Tell us about your journey to becoming an Aesthetic doctor in Harrods?
DR MARWA ALI: I have always been passionate about beauty, art and fashion. A career in Cosmetic medicine provided me with the perfect balance of enabling the application of my medical knowledge as well simultaneously allowing me to express my artistic flare. I enjoy the hands-on application of art, using my manual skills to bring my artistic vision to life. As a newly qualified doctor, I wanted to embark on a career that enabled me to use my creativity alongside my medical knowledge. When it comes to the world of aesthetics, a profound appreciation for visual beauty, medical knowledge and practical ability are all essential. A good aesthetic doctor must have a good eye for detail; have steady and skilled hands, as well as the medical and anatomical knowledge to practice at a very high standard. I don’t think it’s possible to have found a career that matched all my passions and skill set more than aesthetic medicine does.
Why is the Wellness Clinic at Harrods such a great space and location for the treatments you offer?
MA: Harrods is world-renowned for its excellence in the luxury realm and the state-of-the-art Wellness Clinic is no exception. Situated on the 4th floor of Harrods, The Wellness Clinic is the perfect central London location for both my loyal clientele and the destination shopper who is looking for top-tier clinical-grade beauty treatments. Entering The Wellness Clinic you will find cutting-edge facilities and medical expertise combined with a polished-yet-friendly atmosphere which is designed to create a unique and very much bespoke approach to beauty.
How have aesthetic treatments evolved over recent years and what effect is this having on demand?
MA: The advances in the non-invasive aesthetic treatments have ensured that there is a strong alternative to invasive surgery. With the use of artfully placed injectables, Botox, Hyaluronic Acid Filler and threads, the patient need not go under the knife at all. I have always practiced the subtle approach when it comes to anti-ageing treatment and witness that a series of ‘tweakments’ can provide brilliant and most importantly, natural-looking results. With non-invasive treatments like the Medical Nose Job (strategically placed Filler) The Nefertiti Neck Lift (Botox) and Ultrasound face contouring (HIFU Facelift) gaining popularity, I believe the non-invasive trend is stimulating the demand for more treatments of this kind.
What is your definition of beauty?
MA: Physical beauty to me is all about getting the right proportions. With the right program of semi-invasive treatments, I can create a portrait of perfect proportions. I adhere to the individuality of each patient, to enhance (not mask) his or her features. With this artistic sensitivity in mind, I can preserve both characteristics and cultural identity by creating a series of tailored treatments that will enhance each client’s natural beauty. I believe that the result of any aesthetic procedure should look as natural as possible. Gone are the days of the frozen over botox-ed and over filled faces. My aim is to make my patients look well-rested and refreshed as though they have come back from the spa or a holiday without anyone being able to tell that they have had anything done. I use a series of ‘tweakments’ to achieve the right facial proportions and harmony.
Why do you believe a more natural look is better when doing Botox?
MA: The natural-looking trend is here to stay and the days of the over-Botoxed, frozen features are well and truly over. In fact, too much Botox can actually be ageing, and patients who have been over-injected look mannequin-like as the skin is pulled too taught and the forehead is often left looking unnaturally shiny. I am known for creating natural results for my patients and am an advocate of Baby Botox. Baby Botox is still Botox but on a lesser scale. With Baby Botox, the facial features retain their mobility and the results are extremely natural. If administered well, no one will notice you have done anything at all, but they will remark at how well-rested and youthful you appear.
What do you find is the overall definition of beauty for your clients?
MA: Each client is different and needs a totally bespoke approach. The majority of my clients come to me to enhance their natural beauty but don’t want the result to look unnatural or overdone. During the initial consultation, I work through their medical history and we discuss the aims of what they wish to achieve. I study their facial architecture and set out a series of non-invasive treatments that will help them to achieve their specific goals.
Describe the patients you see at your practice.
MA: I have a loyal global clientele who come to see me for treatment at Harrods. I treat both men and women, and have a diverse range of patients from local British and European patients, to those who travel to see me from further afield, particularly the US. I have a large Middle Eastern client base, having spent many years living in Dubai and speaking Arabic fluently.
Do you get more female or male patients?
MA: I would say the majority of my patients are female, however over the last couple of years I have treated many more men for aesthetic procedures. Male grooming is a booming industry and with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for the hair and the rise of the ‘tweakment’ they are becoming more and more interested in opting for aesthetic treatments.
Does someone’s day-to-day lifestyle and age have any impact on what aesthetic treatments you recommend?
MA: Absolutely! Both lifestyle and age play an important role in deciphering the proposed course of treatment. Lifestyle plays a huge part in how rapidly we age – sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, diet and exercise all have an effect, but genetics also play a significant role in the ageing process. As we age, the depletion of collagen and elastin in the skin becomes visibly apparent, as does the effect of gravity on the facial features. Lines and wrinkles start to appear first around the eye contour as this is where the skin is the thinnest. The tear trough (underneath the eye) can appear dark or sunken and the cheeks can start to droop causing the development of jowls. The lips and cheeks can lose their natural volume and the neck (an area often overlooked) can also develop lines, which is often referred to as ‘Tech Neck’. There are a variety of different treatments that can be called upon to reverse the signs of ageing. These include: Hyaluronic Acid Fillers – for the loss of volume for the lips, tear trough (eyes) and cheeks. Fillers can also be artfully applied to the jaw and chin to help contour the face shape. Botox – for diminishing lines and wrinkles around the eye contour, forehead, frown lines, and lines on the neck. HIFU – for lifting, tightening and contouring the face by tightening the muscles around the neck and jaw, breaking down stubborn fat and stimulating collagen production.
What do you think will be the next big thing in terms of aesthetic treatments?
MA: I think with the trend of avoiding invasive surgery still being at the forefront, the new ideology is to use a combination of non-invasive treatments to effectively halt the signs of ageing in its tracks. Using a combination of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers, Botox and HIFU, I can combat a number of ageing issues in one sitting with no downtime for the patient. While the Fillers serve to add lost volume, the Botox diminishes the wrinkles and the HIFU sculpts, lifts and tightens the skin whilst stimulating collagen production to improve the overall skin texture. This shift in ideology focuses on treating the cause of the ageing rather than just the effects. By doing this, we eliminate the need for invasive surgery at a later date. It’s a win, win!
What are some of your most popular procedures?
MA: 1. Tear Trough Treatment. As we age, we lose volume on the face and this can be particularly prevalent under the eyes. This loss of volume can in turn create the appearance of dark circles due to a visible tear trough and will undoubtedly make you look tired. By strategically injecting micro droplets of Fillers to replace the lost volume, I can create a more youthful and refreshed looking eye.
2. Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty. With the Medical Nose Job (Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty) I am able to perfect the proportions of the nose without the need for surgery. By artfully administering Hyaluronic Acid Fillers, I can address the main areas of concern for each patient. I can lift the tip of the nose, straighten a crooked bridge and even narrow the nose.
3. Facial Contouring with Fillers. Fillers can be used to artfully balance an individual’s profile and add harmony to the facial features and proportions. By administering a series of filler injections to specific areas of the face, including the cheeks, chin and jawline, I can create a more defined and aesthetically pleasing visual appearance, which can go completely undetected by the naked eye. This procedure has noticeable yet very natural results.
What sets the Wellness Clinic apart from other aesthetic clinics in London?
MA: The Wellness Clinic has a very tailored approach to beauty and with its cutting-edge and private facilities it is purposefully designed for its discerning clientele. Whether you are a returning patient or a new patient, you can be assured that the treatment you will receive is second-to-none.
What does bespoke mean to you and how does this translate to your clients?
MA: I think a bespoke approach is imperative. At the initial consultation I listen to the concerns of my patient and address each to find a solution. It is by keeping the dialogue going with my patients that I can ensure the service is tailored to their specific needs. I am available to discuss any concerns with my clients both pre and post treatment so that they are confident that their wellbeing is of the upmost priority. Photos and notes are taken at each visit to document the entire process and can be called upon to reflect the visible result.
TEXT: ALYZEH RAHIM
PHOTOGRPAHS COURTESY OF DR MARWA ALI