5-minutes with Dr Asha Ram

Ultraceuticals, one of Australia’s leading skincare brands, sat down with Dr Asha Ram, the founder of Sanctum Medical, and chatted with her about why she ventured into aesthetics, what she loves about her job, the secrets to her skin regime and what sets Sanctum apart! Read on for an intimate, 5-min chat with Dr Asha!

1. Inspiration leading me to medical aesthetics …

Like many new medical graduates I had a strong drive to work with the most disadvantaged in our community. My first five years after leaving the hospital training environment included working with chronic drug addiction, the long term unemployed, advanced dementia patients and being the visiting doctor to the female prison! I developed a particular interest in empowering women to make good strong decisions about their own health and well being.

At this time lasers were entering the aesthetic market and my true love of biophysics lead me to start laser medicine with a colleague in a joint venture that saw the practice grow to include a suite of dermatological lasers, micro and macro sclerotherapy and then toxins, dermal fillers and science based skin treatments!

I became aware through my laser practice that women responded to small improvements in their skin health and appearance by becoming more confident in many aspects of their life. Medical aesthetic practice has empowered many of my patients to feel more in control of their life path both at home and at work and I enjoy watching my patients flourish!

2. 20 years key lessons learnt…

There is no doubt that over more than two decades treating ageing skin, the biggest lesson learnt is “it’s easier to prevent/ or practice early intervention for a problem than neglect your skin and then expect miracles later in life!

As scientific knowledge reveals an ongoing greater understanding of the mechanisms of ageing and ways to prevent and treat these changes, staying up to date with the absolute leading edge of skin science is a personal imperative.

For me, this has meant aligning myself and my clinic Sanctum Medical Aesthetics with the current visionaries (researchers and companies) in this field. Ultraceuticals and Dr Geoffrey Heber fall into this category!

3. Best part of my job

I love going to work…even after so long!

Firstly, I love walking into the calm, professional and beautiful cocooning environment we have created in our physical premises. The welcoming Sanctum team present themselves as a wonderful group of outstanding individuals who each bring a unique contribution to our service and workplace. Then there is the daily joy of the privilege of sharing each person’s concerns about their appearance whether this is due to ageing, genetics or disease.

I like to think that my patients feel safe, heard and valued in every consultation. I know that they rely on my knowledge and experience to bring them safe, reliable, effective and affordable science based products, technologies and procedures. It’s a big responsibility that I do not take lightly. It has meant that most of my patients have formed long term relationships with me and our clinic based on trust.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

4. Secrets of daily regime

My skin approaching 60 is better than it was at 20, 30 or 40.

I was never a product junkie and was extremely cynical about anti ageing products and procedures. I had had no positive experiences with big brand name expensive department store moisturisers as I noticed skin changes in my late twenties.  As skin science improved, I started using Cosmeceuticals, initially a Retinol cream at night, and noticed firmer, clearer more refined skin with less breakouts. I then added a morning anti-oxidant serum and added a AHA/BHA serum and peels for in clinic procedures.

Skin health and intelligent aging requires scientific knowledge of ingredients in effective concentrations with optimal delivery systems. This is difficult knowledge for the lay person to acquire despite the current information overload. An alignment with companies that are ethical, research based and have a knowledge of the Australian environment has been critical to our success.

5. What sets Sanctum apart…

Sanctum was conceived and realised at a time of great change in my own life and I think I created a workplace that reflected what I needed and valued. An urban skin sanctuary was born as a private, welcoming, deeply nurturing environment with layered sensory experiences, fragrance, music, art and evolving aesthetic interior details. It seemed to resonated with a modern community increasingly frantic and time poor.

Our patients tell us they love walking through the door, they feel they have left their troubles behind and can focus on restoring themselves inside and out for just a few moments. And all this before they have even had their treatments!
Maybe we simply allow people to slow down a bit and to take care of themselves before returning to their busy lives.

They certainly seem to leave restored and with a spring in their step!

6. Intelligent ageing

So much that is both good and bad has been written about ageing!

Ageing means living to me so its a positive, not a negative! Life is a privilege after all!

Changes in our body are inevitable and it seems simply intelligent to me to look after your skin. It is after all your largest organ, is living and faces incredibly tough conditions each day.
I’m in awe of skin… could we actually invent a membrane that holds our other organs in, manufactures vitamin, protects, defends ,repairs, stretches, heals, contracts, feels, senses pressure temperature etc….it’s truly magical.

Intelligent ageing means using products the best current science to protect skin in a healthy state so that it can continue to fulfill all its functions as we extend lifespans. In the end healthy skin looks fresher and more youthful.

Sanctum aims to combine both artistic aesthetics and scienctific advances to keep living skin healthy and refreshed.

7. Next 10 years…

Lifespans are lengthening, we are now working indefinitely and age agnosticism is an evolving concept in our emerging society.

Skin is the most external and visible part of our bodies and I think the biggest change we are seeing already is that looking for solutions for skin health and intelligent will become as common and widespread as going to the hairdresser. It will become a necessity rather than a luxury. People will present much younger looking for a preventative rather than a corrective approach. The will expect respected providers, a highly personalised intelligent ageing plan that combines genetic predisposition with multiple modalities to allow them to work and play hard.

I think the gap between the lower level aesthetic providers and premium providers will widen and the public will value quality and become considerably more discerning.

Also, watch out for an increasing focus on female wellness, worldwide and right here in Hobart. I believe that women here should have access to world leading developments in feminine rejuvenation! That’s why Sanctum Medical has paired with global laser leader Syneron Candela to introduce the CO2RE INTIMA platform to Tasmania. Launched just last week, this vaginal treatment is something every woman needs to know about!

8. Quote… one of my favourites is…

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the process is its own reward.” -Amelia Earhart