Okay so for this article I’m setting myself up for a few laughs at my expense, and have nonetheless decided to tell you a few secrets about myself. There is a reason for this that will conclude the article, but for now bear with me. So, here goes. I have Shrek toes, ugly hammertoes that flip flops run away from; I sing a mean version of Evita and Rule the World, so mean I get tears in my eyes (as does the cat); I have OCD with black sock fluff on cream carpets; I do an amazing Worzel Gummidge impression (especially after one glass rose); I play snog marry avoid, if I’m bored on the treadmill at the gym; my geography is so bad I thought I needed a passport for Scotland and just for fun I have stupid crushes that last about a day embarrassingly last one was the dad from TOWIE……..
Anyway back to the article, so whilst having a coronary on the treadmill last week, Big Ed called. He’d been to meet the owner of a renowned skin clinic that had just opened up in Brentwood. Without him even having to mention the name, I knew he was talking about The Skin Clinic – an advanced medical skin clinic which offers all the latest high-tech facials and procedures on the market. He wanted me to go and have a look around and write up my findings. Straight away I thought oh dear. I told him he obviously hadn’t read my previous article in which I mentioned something along lines of botox, mannequins and not me. Great he said, write it from a controversial point of view. Not great I thought, he doesn’t have a mother like mine, who would totally berate me for testing out botox - however, I really had no choice. So after explaining to my mum that its part of work and that I was a big girl and could make my own decisions, I ignored her facebook comment of ‘if it goes wrong, don’t come running to me’ and trotted off, Shrek style to the Skin Clinic.
My first impressions when I walked in, was this wasn’t a salon. Its most definitely a medical clinic yet managed to cleverly combine an aura of warmth with the seriousness. Lining the waiting room, only those in the trade would notice the range of skincare products usually found in Harley Street clinics. Indeed it’s here that most of the staff have had their experience, but comforting to know that they have also worked in hospitals across the country and are all registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). The clinic is run by Dr Johanna Ward who has enough credentials and letters after her name to give anyone reassurance that they are in the safest possible hands.
I was introduced to my nurse Haley Cooper who initially took me through an in-depth skin consultation explaining all the treatments and soothing any concerns I had about my skin. They treat a huge variety of skin conditions, and not all treatments are invasive. In fact I chose to have the new top Hollywood A list Hydrafacial, which is used by the likes of Paris Hilton and Kate Winslet. This process involves 20 minutes of deep thorough cleansing, chemical exfoliation and a final saturation of top antioxidants and vitamins, whilst finishing with a thick layer of Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The art of this facial process lies in the use of a suction tool, which ensures every bit of trapped grime, dead skin cells and blackheads are removed painlessly. Afterwards I was shown a container full of grime, grit and floating blackheads (nice!!!) My skin had never felt so smooth and looked so luminous it positively glowed.
Which brings me back the start of my article – you see my skin looks so incredible that I’ve had quite a few people (especially school mums) ask me if I had some sneaky Botox, and guess what I’m not telling. This is one secret I am taking with me. The Skin Clinic philosophy is less is more. There is no frozen look, just radiant skin that moves. People have asked me if I’ve lost weight, changed hair colour but I still won’t let on, in fact my secret is safe with me!
If you would like a skin consultation, The Skin Clinic offer a wide variety of non-surgical treatments for both men and women. Their website is definitely worth viewing before booking as it gives detailed explanations of all treatments, products, prices and will reassure the most nervous of patients. Services are offered by the best possible qualified medical staff available - why else would they have people fly from all over the world to visit them? As a local Beauty Editor I’m just pleased they’ve chosen my home town to open their second branch, and I will certainly be booking another visit!
As I had several queries from readers, I put these forward to Dr Ward to answer, in a non-r2d2 way, thus making it easier to understand the science and benefits behind the treatments.
If someone came in and asked for Botox, but in your opinion they didn’t need it, how would you steer them otherwise?
If their primary concern was anti-ageing I’d recommend mesotherapy treatments. This involves micro-injections of a scientific customised blend of collagen, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and hyalornic acid. This will rejuvenate and hydrate the skin whilst mesotherapy produces collagen and packs the skin with vital nutrients. The result is a healthy, radiant glow.
Do you need medical training or just a certificate to administer injections?
You must be General Medical Council (GMC) registered Doctor or Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) registered Nurse fully trained in aesthetic procedures. Unfortunately due to poor regulation there are many loopholes in the system, which means you do get unqualified practitioners administering invasive treatments. Botox is a prescription medicine and must be injected careful by medical professionals who have a good understanding of facial anatomy. At The Skin Clinic we are all advanced facial injectors with years of experience and medical training.
What are the long term effects of Botox in the skin
There have been numerous studies on long term effects and Botox is FDA approved and licensed in the UK for medical use. It is not known to have any long term adverse effects.
How long does semi-permanent make up last and does it hurt?
Semi-permanent makeup lasts around 12-18 months after which an occasional top up maintenance routine may be required. Numbing creams are used prior to the treatment thus ensuring minimum discomfort.
What are the requirements for Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and are there any long term side effects?
IPL is a safe way of reducing hair permanently. The treatment works best when the hair is darker in colour as it’s the pigment in the hair that absorbs the energy. There are no long term effects to the skin however, light treatments should only ever be practiced by very highly trained medical professionals.
You have clients fly from all over the world to visit your clinics. Why choose Brentwood?
We have a highly successful clinic in Sevenoaks, Kent and saw a gap in the market as Brentwood was lacking a boutique style Dermatology clinic that was run by medical professionals. Brentwood is similar to Sevenoaks in many ways and is easily accessible, so we felt it was an ideal place to locate our clinic. I also have family in Brentwood so I know the area well.
What can you offer that’s different to other clinics?
Our philosophy starts with trust – trust in safety, trust that we want our clients to feel and look their best, but that we will also say no and steer you in alternative directions if we feel you would not benefit from our treatments. We also believe that less is more. We want you to feel more confident and secure about yourself. We are not here to change an appearance, but to enhance your features, in a way where you look healthy but your skin radiates a glow and more importantly moves! We take time to get to know our clients, listen to them and offer not only practical solutions but also take on the role of counsellors. We understand our clients fears, and reassure them that when they leave, they will want to return, and that is why we have such a high profile following.
If you had to choose one product and one treatment which would it be?
My favourite product is Image Vital C – a hydrating and anti-ageing serum. It’s a great all-rounder and offers high levels of anti-oxidants that protect the skins elasticity in the long term.
As for treatment, it’s the Dermal Fillers. They are safe, well tolerated and can take years off a persons appearance. We can enhance, add volume and redefine the face. Lines are diminished and the face takes on a soft youthful appearance. Done well and once again with our philosophy of less is more, fillers can look fantastic.
It remains for me to say a thank you to Dr Johanna Ward and Haley Cooper for their time. I have been asked several times in the school playground “did you have Botox?”, which only confirms to me how amazing their treatments are (although I still won’t tell!) If you would like to see a list of their full treatments, please visit their website on www.theskinclinic.org.uk or call 01277 214827 quoting askmollybeauty. The Skin Clinic are also offering 15% off all treatments until the end of November with this article.
If you would like me to review your salon or if you have any beauty queries, please follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or e-mail me email@example.com.