Humbleness, it’s so important to always remember your why. To me I just want to help my patients feel and look good. Being in such a privileged position comes with responsibility to make sure the consumer is being told the truth. To me the patient always comes front and centre. Business should be a force for good and I follow the triple bottom line: public, planet and then profit.

Each day, millions strive to unlock the secrets of blemish-free, luminous skin, yet many find this goal frustratingly out of reach. In a market saturated with quick fixes and fad trends, it’s vital to cut through the noise and understand what truly works. Our skin is our largest organ and the shield between our bodies and the outside world; it deserves more than just a superficial approach. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Lubna Khan-Salim.

Dr Lubna Khan-Salim is an incredibly skilled and experienced aesthetics doctor with a keen interest in women’s health and longevity. MBBS, BSc (Hons), MRCS, IFFM.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about networking, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I’ve always been drawn to helping people, coupled with an inquisitive mind and love of science a career in medicine was a natural choice. I’ve also always loved art and using my hands so I trained and practised in plastic surgery before moving into cosmetic aesthetics. During my time in the NHS I undertook rigorous training in specialist posts including internal medicine, burns, microsurgery, hand surgery, skin cancer and surgical dermatology. In 2020 I made the decision to start my own skin health and wellbeing clinic.

A couple of key pivotal things happened which pushed me in this direction , firstly I wanted the freedom to put my stamp on something which is difficult within the constraints of an NHS career. Secondly, my experience in the NHS left me with the frustrating realisation that a lot of what we do in the NHS is ‘sickcare’ and not healthcare and I wanted to do more to help people beyond just operating and prescribing. Lastly and most importantly I had been through a devastating and arduous fertility journey, after the birth of my daughter I felt the burden of being a woman and a new mum in a traditionally male field and so it felt like the right time to pivot.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When I look back to my NHS career one patient’s journey has always stuck with me and has helped define the direction of my career path now. A young male in his early 20’s, morbidly obese with diabetes. He was admitted to hospital with sepsis (life threatening reaction to an infection) from an infected leg ulcer which was secondary to his diabetes. Not responding to treatment he was referred to plastics for amputation. That operation was so devastating to not only the patient but also because it was entirely preventable. So much of what we do in the healthcare system is preventable but we don’t do enough to teach our patients on health prevention, lifestyle choice, nutrition, sleep, stress control and we don’t take enough responsibility for our own health, this is something I’m keen to address.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

‘The three character traits that I think have been most instrumental in my success are;

  1. Resilience, being one of a handful of females in an all male surgical team you need resilience to persevere in the face of some very archaic views and traditions, especially when leading the theatre team and building authority. The number of times a patient looked surprised that I was their operating surgeon or addressing the 6ft tall male medical student observing on the ward round as the ‘dr’ and me as ‘nurse’!
  2. Integrity, it is so important to me that the patients I serve are given evidence based treatments and advice that I truly believe to be in their best interest. Women are prey to marketing hype and mis-sold expensive products or treatments under the umbrella of ‘anti-ageing’ which just doesn’t feel right to me. Coming from a medical background, keeping standards high and not falling for the latest ‘trends’ is essential and this is vital for sticking to my brand message and staying true to myself. The beauty industry can be full of hype and pseudoscience so I want to help patients cut through the noise.
  3. Humbleness, it’s so important to always remember your why. To me I just want to help my patients feel and look good. Being in such a privileged position comes with responsibility to make sure the consumer is being told the truth. To me the patient always comes front and centre. Business should be a force for good and I follow the triple bottom line: public, planet and then profit.

What are your “ 5 Things Anyone Can Do to Have Healthy, Radiant, Flawless Skin”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

1 . Wear SPF

Sun protection should be the cornerstone of skin care for everyone. UV rays from the sun can penetrate the skin’s dermis, damaging collagen fibres and leading to degradation of collagen and elastin over time. Wearing a high factor broad spectrum SPF helps to protect skin against solar elastosis, which can result in wrinkles and discolouration. It can also help to protect against skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, sun spots and other signs of premature ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

2 . Strip back your topical skincare products

I see a lot of people who are keen to address skin concerns, whether it be acne, dry skin or Rosacea, and many of them are using countless topical skincare products on their face, many of which they don’t actually know what that product is meant to be doing. I often advise people to start by stripping back their topical skincare products, a bit like a fasting diet, and then let their skin rebalance. This provides a good basis to start from scratch, identify exactly what the concerns of their skin are, ensuring the products they’re using aren’t exacerbating them, and implementing a bespoke and effective skincare regime with active ingredients which really work.

3 . Assess hormone levels

Hormone fluctuations can occur due to a variety of factors, from monthly cycles, to pregnancy to stress to menopause. These hormone fluctuations can have a huge impact on skin health. It’s for this reason that I offer a blood test to patients in order to identify any hormone fluctuations so that it’s possible to address these and improve skin health.

4 . Address lifestyle issues

There are a number of lifestyle factors which can hugely influence skin health. These include diet with processed foods and high-sugar foods being extremely impactive, stress, exercise and alcohol also play a large role in skin health. For this reason it’s important to look at lifestyle issues which may be negatively impacting your skin and taking steps to address them. This varies from one person to the next and may be as simple as reducing alcohol intake, trying to address stress, or incorporating exercise into your weekly routine. By looking at lifestyle issues as a whole then it’s possible to not only improve health in general, but also skin health.

5 . In-clinic treatments

Treatments based on revolutionary regenerative medicine, such as exosomes and polynucleotides and senolytic skin products to improve the cellular age of skin are gaining popularity due to the fact that they are minimally invasive but produce extremely effective results.

Exosomes are tiny extracellular vesicles secreted by most cell types, which are filled with proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. When injected into the skin they stimulate it on a cellular level, reawakening inactive skin cells and older exosomes so that they can improve skin repair and rejuvenation.

Polynucleotides are filtered and purified natural DNA fractions that initiate your body’s natural fibroblast production, increasing collagen. These are an injectable bio-stimulator. Together, these work to help produce and enhance collagen. Bio-regenerative treatments such as these are not trying to plump and distort the face but rather to work biologically to produce new collagen and elastin. By working on a cellular and regenerative level they will not only help to plump skin naturally but also to give it a healthy and youthful glow.

What are the most common misconceptions about daily skincare routines that prevent people from achieving radiant skin?

One big misconception that I see is people assuming that the more skincare products they use on their skin the healthier and more radiant it will become. This is certainly not the case, and often it’s actually quite the opposite, whereby a less-is-more approach to products can actually help to achieve optimum skin health.

Could you share your insights on how diet and nutrition directly affect skin health, and perhaps suggest some superfoods for skin radiance?

Gut health is extremely important in relation to skin health. A healthy gut can improve the skin in a huge number of ways, synthesising extra vitamins and minerals that benefit the skin, reducing inflammation and itchiness, improving your skin’s natural barrier function, and aiding skin pigment.

Adding fermented foods to your diet is key for achieving a healthy gut and addressing inflammation. I recommend people incorporate the ‘Five Ks’ into their diet.

Here, Dr Lubna Khan-Salim reveals the five K’s to include in your diet to reduce inflammation and achieve healthy skin. These are:

1 . Kefir, or fermented yoghurt

‘A lot of people eat yoghurt regularly, but try swapping your usual yoghurt for kefir which is a type of fermented yoghurt. Studies suggest that it can help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of certain proteins, or proinflammatory cytokines, that play a role in pain and inflammation, and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines.’

2 . Kraut, or Sauerkraut

‘Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It contains probiotics which are live bacteria that support digestive health and gut health as well as Vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and Vitamin A, which helps to reduce inflammation and promotes healthy skin and hair.’

3 . Kimchi

‘Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish and while its components can vary it’s usually made from fermented cabbage, radish or cucumber and includes other ingredients such as garlic. It’s known for its high probiotic content and as such it helps to reduce inflammation in the body and fight free radicals which can cause changes to the skin including a loss of collagen, which results in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmentation and dullness.’

4 . Kamut

‘Kamut is a type of bread made with Kamut flour, which comes from Khorasan wheat. It is lower in gluten and can be easier to digest than the wheat that’s used in other breads. Kamut has beneficial effects on the skin due to the high content of antioxidants and other nutrients which help to protect against free radicals and environmental toxins. It’s also a good source of Zinc which boosts the immune system and helps to maintain thyroid health.’

5 . Kombucha

‘Kombucha is a fermented drink made from tea, sugar and a bacterial culture called a SCOBY which stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Because of its bacteria content it can help to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. It’s also believed to contain antioxidant and antibacterial properties which help to improve skin’s hydration and brightness, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation and inflammation.’

How do you recommend individuals tailor their skincare routine to address the unique needs of their skin type and environment?

In order to establish a skincare routine that is tailored perfectly to the unique needs of your skin I would always recommend seeking expert advice. A consultation and blood test can help to identify any underlying issues, such as hormone imbalance or deficiency, which could be impacting skin, and then this can be taken into account alongside other diet and lifestyle factors in order to allow for a suitable regime to be established.

What advances in skincare science or new ingredients are you most excited about that promise to enhance skin health and radiance?

I’m very excited about senolytic skincare products which can improve the cellular age of skin. Senolytics are drugs or natural compounds that target and eliminate senescent cells, also known as ‘zombie cells’, from the body. These are cells that have stopped multiplying but don’t die off when they should, and instead they release chemicals that trigger inflammation throughout the body hence ‘inflammaging’

Can you describe a holistic approach to skincare that encompasses not just topical treatments but also lifestyle and wellness practices?

A holistic approach to skincare that encompasses not just topical treatments but also lifestyle and wellness practices would involve a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins and fermented foods. It would also include supplements. This would be complemented with regular exercise and topical skincare products with active ingredients that are suitable for the individual’s skin type. Finally, in-clinic non-surgical treatments such as regenerative medicine would be used in synergy.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love women to realise the beauty they seek is already there, they just need to see it. We spend so much of our time, energy and money as women on beauty which is driven by a multibillion pound beauty industry that markets unrealistic beauty standards and ideals. I want to level the playing field and create a movement that empowers women to take agency over their bodies, understand their hormones and realise the beauty in ageing well. We are all living longer and ultimately we want life in those extra years- to remain strong, agile, independent and not in chronic ill health. We have the power to age well and it comes down to the lifestyle choices we make.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Time To Bloom | Aesthetic Treatment Clinic Yorkshire — Time to Bloom


Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.