From the importance of spa indulgence to why Fat Transfer treatments are so appealing
We understand the importance of trusting your skin care practitioner and knowing who is providing your treatment before you book in. Because of this, we are regularly including conversations with our practitioners on our blog so you can get to know more about them. Today we chat with COSMETIC 1 Head Dermal Therapist Mai Guillou about her history, her passion for skin and some of her favourite treatments.
COSMETIC 1. You’ve been working in the beauty industry for over 18 years, can you tell us a little more about what attracted you to this industry initially and what keeps you so passionate about skin?
MG. I’ve been fascinated by the industry since I was a little girl, I was always fascinated by creams’ textures and scents. My mother took me to my first ever waxing appointment at 13 years old, I fell in love with the beauty therapist. She looked so fresh, beautiful and graceful and I loved the smell of all the different products combined together in the treatment room. I was like a little kid in a candy shop.
I then developed acne at 16 years old. My mother took me to see a dermatologist, who wanted to put me onto all kinds of medications, and really invasive treatments. It mostly scared me and I was also really disappointed with the experience. I felt like I was just a number or another teenager with acne to him. It felt very confronting and I did not develop the trust I was looking for in a medical practitioner.So I took matters into my own hands, and booked in with a beauty therapist at a skin clinic, for an acne facial. She improved my acne pretty quickly and I also found the experience pretty incredible. The customer service provided made me feel like I was being cared for and looked after, and also by educating me on how to care for my skin in order to manage my acne. I knew at that point that my calling was to enter the beauty industry. To be able to provide that level of care to people, and help people deal with pretty tricky skin conditions such as acne, which can have such a negative impact on self-esteem and quality of life.
What keeps me fascinated is the intrinsic changes in skin as the years go by. Noticing where we lose volume, where laxity starts to show, or how fine lines develop. I find the biological changes and processes of the body and the skin fascinating, and I enjoy finding ways to prevent, delay, treat, and improve any kind of skin conditions.
COSMETIC 1. You previously worked in Europe with some of the world’s most renowned skincare practitioners, what are some of the biggest lessons you learnt under their guidance?
MG. 1) One does not need to have a complicated skin care routine to obtain best results. It’s about watching how the skin behaves throughout the years and treat the skin on what it needs at that particular time. Less is more.
2) Treat one condition at a time.
3) There are key products that are non-negotiable. The use of Vit A in a skincare routine for example, as well as a sunscreen, which is the most important anti-aging product (as it blocks UVR, which are responsible for 80% of skin damage).
4) Never underestimate the power of a thorough facial massage. The french are big on massage treatments. It includes manual lymphatic drainage, and other massage techniques, to improve microcirculation. It is so simple but so effective for a healthy and glowy skin.
COSMETIC 1. The clinics you previously worked for were luxe and focused on experience just as much as the treatments being provided. How important is offering a relaxing and indulgent experience to you now?
MG. Providing a relaxing and indulgent experience to patients is an innate part of me because I enjoy it just as much as the patients!
A luxurious experience is based on the senses being engaged. So, having an olfactive experience by smelling beautiful scents, or feeling cocooned by soft linen, being in a beautiful room with the right lighting, that is relaxing and calming to the eyes, listening to a music track that can take you to another place, and maybe finishing off with a refreshing herbal tea. Who wouldn’t want that experience? I believe that people nowadays are after an experience, rather than just a treatment. Because there is an added value in experiencing a treatment that makes you feel good, and that also improves the quality of your skin.
COSMETIC 1. You’re constantly re-educating and keeping up with cosmetic advances, what’s fascinating you right now?
MG. Fat transfer really fascinates me. The idea of using our body’s own stem cells to regenerate, plump up and revive the skin as opposed to using normal fillers, sounds really interesting. From what I have seen, the results are more subtle, take longer to appear, compared to normal dermal fillers, or other kinds of rejuvenation techniques but it is a great alternative for anyone who is looking for a natural result. I like to look at this procedure more as a long-term investment for general skin health and to keep the skin at optimal health, for longer. The procedure could be performed on patients in their mid-thirties onwards to revive the skin, regenerate fat and tissue loss due to natural intrinsic ageing. Then, other kinds of rejuvenation procedures could be performed with the laser for skin conditioning and skin tightening. I find that what ages us the most is laxity at the nasolabial folds. Generally speaking, tightening of that area needs to be attended to around the mid to late thirties, for graceful ageing in the 50’s.
COSMETIC 1. If you could choose one treatment as your favourite from the COSMETIC 1 offerings, what would it be and why?
MG. I really enjoy performing the Fotona 3D laser, which includes a treatment intra-orally, specifically designed for tightening of the nasolabial folds. On top of that, 2 other modalities are done, for skin rejuvenation, evening out of skin tones, and more skin tightening. After that, a low-level laser is done for 11 mins for collagen production, and we finish with a collagen mask and serums. That treatment gives the skin the WOW FACTOR with absolutely no down-time.
COSMETIC 1. What do you find most satisfying about your job?
MG. I like to see clients gaining more confidence as their skin improves. The most rewarding for me is helping to improve confidence in patients who suffer from acne. Having suffered from it for many years myself, I know that it is a skin condition that can really bring our self-esteem to a real low, and it can have quite a big impact in our everyday life. Acne is an extremely common condition that can affect our emotional, physical and mental state. It is the role of dermal therapists and medical practitioners to show acne patients how to manage their condition. But generally speaking, I enjoy showing people how to care for their skin, so that they can feel good in the skin they have at all times, and at all ages. It’s quite a liberating feeling.
COSMETIC 1. What are some of the main concerns you find patients have with their skin as they age?
MG. I have noticed, there is a general theme for clients who reach the 45+ age. I get a lot of women who are really concerned about their skin, and how their skin ages because what they see in the mirror does not represent how they feel. With normal intrinsic ageing, the skin’s biological structures change, mostly due to hormonal changes. There’s a reduction in volume, bone density, hydration levels. If you add sun damage on top of that, I can understand why some women (mainly women) feel that they are not recognising themselves anymore, and most particularly nowadays, we can choose to have a lifestyle that supports a healthy body. For example, we have access to healthier foods, there are a variety of workout programs out there, mindfulness practices and yoga studios are just at about every corner, and we also live longer. But the ageing process will unravel regardless of our lifestyle choices. The trickiest part is accepting it. Then, it’s all about doing it gracefully. With laser devices and other cosmetic procedures like fat transfer, beautiful and natural results can be achieved, restoring some youthfulness to any skin.
COSMETIC 1. From the COSMETIC 1 product offerings, what are your favourite products on rotation at the moment and what makes them so great?
MG: It is very hard for me to choose favourites as I have so many. But I will say that antioxidant serums from Skinceuticals such as the Phloretin CF and Resveratrol are some favourites, as they protect our skin from everyday free radicals that are responsible for most of our skin damage.
COSMETIC 1. There has been an increase in male patients booking in and caring for their skin. With different skin texture to females, what are some of the most popular treatments at COSMETIC 1 for male patients?
MG. Male patients enjoy the Hydrafacial treatment very much as it is a treatment that is great for general skin health. It’s deep cleansing, exfoliating, and nourishing.
COSMETIC 1. If you could offer one skincare tip (or a few if you can’t pick a favourite), what would it be?
MG. Always treat the skin at night with active cleansers, Vitamin A or acids such as BHA and AHA. During the day, protect the skin with antioxidants, and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every day. Sunscreen is one of the most important products in a skincare routine. These days, sunscreens have great textures, some are tinted, some are oil-free or shine free. You don’t even feel like you are wearing sunscreen, but rather, a lovely tinted BB cream.
Also, making time for a regular appointment at a dermal clinic is key. The skin needs to be checked, assessed and treated regularly, and with the change of seasons or life circumstances, skincare routines need to be reviewed. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and it is the one that receives the least nutrients from our diet. It also protects our vital organs from the outside world. It deserves some TLC.
If you would like to discuss your skin and develop a personalised skincare routine contact us today to make an appointment.