I graduated from the University of Southampton Medical School in 2008 and have subsequently worked in general and emergency medicine, surgery and intensive care. I started specialising in aesthetic medicine in 2012, and have been working in aesthetics full time since 2017. In 2018, I created a Facebook group for aesthetic practitioners, which now has over 3000 members. Through this group, I have been guiding these practitioners both clinically and in business to help ethical practitioners succeed.
To be honest, I went into aesthetics sort of by accident. I was undertaking surgical training back in 2011/2012, and it just wasn't what I was expecting it to be. So I made the difficult decision to resign from my job and gave up my surgical training number, but I had no idea what I was going to do instead. One of my colleagues suggested that I should look into medical aesthetics because of my surgical background. After doing some research about it, I booked onto a botox and dermal filler course, and that was how it all started.
Soon after I started my aesthetics business, I realised that business wasn't as easy as I had thought. It also wasn't as rewarding as helping people in the hospital. I was in a real dilemma, because although I was really good at what I was doing and was making people happy (temporarily), I didn't feel like I was solving people's problems, I was merely hiding them. I actually felt ashamed of what I was doing and came very close to quitting.
After I moved to London for my surgical training in 2011, my face broke out in a rash, which continued for about 2 years. This coincided with me starting my aesthetics business, and at a time when I really needed all the confidence I could get, my confidence level was at the lowest it had ever been. My job was to help others look better, but I couldn't even sort my own face out. I had no skin problems before that, and never really needed to wear makeup. Now, I was having to hide behind makeup every day just to feel like I could face the world. Being a doctor really didn't prepare me for treating these skin issues, which were not considered a 'medical problem'.
In 2014, while attending a medical aesthetics conference, I came across a range of medical grade skincare products. Before that, I had never really believed in skincare products, but for some reason, I was drawn to this brand. So I attended their training, and after learning about the science behind it, and how the products work, it really made sense to me. I also started to understand why I was getting the rash on my face. I bought a set of products to try myself, and that was the best decision I had made.
Clearing my rash gave me such a big confidence boost, that I felt like I could achieve anything! I became very interested in skin health and skin rejuvenation, and went on to learn more about how to improve the quality of skin. Having experienced bad skin firsthand, it gave me a very different perspective of medical aesthetics. I used to think that it was all about the frozen foreheads and pouty lips, which was what put me off, but now for me, Medical Aesthetics is about helping someone feel comfortable in their own skin. It means so much more than simply putting a needle in someone's face. Sometimes, all someone needs is to be told that they are already beautiful as they are, and that they don't need any treatments.
Improving someone's confidence can be life-changing. Being able to make someone FEEL great about themselves as well as helping them look great is why I feel so passionate about what I do today, and this is why I advocate for a holistic approach.
After helping many people, mostly women, improve their skin and regain their confidence, I have summarised my approach into a simple 3-step approach, which all the doctors on my team now follow. This step-wise approach, not only helps to treat the root of your problem, but also helps you to maintain the results long-term.
1. Prevent - Identify and reduce the risk factors contributing to the problems. Recommend appropriate medical grade skincare products for treatment and maintenance of various skin concerns.
2. Rejuvenate - Treat any current skin concerns, such as acne, rosacea, pigmentation or wrinkles to get your skin to the best possible condition. This will make it much easier to maintain longterm.
3. Enhance - This step includes the injectable treatments such as botox and dermal fillers, which are not for everyone. When used appropriately, these treatments can really enhance the overall results of the skin rejuvenation treatments, but when these are done without steps 1 and 2, the results are not so great. This is why I never jump to step 3 now without going through the first two steps first.
I have always enjoyed teaching, even since I was in medical school. So it was very natural for me to get into teaching within the field of aesthetics. From 2017 to 2018, I was a lead aesthetic trainer and mentor for Harley Academy. I left them to focus on developing my own aesthetics business mentoring program. Through The Aesthetics Practitioners Community Facebook Group that I created, I've helped guide thousands of aesthetic practitioners and showed them how to build an ethical and long term business in a competitive environment.
I relaunched my business as Skin Aesthetics in 2017 to lead by example to show other practitioners that it is possible to remain ethical AND build a successful business in aesthetics. I want to invite other practitioners who share the same values as me to join forces with me, so that together, we can change the aesthetics industry for the better.