In this week’s Glowday Practitioner Spotlight series, I spoke to the fabulous Dr Emmaline Ashley of Ashley Aesthetics. She explains her amazing tagline, When Science and Art Met Beauty, talks through her Level 7 training, and explains how wellbeing and aesthetics go hand in hand.
Hi Dr Emmaline! I’m dying to know how you got into aesthetics!
I grew up in the States, where I did my undergraduate degree in biology and then went on to study medicine. But I always knew that I wanted to come to the UK at some point. I decided to go to medical school in Dublin, where I first became interested in plastic surgery, then, working as a doctor, I focused my attention and got the experience I needed in plastics. At that point, I was told that to get the full scope of plastic surgery, I would need to learn facial aesthetics too. So, from there, I did a foundation course in medical aesthetics and completely fell in love with it. I don’t think I’d really had an appreciation until then of how complex it actually is, but also how interesting and creative it is. There are so many aesthetic doctors and nurses who tailor the treatments to their patients. There’s so much creativity.
I use the tagline When Science and Art Met Beauty on my website, and this comes from my love of science, as well as my love of literature, art, and the human element of interacting with people. Aesthetic medicine gives me a great opportunity to combine all of those things.
Love that! I hear you’re in the middle of your Level 7 aesthetics training. How’s it going?
I’m really enjoying it! Getting the Level 7 is really important to me because of the fact that the aesthetics industry is so unregulated here in the UK. Starting out in aesthetics can be really intimidating for so many people because there are so many things that could potentially go wrong. So, you find yourself wondering, “Am I appropriately prepared to deal with these things?” And the more you know about the complications, the more prepared you want to be. I wanted to make sure I was safe and able to handle issues if they ever happen. Aesthetics can be a lonely industry when you first get started, but the Level 7 is great for meeting people and creating a safety net.
What’s your favourite aesthetic treatment to perform?
Lips fillers are one of the most satisfying treatments for me, as they can make such a massive difference to someone’s face and their features. It’s one of the treatments I’ve seen people come away feeling the happiest, which is such a great feeling. A natural look is always better, so building lips up slowly is important. You do sometimes get people coming in wanting more filler when they already have overfilled lips, but I always explain that, as a medical practitioner, it wouldn’t be ethical for me to add more. It’s just not something I’d feel comfortable doing.
You’re really focused on wellbeing. How does this tie in with aesthetics?
I think the two things go hand in hand because it’s all to do with self care. I know there’s a negative connotation around aesthetics, where some people believe only people with low self-esteem get aesthetic treatments, but I don’t actually see it that way. It’s all about taking care of yourself and looking and feeling good. So, whether you invest in going to the gym or in an aesthetic treatment, it’s your money and your decision. Being a junior doctor, I saw that it was so easy to neglect self care because often we feel that it’s selfish. Especially with everything that’s been happening recently. But it’s so important to prioritise your mental and physical health.
Absolutely! What are your plans and ambitions for self and clinic?
I’m currently doing one day a week at the clinic and I’m going to keep going like that for the moment because of the current climate. But I’d love to extend that and look at having my own clinic space. I’d also really like to have a team of practitioners come and work with me. I miss the camaraderie of working with a big team, so I’d love to have that. I also really enjoy writing, and have loved creating articles for my editorial - the Aesthetics Edit - so this will be something I’ll continue doing too.