GP Consults: Dr Rabia Malik - Skin W1

Dr Rabia Malik specialises in aesthetic medicine and non-invasive, non-injectable facial rejuvenation and problem skin solutions. Whether you are looking to treat acne or hyperpigmentation, smooth lines and wrinkles, or you simply want advice on effective skincare and anti-ageing nutrition, Dr Malik has the bespoke, holistic skin solution. Here she discusses her philosophy for achieving radiant and healthy skin.

Dr Rabia Malik

GP: Why did you decide to practise aesthetic medicine?

Dr Malik: I have always had an interest in skin health and have seen how people’s skin quality has such an impact on their confidence and subsequent life. Helping people correct a skin problem such as acne or scarring is hugely satisfying.

I am also a big believer in a holistic approach to cosmetic improvements and my aesthetic medicine practice has allowed me to combine all my experience as a GP with the technological advancements in aesthetics to deliver non-invasive treatments and skin plans that really do work, and also deliver long term results with minimal risk, side effects and downtime. 

I am a big believer in beauty from the inside out, and my aesthetic medicine practice has allowed me to focus on helping my patients achieve this.

GP: What treatments do you specialise in at The Wellness Clinic at Harrods?

Dr Malik: The focus of my practice is to create holistic treatment plans to help my patients improve their skin tone and texture. The ultimate goal for everyone coming to see me is to be able to walk out of the house foundation-free, and I use my knowledge and expertise in skin products, lifestyle/supplementation and treatments to help them achieve this.

In terms of treatments, I specialise in new-generation skin peels, particularly for hyperpigmentation, which works to rejuvenate the skin from the inside out. My speciality is combination treatments using medical grade micro-needling with customised peel solutions to deliver bespoke treatments with minimal downtime.

GP: Does nutrition play a role in skin health?

Dr Malik: Absolutely. I believe that if people are healthy on the inside, it is reflected in their skin. Two of the quickest and easiest food swaps for improving skin health are eating foods rich in antioxidants and fibre such as berries and making sure you get plenty of good fats by incorporating essential fatty acids such as wild salmon and raw, unsalted nuts in your diet.

Chia Pudding

GP: Are there any particular supplements that you take to support skin health/general wellness?

Yes. Vitamin D is something I take routinely to support internal health, but it is also implicated in many inflammatory skin conditions, so it’s often something I recommend for patients as well. Probiotics are another supplement I take regularly, often as courses throughout the year, to support gut health, which we know also plays a role in skin health.

GP: Do you follow a nutritional plan yourself?

Dr Malik: I try to practice what I preach. I generally eat a very clean diet although I am the first to admit to a weakness for sugar! 

Self Care

GP: You have amazing skin! What does a typical day of eating look like?

Thank you! I always start my day with a big glass of water and any supplements I am taking. If I don’t take them first thing I inevitably end up forgetting! My motto when it comes to food is everything in moderation. I don’t stop myself from eating anything but I try to be sensible and my goal is always to combine whatever I’m having with some good fat or protein. I find that keeps my blood sugar levels stable and keeps me fuller for longer, otherwise I have a tendency to snack throughout the day. 

 Breakfast is essential for me and I usually have either eggs and toast or a salmon bagel or some yogurt with seeds and nuts. Lunch is often on the run so depending on where I am and what I’m doing, it could be some fruit and a handful of nuts or something more substantial. I try to have some form of protein and some vegetables or salad for dinner. I always need to end the day with something sweet, usually a small piece of chocolate and some almonds with my nightly cup of fresh mint tea!

I am still working on cutting down sugary snacks and I’ve cut down on coffee over the years - it’s now a maximum of 2 cups/day (I used to have 4 or 5 in my junior doctor days!) and then I switch to herbal teas.

GP: Do you have a wellness routine?

Dr Malik: I do one session of stength training and one reformer Pilates class a week, which are non-negotiable! I would love to add in a 3rd session but haven’t managed to fit that in as yet…I do love to walk though, and try to do a morning or evening walk most days. I also make time to meet friends a few times a week as I feel that it is so important to maintain that connection with people who are close to us. I find reading a book in bed before I go to sleep really helps me de-stress too.

GP: What is your advice for women who struggle to introduce a self-care routine?

Dr Malik: It’s sometimes a challenge to find time for ourselves and not feel guilty about taking that time from away from our family commitments. So start with something small and try to build on that. Even 15 minutes to yourself to run a bath is a good start.

GP: Tell us one of your beauty secrets!

Dr Malik: I use pure organic jojoba oil to remove makeup. I find it nourishes the delicate skin around the eyes, removes makeup without having to rub the skin too aggressively and keeps skin hydrated.

GP: Can travel impact skin health?

Dr Malik: Yes it can do due to changes in diet, which can affect digestion. There is also an increased tendency to be dehydrated due to having too much caffeine and alcohol when away from our usual routine, as well as due to changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity if flying. 

All of these can have an impact on skin health. Counteract this by cleansing your skin thoroughly when you get on the plane and before you go to bed to avoid breakouts and blemishes. Drink plenty of water and consider taking a course of probiotics when travelling to support your gut.

GP: Are there any health/wellness trends that have piqued your interest recently?

Dr Malik: There is a huge demand for express treatments that deliver results in our fast-paced society. To that end, we are launching some new express treatments at The Wellness Clinic soon and I am also developing some Skin W1 targeted home treatment kits, so watch this space!

 Learn more about Dr Malik and her practice on her website and Instagram.

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