After seeing a brilliant IG Live with Natalie Haswell, we reached out to the lovely Raquel, from Dr. Raquel Skin & Medical Cosmetics in Kent to take part in our Glowday Practitioner Spotlight Series.
Tell us a little about your business and your journey to where you currently are professionally.
After practicing as a Dentist for years, I followed my interests into aesthetics – boosted by my background of being clinically trained to use anaesthetics and needles safely.
I now have my own clinic in Kings Hill in Kent, and I teach as a Clinical Mentor at Harley Academy. I am passionate about putting my patients at ease and making people feel confident in their own skin. I am Portuguese, and I graduated in Dentistry in Portugal in 2007 – but, because of the recession in Portugal, I decided to move to the UK in 2008. I originally worked for the NHS, then I moved to a private practice and that is where I started my aesthetics journey.
At the time, I was looking for another challenge and went, like many people do, on a weekend course that gave me the basic knowledge to start my aesthetics journey – but there was still a lot I needed to learn to be a good practitioner!
My interest grew and I was hungry for more! I started developing my skills and fell in love with the industry. I started working for a number of different clinics before I opened up my own clinic, where I currently practice aesthetics.
In some parts of the UK, lockdown has been lifted and various professional bodies are suggesting July 4th may be when clinics can reopen. Are there any changes you have made to your business during lockdown that you will maintain once lockdown is lifted?
Yes – I will be encouraging online consultations via video from now on. I will also try to hold post treatment follow-up appointments via video, unless there are any concerns that requires the patient to be seen face-to-face. I will also most likely continue to do Instagram live advice and instructional videos – they are great fun!
That’s great news! It’s an incredible way of getting information about treatments out there in an accessible way.
When clinics open, it is likely that they will not operate as they previously did. The JCCP and the BACN have released guidelines for how to re-open safely (linked to in this article), do you anticipate any challenges implementing these guidelines. How do you plan on implementing the guidelines?
Luckily for me, I am the only person I need to worry about because I haven’t got any staff – so this simplifies things. For me, I don’t think I will have too much trouble implementing the guidelines. I have prepared all my protocols and policies for re-opening, and in my opinion, as long as my clients have guidance and know what to expect, the new guidelines shouldn’t be too hard to implement. I will be doing several things over the next few weeks and months to prepare my patients for what’s to come. I will be writing an advice blog on my website, I will send out newsletter updates, as well as posting videos and updates across social media. I’ll be using all of these to offer advice and information about the new guidelines, and I will also be contacting my patients directly by text or telephone as soon as they book their appointment, to ensure they are comfortable with the new policies.
It very much feels like, as medical professionals, you guys are pretty well equipped to deal with reopening safely!
The pandemic has provided many of us an opportunity for reflection. Is there any aspect of how you ran your business that you will change coming out of lockdown?
I will try not to work so much and take more time for myself and my family. However, this is easier said than done, of course!
As an outsider looking in, it feels like lockdown has created a huge focus on skincare in the absence of clinic-based treatments. If you had to pick 5 essential skincare products, what would they be?
I love skincare and I am fascinated by it. I am an avid fan of Alumier MD and I only use Alumier MD products personally.
That being said, there are many great products out there in the market and I also recommended a variety of other skincare items for specific skin conditions.
My five picks are:
- AlumierMD EverActive C&E Serum,
- AlumierMD Bright & Clear Solution,
- AlumierMD Retinol,
- AlumierMD Sheer Hydration Tinted SPF and
- Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen by Jane Iredale (I’m not sure that it can be considered a skincare product – but it is definitely on my top products list!)
It’s no surprise to see an SPF on that list!
What are you most looking forward to, professionally and otherwise, once this has passed?
I can’t wait to be with my patients again and get back to what I love to do the most. I am also missing all of my students and colleagues at Harley Academy, and I’m excited to see them all again. I’m just so looking forward to being back to work – although, I also wouldn’t mind a holiday at some point, too!
Overall, how are you feeling about the future? Of your business? Of the aesthetics industry?
I am very positive and enthusiastic about the future. I know it is going to be hard work for both practitioners and patients, and that we will all need to adapt to the new normal – but I still believe the demand is out there. This industry keeps growing and I feel this was just a hiccup along the way – we will overcome this hurdle together.
That view mirrors the attitudes and outlook of all the practitioners we speak to. It’s one of the reasons we are so thrilled to work in this industry. You just can’t get away from the positivity!