From shopping for groceries to ordering our meals, our lives have been immensely digitalised and now, this digitalisation is also trickling into the way we seek out aesthetic procedures here in Malaysia.
Meet NextBeu, a first-in-Malaysia medical aesthetics and plastic surgery platform dedicated to offering completely transparent information and medical contacts on a wide range of aesthetic procedures that are available in the country.
Launched by Cosderm, a local distributor of clinical skincare brands to aesthetic clinics, general clinics, and medical spas across Malaysia, NextBeu aims to curb uncertified beauty salons while educating beauty seekers about the aesthetic world and connecting them to certified physicians.
To learn more about the mobile app, Daily Vanity spoke to Cosderm managing director and NextBeu founder, Tom Goh, on the inspiration behind the platform, how it works, and the future of the aesthetic industry in Malaysia.
On the conception of NextBeu
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According to Goh, the birth of NextBeu stemmed from his deep-set desire to transform the dangerously under-regulated aesthetics industry in Malaysia. “Since joining this industry 15 years ago, I’ve seen many tragedies happened to beauty seekers largely due to lack of proper guidance and also ignorance,” Goh tells us.
The latest tragedy to rock Malaysia’s beauty scene is, of course, none other than the unfortunate passing of 23-year-old local model and bride-to-be Coco Siew that took place October last year after a liposuction procedure gone wrong at an unlicensed beauty salon (which apparently self-marketed as an “aesthetic clinic”) in Cheras.
For those unaware, self-claimed “aesthetic clinics” are a dime a dozen here. As of this year, there are over 40,000 beauty salons operating across the country, but only 750 are LCP-certified (Letter of Credential Privilege).
In order to attain the LCP, medical professionals have undergo five years of training before they are allowed to treat patients, so you can see how this statistic of unlicensed beauty salons pushing the ethics of impersonating medics is deeply unsettling.
Referring to Coco’s case, Goh says the public faces a great risk of falling into the same trap themselves since there isn’t any localised platform for Malaysians to properly identify certified doctors and clinics from an ocean of dubious, self-claimed “clinics”.
“Sadly, that is a thing in Malaysia, and so Malaysians have no choice but to differentiate certified aesthetic professionals from mere beauty salons on their own. This has proven to be a rather difficult thing to do, when you’re constantly bombarded by uncertified beauty salons’ countless marketing strategies and attractive aesthetic treatment offerings in the market,” he laments.
And while it may be much cheaper to seek treatments at a beauty salon, Goh says people should recognise that the lack of knowledge or use of low-quality materials by errant beauty salons could lead to adverse complications.
It also doesn’t help that clinic information, while easily searchable on Google, often may not be legitimate or accurate.
With that lingering in his mind, Goh says that he – together with his team – felt “a need for an avenue to educate and send the right information to all the beauty seekers.”
“With the mission to protect both the beauty seekers and the professionals, we designed the NextBeu app to work as a mobile encyclopaedia, offering extensive and transparent information about the aesthetic and beauty industry. Available in Southeast Asia, we have plans for the app to station more than 3,000 certified professional medical aesthetic experts on the platform.”
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On NextBeu’s strict vetting process
While most might think weeding out illegitimate beauty centres and clinics is a good approach, Goh and his team thought long and hard about outright strategy and its viability. “We decided against doing so and instead take an innovative approach via NextBeu to also serve as a platform to connect beauty seekers to certified aesthetic clinics and professionals,” he shares.
He continues, “To ensure optimum safety and legitimacy, we have implemented a strict vetting system to assess each clinic and doctor before listing them on NextBeu. To that end, we require all the clinics and doctors to provide us with their LCP certifications from the Ministry of Health – this is a compulsory step if they want to be listed on our platform.
Additionally, NextBeu also consists of a professional team who performs extensive cross-checking across government official websites on every physician’s background. All data and information will go through a stringent verification process by our team as well as our strong board of advisors, which includes Dr. Ungku Sharin, the President of Malaysia Registered Aesthetic Medical Practitioners Society (Pertubuhan Doktor Estetik Berdaftar Malaysia, PDEBM) and Dr. Lee Kim Siea, a highly reputable plastic surgeon.
To uphold our promise of absolute transparency with our users, we provide all the information for each aesthetic centre and clinic listed on NextBeu, which include the professional profile, areas of expertise, doctors’ bio, contact details, and LCP certification number.”
Goh hopes that with this strict vetting process, NextBeu can help deter Malaysian beauty seekers to not be duped by illegal beauty salons, counterfeit clinics, and unqualified doctors, as well as to prevent them from falling victim to botched procedures. Above all, he hopes that the app can help save lives.
Currently, Goh is in the midst of obtaining official endorsement by the Ministry of Health for NextBeu but it is, at the moment, highly recommended by Medical Aesthetic Certification (MAC) program.
On increasing consumer awareness and education on medical aesthetics in Malaysia
Aiming to be Malaysians’ one-step solution to all their cosmetic makeover needs, NextBeu is also designed to educate beauty seekers about the aesthetic world and provide awareness.
“Apart from serving as an educational encyclopaedia, we have developed the app to enable beauty seekers to rate each clinic or leave a review under the clinic’s profile,” Goh lets on.
“On top of that, we have included all the necessary information in the app to help beauty seekers make the right decision about their treatments without the hassle of browsing endlessly through the internet to find an answer to their questions. We also have thorough information about the post-treatment expectations should any complications arise.
In addition, we’ve also created a community section similar to Facebook and Instagram on NextBeu where users get to engage in aesthetic-related conversations, leave a note or post photos.”
NextBeu currently has more than hundreds of Malaysia-based clinics on board, and in order to promote its usage, Goh and his team have allocated a specific QR code in every partner clinic for patients to download and review the clinic’s service and professionalism.
“Our guiding philosophy is ‘Transparency, Consistency, & Professionalism’, and we fully intend to honour that and provide a safe and reliable aesthetic community platform. That’s why we designed this app to be easily navigated by people from all walks of life, guiding them through every step of self-transformation journey,” Goh shares.
The future of beauty is digital, and NextBeu is certainly taking a step in the right direction.
NextBeu is a free-to-download app available on Apple Store and Google Play. Follow NextBeu on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.
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