I completed a medical degree from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and later on a master’s degree in Educational Training from UCL. It was during medical school that I developed a passion for surgery. I found myself fascinated by maxillofacial surgery ( facial reconstruction surgery). This exposure then led me down the path of Aesthetic Medicine; in 2014, I leaped to found Victor & Garth, a cosmetic and wellness clinic based in Shoreditch. I felt my surgical career provided me with a solid understanding of the intricacies of facial anatomy as well as a practical skillset. For me, holistic practices and aesthetics go hand in hand. It’s a privilege to restore someone’s confidence through the treatments I offer.
What services do you offer?
I offer anti-ageing treatments which include botulinum toxin, dermal fillers and Profhilo. Botulinum toxin can also be used to treat medical conditions such as Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), migraine and blushing. I also provide virtual skin consultations and prescribe medical grade skin care products.
How old do you think someone should be for botox?
I adopt a blanket rule that all patients should be over 18. If there’s a medical need, e.g. excessive sweating, then I will assess case by case and suggest other avenues to explore first. Typically, my patients are in their early 30s and have noticed the first signs of ageing. There is the argument of using botulinum toxin for preventative reasons, which is valid to an extent, but if a patient has no lines when do you start?
Would you ever decline a request?
I think a good practitioner will know when not to treat. I have seen patients wanting a particular treatment, which is not indicated. I will be open and honest with them and explain all the possible procedures, including risks vs benefits and why it is not right for them. Most patients are understanding and thank me for my honesty. I’m a business, and I need to make a profit, but it's unethical to put money before patients’ health. A few may become frustrated with me, and that’s when I may need to do some unpacking on the psychological front.
Beauty tips for staying younger?
If you’ve got a good skincare routine, you can’t go wrong. You will see better results with injectable treatments if you mix over the counter and medical-grade products. Anti-ageing ingredients to consider would be retinol, Bakuchiol (this is found in seeds and leaves of Psoralea corylifolia and has similar properties to retinol but with fewer side effects) and a sunscreen with high SPF. As well as considering botulinum toxin and dermal fillers, collagen-stimulating treatments such as profile and micro-needling should feature high on your list of to-do treatments.
What measures will the industry be making following Covid-19?
The aesthetics industry are well placed to adapt to Covid-19 measures, particularly those with a clinical environment set up (which should always be the case). My medical background has equipped me with a mental toolkit for infection control. Patient safety has always been my top priority, and I will continue to follow Government advice carefully. At present we will use the suggested Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), offer each patient a mask, encourage hand washing on arrival and exit, ensure there is no contact amongst patients by staggering appointment times and perform a thorough clean/ disposal of equipment in-between consultations.
What is the new normal for you?
Patients are requesting appointments, which is encouraging for business. I think now more than ever; patients are keen to start thinking about the role they can play in their quest for healthier skin. I want to continue educating my patients through face to face or online skin consultations. This will enable them to feel empowered to maintain at-home treatments. Both my patients and I have always endorsed the natural, subtle look and they are embracing being in their skin and make-up free. I suspect this will continue post-COVID-19; there will be a rise in collagen and elastin treatments such as Profhilo and patients will want to mix up treatment schedule and not be so rigid in seeking out appointments.
As practitioners, we should be more mindful of how we practice; Always striving for optimal patient care and keeping up-to-date with innovations and advances in the field.
What did I learn from quarantine?
Being in lockdown has allowed me to go at a slower pace. I was quite the workaholic before becoming a mum and was flitting between different versions of a work-life balance that was right for me. Now, I have finally been able to take some time out and not feel any guilt or pressure. I firmly believe my role as a mother should come first, but I will allow for other priorities to interchange.
When do you see your industry getting back to usual business?
Some doctors have begun to open their clinics, but I believe the majority of practitioners will be ready to welcome patients from 4th July. We should not go back to the usual business in the sense we should continue to question the indication for treatments and our professional integrity.
What beauty suggestions do you give us to cope?
Before the clinics and salons re-open, there’s a lot you can do at home to unwind and pamper yourself. Face masks and under-eye patches are great ways to indulge in self-care. When choosing an under-eye patch, look for ingredients to fight puffiness and fine lines, such as hyaluronic acid, retinol and botanical extracts. You can get your skin ready for treatments by sticking to a simple routine of cleansing, exfoliating and toning.
What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for everything in life. Health is always at the forefront of my mind, but Covid-19 has shown us what we take from granted on a day-to-day basis. It has also highlighted the importance of human interaction and touch.
What lesson did you learn from your grandmother?
She always says ‘ be the best you can be’. She nurtured my ambition by making me believe I could achieve whatever I set my mind to. I have her and my family to thank for where I am today. I now recognise how powerful it was to such role models while growing up.
What message do you want to send to the Universe?
I think we all need some positivity right now but coupled with that is a yearning for change. A change in the way we view our health, the environment and of course, race.
Tell us more about the Wellness Clinic?
I offer a bespoke service for every patient who steps foot into my clinic. As a doctor, I have to look at the whole person. You may book in for anti-ageing treatment, but through the consultation, other aspects of your health may become apparent. I share my knowledge and experience through offering snippets of advice regarding health promotion, referring to holistic practitioners or directing you to seek medical treatment from your GP. What’s more, to ensure each client is offered 360°care, Victor & Garth works closely with The Safe Space - a wellness hub focusing on mental maintenance – that also provides counselling services for clients struggling with self-image disorders. I have recently partnered with a well-known sexual wellness brand, so look out for that announcement soon.
Thank you for talking with about Dr Lauren Hamilton, and we wish you much success in your endeavour. We hope to see you in July.