The Vampire Facial has grown hugely in popularity since Kim Kardashian’s 2013 grisly photo of herself midway through treatment, with over 232 thousand mentions on Instagram and 37.6 million views on TikTok. The treatment combines microneedling with platelet-rich plasma derived from the clients’ own blood; and it’s been claimed that the procedure can give a youthful appearance that rivals that created by injectables like Botox or filler.
How Is The Treatment Performed?
Step One – The Blood Draw: The blood is usually drawn from the arm, then placed into a centrifuge and spun to separate the red blood cells and the platelet-poor plasma from the Platelet-Rich Plasma.
Step Two – Facial Cleansing and Numbing: The clients’ face is cleansed and a numbing cream is applied to lessen the pain from the microneedling process.
Step Three – Preparation: The Platelet-Rich Plasma is drawn into a needleless syringe for ease of applying small quantities to the clients’ skin during the facial, and the microneedling device is prepared for use.
Step Four – The Facial: The Platelet-Rich Plasma is smoothed onto sections of the face, followed by the microneedling device. The microneedles push the plasma deep into the epidermis, alongside creating tiny controlled injuries to the epidermis that trigger skin healing and stimulates collagen production.
Downtime From the Vampire Facial
Although the Vampire Facial is ‘non-invasive’, this isn’t necessarily a treatment that clients can fit into their lunch break. It can cause swelling and redness for up to twelve hours following the procedure due to the microneedling process, so clients may prefer to make this an after-work treat.
Results From the Treatment
There isn’t a massive body of research on Vampire Facials. Still, practitioners and clients have reported that after a course of three treatments; the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and skin roughness are much improved. The results from a course of Vampire Facials should last a client up to 12 months.
Risks of the Vampire Facial
Microneedling alone presents some risk to clients. Bacterial infections can occur if the skin or the machine is not cleansed properly. Clients with darker skin tones are also at risk of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), which leaves darker patches of skin in the treated areas.
When blood is added to the microneedling procedure; other, scarier risks come into play. Two clients at a New Mexico salon in the USA contracted HIV after having Vampire Facials, potentially as a result of cross-contamination. Although this may be an isolated case, it is still something that clients should be aware of before undergoing the treatment.
At MATA, we see non-ablative laser treatment as a safe alternative to the Vampire Facial, improving the appearance of fine lines, scarring and skin texture without breaking the skin or requiring blood handling. To register your interest in our newly restructured Laser and Light qualifications, please complete this webform.
Is the Vampire Facial Here to Stay?
Although the Vampire Facial may have become popular due to a celebrity endorsement, almost ten years on it is still a favourite; available in clinics across the UK and the world. As such, it would seem like the procedure is here to stay. As always, we recommend that clients are made fully aware of the risks and rewards of the treatment. In the case of this particular treatment, we’d also recommend that the procedure takes place in a suitable setting and is carried out by a practitioner with experience in the safe handling of blood products.
In a world filled with filters, Facetune and PhotoShop; it’s becoming more and more likely that clients may visit your clinic with unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved with Botox and dermal fillers. As a responsible aesthetic practitioner, you have a duty to ensure your patients understand whether the results they have in mind are possible and to adjust this to a more realistic level if needed. It can be difficult to know how to accomplish this, so to help, here are MATA’s top five tips for managing client expectations in aesthetics.
1. Maintain An Honesty Policy
Although of course having a book filled with clients is an admirable goal, there is no substitute for having and keeping a reputation of safe, responsible aesthetics practice. If a client comes to you with an impossible request, then be confident in your ability to tell your client exactly what you as a practitioner can achieve with aesthetic injectables, and refrain from overselling what you or the product can do. Even the best practitioner has limits, and it will only benefit your clinic to make sure your clients understand this.
2. Have a Real Conversation with Your Clients
Although consent forms are a legal necessity for your clinic, they should never take the place of a real conversation with your clients which covers the risks and rewards of their chosen aesthetic treatment. This conversation will not only allow you to identify any unrealistic expectations and manage them appropriately, but will also ensure that your clients commit to the procedure from a fully informed position.
3. Make Use of Visual Aids
It’s likely that you already have a stock of before and after photos from your existing clients to allow you to provide treatment continuity. If you have the necessary permissions to use these images for business purposes, then these before and after shots can give prospective clients a real look at the changes that are possible with aesthetic injectables.
Having a Lookbook of before and after images covering a variety of treatments will also help illustrate that some looks take time and multiple visits to accomplish. Clients may visit you with the expectation that lips can go from thin to Jenner-style voluptuous in a single treatment. Being able to show them that this isn’t possible, with reference to real cases, will often make your client far more receptive to building a treatment plan with you.
4. Be Aware of Apps, Influencers and Advertisers
With the rise of apps that allow the face and body to be heavily filtered and reshaped, even in video; influencers and advertisers have been in the spotlight for promoting looks that are unrealistic or even physically impossible. Maintaining a professional awareness of image-editing apps, the effects they can create, and even having a bank of unedited vs edited images available, can all help you manage client expectations in your aesthetics practice.
5. Feel Comfortable Saying No
It’s inevitable that during your career in aesthetics, some clients will simply not listen to your advice regarding treatment. Although it may be tempting to carry out the procedure; when the results inevitably don’t match expectations, these clients can and will cause problems for your business. In the end, it is far better to let these clients go than to lose your reputation as an aesthetics practitioner.
Despite the overwhelming rise in popularity of aesthetic injectables, legislation and regulation of the aesthetics industry has not kept pace. This has led to botched dermal filler treatments going viral on social media and to a growing demand from practitioners and the media for greater government oversight of aesthetic injectables practice. In 2019, an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing was formed and in July 2021 they published their concluding report. This featured a number of recommendations for legislative action and regulatory oversight, including a call to reclassify dermal filler as a prescription-only medication.
Current Dermal Filler Classification
At the moment, Botulinum Neurotoxin is a prescription-only medication, only available from a trained prescriber after a face-to-face consultation with clients to ensure treatment suitability. In contrast, Dermal Fillers are currently classed as a medical device and are freely available for purchase and use by non-medics, with no need for a prescriber to assess clients beforehand.
This lack of medical oversight is a point of concern not only the APPG, but for voluntary bodies within the aesthetics industry including the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners and the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology; who have highlighted that “risks of fillers are significant and arguably even greater than those posed by botulinum”.
These risks have been on full display across the media over recent years. Leah Morton, a 26 year old woman from Liverpool, was left at risk of losing her nose after a practitioner caused and then failed to recognise a vascular occlusion during a non-surgical rhinoplasty. Dr Tijion Esho, an experienced aesthetic practitioner and medical professional, shared a clip that showed him treating lip cysts caused by superficial filler placement. Meiska Mamajeski, a 53 year old woman from Leeds was blinded in one eye when her practitioner injected directly into her eye rather than the skin around the eye in 2015.
Dermal fillers must be performed under the oversight of a prescriber who has gained the accredited qualifications to prescribe, supervise and provide remedial medicines if necessary.All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing
The APPG has recommended that dermal filler be reclassified from Medical Device to a Prescription Only Medication, with the view that this would “remove a significant danger to the general public.” It would make it necessary for all dermal filler providers to ensure that their clients are seen and assessed by a medical prescriber before treatment, helping to ensure that clients are suitable for treatment and that medication such as hyaluronidase can be quickly accessed should the procedure go wrong. This would allow for rapid treatment of vascular occlusions, should the practitioner have the skill to recognise and treat this complication.
MATA was established with the aim of standardising training in aesthetic injectables within the UK Aesthetics Industry, and as such we welcome greater legislation and regulation. Making dermal fillers prescription-only would be a positive step in the direction of establishing a properly monitored aesthetics industry.
Still, we must highlight that medical and aesthetic professionals have been seeking greater oversight of aesthetic injectables for years. Sir Bruce Keogh noted in his 2013 report that “dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen” and suggested that they be made prescription-only; yet almost a decade later, fillers are still freely available and the aesthetic industry is still under-regulated.
It remains to be seen whether the UK Government will work with the MHRA and Manufacturers to reclassify dermal fillers as prescription only. For now, we will continue to train our delegates to a high standard in both the theory and practice of aesthetic injectables through our Level 7 Diploma in Facial Aesthetics, ensuring that they enter practice with the skills they need to recognise and manage complications. We are also committed to supporting the activity of voluntary bodies in the aesthetics industry in their work to regulate and monitor our industry.
BBC 3’s recent documentary, “Under the Skin: The Botched Beauty Business” has highlighted the dangers of the unregulated aesthetics industry. Over 30 minutes, the host meets clients who have suffered poor treatment by poorly trained practitioners, and investigates Training Academies which provide inadequate tuition in aesthetic procedures.
At MATA, we are all too aware of these circumstances. We were founded with the goal of improving standards in the aesthetics industry, and originated the Level 7 Post Graduate Diploma in Facial Aesthetics. This is regulated by OFQUAL, accredited by the JCCP and provides the highest industry standard in aesthetic injectable education.
Benefits of MATA’s Level 7 Diploma
Our Level 7 Diploma takes nine months to complete and is only open to medical professionals, making it a far cry from the one-day courses or even virtual courses which have sprung up across the UK. Through extensive e-learning and written assessments alongside a minimum of six practical training days, we ensure that our delegates enter the aesthetic industry with the education and practical training you need to provide long-lasting, safe aesthetic treatments that are centred around the needs of the patient.
We provide 150 hours of online learning, designed to deepen and develop your understanding of the theory behind aesthetics practice. This will be cemented by written assessments that ensure you have full knowledge of risks in aesthetics practice, the literature and research within aesthetics, and that you are able to take a client from consultation to treatment, and to aftercare and follow-up.
Our practical training days are overseen by an expert practitioner with a minimum of three years experience in the aesthetics industry, in addition to their studies and experience as a medical professional. Furthermore, our training days are conducted in groups of no more than six, to ensure that you have the support you need as you carry out treatments.
In addition to online and practical learning, as a MATA delegate you will have access to an exclusive online community which will allow you to share best practice, receive the latest industry news, and to network with your fellow delegates.
If you have taken a one-day course and feel that there are gaps in your practice or understanding of aesthetic injectables, contact us today to discuss beginning your Level 7 Training Journey with MATA.
As we near the end of National Smile Month, it’s important to look at all the ways in which dentists can enhance their patients’ smile. Although cosmetic dentistry has boomed in the last five years, adding aesthetic injectable treatments such as Botox® and dermal filler to your range of treatments can allow you to take a holistic approach to smile transformations; enhancing not only your patients teeth, but smoothing, volumising and defining the facial structures around the mouth.
Why Dentists should Train in Aesthetic Injectables
Dentists are uniquely placed for success both in aesthetics injectables training and within the medical aesthetics industry. As trained injectors with daily experience of treating sensitive areas, alongside having high levels of manual dexterity in restricted spaces; dentists possess skills that are highly transferable to aesthetic injectable practice. This is only enhanced by their already advanced knowledge of facial anatomy. Furthermore, a dentist already possesses the perfect clinical space to practice Botox® and dermal fillers and an existing private client base already primed for aesthetic treatment through cosmetic dentistry.
The Benefits of Training in Aesthetics for Dentists
Training in medical aesthetics and adding injectable therapies such as Botox® and dermal fillers to your existing range of treatments can come with a variety of benefits for your clinic. Expanding into aesthetic treatment will encourage patient retention; with patients returning to the clinic on a more frequent basis for repeat injections and so remaining familiar and impressed with your practice. It can also give your clinic an edge by offering a wider treatment range than your competitors, such as Botox® for bruxism and gummy smiles or dermal fillers for smile and marionette lines or for lips. Adding these treatments can also attract new clientele to your clinic, further enhancing your income potential.
MATA Courses for Dentists
Our JCCP Approved Level 7 Diploma in Facial Aesthetics is ideal for dentists new to aesthetics practice; developing your understanding of the theory and practice of Botox® and dermal fillers over the course of nine months. The Diploma provides six days of practical training in aesthetic injectables, including treatments which will be of great use in a dental environment such as gummy smile reduction and Botox® for bruxism; in addition to online learning which will give you the opportunity for applied study of the theory behind aesthetics injectable practice.
For dentists who already hold a Foundation or Advanced Certificate in aesthetic injectable practice; our Specialist Masterclass for Dentists is the ideal way to enhance your expertise in Botox and dermal filler treatments that pair with dentistry. This one-day course was designed by cosmetic dentists and focuses on lower face treatments including Botox for bruxism and gummy smile, and dermal filler for the lips, chin and nose. To find out more about our Level 7 Diploma or our Specialist Masterclass for Dentists, contact us to discuss our courses in more detail and begin your aesthetics training journey with MATA.
Gaining popularity in 2020 thanks to celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella and Gigi Hadid, the Fox Eye Thread Lift has been trending on social media throughout 2021. #foxeye has over 180 thousand mentions on Instagram and 51.2m views on TikTok, both as a result of make-up styles and eyebrow shaping designed to create the elongated upwards almond shape, and thread lift aesthetic treatments, with clinics across the UK now offering this procedure.
What is the Fox Eye Thread Lift?
A Fox Eye Thread Lift allows clients to achieve a similar eye-shape to that of the Hadids without the use of make-up or eyebrow shaping. PDO or semi-permanent barbed threads are inserted at strategic points on the temple and forehead which when drawn on will hook under the skin and gently pull it back, lifting the skin around the eye up and out to create the desired upturned almond shape.
Critics of Fox Eye Thread Lifts
Like any new aesthetic treatment, this procedure has its critics. Generally, barbed thread lifts have a 15-20% complication rate, with risks including temple hematoma, thread infection, granuloma, thread snapping, suture migration, suture extrusion, and pain where the thread end meets the underside of the skin. Whilst these complications can be resolved relatively easily, both clients and aesthetic practitioners should be aware of the risk.
With the Fox Eye Lift, these risks are only increased. Normally, thread lifts are intended to create subtle improvements to lines and wrinkles, however this treatment relies on the threads creating a dramatic lift to the skin around the eye. Because of this, clients can be left with puckering and folding, as the skin has nowhere to go after being pulled up by the threads. Furthermore, as the skin around the eye can be thinner than elsewhere on the face, sutures can be visible through the skin following the procedure. Given that the dramatic effect created by the Fox Eye Thread Lift may only last three weeks, whether the results outweigh the risk of the procedure is debatable.
Beauty Meets Cultural Appropriation
In addition to the physical risks of the Fox Eye Lift, the procedure (in addition to the make-up styles and the instagram trend of pulling back the temples to create an elongated almond eye), has met with accusations of cultural appropriation and racism. Critics have commented that “a facial feature in which [asians] had once been ridiculed for was being turned into a beauty trend”, without empathy for the negative treatment many Asian people have experienced due to their eye shape.
The Future of the Fox Eye Thread Lift
It’s always difficult to tell whether certain aesthetic trends will stand the test of time. For now though, as clients from a range of age groups strive to emulate the look of models such as the Hadids, the Jenners and the Kardashians, the Fox Eye seems set to remain for the foreseeable future. We can only hope that clients are fully briefed on the risks and rewards of this treatment before undergoing the Fox Eye Thread Lift.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition where an individual spends a large amount of time worrying about problems with their appearance that are often completely unnoticeable to others. Anyone of any age can have BDD, however it is most common in teenagers and young adults. Approximately 80% of individuals with BDD experience lifetime suicidal ideation and 24% to 28% have attempted suicide.
In a clinical aesthetics setting, the population of patients with BDD can reach up to 53%. Given this, it is highly important that aesthetics professionals have both a sound understanding of the disorder and a plan of how best to manage clients who show signs of BDD.
Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder features a range of symptoms with which aesthetics professionals should become familiar. Individuals with BDD may:
- Be extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others cannot be seen or appears very minor
- Strongly believe they have a defect in their appearance that makes them ugly
- Believe that others take special notice of their looks in a negative way
- Engage frequently in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to control, such as checking mirrors, skin picking, and adjusting clothing or hair.
- Attempt to hide perceived flaws with clothes and make-up
- Constantly compare their appearance to others
- Frequently seek reassurance about their appearance
- Have perfectionist tendencies
- Avoid social situations where they could feel their flaws are ‘exposed’
- Seek aesthetic procedures with little satisfaction
Treating Clients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Although as aesthetic practitioners and medical professionals we must respect the patient’s choice to seek aesthetic treatment, we also have to bear in mind that providing treatment to clients with BDD can actually make their condition worse. It is highly likely that they will see the results of the treatment you provide as unsatisfactory, even if the procedure and outcome all went perfectly, and will seek repeated treatment and ‘fixes’ for flaws that only they can see. Even if the client is happy with the outcome of their treatment, this will only give them temporary relief before fixating on another perceived flaw. Aesthetic treatments cannot help the underlying psychological issues that perpetuate a clients’ body dysmorphia.
Screening for Body Dysmorphic Disorder in Your Aesthetics Practice
There are a number of Body Dysmorphic Disorder screening questionnaires available that you should incorporate into your consultation practice, for example the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire (BDDQ) and the Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire (DCQ). The Aesthetic Journal highlighted the following questions as a helpful starting point for screening your patients:
- Are you worried about how you look? (Yes/No);
if you are, do you think about your appearance problems a lot and wish you could think about them less? (Yes/No)
- How much time per day, on average, do you spend thinking about how you look?
(a) Less than 1 hour a day.
(b) 1-3 hours a day.
(c) More than three hours a day.
- Is your main concern with how you look that you aren’t thin enough or that you might become too fat? (Yes/No)
(a) How has this problem with how you look affected your life?
(b) Has it often upset you a lot? (Yes/No)
(c) Has it often gotten in the way of doing things with friends, your family, or dating? (Yes/No)
(d) Has it caused you any problems with work or study? (Yes/No)
- Are there things you avoid because of how you look? (Yes/No)
The Aesthetic Journal notes that as practitioners, you should suspect BDD if the patient answers yes to Question 1; (b) or (c) to Question 2; yes to any part of Question 3 and yes to Question 4.
What Should Aesthetic Practitioners Do If They Believe a Client Has Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
The key question is whether you as a practitioner believe that the client has complete capacity to choose aesthetic treatment. If following screening you do not feel comfortable providing treatments for a client, then follow your instinct and say no; explaining your thoughts regarding the possibility of BDD to the client and their treatment options if you feel it is appropriate to do so. The client may seek out another provider, but in our opinion, choosing not to treat a client you suspect may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder can only help to preserve your reputation as a responsible aesthetics practitioner.
If you’re looking to improve retention, results and revenue at your clinic; there is one simple step you can take – adding a line of pharmaceutical grade skincare products.
Incorporating take-home skincare products that complement your aesthetic treatments into your clinics’ offering can come with a range of benefits:
- Adding a pharmaceutical skincare line can create a medium to high profit margin revenue stream at your clinic, to help recoup income from missed appointments or unexpected clinic closures.
- Offering skincare products will allow you to take a holistic approach to your clients’ needs, ensuring that the successful results of your treatments are continued at home.
- As long as the skincare product visibly benefits the client, it will positively keep your clinic at the front of their mind for treatments even in between visits, improving client retention.
Here are the first steps we believe you should take when offering professional skincare and topical treatments to your clients
Choose Your Products
Take the same time and care in choosing pharmaceutical grade skincare products as you would have for the devices and injectable products already at your clinic. Research products fully; checking for active ingredients used (retinoids, vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, etc), along with ensuring that their ingredients and manufacturing process is in line with your clinics’ ethos (for example, cruelty free, vegan, low plastic or recyclable materials), and that the product branding matches in with your own (alternative, punk type packaging wouldn’t mesh with a sophisticated setting, and vice-versa).
We would recommend that you keep your initial product selection small, and focus on products that will enhance the treatment outcomes of your best selling treatments alongside being convenient and easy for your clients to use.You can always increase the products you offer at a later stage, once you have an better understanding of client product needs and preferences
Merchandise Your Products
If you have taken the time to research your new skincare products, then it doesn’t make sense to hide them away. Integrate the skincare line into every element of your clients’ clinic visit – use images of the products in your promotional literature and social media, have them well-displayed in your waiting area or reception, and have them on show and to hand in your treatment rooms. All of this will show your clients that the skincare line is an important part of treatment, rather than something to be treated as an afterthought.
Start Selling Your Products
Before attempting to sell these skincare products to your clients, ensure that you (and your employees) have a complete understanding of the skincare products; from ingredients and manufacturing processes to the benefits of the product and how they fit into a clients’ skincare and aesthetic treatment regime; along with any contraindications and which client group the product is optimal for.
Once you are confident you can answer any question asked, then the product can be introduced to your clients. Build the products into your client conversations from the very beginning, when discussing their skincare needs and concerns. Let clients see and feel the products and ask questions, and even let them apply small amounts of the product if this will not interfere with your treatments. Together, this approach will help drive product sales.
Why Working in the Aesthetics Industry Could Be the Perfect Next Step in Your Nursing Career
Ask most nurses in the UK why they entered the field, and they’ll give you a similar answer – to help people. Yet conditions in the NHS are such that nurses are facing low pay, long hours, bureaucracy and burnout. From a lack of pay increases amounting to a real-term pay cut of £2500 since 2010, to regular antisocial 12 hour shifts, with red tape impacting the amount of time spent with patients; it’s no wonder that a massive 44% of nurses reported work-related stress and anxiety in 2019.
Nurses in the UK deserve to work in an environment where they face less stress, have a better work-life balance, have the direct contact with patients that they’ve trained for, and where they are paid appropriately for their years of study and professional experience. The question is where can such an environment be found. Our answer? The aesthetics industry.
The aesthetics industry is booming worldwide. Demand for Botox and dermal filler treatments has risen year-on-year, with the UK expected to spend upwards of £3billion on aesthetic injectables in 2021. Nurses in the UK are perfectly placed to meet this demand, with their wealth of experience in clinical settings, non-invasive procedures and patient care highly transferable to private aesthetics practice.
Nurses who have joined this growing industry have reported that moving to aesthetics has changed their lives for the better, with the initial costs of training far outweighed by benefits including:
- A hugely improved work-life balance with the freedom to choose their own schedule.
- The time to build real connections with their patients and to see the improvements in both appearance and confidence that aesthetic treatment can create.
- The opportunity to work independently without the stresses of red-tape and targets.
- The chance to train in new and innovative procedures.
- A huge increase in earning potential, which is often significant enough to leave traditional nursing all together to focus solely on aesthetic practice.
Given industry demand, there has never been a better time to invest in your future and experience these benefits for yourself. MATA offers a range of training options for nurses; whether you’d like to take things step-by-step with our Foundation Course; or whether you want to quickly develop to the level of advanced practitioner through our Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Facial Aesthetics. Our courses are flexible around your schedule, and combine theory with hands-on training to give you the knowledge and skills you’ll need for a successful career in aesthetics.
At MATA, we’ve been proud to watch our delegates from nursing flourish in the aesthetics industry, whether they’ve joined established clinics or even set up their own business; and we look forward to welcoming more nurses to our worldwide community of aesthetics professionals.
To discuss taking the first steps on your journey towards a fulfilling career in the aesthetics industry and explore training opportunities with MATA, call us today on 020 3126 4870.