Dr. Simon Ourian runs the luxurious medical spa Epione in Beverly Hills where he provides cosmetic dermatology treatments for a range of skin conditions. However, it’s his celebrity clients that he’s most known for, with Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner attending so often that it’s become like a second home to them.
Dr. Ourian is regularly featured on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and he’s also Instagram-famous with more than 3.5 million followers. What makes the non-surgical aesthetic treatments he provides, that often involve being zapped with lasers and pricked with needles, so attractive? The treatments he uses, such as injectables and the aforementioned lasers, and the designer-spa look of the rooms in which he provides them, have become more common in recent years. Dr. Ourian, however, was somehow one of the pioneers in providing these procedures long before they became fashionable.
Dr. Ourian has also done a great deal to make cosmetic procedures seem normal through his posts on Instagram – which often show quite graphic details of – and has the most followers of any medical professional on the social platform. Nonetheless, he wasn’t an overnight success.
In a recent interview, Dr. Ourian talked about how he became what he is today. As a teenage immigrant from Iran, he had dreams of becoming an artist but gave them up to follow a more traditional career path in medicine. After he finished medical school he opened a practice immediately but struggled to make it a success. He puts this down to his lack of business acumen and a lack of understanding of the legal side of medical practice when he was starting.
As a young man, he was rather introverted and didn’t feel like he fit into life in the United States, and part of that was looking different from everyone else. As a result, when he was 17 he decided he needed to get a nose job to blend in with the people he saw around him. This, and seeing Elizabeth Taylor in the film Ash Wednesday, was the moment he became interested in plastic surgery. He felt it allowed him to combine his artistic skills with the medical training he had received.
Once out of medical school he became interested in the use of laser technology which had just been developed, and since not many doctors were looking at the field he was quickly approached by laser companies to become a consultant. He shared that he came up with the idea of cool laser technology (which heats below the skin and causes no pain) but did not patent the idea and a few years later another company used the concept in its products and made billions. Eventually, he decided to hire an expert to patent the ideas he was coming up with and began to sell his first laser products.
Dr. Simon Ourian believes that his artistic bent helps him to create the chisel features that people are looking for. His clients liked the results, talked to their friends and eventually, the buzz reached celebrities who told other celebrities and here he is today. Of course, the journey wasn’t quite so smooth. The initial practice he opened was, in fact, Epione and because he knew so little about the business he almost closed the doors in his first year but was saved by friends, family, and by maxing out his credit cards.
His journey to becoming a doctor to the stars started with his first celebrity client, Lisa Vanderpump, who was his neighbor and starring in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at the time. She asked if she could film the process and he agreed. Because of the respect Lisa had, and the fact that she looked so natural, many people came for his treatments because of that exposure. Lisa brought Lady Gaga for treatment as well as the people she knew and the word got around.
Then, approximately six years ago he met now known as Food God, Jonathan Cheban, and was asked why he wasn’t on Instagram. He asked whether Dr. Ourian had heard of the social platform and whether he could post to his 80,000-strong followers. And the rest, as they say, is history. Jonathan went on to introduce him to Kim Kardashian and that opened up a whole new level of people feeling comfortable about posting about procedures they had had done.
As the most followed medical professional on Instagram, Dr. Ourian says that the social media site has provided more transparency around the procedures that he performs and lets people more easily make decisions about what they will and won’t have done. They can also look at other people and the procedures they’ve had done to decide what will look good for themselves. He does warn, though, that these are still medical procedures and a medical doctor must perform them. People often forget that there can be side effects and it’s important to have good, honest communication between doctor and patient.
Talking about Epione today, he says he wants it to be luxurious but also homey and a place people can feel comfortable. He prefers the look of a five-star hotel to that of a sterile operating room in a hospital. His aim is to keep a single office and to provide the personalized level of care that he believes patients deserve.
Much of what he does is skincare and he has begun developing at-home products for his patients. His aim is to provide the best in category for each of his products and tests them personally. He often tests leading products in the market to make sure that his are at least as good or better.