In this Glowday Practitioner Spotlight interview, I spoke to the gorgeous - and super talented Dr Ana Mansouri, lead aesthetic doctor, non-surgical services manager and clinical governance lead at Kat & Co Aesthetics. She spilled the beans on her favourite aesthetic treatment to perform, what she loves most about her job, and loads more...
Hi Dr Ana! Tell us about your background and journey into aesthetics…
I’ve always had a passion for cosmetic medicine. I moved from Stockholm, Sweden (where I was born and raised) to the UK for medical school. I graduated with a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery from Newcastle University, and was transferred to Birmingham for my foundation training. During foundation training, I joined various aesthetic training courses, at my own pace, and also did a postgraduate in clinical dermatology. By this time I had started GP training and I realised my heart lies in aesthetic medicine, so I took the plunge to leave training and commit fully to aesthetics. It was the best decision I've ever made! When I was younger, I wanted to be a plastic surgeon and loved the idea of helping people with issues such as cleft palate. I guess this is also where my love of non-surgical aesthetics comes from. It’s all about helping people look and feel good about themselves.
What do you love most about working in aesthetics?
As well as helping people look and feel great, I also like that I get to work so closely with other medical professionals. Kat and Co Aesthetics is such a lovely place to work. I’m part of a fantastic, full, multidisciplinary team, I have an amazing mentor (the fantastic Mrs CC Kat), and I just love it even more than ever thought I could. There’s a real team spirit and I feel so fortunate.
What advice would you give to any new aesthetic practitioners out there?
First of all, value your abilities and what you can bring to a patient as a medical professional - and always try to take a medical approach. Make it your mission to improve the standards in aesthetics and try to always be the very best you can be.
Also, when it comes to aesthetics training, think of the courses you do as a taster, as there’s only ever so much you can fit into a training course. They help you lay the foundations and give you various tools to get started, but it also requires a lot of extra time and effort on your behalf. Reading, watching relevant videos - anything it takes to become a true expert in what you do. With hard work, everything comes naturally from there on. Shoot for the stars!
What’s your favourite aesthetic treatment to perform?
My absolute favourite is my signature aesthetic treatment - baby Botox. It’s a similar approach to Botox, but I think of it as a more modern take on softening wrinkles than the more traditional approach. You would usually use higher doses of Botox to attempt to eliminate lines, but with baby Botox, I soften lines in the most undetectable and natural way. You’re still able to move and make expressions; the lines just won’t be as prominent as before. The muscles won’t be quite strong enough to cause lines at rest.
The aim of baby Botox is to get rid of the lines at rest but keep the lines while you’re expressing yourself, because that’s part of life. It’s really undetectable and blends in nicely with the rest of your face and neck, and there’s no need to worry about not being able to move your muscles or feel that you have restricted movement. But it is also, generally, enough to prevent those lines from becoming deep set.”
Your skin is gorgeous. What’s your secret?
I’ve struggled over the years with oily, acne-prone skin, and I’m prone to hyperpigmentation. I’ve tried loads of over the counter products, but I had a massive skin breakthrough when I discovered Obagi and ZO medical grade skincare.
I never skip vitamin C in the mornings. It’s great for anti-ageing and brightening, and for evening out skin tone. SPF50 is my main thing and I wish I’d started using it earlier. I top it up every four hours with a brush on powder SPF. Then there’s retinol - the anti-ageing hero of my life. I use this every single evening, without fail. And, lastly, BHAs (salicylic avid) really helps me control my oil production.
Great skin just requires putting time and effort in every day, and being consistent. It’s not so complicated once you get into a routine. I truly believe everyone has time and can afford to have healthy skin, there’s a medical grade option out there for every lifestyle and budget.
Thanks, Dr Ana! It was great chatting with you.