IN CONVERSATION WITH: Dr Amy Bibby
As founder of Studio10, I’m intrigued by skincare and skin health and the various procedures, so it was fascinating to catch up with facial aesthetics and skin rejuvenation specialist Dr. Amy Bibby.
Having worked as a doctor in central London for several years (and continuing to work in the A&E), Amy moved into the luxury aesthetics sector in 2015 as a specialist doctor at renowned Harley Street Skin Consultancy.
What was your motivation to move into the aesthetics sector and specialise in facial aesthetics and skin rejuvenation?
I was lucky enough to get a job at a private clinic that specialised in every aspect of health and wellbeing – as well as some less conventional aspects. This completely opened my eyes to other possibilities within the medical sector that you just don’t get exposure to while working within the NHS. I trained in laser skin rejuvenation treatments and it simply grew from there. I love the combination of both medicine and artistry that is required to do my job.
Tell us a little about Skin Consultancy – what can a client expect when they visit for the first time?
The first session is always a consultation where we discuss what the patient wants to achieve. This may include setting expectations for them – for example, we see a lot of people who want to lift up heavy eye brows, but in reality this is something I wouldn’t be much help with – so I’ll always be honest with a patient about what is and isn’t achievable at this stage.
Some patients are well researched when they come to me, and then there some who have no idea, so I will always start at the beginning and explain the basics of my treatments. I think it’s important that a patient knows exactly what may be injected and why, and then from here we can then put a treatment plan in place.
If a woman is contemplating age-interventions, what should she be considering?
Start with healthy looking skin. You need to use a couple of good active skincare products and aim for a dewy skin appearance and an even complexion – this is what people always notice most. If you’ve got great skin, people aren’t going to be looking at the wrinkles or folds you may have.
Then I would consider starting with small subtle tweaks, such as a sprinkling of Botox and Profhilo, which is an injectable moisturiser.
Once a patient has been through this process, they may want to proceed to filler, but this isn’t for everyone.
Is there a ‘perfect age’ to start the process of treatments?
In general I always say simply do it when you feel ready – you have to be mentally prepared to put your trust in the hands of an injector.
The exception to this, however, is Botox, and I would say that it’s best to start this process when you begin to see forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet start to appear.
What are some of the more frequent issues women come to you with – and the most common treatment they ask for?
The complaint I hear most is: “I look so tired and I’m always frowning on Zoom meetings!”
My most popular treatments are Botox and Profhilo. Botox is usually used for forehead lines and Profhilo is used to give a juicy, bouncy appearance to the skin. This is closely followed by filler. I will only do small quantities at a time to restore any lost volume, so the changes should be very subtle.
Have you ever declined to carry out a treatment someone has asked for?
Yes – for two reasons.
Firstly, I think that we have a duty as an injector to tell patients when we can’t meet their expectations – some people expect a facelift when in fact I can only ‘tweak’.
Secondly, when I don’t think a procedure will look good. It’s important to me that you look natural, that the changes are imperceptible and that you don’t look ‘done’ – and particularly when you consider that your face is like a walking billboard for my work (if you choose to tell your friends).
When is it vanity and when is it self-care?
The only difference I see between the two is how you want to frame it to yourself. One person’s vanity may be another person’s self-care – so you do whatever makes you happy.
Why do you think there is so much interest – particularly in the media – around tweakments and aesthetic procedures?
As a society we seem to be overly interested in anti-ageing – particularly for women. Even the phrase ‘anti-ageing’ has a negative connotation – as though the ageing process is something we need to prevent. It doesn’t help that the celebrities we see in the media aren’t always completely honest about what they’ve had done – and fair enough, why should they be? But I do think this leads to insecurities about our appearance, and aesthetic ‘tweakments’ are viewed as a quick, non-invasive and subtle way to turn back time.
What does PRO AGE mean to you?
PRO AGE means embracing the ageing process, not seeking to reverse it but instead aiming to live healthily (or well) at any given age.
Are there any key ‘healthy ageing’ tips that you think all women should know about?
When it comes to the skin it’s so simple – avoid the sun. Then when you’re ready, start using retinol.
What is your approach to getting older?
To always remember it’s a privilege.
Do you have a specific daily skincare regime to take care of your own skin that you can share with us?
I advise using an anti-oxidant in the morning (I love skinceuticals CE Ferulic), followed by a moisturiser (if needed) and then sun cream. (I use La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios range daily and Heliocare oil free for holidays).
In the evening I use a retinol. I prefer Skinceuticals and Medik8 because they come in three different strengths so that you can graduate up from the weakest to the strongest in a step-wise approach. Start low and slow and aim high, because if you overuse retinol your skin will get too dry. It has taken me over a year to get to a 1% retinol and I haven’t once had dry skin because I have done it so slowly.
Finally, I love a mild skin peel, so twice a week I use Teresa Tarmey’s Lactic Acid to keep my skin looking smooth.
And finally, what’s your favourite quote to live by?
When I was a junior doctor my consultant once pointed to an old lady in a bed and said: “You must always remember that your patient is someone’s grandmother, aunt, wife, mother or daughter.
You should treat every patient how you would want your relative to be treated”. I have never forgotten that.