Dermatologist Dr. Bhanusali Created His Aesthetica Skin Lab for Patients to ‘Glow Their Best’

The board-certified doctor has worked on celebrity skincare brands including Hailey Bieber’s Rhode and Martha Stewart’s 86 Elm.
Olivia Ponton and Dr. Bhanusali.

Olivia Ponton and Dr. Bhanusali.

When board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali graduated college in three years and was accepted into medical school at the age of 17, his goal was to help people achieve healthy skin. He set out to simply solve problems in the skincare industry with viable solutions, and that passion and drive has since resulted in multiple successful medical practices and companies.

The Michigan State University alumnus, who completed his dermatology residency at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, is the owner of and lead dermatologist at the Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery center in Manhattan. Dr. Bhanusali is also the founder of the Aesthetica Skin Lab, a practice offering elevated facial services.

“Aesthetica is the clinical, aesthetic arm of our practice. It’s a separate entity in itself and was initially meant to be really just something for our own patients—we love our patients to death. We service their medical and their cosmetic needs, but we wanted something [more],” he explains. “For a long time we’ve had patients who we’ve prepped for big events—whether it’s SI covers or weddings—so I would coordinate with facialists and do whatever I [could] on my side in order to get people ready to kind of glow their best on that special occasion.”

SI Swimsuit models Katie Austin, Olivia Ponton and Sixtine were treated with the “Swimsuit” facial earlier this year. He describes the treatment as an ultra-hydrating one that really calms the skin with hyaluronic acid, squalene and other rejuvenating ingredients



Creating a custom facial

Dr. Bhanusali admits that he had always been skeptical of facials.

“It was a bit more commercial than it was scientific,” he explains, and notes that decided to finally jump into the facial game and create his own “spin on what we think a good facial should be in 2023,” driven by science and technology

Each facial appointment and treatment is perfectly customized for each patient and begins with a consultation-like assessment, including VISIA skin analysis imaging to gauge pigment or redness levels, as well as specific readings to assess hydration and general skin health.

“We essentially make a bespoke facial for [each patient] to really get compounded effects,” he adds. “We get all the objective numbers and results, and then we decide a game plan after that. Then we might add topicals [or] OTC recommendations. It really depends on the person. It’s a little bit different than your typical spa [treatment]. What I really like is not just how somebody looks the day or two afterwards, but really setting the tone for their skin health moving forward.”

Katie Austin.

Katie Austin.

Expanding the practice and booking appointments

As patients began to undergo these special and highly-effective facials, other friends, family and general skincare fanatics of the public began to inquire.

“We had to try to figure out how do we extend this beyond the four walls of our office and create something for people more broadly,” he explains. “So that’s kind of how Aesthetica was born.

Two successful years later, the clinic allows regular patients and members to schedule facials as needed, but they also drop a select number of appointments for the public on the 1st and 15th of each month. The last set of slots sold out within minutes, and the next opens on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Visit to book your facial.

MJ Day.

MJ Day.

Skin Medicinals

Dr. Bhanusali, who is the dermatologist behind Hailey Bieber’s Rhode and Martha Stewart’s 86 Elm—the 2023 SI Swimsuit cover star and the doctor are also great friends—founded his Skin Medicinals digital platform in 2019 with the primary mission of improving access to affordable medication. The brand is now used by more than 12,000 dermatology prescribers and provides more than 500,000 patients with customized, dermatologist-approved, science-backed topical prescriptions at a reasonable price.  

“The idea is that there are a lot of gaps in how we function day-to-day, particularly in the medical world, and so with Skin Medicinals, the idea was to solve a simple problem: How do we get more affordable medications to people?” he explains. “There are obviously a lot of barriers in how the pharma industry works and so it’s not really easy to do, but I think sometimes you have to start somewhere and then see where it goes.”

Dr. Bhanusali believes that quality skincare should be accessible to everyone, and that’s his overall mission and driving force in everything he does.

“Even with Rhode, it’s like, ‘How do you provide high-quality ingredients at an affordable price?’ A testament to that [is] the Rhode team has done a really good job educating people on ingredients like peptides or niacinamide [and] why they are important,” he says.

Building a brand and forming connections

Dr. Bhanusali mentions that Skin Medicinals, similar to Aesthetica Skin Lab, has turned out to be a much larger project and more successful than he ever expected. He says he couldn’t be more grateful, and the hardest part of his job is having to tell patients he has limited availability.

“You take it with grace and gratitude that you’re just in that position. There’s a lot of incredible doctors out there and incredible places to get treatment, so we never take [patients] for granted,” he continues. “I’m just thankful that we’re able to connect with people, not just within the four walls of our office, but beyond it—that’s where like all these projects kind of become fun. There’s only so many people you can see in a day just by physical limitations. But I think when you build—whether it’s technologies or products or businesses, whatever it is—you kind of extend a part of yourself out to the masses, which is really kind of incredible.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.