Regular readers will know I’m no fan of high tech beauty and ‘tweakments’. So it was with some trepidation I followed a friend to one of Great Britain’s top beauty clinics, the Dermanda Clinic in Harley Street. Harley Street is, of course, the country’s number one spot for people fighting spending fortunes on fighting the ageing process. Quick fixes, painful operations and needles and threads… that just isn’t me. So how to get good results at the beauty clinic when you’re worried about needles and coming out looking completely different to when you walked in?
To make it easy and not really knowing what I was looking for I asked for the same treatment as my friend had. She too is scared of needles. So her beauty session at the clinic involved oxygen treatment, she said, which felt great. “It’s a blast of air on your face, like being in a wind tunnel. But a good wind tunnel.”
That sounded cool if slightly scary, but I asked for “some of that, please.” But with a good, experienced beautician there is nothing to worry about. One of Dermanda’s head beauticians Patricia Sroczynska (pictured below) took charge and talked me through my hour-long session.
The beautician: How to get good results
“If I gave you the same treatment as your friend, your face would be on fire,” she said as she prepared the cleanser for a gentler treatment. “Your skin is more sensitive, so you shouldn’t have the same treatment.” It’s reassuring to have a beautician who assesses your skin quickly and efficiently and works out a treatment plan.
But then Sroczynska studied her craft at university in Poland – you can’t study beauty culture at the same level in this country, she said – and has work as a professional for well over 10 years and is one of the clinic’s star practitioners.
Interestingly, Dermanda founder Awatif Mandour isn’t keen on invasive surgery herself. Her clinic offers those treatments in conjunction with experienced doctors, but good skincare is what drives her. And urging people to start seriously looking after their skin at an early age is her passion. However, she is a great fan of Botox and an expert in
Good results: Here I was under the spotlight
As a physician and registered pharmacist, Mandour knows about formulas and the power of how to create effective products and has developed her own range of products.
But there I was on the couch, my face bathed in cremes and search light – it brought back memories. It’s well over 30 years since I was a trainee beautician so it was fun to experience how the beauty industry has changed.
Interestingly, the routine is the same, but the products are stronger, more varied and more specifically treating different problems. Mine was rosacea which is red cheeks as a result of tiny veins near the surface. There’s a new machine treating rosacea coming on to the market soon, I was told.
But for now I was given a hydrating mask using a vitamin B5 gel. It felt fabulous! And I have to admit the result was instant and startling.
A million wild horses couldn’t persuade me to use Botox or pull my face with a thread. So potions and a good, regular beauty regime it is. And facing the brutal reality that we all get older and that it will show somehow.
My treatment included:
- Cleansing with Dermanda cleanser
- Enzymatic mask to exfoliate
- Oxyginating toner with to help rejuvenate tired pores
- Infusion of vitamin C
- A hydrating & firming mask
- Vitamin B5 gel to help combat rosacea
- Stemcell & vitamin C cream and marine moisturiser
Luckily, Mandour thinks like me. Even though she is an expert in Botox, happily admitting she has some in her forehead – and I must admit it looks as fine as the forehead of a woman 25 years younger – her basic rule is to start looking after your skin when you are young.
Awatif Mandour’s top beauty tips to under-30s:
- Start skincare early in life
- But don’t think fillers are the solution at an early age
- When the wrinkles start use Botox
- Use sunscreen
- Look after your neck and hands as well as your face – if they all look out of synch we end up looking like a young woman with an old person’s hands or neck
- Use a lip plumping lipstick instead of lip fillers – people as young as 18 come for lip fillers but my advice is to wait
The skin starts to degenerate between the age of 20-25. The decline is very slow, of course, and doesn’t really become obvious before the age of 30 when fine lines appear. First they appear at the corner and under the eyes. Next it’s around the mouth when they get slightly more obvious.
Slowly and steadily the lines get deeper and more appear on the forehead and between the eyebrows in the shape of frown lines. But those lines are nothing to be afraid of – they add character and can be charming. Perfection is dull, and a lived in face is appealing.
But the earlier we start to care for our skin and keep it nourished and hydrated, the longer it will stay young looking.
If you’re over 30: The case for Botox, by Awatif Mandour
At The Scandi Look we’re not much in favour of Botox and never tire of promoting simple beauty routines and top tips from an early age. But many others are and some swear by it. Mandour is one of those who use it regularly and apply it to others – luckily she is an expert.
“I’ve used it since I was 27 and I love it,” she says. “But I’d advise people to start some time after the age of 30, when lines and wrinkles start. Not too late though. Once furrows appear it is too late to remove them.”
Botox helps relax muscles. So when an eyebrow drops it’s often because too much Botox as been injected, Mandour adds. But it corrects itself and starts to look good after a week or two. Apart from that, she says, there are no side-effects to Botox. People have Botox in the neck and even in armpits to help stop sweating, she says.
Other treatments Dermanda offers in conjunction with experts in their fields, include laser technology based skincare sessions, chemical peel, face threads and fat grafting. But essentially Mandour prefers to promote a more natural beauty regime to younger clients.
And with her background as a pharmacist she has developed her own beauty products. Among her bestselling gels and cremes are the Stem C20 Serum which helps protect and regenerate the skin and the Boto Lift. That’s an anti-aging moisturising formula, which mimics the effects of Botox by diminishing wrinkles and relaxing muscles without the need for injectables.
It’s four years since Mandour launched Dermanda in London’s Harley Street. And after years of building her reputation and network she is now attracting clients from all over the world. UK clients include London ‘It Girl” Lady Victoria Hervey and fashion designer Julien McDonald was spotted at a launch event fo the beauty salon.
My own top tips to complement treatment at the beauty salon
There is a cleanser for every skin type out there, but one super beauty trick which many seem to overlook is actually my own favourite. I learnt it at beauty college nearly 40 years ago and it’s the best tip ever!
It’s plain spring water. I don’t mean to drink lots of spring water, but to actually use it instead of tap water on our face. It almost doesn’t matter how expensive or what celebrity uses a cleanser – tap water in many regions will undermine it, and the moisturiser.
Tap water can be very hard – it is in London. It’s chalky and is not good for the skin. The quality of the water coming out of the tap varies from region to region. And combined with old pipes and poor plumbing it can be a real gamble to splash it all over our face.
I’m a convert to using spring water in my beauty routine for over 30 years – even though it is an extra effort to use spring water. But I can tell and feel the difference between tap and spring water. Spring water leaves the skin feeling fresh and soft. Tap water (depends on the level of water hygiene of your area, and plumbing in your home) leaves the fine skin on my face skin feeling tight and dry.
To find out more about Dermanda and its treatments and products head over to their website here.