and what’s even more interesting is like we’ve cancelled net without, without exaggerating, at least like seven deep laser resurfacing cases, this last year in the last 12 months on patients who on consultation look like they needed a laser resurfacing. And then when the time comes for surgery, like a year later, they show up, you know, because a lot of traveling for surgery, they show up the day before and we’re like there’s nothing to laser here. We cancelled the laser, because so much change has happened. So it both immediate and long term changes is, is what has been kind of like really inspiring for me and built a lot of confidence around it. So yeah, that’s that’s kind of like the how that story played out.

Kara Goldin 27:41
That’s incredible. Well, I love the fact that it’s just three products too. I think that the industry as a whole has gone into everything that you were saying simplifying, because if you’ve got 10 products, it’s like, which products do we use today? Do I use it every other day do I you know, and it’s just very, very simple. In fact, I got my husband using your products, too, is is stealing them from me. So I’m like watching so

Dr. Amir Karam 28:10
many men love it. I mean, they literally this is the only thing I have used and the only thing I can use based on the simplicity of it, which is, you know, makes it tolerable to use it that way. But the Yeah, it’s the efficacy that I think reinforces that aspect. Because even with men, they’re not expecting to see a lot of like, improvement in their skin, but people are complimenting, you know, those changes after after being on it for a little bit. And so it’s always fun to see that happen. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 28:37
it’s it’s great. And then you added some new additions to which are amazing the barrier product that you have. So

Dr. Amir Karam 28:45
the intention there is they’re not, they’re not those aren’t like anti aging products. The trifecta is your anti aging piece. But for mature skin for example, you know, you build a little bit of, of dead layers on top of your skin layer called the stratum corneum. And normally you go and you get like a like chemical peel, you get micro microdermabrasion you do things that are basically tried to like exfoliate the skin. And I thought I mean for especially for more mature skin to create that luminosity, which is really honestly like an inspiration for me because when you look at like the 1500s Renaissance paintings, you know, look at those kind of when they draw these idealistic images or all this like flawless, bright luminous looking skin, which is kind of the definition of what young skin looks like. Right? And so in order to do that, you have to get that doll stuff off the skin. The trifecta will slowly but surely do that over time. The retinal has the ability to kind of do cell turnover and do a little bit of micro exfoliation. But if for somebody who’s wants to like get it off quick and keep it off using an enzymatic exfoliator basically digest this the stuff off the skin without having to like worry about going too deep with chemical peels or doing it too often or using harsh bamboo or is spherical type stuff, so that’s polish, and then the barrier cream is a barrier a bomb is basically this inspired by the notion of of slugging. You know, the Koreans have basically popularized using petroleum type jelly on their skin to seal in the moisture overnight. So when you wake up, you don’t have all that trans epidermal water loss that dehydrates the skin and makes it look. So this is your ceiling in In addition, a lot of the patients who, especially during winter and stuff like that they’re on trifecta, notice that their skin even though there’s a lot of stuff in there, the hydrate the skin needed more hydration. So the balm was an answer for those patients either be used year round, or use it seasonally to to, to seal down and in fact, I’m using it now surgically to when I perform the vertical restore my wife, she was always complaining of how greasy the the you know, the products were like the aquifer and stuff like that. And using the enrich on, which is the berry ROM has been kind of like a nice compromise because it creates a barrier for it’s good for wound healing. Plus, it doesn’t get all over the place. And it washes off really easy.

Kara Goldin 31:10
Oh, that’s,

Dr. Amir Karam 31:11
that’s great, but we don’t plan on having like a million products at all, just if we ever have anything more, it’s going to be specifically in an in a, you know, like a problem solution type of a situation that doesn’t already exist, in addition to being something that’s significantly better than whatever else is on the market. And

Kara Goldin 31:28
so you have obviously had a incredible career, how different is this career as an entrepreneur? And then I mean, you’re in the services business, right? You’ve been doing that for years, and now you’re in the products business, I love that it has purpose, I think that purpose driven entrepreneurs are, you know, you’re on a mission, you saw a problem, and you went and solved it. So I know, it’s going to be a huge success. But How challenging is it for you?

Dr. Amir Karam 32:01
You know, it’s interesting, I would say, I’m very, very lucky that I have, you know, had the good fortune of having people on my team that know what they’re doing in the spaces that are totally unrelated to what I do normally, right? Like, operational, you know, we have, like, super strong members in our Interbrand department, and, you know, all these different aspects that have worked in, in, in either DTC or worked in, in the space so they can get the logistical sides, right, my role, mostly, is basically to keep the vision and the intention of the products, and the purpose of our sort of why, and why we’re here type of thing to be in the forefront of everything we do, and not to slip into, you know, a, you know, sort of like the cycle of thinking about it from like a revenue first or a, you know, meeting some sort of like numbers perspective, like we don’t, that’s like a constant, you know, awareness in our in our internally that that’s not what we’re here to do, you know, because in thankfully, I do have a day job that I’m successful at it, I don’t have to like, you know, use this as a as a revenue source. But it’s mostly like, as you said, there’s a mission behind it, because I really do feel, ultimately, the way I look at the end consumer of my product is the way I look at my patient. It’s literally exactly in my mind, they’re, they’re yearning for this opportunity to look as young as they feel, which is the whole reason why anyone does any of this stuff. Because aging fundamentally is, is pulling us away from the way we feel internally, like all of us in our minds were like 30 Something year olds, and it no matter what, how old, we get, we’re still in that in that frame. And then we see photos or videos or whatever it is, and we’re like, wait a minute, that person doesn’t quite match the person on the inside. So then you start seeking things and skincare, skin treatments is just one of the things that you seek in addition to sort of that on a continuum. So I look at my, my purpose is to basically treat their skin as a fundamental treatment to so they can look younger, and they can feel younger, and restore their confidence and sense of self and all that other stuff, which is so closely tied together with our appearances. So, you know, at the end of it, I feel like lucky that I can, I can instead of being a doctor to like 20 or 30 people a month that I can be for my surgical day I get to be this way for literally 1000s of people that don’t even have to physically be touched by me, but they can be touched by the by the efficacy of the products that are being used by the person. So it really is for me, it just it feels all the same. It doesn’t feel like you know, doing something different. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 34:48
well, you’ve done an excellent job and the products are amazing. And I think like as I said before, just everything that you’re doing on social too. It’s, you know, people want more from you and some people aren’t gonna be able to come to your practice. And so it’s really, really terrific what you’ve done and really quality products too. So and I love the simplicity of it. Yeah. What do you see as kind of the biggest innovations and skincare coming up that you’re most excited about?

Dr. Amir Karam 35:17
You know, it’s funny, this is this is the interesting thing. So everyone’s looking for, for innovation, right? I mean, that’s like, We’re all waiting for it and thinking this is something is going to change. And that’s, that’s the cycle we really had gotten into. In the last 20 something years, procedurally, right. There’s, there’s all these like different devices that came out, they’re supposed to tighten our faces, there’s all these different lasers, there’s different, you know, fillers, there’s all threads, these are all technically innovations, right. Skincare. So to finish that thought, we’ve come full circle, we went from like, you know, almost an entire century of not having those things available. And having say, for example, only surgery to to address these and we went full bore into these, like, very high level technical innovations failed, like literally failed on all of them, like none of them have been able to, to create the changes. And now we’ve gone full circle like now the tide is turning back, the pendulum is going back towards surgery, for example, tried and true blue collar, a simple like minded, you know, very basic. When it comes to skincare, it’s literally been the exact same story, because this is what it comes down to. We’ve known for probably 50 plus years, that these certain actives, retinols, etc. Vitamin C, like we’ve known the biological impact of these products, these ingredients, I should say, these compounds make on skin, we’ve known this, like, there’s no, I mean, they’re innovative when they first came out like 50 plus years ago, but once they came out, they’re like retinol, there’s literally nothing like it. I mean, it’s irreplaceable, because of the amount of things that it can affect on the skin at the same time, right. And the the level that it affects it’s been studied, like, I mean, you just do a literature search on retinol on PubMed, and you’ll see like 10s of 1000s of articles that have been published on it. So so the the, under the realization of its efficacy, for example of these particular actives have already been established. But we’re always seeming to want to find something that either is more sexy and interesting, like a interesting peptide or a growth factor or, you know, some Snail derived blah, blah, blah, or like, whatever it is some fungus from somewhere or whatever. And we decide we’re going to try those type of things, you know, or the consumer decides to try and because they’re going to come with some like, opportunity and marketing around it. But what ends up happening is one by one, those things have a very short shelf life because people realize they don’t work and then you just bounce. But what happens is for you as a consumer, is you every time you’re messing around with these things, you’re giving up time that you’ll never get back, and your skin is aging through that time. So you’re losing ground, and you’re not, you’re not getting anywhere, and you’re spending money and time, which is an opportunity costs. And so my feeling about it right now is like there’s no real innovation that needs to happen other than I mean, like we already we know chemical peels again, another great thing like chemical peels are awesome lasers function the same way chemical peels are the exfoliate the tough skin. Those of those have kind of like been you know, I mean, they look at any condition, whether it’s brown spots, red spots, you know, fine lines and wrinkles, like you can treat them with current lasers that are available right now the different wavelengths that are available. So treatment wise, we’re solid there. Ingredient wise, we’re also solid, like you really, there’s nothing more than you need to do then to like, effectively increase collagen production, decrease pigment production, increase hydration, that’s your story right there. And the pieces are there. So I’m, when I was developing this, I was like, I’m not going to play around with like, whatever is like hot today, and like everyone’s talking about, I’m just gonna go with what I know, is gonna get the job done, you know, and just like, make it that way. So I don’t see a lot of I don’t see, honestly a lot of opportunity to like, unless there’s a pill or something that can come out that can just literally create collagen at the DNA level. I’m gonna check easily could I suppose it’s someone can do that. But the pieces are there, you know. So I don’t see a ton of opportunity to get much better than we currently are.

Kara Goldin 39:27
Just your products. That’s it. So just the trifecta. Well,

Dr. Amir Karam 39:32
this is what I was. This is what I think the point here is the trifecta. That’s the whole point is not magic. The trifecta is bundled them together and made it easy to use right with the components if somebody chooses to separate them and use those, those components separately. That is probably just as effective as a trifecta. Yeah, the trifecta just because of its simplicity. It makes it able for the majority of people to stay consistent with it. So the the actual individual pieces are what’s really the magic. And that can all be done separately if a person chooses to.

Kara Goldin 40:07
So incredible. So Dr. Amir Karam, founder of Karam, MD skincare and also a renowned facial plastic surgeon, thank you so much for coming on and everybody needs to get these products. We’ll have all the info in the show notes too. But such a pleasure to meet you finally, and, and thank you for all the great knowledge and great products.

Dr. Amir Karam 40:34
Thank you very, very fun to chat with you and I appreciate the opportunity.

Kara Goldin 40:38
Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. I would love to hear from you too, so feel free to DM me. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my Wall Street Journal, best selling book undaunted, where I share more about my journey including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thanks for listening and good bye for now.