Medical-grade skincare Q&A: Dr Bibi answers your questions
If you are an aesthetician considering expanding your portfolio to encompass medical-grade skincare, you may have a few questions. Who better to ask than an expert skin aesthetician? Dr. Bibi Ghalaie is a highly skilled cosmetic doctor and is the Clinical Lead for our Advanced Skin Course, launching soon and available to book now.
Created in collaboration with skincare industry giant Alumier, this ‘first of its kind’ course provides comprehensive training in medical-grade skincare and practical competencies of chemical peeling. With over 12 years of experience in Aesthetic Medicine, Dr. Bibi Ghalaie’s past surgical experience at several of London's top teaching hospitals and at Harvard Medical Schoolis reflected in her dexterity and artistic approach. Her postgraduate studies in Dermatology, completed with Distinction, have provided a sound clinical knowledge of the skin, whichshe uses to enhance her aesthetic practice and disseminate invaluable knowledge to her delegates.
Ahead of the launch date of the course, we asked Dr Bibi for her expert answers to some of your most pressing skin questions:
What are the essentials of a good skincare routine?
“A good skincare routine must be tailored to the individual patient. What is best for one skin type will not be suitable for every skin type. The goal of any routine should be to optimise the complexion whilst targeting specific concerns. In doing so, there are certain core principles that should always feature and it is important to note that consistency is key. Being adept in medical-grade skincare will enable clinicians to prescribe a bespoke and focused skincare routine for any patient they encounter.
CLEANSING: Using a cleanser is the most basic step and is essential for getting rid of impurities, environmental pollutants, dirt, and bacteria. Washing twice a day, morning and night, will help to avoid clogged pores, dullness, and acne. The right formula will cleanse without stripping essential healthy oils. The cleanser should be tailored to the patient’s skin, for example, acne-prone skin can benefit from a salicylic acid cleanser. A good universal cleanser is micellar water, which is soap-free and suitable for almost every skin type.
ANTIOXIDANT SERUMS: An antioxidant serum should be applied after cleansing to target the oxidising radicals that lead to skin cell damage, pigment deposition, and ageing. Vitamin C serums are excellent at neutralising free radicals, fighting photodamage, and promoting collagen production; thereby improving skin elasticity and texture whilst brightening surface skin tone. The vitamin C agent that is used should be medical grade.
MOISTURISING: A daily moisturiser applied after washing is essential for minimising transepidermal water loss and maintaining the skin barrier. This will help to prevent dryness and irritation of the skin.
SUNSCREENS: Using sunscreen is essential, even in winter and when indoors. Photodamage not only ages the skin by reducing skin elasticity and contributing to the formation of wrinkles, but it can cause hyperpigmentation and lentigos. Daily UV radiation protection with a good sunscreen of at least SPF 30 should be used religiously. A combination product containing a moisturiser and/or Vitamin C and sunscreen can minimise the need for numerous steps in the skincare regime and can increase compliance.
RETINOIDS: Retinoids are the most potent anti-ageing ingredients in our armoury. Topical retinoic acid-containing products play a key role in treating and preventing fine lines and rhytides, pigmentation, acne, and photodamage. They improve skin texture and tone through exfoliation and oxidising harmful free radicals. They can increase the photosensitivity of skin so they are best applied at night and must be used with a concurrent daily SPF.
CHEMICAL PEELS: These involve chemical exfoliation using topical natural acids such as lactic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and glycolic acids. Periodic chemical peels should feature in every patient’s skin routine. They will improve skin texture, stimulate collagen production, and aid in better absorption of active ingredients. All of this contributes to an overall healthy and radiant complexion. Alumier’s famous Glow Peel is a perfect example.”
What is the value of including skincare into aesthetic consultations and treatment plans?
“When practicing Aesthetic Medicine it is important not to forget that an aesthetic client should be treated with the same care, precaution, and attention as any medical patient. As such, attention to skin disease and skin health is as important as delivering injectables. A dermatology history should always be taken and this will provide the perfect opportunity to identify any previous skin disease, existing skin concerns, and the patient’s daily skin routine. I often see patients who attend requesting lip fillers or non-surgical rhinoplasty, but seem to be ignoring their acne or pigmentation. Similarly, patients who attend for Botulinum toxin admit that they are sun worshippers or, even worse, that they use sunbeds. Ignoring these important issues is not only failing to provide optimal care for your patient but it is also a missed source of revenue.
The skincare products that we can prescribe for our patients are an entirely different proposition to the over-the-counter creams and serums that are often ineffective and overpriced. Most patients are unaware of the difference and it is important to educate them in this regard. Medical-grade skincare is evidence based, potent and can produce significant results on skin quality and appearance. As doctors, we can use these products to address a host of concerns from flaky, dry skin to oily skin, to skin diseases like rosacea and melasma. Moreover, we can also prescribe them for their powerful anti-aging effects. It is so easy to incorporate these products into the patient’s daily routine and by doing so, we can actually enhance the result of the injectables.
Skincare consultations should be an option in every aesthetic Doctor’s treatment portfolio and being trained on one of the top international ranges, like Alumier, will help you to excel in the aesthetic field. Furthermore, such consultations can be conducted by video link which is a major advantage for both clinicians and patients, especially in these uncertain times.”
Where do I source higher training in medical-grade skincare and chemical peeling?
“Medical-grade skincare ranges all have their own training programmes that will familiarise you with their products and treatment methods. The Acquisition Aesthetics Advanced Skin Course is unique in that it has been created with a medical focus. It will not only teach you about the key components and their effects on the skin, but it will encourage you to assess skin care products in an evidence-based fashion, and show you how to integrate them into a medical treatment plan for your patients.”
At £699 + VAT per delegate, this course has limited spaces and will launch on 5th September 2020 in Central London. Delegates receive an exclusive invitation to open an Alumier account at 50% of the standard fee. Book your space here, email email@example.com or call 020 3514 8757 to speak to a friendly member of the Acquisition Aesthetics team.
Your post-COVID aesthetics business recovery plan.
The aesthetics industry has been deeply affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and many practitioners have financial and practical concerns regarding their businesses and clinics. With the provisional roadmap to recovery recently shared by the UK government serving as a light at the end of the tunnel, now is a good time to think about your post-COVID business recovery plan and your ability to follow the new mandated Covid-19 Secure Guidelines.
Please note that this article only indicates the guidance available at this moment in time and should not be used as a reference tool for practice.
What’s the schedule?
The recent governmental plan outlines a loose schedule of how the country can expect to recommence activity in a gradual and controlled way, with Step 2 outlining the return of selected year groups to schools and a phased reopening of non-essential retailers from the 1st June, if able to practice social distancing measures. Personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, hospitality facilities, and leisure facilities are tentatively scheduled for reopen from 4th July. The Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved.
Due to the inherent close proximity required for aestheticians undertaking patient treatment, aesthetics clinics will fall under this latter Step 3 opening schedule, and will not be permitted to practice until 4th July at the earliest. In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt the new ‘COVID-19 Secure guidelines’.
Considerations for both patient and staff safety will need to be established by all clinics planning to recommence practice once authorised to do so, including diligent use of PPE, continued social distancing where possible, and a frequent and robust cleaning schedule for all surfaces, shared items, and high traffic areas. Clinical advice and support can be sought from groups including the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) which has recently published new operational guidance in the post-COVID environment. As mandated by the government, public transport for travel to work should continue to be avoided wherever possible alongside the use of face coverings and continued compliance with updated social distancing guidelines. The mental wellbeing of yourself and your staff is also paramount and we urge you to be aware and understanding of any anxieties or concerns that may arise as a result of returning to work in these times.
What will it look like?
Existing aestheticians should be under no illusions that practice will look like before. Your clinic or business may be somewhat different for some time as all industries tentatively rebuild themselves but this can be viewed as an opportunity to embrace a diversified approach to practice and a way to bolster the adaptability of your business. Indeed, many independent groups argue that the resulting changes to practice may have already been expected and COVID-19 has simply acted as an accelerator of change into this new future of working.
Consider virtual consultations (if not doing so already) and a phased return to practice, as well as restricted hours. This will help to reduce risk, as well as give your business the opportunity to recover gradually without overwhelm threatening your adherence to safety measures.
Guidance on how to undertake clinical practice can be sourced from a variety of groups including the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), the BACN, regulatory bodies including the GMC and GDC as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has released specific guidance on hygiene, PPE and cleaning measures.
Specific considerations covered by these sources include:
Regular health screening of all patients and staff
The continued protection of certain patients and staff with underlying health issues
Use and cleaning of uniform including footwear
Sterilising of clinical spaces
Installation of special ventilation systems in high risk (aerosol generating) environments such as dental treatment rooms
Scheduling of patient bookings to protect social distancing policies
Migration to online/virtual consultations including follow up reviews where possible
Education of patients on new clinical measures and practices
It is also important to consider the possibility of a second UK peak in the prevalence of COVID and the impact that may have. Whilst the government has told businesses to begin tentative preparations to recommence work, it would pay to remain aware that should this situation occur it is likely the lockdown will be reinstated.
There are a number of governmental support packages available for businesses large and small; for both the employed and self-employed. These include:
VAT deferrals that provide a direct cash injection of over £30bn, Self- Assessment tax deferrals providing a cashflow benefit of £13bn and more than 64,000 tailored Time to Pay arrangements agreed with businesses and individuals;
A business rates holiday worth £11bn to businesses;
Direct cash grants worth £10,000 or £25,000 for small businesses in various sectors worth over £12bn in total;
£1.25bn support for innovative firms;
A rebate scheme to reimburse SMEs for part of their SSP costs worth up to £2bn for up to two million businesses; and
A package of government-backed and guaranteed loans, which make available approximately £330bn of guarantees.
More information can be found at gov.uk.
Market your relaunch
You will need to think carefully about innovative but appropriate ways to market your relaunch to both existing and prospective patients. Social media is an excellent platform for sharing information and guidance, either about aesthetics in general or updates and advice relating to staying safe as we may make our way out of the pandemic.
Many practitioners often find they don’t have enough time to dedicate to their social content, so now is the perfect opportunity to bolster this with useful and relevant content, such as informational series’ on different treatments and products or IGTV streams on topical issues, for example. The importance of webinars and digital, validated, educationally strong content cannot be underestimated, especially at a time when there is so much uncertainty.
Networking events and training opportunities
There is an abundance of resources and learning tools available online that aestheticians can access. In this time of reduced physical practice, these can be used to keep yourself and staff informed on industry development and mitigate against the attrition of knowledge. It’s also a fantastic time to enhance and attain knowledge on any areas that are lacking or new to you, ahead of being able to undertake further practical training. There are also now a number of COVID-19 specific online certifications available to provide a means of virtual training in the use of cosmetic injectables.
As we move more firmly into a post-COVID period, it would be useful for both existing and new practitioners to attend aesthetics specific networking events to bolster connections in the industry and share and acquire knowledge and discuss best practice with your peers. A subscription to the Aesthetics Journal or similar publication will ensure you are kept up to date with the industry schedule and any upcoming events.
Acquisition Aesthetics - online short courses
Acquisition Aesthetics have created a provision of remote access aesthetic education and training content via a number of online short courses, including an Injectables Refresher Course, covering the sciences and practical application of toxin and dermal fillers. These online courses are available to book exclusively via direct contact with our team. Please call 020 3514 8757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to our email updates and keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.
There is no doubt that whilst the peak of the pandemic is behind us, challenging times lay ahead for us all on both a personal and professional level. We urge you all to stay safe and take care of yourselves, your families and your staff as we ease our way out of this global crisis. We extend our immense gratitude to those amongst our aesthetics community who have put their practice on hold to join the heroic efforts on the NHS frontline.
Professional and personal support can be found at the following resources:
Money Advice Service
British College of Aesthetic Medicine
Advanced Skin Course launched in collaboration with AlumierMD.
As we know, all dedicated aesthetic practitioners are continually looking to develop their skills and enhance the experience and results they can deliver to their patients. A popular, lucrative, and cohesive avenue for many is that of professional skincare treatments, which neatly complement cosmetic injectables and enable practitioners to provide patients with fuller and more holistic treatment programmes. Acquisition Aesthetics have partnered with skincare industry giant AlumierMD to create a one-of-a-kind Advanced Skin Course providing delegates with comprehensive training in medical-grade skincare and chemical peeling.
What will I learn?
This course is unrivalled in its provision, combining gold standard teaching methods in aesthetic medicine with scientifically proven skincare sciences. Delegates will receive training on how to incorporate medical-grade skincare into their treatment plans and learn how to perform the infamous AlumierMD Glow Peel, amongst other fantastic chemical peels.
Factors such as age, ethnicity, and climate all contribute to a skin profile, alongside skin type and any skin conditions. Understanding the unique properties of every individual is key to providing patients with optimal outcomes and desired results. Delegates will learn the key constituents of medical-grade skincare and how to apply this knowledge in the consultation and treatment planning for aesthetic clients. With a fully comprehensive overview of the AlumierMD treatment portfolio, delegates will come away experts in the delivery of this product range.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel treatment is the process of intentionally causing carefully targeted damage to the skin, at one of the three classified depths, using a specific combination of ingredients, at an optimised concentration and formulation pH. The procedure encourages new tissue formation, improving skin tone and texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peel treatments can also reduce pore size appearance, remedy uneven skin tone, and improve acne.
Advanced aestheticians understand that the benefits achieved through cosmetic injectables (botulinum toxin and dermal fillers) are controlled and defined by the quality of the skin. In this way, the best treatment plans will often involve a series of chemical peels and/or the conditioning of the skin with medical grade skincare prior to treatment with injectables. This approach ensures the optimal canvas for injectables, allowing you to deliver only the very best results to your clients.
Introducing Dr. Bibi
The clinical lead for the course is Dr. Bibi Ghalaie, who qualified in 2005 with degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the prestigious Imperial College London. She also holds an Honours Degree in Management with Health Sciences from Imperial College Business School.
With over 12 years of experience in Aesthetic Medicine, Dr Bibi is a highly skilled cosmetic doctor and is the Clinical Lead for our Advanced Skin Course. Her past surgical experience at several of London's top teaching hospitals and at Harvard Medical School, are reflected in her dexterity and artistic approach. Her postgraduate studies in Dermatology, completed with Distinction, have provided a sound clinical knowledge of the skin, which she uses to enhance her aesthetic practice. Currently she is completing a Master's degree in Aesthetic Medicine at the renowned Blizard Research Institute at Queen Mary University in London.
Dr Bibi is the Medical Director of British Aesthetics, her own private cosmetic clinic on London’s Wimpole Street. Her treatment portfolio ranges from skincare and basic injectables to complex liquid facelifts. With a long-established passion for teaching, she was a clinical lecturer and trainer in Aesthetic Medicine, both at the Royal College of General Practitioners and at the Royal Society of Medicine, for six years. She has trained over 2000 doctors across the world in cosmetic medicine procedures.
Her cosmetic work is complemented by her regular work as a doctor in Accident & Emergency and in Urgent Care at several London NHS Trust hospitals.
Become an AlumierMD Skin Care Professional
With a full morning of didactic teaching by leaders of industry in skin sciences, delegates in attendance will have the opportunity to learn from the very best, and will receive an exclusive invitation to set up an AlumierMD account - accessing all the benefits of becoming a professional provider of this renowned product range. A generous delegate start pack will be provided, including training materials and AlumierMD samples.
As with all courses provided by Acquisition Aesthetics, delegates will also receive a full post-course support package from our expert team of professionals, as well as access to discounts on further training opportunities.
One of the most valuable ways to cement learning and commence practice post-training is by crowd-sourcing guidance from peers in the field, as well as network and seek support from industry experts. All delegates who complete the Acquisition Aesthetics Advanced Skin Course will be invited to join the exclusive Acquisition Aesthetics Graduate Group, a powerful hub of invaluable industry insight and collective knowledge.
Acquisition Aesthetics are driven by excellence (an ethos shared by AlumierMD) and are thrilled to provide this comprehensive course for delegates on their journey to becoming multifaceted practitioners, bridging the gap between aesthetics and medical-grade skincare.
At £699 + VAT per delegate, this course has limited spaces and will launch on 5th September 2020 in Central London. Book your space here, email email@example.com, or call 020 3514 8757 to speak to a friendly member of the Acquisition Aesthetics team.
COVID 19 - What you need to know as an aesthetics practitioner
As the current global situation unfolds in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, many business and clinic owners will be affected and you may be considering what you need to know as an aesthetics practitioner.
Follow the guidance
As a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, surgeons and other NHS workers, Acquisition Aesthetics have compiled the below information for our graduates, based on that which is offered by the NHS and the Department for Health. The advice and guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England is subject to frequent and fast-paced change as the situation evolves and a greater understanding of the virus is achieved. It is therefore important to stay up to date with the latest announcements.
Assess the risk
It’s essential that all practitioners err on the side of caution. You will need to personally assess the risk for your organisation or clinic, but should now be cancelling non-essential treatments for the next few months in order to protect the safety of your patients and staff. If you are continuing to provide urgent/emergency services, it may be wise to send communication out to your patients to reassure them that your practice is dedicated to the health, safety, and wellbeing of its patients and to inform them of the steps you are taking to mitigate the issue through your own practice. The Aesthetics Journal has posted a helpful example notice that you could use as a template.
Paralleling the necessary cancellation of all elective aesthetics procedures, you are encouraged to offer leniency on any usual cancellation penalties for those patients pre-empting the policy and contacting to cancel or reschedule appointments themselves. Where patients are deemed to require urgent or emergency treatment relating to recent aesthetics procedures, proceed with extreme caution should they be experiencing the following symptoms (as outlined by the Centre for Disease Control):
Fever / high temperature
Shortness of breath
Similar caution is imperative if they have been in contact with anyone with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis, or have been out of the country.
Sensible additional processes will be necessary during operational hours for emergency/urgent care, such as:
-Ensuring unwell staff members do not attend work.
-Practitioners wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all treatments, a mask, and gloves.
-Capped bookings per day to avoid patients converging/crossing over within the clinic and allowing time for additional cleaning measures between patients.
-Extra vigilance with frequent thorough hand washing, and cleaning of all surfaces, door handles, and high traffic areas.
-Provision of tissues and waste bins. Encouragement to engage in Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
-Provision of educational guidance for your team and any attending patients - the CDC offer a number of printable resources.
You may be wondering what kind of financial support (or other support) is available to businesses at this time and what might be available in the future. Public Health England has outlined a number of planned support measures for small businesses in light of the current crises. These include grant funding, business loan schemes, business rate holidays and SSP relief packages. More information can be found in the COVID 19 – Support for Small Businesses guidance.
Take care of yourself
Remember, the above guidance applies to you, too. Whilst it can be a concerning time to think about the possibility of not being well or available to run or manage your business, your health and the health of those around you must come first. This includes your mental wellbeing in a time fraught with worries and fear of the unknown, so do what you can to find a moment of peace within each day.
Pay extra attention if you identify as a member of the vulnerable or at-risk groups defined by the NHS, or if you experience any of the following emergency symptoms which require immediate medical attention:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to rouse
Bluish lips or face
This list is not exhaustive. Consult your medical provider for any other severe or concerning symptoms.
As a medical professional, you have the advantage of possessing an enhanced understanding of infection control and risk, and best practice for cross-contamination avoidance, which you can use to better protect yourself and others from catching and/or spreading Coronavirus, whilst carrying out any urgent/emergency treatment.
This is a difficult and uncertain time for us all, but we are confident our country will follow others around the world and come out the other side of this pandemic in the months to come, ready to continue business as usual.
Starting your own aesthetics practice – 5 key pointers
If you’re thinking of starting your own aesthetics practice, then firstly give yourself a pat on the back for taking the leap into this exciting and rapidly growing industry! Your success will depend on more than just good fortune and we have put together a step by step guide to ensure you are adequately prepared for your new venture.
1. Build your foundations – get qualified
To safely and competently provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures for your patients, you need to have achieved a sufficient level of training in the effective administration of treatments, most commonly those using Botulinum toxin and Dermal Fillers. If you are new to aesthetics, you will need to start with a Foundation level training course, covering the basic theoretical principles and practical injecting techniques you will need to treat patients.
Ensure your chosen academy is reputable, and offers you hands-on practical training on live models, delivered by an experienced and multi-faceted faculty. It is also useful to check if the academy offers any ongoing support or mentorship, for when you are newly practicing and may benefit from seeking advice.
2. Build your business
Starting and running your own business may be unfamiliar territory, so in order to ensure you are operating legally and with safety in mind, there are a few key things to consider. In the UK, it is advised that you register as self-employed and gain appropriate insurance, sufficient for your needs and practice. There are a number of insurance providers, such as Hamilton Fraser, Cosmetic Insure, and Enhance Insurance, who offer cover specifically for the aesthetics industry.
You will also need to organise your facilities and treatment space, whether that’s your own contained unit or a spot within an existing facility; and purchase all your equipment, supplies, and consumables. It is useful to conduct thorough research into the aesthetic products available on the market, though you should also gain an insight into this within any good foundation training via supplied industry insights and direct practice using the products.
It is crucial to prepare a solid data infrastructure and management system for your business, enabling you to collate and store necessary patient data, whilst adhering to GDPR. You will also need a collection of documents to enable you to provide a safe service to each of your patients. These should include a comprehensive consenting protocol, consultation documents, treatment forms, and aftercare advice documents.
3. Brand awareness
Now it’s time for people to learn you’re out there! Decide on your brand, your ethos, and your patient offering and start promoting yourself. When considering branding, think about the feel and atmosphere you want for your aesthetics space. Natural wood, with soft greys and lots of greenery for a natural, spa-like vibe, or perhaps a space with lots of natural light, plenty of white and lots of clean lines for a pure and clinical feel. Social proof is everything, and your potential patients are discerning members of a public that knows what they want and where to find it. Having a social media presence is a given, but ensuring you are informative, responsive and engaged on all your active platforms will help people to build trust. Ensure you also remain abreast of the CAP Code and ASA regulations surrounding advertisement and promotion of your aesthetic services.
Equally, your standing with your peers is equally as important. Join relevant bodies such as the ACE group, attend networking events such as CCR Expo or ACE, lectures, and functions; and generally ensure you remain active in the industry. Get to know your competitors and learn what they’re doing well and where you perhaps have an edge. In time, you have the option to consider partnerships and other mutually beneficial working relationships, which often occur organically if you maintain a firm standing in your aesthetics community.
If you do happen to have a specialism or particular area of expertise, then consider how this knowledge can benefit your community and seek opportunities to submit articles or research papers on your chosen subject to industry publications. Exposure in a publication such as the Aesthetics Journal is an excellent opportunity to further enhance your reach. In time you may find yourself placed as a thought leader in a chosen area and sought out for your knowledge and experience.
4. Consider your client base
Word of mouth is everything, we all know this to be true. A happy client not only becomes a repeat client, but they tell their friends about you too! Your reputation is crucial to your continued success and there are a number of things you can do to ensure it remains positive, such as ensuring you allow ample time for a thorough consultation with every patient – they don’t want to feel hurried. You also have an ethical obligation to ensure the consent process has been suitably conducted, and that the patient understands the treatment they are undertaking and any possible complications or risks. Make an effort to build rapport, and always offer aftercare support and advice at each treatment.
Once you have established a few clients, ask them for feedback! If they’re happy with their treatment – ask them to leave a review. You can also consider loyalty schemes for your regular patients to fortify your patient retention.
5. Develop your knowledge and keep learning
Whilst a foundation understanding of aesthetic treatments will equip you to provide a solid number of procedures for your initial client base; in order to continue to expand your business and your offering to patients you will need to enhance your portfolio. Advanced aesthetic training will give you a greater depth of understanding of a wider range of aesthetic treatments, and there are also a number of specialist classes for specific skill areas, if you have a particular treatment or technique you wish to improve on. You can also consider embarking on the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine, the qualification likely to soon be recognised from a legal and ethical perspective as the minimum accepted level of training for practitioners of aesthetics. Many available courses are CPD certified meaning they can count towards your evidence of continued professional development.
When deciding which area to expand your knowledge in, consider asking your own patients. Not only is this free market research, but it also means if you take their comments on board, you can be somewhat confident of the uptake once you have completed the training. This can help to offset any training costs incurred.
By adhering to the above key pointers when starting your own aesthetics practice, you will secure yourself a high potential of success – both fulfilling, and lucrative; whilst meeting the needs of your patients.
New enforceable guidelines for Botox® advertising from CAP
As of 31st January 2020, new enforceable guidelines came into effect for the advertising of Prescription Only Medicines (POM’s) including Botulinum toxin. This followed a surprise announcement by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) earlier in the month.
Outlined – the MHRA, ASA, and CAP
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) is a Government agency responsible for the licensing of medicines. They ensure that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe. They previously produced the ‘Blue Guide – Advertising and Promotion of Medicines in the UK’ in order to ensure medicines are not ‘treated as an ordinary general commodity’ due to the potential associated adverse effects.
The work of the MHRA is supported by the UK Code of Non-Branded Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP Code), which outlines the advertising rules for marketing communications. These rules are then enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advertising regulator.
Prescription Only Medicines (POM’s)
Botulinum toxin, commonly known under the brand names of Botox®, Azzalure®, and Bocouture®, is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) and as per the aforementioned CAP Code and the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 - it is an offence to promote or incentivise its use to the public.
Whilst this code of conduct has been in place for some time, the new enforceable nature of these guidelines utilises monitoring technology in order to effectively identify ads that are in breach of the regulations and report them to Instagram. It is also possible that the MHRA or relevant regulatory bodies could be informed of any breaches
So what’s actually changed?
Aesthetic practitioners can no longer directly OR indirectly reference Botulinum Toxin:
The official guidelines are as follows:
Remove direct references to Botox® or other POMs, including references in images and use of hashtags e.g. #botox or #antiwrinkletreatment. References must also not be used in offers or sales packages.
Do not substitute direct references to POM’s with indirect phrases that can only refer to a POM such as “wrinkle relaxing injections”. This is indirect promotion of a POM, and just as much of a problem. Be aware the ASA considers that a reference to “anti-wrinkle injections” alongside a price that relates to a POM will be seen as an ad for that POM (also see below re “anti-wrinkle injections” claims)
Avoid references to treating medical conditions in a way that could indicate the promotion of a POM, for example “injections for excessive sweating” (hyperhidrosis). If you offer non-POM treatments, you could instead refer to “treatments for excessive sweating” or similar.
The CAP guidelines confirm that what practitioners should instead do is focus on the consultation process offered, with the guidelines stating, “Promote the service you provide and the consultation itself. Claims such as ‘a consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles’ may be acceptable.”
Adherence to these new enforceable guidelines for Botox® advertising is not only wise from a regulatory standpoint, given the possible consequences of any breaches; but also in order for practitioners to conduct themselves in a way that takes responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their potential audience.
The public often emulate the appearance of those they see in the media. From everyday people sharing their treatment results to more overt celebrity endorsement – the impact on the rise in popularity of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures is clear. The boom of social media over the last few years, particularly Instagram as a visually focused platform, has, of course, contributed to the exponential acceleration of this market.
Potential patients who were to view inappropriate promotion of POM’s are vulnerable to being misled in terms of the achievable results, as well as underestimating the risks involved in what is inherently a medical procedure. The provision of treatment using Botulinum toxin is a medical one requiring a prescription from a qualified healthcare professional after they've deemed it clinically indicated from a face to face consultation.
Train with us
As a responsible academy of aesthetic medicine, Acquisition Aesthetics urges all their graduates to act diligently and responsibly when using social platforms to attract new patients and ensure strict adherence to the guidelines. We have updated our course learning materials to highlight and reinforce the practical, ethical application of the CAP Code within the theoretical segment of all courses.
If you’re interested in training with us, you can view all our available courses here. If you’d like to discuss your training options further, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 514 8757 to speak to a member of our friendly team.
Which injection course is right for me?
If you’re a doctor, dentist, or nurse, you have the opportunity to join scores of like-minded medically trained peers and venture into the exciting and fast-paced world of aesthetics. However, it’s important that you conduct thorough research before choosing and we have highlighted what we believe to be the essential criteria for any academy to fulfil, to ensure they are reputable and you will receive high-quality training.
It is imperative you choose an academy with an excellent team of trainers, able to provide you with the level of teaching you are looking for. For facial aesthetics, it’s of paramount importance to have a faculty with multiple backgrounds. Ideally, you should learn your anatomy from surgeons – those who have expertise in live (not only cadaveric) head and neck dissections and anatomical structures. In addition to surgeons, who have expertise in non-surgical injectables, dental surgeons should also make up part of the faculty. It is essential that trainers also all have backgrounds in teaching, as ours do. This contributes to the comprehensive level of theoretical and practical training we are able to provide, and the standard we set for all teaching at our academy.
Whilst practicing needle insertion into an orange was a common way for medics to practice their techniques as juniors, we all know you don’t really start cementing your learning until you complete a procedure on a real live patient. This is also applicable to aesthetics, yet many academies only provide their delegates with practical injecting practice on mannequins. Acquisition Aesthetics coordinate a full provision of models for each and every course that is run. This allows delegates the opportunity to practice their injecting techniques across a broad range of aesthetics procedures, under close supervision; on real live patients. They are also guided through the completion of a full consultation, the consenting process, and aftercare advice. All of which is not possible with a plastic mannequin!
Accreditation and partnerships
Most academies seek to achieve partnerships within the sector, not only to enhance their offering to delegates but as a means of fortifying industry relations, obtaining speaking opportunities, and to evidence industry credibility - enabling mutually beneficial collaborations. Any reputable academy should also be accredited. Acquisition Aesthetics is fully CPD accredited and has a number of industry partnerships, including with industry giant Galderma, and Alumier – the UK’s leading skincare company.
Awards and recognition
As with any sector, product, or service – awards and industry recognition provide consumers with confidence and allow them to make informed decisions about the caliber of what and from whom they are purchasing. Given the clinical nature of the aesthetics industry, this becomes even more important for medics looking to acquire training from an academy of aesthetic medicine. Acquisition Aesthetics have been both commended and finalists for the Aesthetics Awards ‘Best Independent Training Provider Award’, and our directors have acquired awards from the Royal College of Surgeons, and London Best Teaching Awards, alongside awards for both plastic and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Watson and Dr. Chadha head up an all-star faculty with many awards amongst the team, including repeat nominations and award wins for ‘Best Young Dentist of the Year’, ‘Medical Practitioner of the Year’, and awards for their thriving clinics.
Level 7 certificate
The Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine is the current gold standard of training in facial aesthetics. By choosing one of the few academies that offer the Level 7 to train with, you can be assured that you are picking a fully audited and accredited training academy that is well respected within the industry. Only a few academies offer this higher level of robust raining and Acquisition Aesthetics is one of them, regulated by Industry Qualifications.
You can find out more about our Level 7 Certificate here, and review the requirements stipulated by Health Education England here.
It’s essential the training academy is reputable and can evidence a strong base of positive delegate reviews and verbal recommendations. This can be checked by looking up Google reviews or testimonials through the academy website, or via their social media platforms and public forums.
It’s well known that smaller class sizes indicate improved learning outcomes, and within aesthetics is no different. Acquisition Aesthetics operate one of the smallest trainer to delegate ratios available in the country today – ensuring a close degree of careful supervision and optimised learning for those attending our courses.
Social proof is everything. How often would you go ahead with a new purchase without reading the reviews? Or book a hotel without checking that it’s been open for a while and any initial teething problems are long since identified and resolved? To ensure you choose an academy that is right for you - research how they are operating already and make sure this fits with your standards and professional ethos. You can check their website and social media presence, plus read Google reviews and any other online mentions. Acquisition Aesthetics is proud to have a faculty comprised of industry-leading experts, most of whom are running their own popular, thriving, and award-winning clinics whilst contributing to the teaching within our academy.
If you’re interested in training with Acquisition Aesthetics or feel you would benefit from talking to us, please call on 020 3514 8757. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be able to advise you on the most appropriate training pathway and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, email email@example.com with your queries or book courses directly.
Cosmetic dentistry training with a reputable training academy
With reports stating that ‘estimates for the non-surgical market suggest it could be worth in excess of £3bn within the next 5 years’, the aesthetics industry is booming and a significant proportion of these non-surgical procedures are cosmetic dentistry treatments, carried out in dental clinics.
Although the idea of visiting the dentist may have instilled fear and trepidation historically, today most understand the importance of complying with regular check-ups to maintain oral health. But what about the more modern development of cosmetic dentistry and the use of injectables to augment and enhance the smile? Is this something you’ve thought about offering alongside your usual practice?
There are many widely-recognised therapeutic applications of Botulinum toxin in dentistry including functional issues such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, bruxism (teeth grinding), migraine, and hyperhidrosis. Treatment for cosmetic purposes includes reduction of the gummy smile, jawline slimming (treatment of masseteric hypertrophy) and the use of dermal fillers to improve the appearance of lower facial lines and wrinkles.
The General Dental Council (GDC) set the professional standards for the dental industry in the UK. Following a Scope of Practice consultation in 2008, they stated that the ‘provision of non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox® and dermal fillers, away from the perioral area, does not constitute the practice of dentistry’.
It should be noted however, that this doesn’t restrict you from carrying out these procedures as a dentist. A number of bodies such as GDPUK have since voiced concern over the practical implementation of the GDC’s position and the issue is heavily debated around the world, with many regulators struggling to decide a clear course of action to move forward with.
Holistic treatment plans
Despite the somewhat unclear guidance in this area, scores of dentists are training in and offering non-surgical injectables and other aesthetic treatments to their patients. The use of cosmetic injectables in this context can allow for the delivery of holistic treatment plans which encompass restoration and maintenance of the dentition and periodontium as well as enhancement of the surrounding soft tissues. This supports optimal treatment outcomes in the art of smile design, including rates of patient satisfaction.
Practicing dentists are experienced, medically trained, and already established in a clinical environment. This makes them perfectly placed to safely and competently offer non-surgical injectables to their patients once sufficiently trained and insured.
What do dentists say?
We asked Dr Zainab BDS MFDS RCSEd MJDF RCSEng, Aesthetic Dentist and Director of Harrow on the Hill Dental and Implant Practice, why she pursued aesthetic dentistry, and what advantages it brings to her practice.
“I pursued aesthetic dentistry to satisfy my love for beauty, sculpting, and detail and because of the immensely rewarding emotional impact of creating a smile. It quickly became a passion, and this combined with facial aesthetics means that I can expand my aesthetic eye to improve a smile as well as the rest of a face. The two fields marry very well together to provide two interlinked pathways through which to feel truly fulfilled.”
If you’re a dentist considering additional aesthetics training in order to enhance your portfolio and extend your patient offering to include cosmetic dentistry, it is vital you undertake thorough research to ensure you attend a reputable training academy.
The majority of reputable training academies will only accept qualified and practicing doctors, dentists, and nurses on to their courses and we advise prospective delegates to be wary of academies that don’t stipulate such restrictions. Remember, it is your responsibility as a dentist to ensure you work within your knowledge, skills, professional competence, and abilities. All practitioners are required to hold adequate indemnity insurance to protect both themselves and their patients.
Train with us
The Acquisition Aesthetics Advanced Course in Botox and Dermal Fillers allows you to acquire the knowledge and techniques behind key treatments that will specifically enhance your dental practice and treatment portfolio. You will also learn how to undertake a comprehensive collection of other popular aesthetics procedures such as mid and lower facial sculpting and contouring, profile balancing, and treatment for smokers’ lines.
All courses at Acquisition Aesthetics are carefully curated to provide delegates with robust theoretical study and comprehensive, anatomically-focused, hands-on practical training. We provide a very close degree of supervision to our delegates. This helps ensure you are ready to practice your newly-acquired skills upon graduation.
We endeavour to instil confidence and competence in each individual we train and provide life-long access to educational materials, mentoring, and support. Our academy is centred around the principles of excellence and professional development, and we are proud of the outstanding teaching of our team of industry leading trainers.
Reach out to our friendly team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3514 8757 to find out more about how we can fulfil your aesthetic training needs.
The Importance of Master Classes in Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic medicine is a booming industry, seeing a marked expansion of practitioner and client numbers year-on-year. In response to this recent growth—of which non-surgical procedures have played the major part—Health Education England (HEE) and the General Medical Council (GMC) published new guidelines in 2016 for all doctors engaged in cosmetic intervention. The Ofqual-approved Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine reflects the field’s concerted efforts to meet those standards; and while not a de jure requirement for practitioners, the Level 7 is increasingly treated (both by employers and clients) as the de facto one.
One would expect, then, that the Level 7 course offers everything the aspiring cosmetic practitioner need know. Certainly, top training firms like Acquisition Aesthetics provide excellent Level 7 tuition, covering every requirement under the new HEE/GMC guidelines; but in a theoretically and practically demanding field, there is always room for further elaboration, guidance and the honing of essential skills and techniques—especially for procedures that are more novel or of inherently greater risk. This is where the masterclass plays a key part in the development of practitioners (aspiring and current).
Take the example of Acquisition Aesthetics’ Lip Augmentation Masterclass. With guidance, delegates practice the many techniques of lip improvement: volume enhancement, border definition, tenting/vectoring techniques and more. The importance of the practitioner’s eye for beauty—incorporating ideas like the golden ratio and taking account of cultural trends and variations due to to age, gender and ethnicity—cannot be overstated. This aspect of practice receives relatively little emphasis on the standard Level 7 course, so our masterclass provides a much-needed dose of aesthetic knowledge. Good communication is key in delivering on client expectations, so delegates learn the ins and outs of conducting a focussed consultation. The examination process is broken down, step by step, versing delegates in a watertight, systematic approach to the assessment of client needs. Like any medical procedure, lip augmentation brings the possibility of complications. The masterclass covers important measures for avoiding such issues and for managing them when they do unfortunately arise. Practitioners who take this class are much better prepared than otherwise to meet the challenges of lip augmentation with confidence from the get-go.
Acquisition Aesthetics’ Tear Trough Masterclass is similarly worthwhile, supplying detailed knowledge in the relevant anatomy and in the science of dermal fillers. Delegates enjoy guided practice in standard techniques and learn Acquisition Aesthetics’ signature approach to tear trough correction. Matters of patient consent are thoroughly considered, and practitioners are taught how best to put together a bespoke treatment plan to ensure client satisfaction. As in our Lip Augmentation Masterclass, treatment-specific training in the avoidance and management of complications is included.
The topic of medical complications is itself so broad and important as to merit its own dedicated course. Acquisition Aesthetics’ Complications Masterclass covers in detail the clinical anatomy of the face and includes complications-avoidance techniques that draw on the pharmacokinetics and biochemistry of toxin and filler products. The earlier a toxin/filler related difficulty is recognised and diagnosed, the better; delegates are taught to spot and verify the first signs of medical complication—a vital element in harm reduction. A host of symptom management techniques are learnt. Just as important, client management (i.e. communication, documentation, consent, follow-up) is covered in depth. And while client well-being is always the first concern, our masterclass also gives crucial insight into matters of legal protection for the delegate’s professional registration and practice.
An important feature common to all these masterclasses is the immediate access they give trainees to a wealth of medical expertise. While this is apparent throughout each session, it also makes itself felt through our excellent after service. Trainees enjoy continued mentoring support from expert trainers as and when required, gain access to our graduate forum and receive exclusive updates and information via email. Refresher courses are also available at a discount to masterclass graduates.
Old hands and novices alike will find our masterclasses an edifying, empowering and enriching experience. There is no doubting their place on the learning curve of the aesthetic practitioner.
Level 7 Certificate - why do it with us?
The Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine is the qualification that sets the industry standard of training for practitioners of non-surgical aesthetics. If you’re a current or aspiring practitioner looking to attain a credible and recognised qualification then the Level 7 Certificate should be on your radar - but why do it with us?
Acquisition Aesthetics are amongst a number of training academies that offer this qualification to interested delegates, but there are many reasons why we believe our academy to be the best provider to meet your training requirements.
Level 7 delegates are assigned a personal mentor and tutor who will be available for discussion and support throughout the certificate. All of our mentors are surgeons and aesthetic experts, from a range of backgrounds such as plastic surgery and maxillofacial surgery.
In order to meet Health Education England’s training requirements, Level 7 delegates must observe and undertake 40 botulinum toxin and dermal filler procedures (20 performed under supervision, 20 observed.) Acquisition Aesthetics provide a full cohort of live models at each mentoring session for our delegates to practice their injecting techniques on, under direct and close supervision from our expert team of mentors. All models have been deemed to be appropriate for clinical treatment and you will gain experience in the aesthetic consultation, consent, clinical photography and medical documentation keeping for each model.
We provide a comprehensive package of theoretical training via e-modules. The modules have been developed by Acquisition Aesthetics with blended input from plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, and dental surgeons - fully satisfying the criteria stipulated by the new Health Education England Government Guidelines.
Our academy is proud to host an inspiring team of award-winning aesthetics trainers, hailing from a variety of expert fields including dental surgery, plastic surgery, and maxillofacial surgery. Our directors are current and registered surgeons, working within the NHS alongside their leadership roles with the academy.
Top of the range injectable products
Level 7 delegates will have the opportunity to train with the best Botox® and dermal filler products available on the market, learning the theory and guidance behind product usage, as well as the practical dosing, reconstitution, and injecting techniques for individual patient application.
Commencing your practice in aesthetics requires more than just your Level 7 certificate! New aestheticians need products, insurance, equipment and more. Training with Acquisition Aesthetics allows those undertaking the Level 7 qualification to access industry experts and discounts within the aesthetics arena.
Acquisition Aesthetics delegates benefit from ongoing guidance and mentorship from our team, as well as lifelong access to a broad range of educational materials and videos. We also have a thriving online community where our delegates can ask any queries of their mentors, as well as crowd-source ideas and guidance from the large cohort of like-minded peers that have graduated with Acquisition Aesthetics before them.
OSCE Preparation Session
We provide all our Level 7 delegates with the opportunity to attend an OSCE preparation session, in advance of their final exam, in order to ensure they are as ready as possible to undertake the assessment.
Acquiring the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine allows active and prospective aesthetics practitioners to future-proof their training against any upcoming regulatory developments in the industry, as well as meeting the current industry standard set by the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners and Health Education England.
To train with Acquisition aesthetics, email email@example.com, or call 020 3514 8757 to speak to our Level 7 Coordinator. We also provide a number of other courses, which you can view here, alongside our focused Masterclasses in Complications Management, Lip Augmentation, and Tear Troughs.
Read more about what you really need to know about the Level 7 Certificate.
Level 7 Certificate - what do you really need to know?
The Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine is a qualification that was devised in order to standardise the quality and content of the training available to practitioners of non-surgical aesthetics procedures.
This certificate is provided through awarding body Industry Qualifications and allows practitioners to meet Health Education England’s (HEE) 2016 Qualification Requirements for Delivery of Cosmetic Procedures. Training is open to qualified doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists who are registered with the GMC/GDC/NMC/GPhC.
Tighter general regulations on non-surgical interventions were implemented after a report by Health Education England (HEE) outlined the required levels of competence for all treatments in the industry. A regulatory framework was created collaboratively between The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM), the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN), the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), the British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons(BAPRAS), which is enforced and overseen by two independent bodies, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) and the Cosmetic Practitioners’ Standards Authority (CPSA.)
This means that there are more stringent general regulations in place, limiting those who are able to satisfy the necessary standards for practice to those who are suitably qualified, and thereby increasing the safety of patients.
In the future, these regulations will become even more robust. It’s likely to become a requirement that all practitioners have attained a sufficient level of training. The JCCP hold an official central register of suitably qualified practitioners so, currently, the standard is set at the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine. By undertaking this qualification you are ‘future-proofing’ your training and practice and ensuring you will be ahead of the curve when it comes to meeting the developing safe practice regulations of the industry.
The Level 7 qualification will provide delegates with a postgraduate level of understanding of a number of key areas within non-surgical aesthetics, such as the anatomy and function of the skin and dermatological indications and contraindications. You will also learn how to competently undertake an effective consultation with your patients, and gain a deeper understanding and competence around injection techniques and complication management when working with toxin and dermal fillers.
Level 7 Structure
With Acquisition Aesthetics, the Level 7 Certificate comprises 4 stages, and can take up to 2 years to complete, depending on the availability and commitments of individual delegates. There is some flexibility in how stages 1 – 3 of the certificate can be completed and, as the certificate was developed to be undertaken by existing medical professionals, the programme of study is designed to fit around a busy life and clinical schedule. As a Level 7 delegate, you will be appointed an expert aesthetics mentor to personally support you through the qualification.
Stage 1 – E-Learning modules
Candidates are given access to online E-learning modules designed to give all Level 7 Certificate delegates a comprehensive background into Aesthetic Medicine.
Modules have been developed by Acquisition Aesthetics with blended input from plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, and dental surgeons - fully satisfying the criteria stipulated by the new Health Education England Government Guidelines.
In addition to the online E-learning modules, candidates will be supplied with extra learning material and literature to aid with answering the externally set coursework, comprising 34 short answer questions (SAQs).
These SAQs will be marked internally and moderated by Industry Qualifications with the candidate’s portfolio (supplied by Acquisition Aesthetics).
Stage 2 – Foundation Course in Toxin and Dermal Fillers
This one-day, hands-on Foundation course consists of an overview of the 8 e-modules covered in Stage One of the Level 7 Certificate, as well as information on how to set up a successful business.
The course includes practical exposure in small, focused training groups on real-life models, with the common procedures in toxin and dermal fillers covered.
Delegates receive access to online resources with learning materials and training videos.
Upon course completion, graduates can start practicing injectable procedures independently (after acquiring insurance).
Stage 3 – Mentoring Sessions
This stage of the Level 7 Certificate is designed to meet the Health Education England guidelines for practical experience.
Level 7 students must observe and perform a total of 40 botulinum toxin and dermal fillers procedures (20 observed, 20 performed under supervision.)
Our mentoring sessions allow delegates to undertake consultations and treat live patients under guidance from their mentor.
On an Acquisition Aesthetics mentoring session, a delegate can expect to be led through an aesthetic consultation and the consenting process, and observe or perform treatments under supervision.
Delegates will achieve a combination of up to 10 observed/supervised performed treatments per session in small, focused mentoring groups with expert feedback.
Stage 4 – Final OSCE Examination
The final assessment comprises 34 short answer questions (externally set) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Upon passing the assessment, which will ensure your competency and safety for botulinum toxin and dermal filler injectable treatments, you will be issued with a Level 7 Certificate, regulated by Industry Qualifications.
If you do not pass the assessment, Acquisition Aesthetics allows candidates the opportunity to re-take the specific failed component(s) of the assessment again, without incurring additional charges.
If you’re interested in undertaking the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine with us, you can view more information here. We provide a number of Level 7 Certificate training packages including our Enhanced Package, which comprises additional access to our Advanced Course in Toxin and Dermal Fillers and our Lip Augmentation Masterclass alongside the full Level 7 provision.
If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3514 8757 to have a conversation with our Level 7 Coordinator.
Read more about Acquisition Aesthetics and why ours is the ideal academy with whom to complete your certificate.
Azzalure® – what’s the story?
One of the most popular of all non-surgical procedures in the UK is the treatment to target wrinkles and frown lines. Worldwide, scores of patients are requesting this procedure and the market for anti-wrinkle treatment is set to register 8425 Million USD by 2025.
Botulinum toxin has been used aesthetically to treat wrinkles and frown lines since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for use in the glabellar region (between the eyebrows), and in 2013 for lateral canthal lines (crow’s feet). The predominant product in the market carries the now well-known brand name Botox®, a product produced by Allergan. Whilst Botox® somewhat dominates this field; industry giant Galderma also has a popular botulinum toxin product named Azzalure®, so the question is; what’s the story?
Mode of Action
Botulinum Neurotoxin is a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. Though there are numerous types, Type A is the only kind licensed and used in aesthetics as it has the longest duration. The application of botulinum toxin in aesthetics is as an acetylcholine inhibitor at the junction between the nerves and muscles, where it binds to nerve terminals. Blocking the release of acetylcholine prevents the muscle in the area from contracting, resulting in a temporarily improved appearance of frown lines and wrinkles.
The mode of action was first discovered in 1949 by Dr. Burgen of the UK, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the first European botulinum neurotoxin was created. Developed by ophthalmologists in Porton Down - it was initially approved for numerous ophthalmology indications, such as blepharospasm and strabismus.
Azzalure® is a European botulinum neurotoxin type A - a purified complex derived from Dysport® and is licensed exclusively for aesthetic use. Dysport® has now had several decades of wide use for both therapeutic and aesthetic applications. The pair are collectively known as BoNT-A® and measured using Speywood Units. Like all other aesthetics applicated toxins, Azzalure® is a botulinum neurotoxin type A - the longest-lasting serotype.
All published writings on Azzalure® advise on the importance of reconstitution and injecting technique alongside sufficient practitioner experience for successful administration of this product, and ideal patient outcomes. BoNT-A® preparations have a different formulation to Botox® as well as different stabilisation and purifying methods, resulting in an entirely individual biological and chemical composition. This means that clinical guidelines for the safe use of Azzalure® are not interchangeable with that of Botox® and it is imperative individual practitioners take responsibility to acquire the knowledge and skills to inject their chosen product as required, from a reputable training academy offering robust practical training.
The maximum licensed dose for treatment with BoNT-A (s.U) in the glabellar region is 50 s.U spread evenly across 5 injection sites in the corrugator and procerus muscles (Figure 1). For lateral canthal lines, the approved maximum dose is 30-60 s.U spread across 6 injection sites in the orbicularis oculi muscles, 3 per side. Below is a further example of altered dosing used for the Crows feet or lateral canthal lines (Figure 2).
Azzalure® has been stringently tested in numerous studies over many years and results indicate that this is a well-tolerated product, with high efficacy levels and a low-risk profile with use in the licensed areas.
Research finds that patients have reported high satisfaction with the results of anti-wrinkle treatment using Azzalure®, which reliably present between an average of 3 days and 1 week. Patients typically wish to seek their next injection after around 3-4 months. It has be
en found that efficacy does not diminish with repeated treatments and conversely that there is no cumulative effect.
The product is also popular among practitioners who find it enjoyable to work with. Dr. Pamela Benito, an Advanced Aesthetics Doctor reports, "I have been using Azzalure for years - I believe it is more ‘pure’ than other botulinum toxin products on the market and it gives amazing results, sometimes even needing fewer injection sites due to a larger spread. My patients also love it because it has a quicker onset of action and longer-lasting results!"
Samantha Gustard, an aesthetics nurse and independent nurse prescriber said, ‘I have used Azzalure® for 7 years and always found it easy to use. The dosing is straight forward - it comes with its own syringe that aids reconstitution. The product is very effective with good longevity. It is also a very cost-effective treatment to offer as a practitioner.’
Prescription Only Medicine (POM)
Botulinum toxin is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) meaning its use is subject to stringent regulation. It should only be accessed and prescribed by a suitably qualified professional with a prescribing license, after a face to face consultation with the patient. If a non-prescribing practitioner is planning to administer botulinum toxin they must have a licensed prescriber on board who conducts their patient consultations and prescribes the product.
Train With Us
Acquisition Aesthetics trains doctors, dentists, and nurses in a broad cohort of injecting techniques, ranging from foundation to advanced and beyond. Our training includes hands-on practical experience of injecting Azzalure® on live models, alongside training on dermal filler handling and technique. We train in small group sizes of only 4 delegates to optimise learning and endeavour to arrange a wide variety of aesthetic procedures for our delegates to undertake, with close supervision from our expert team of industry-leading practitioners. We provide all our delegates with comprehensive theoretical training alongside lifelong access to an extensive collection of learning materials and instructional videos.
If you’d like to launch or develop your career in aesthetic medicine, click here to review our courses.
If you have any questions, our friendly team is available on 020 3514 8757 or email email@example.com.