Martha Stewart is known for her unexpected friendships—the 2023 SI Swimsuit cover star and rapper Snoop Dogg are one of the internet’s favorite BFF duos. The two met back in 2008 after he made an appearance on her cooking show and they immediately clicked. The 82-year-old believes that “what people do, how people think, how people are” should be the determining factors in all relationships, rather than age.
Another unexpected friendship the entrepreneur has is with her dermatologist, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. The New York-based board-certified doctor, who has been working with Stewart for years, considers her to be a “friend, mentor and above all, family.”
The Skin Medicinals founder is also the doctor behind the best-selling authors’s skincare line, 86 elm, which launched in 2021. She even calls him the “Willy Wonka” of dermatology, with all the new things he’s trying with his Manhattan practice, Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery, and facial services clinic, Aesthetica Skin Lab.
“I’ve known [editor in chief] MJ [Day] forever. She leaned into inclusivity when it was just like, not even a thing,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “By putting Martha on the cover—that happened via my office, which was kind of crazy—we’ve shifted like a generation of this pristine idea of beauty and made it kind of like whatever we want it to be. That’s like a generational cover.”
Dr. Bhanusali is also the dermatologist behind Hailey Bieber’s skincare brand, Rhode. He graduated from Michigan State University and completed his dermatology residency at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City.
He adds that tons of older people have been inspired to “live life how [they] want to” because of the lifestyle guru’s magazine cover, and how she constantly proves that age is truly just a number and beauty is timeless.
“It’s been incredible to see what’s happened over the last year and I think the SI team has done more for beauty than people will ever realize,” he continues. “Whether it’s inclusivity, the way they position the models, how they speak about beauty, just overall the warmth that they approach everything with. To me it’s inspiring and [something that] I’m grateful for as a doctor, as a friend, as a person. I’m excited for what comes next.”