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How to choose an aesthetic practitioner

With so many aesthetic treatments now available on the high street, it has never been more important to know that you are in safe hands. 

Unfortunately, the non-surgical aesthetic industry is almost entirely unregulated, which means that it’s all too easy for people to practice without medical training or experience. There has been a recent and worrying surge in the advertising of courses which last only a few hours, with completion claiming to qualify an individual in procedures such as botox and fillers. 

Dr Toni Burke, Aesthetic Doctor at Waterhouse Young says: “All too often we hear about the results of treatments which have gone wrong because they have been administered incorrectly. It’s important that your practitioner explains what will happen if something should go wrong, such as an adverse incident, and that you will be looked after until it’s completely resolved.”

When choosing an aesthetic practitioner it’s critical to do your homework. Consider the following to help you differentiate the good clinics from the great, so that you can choose with confidence…

1. Remember that safety is of paramount importance

Make sure any treatment you are going to have is clinically proven and research based. Ask to see patient leaflets and before and after images, and enquire about patient experiences. 

As well as the treatments themselves, don’t be afraid to ask to see the practitioner’s credentials, including their insurance details, and find out how many procedures they have undertaken. It can also be helpful to check which brands they are using.

2. Choose a practitioner with a medical background 

Make sure that whoever is going to treat you is aesthetically trained, with a medical background such as a degree in medicine, nursing or dentistry. Treatments such as Botox must be prescribed and therefore you must see someone with prescribing privileges. A practitioner should be able to explain any possible side effects or contraindications. They must also know how to manage potential complications such as a vascular occlusion from the injection of dermal fillers or brow ptosis from Botox.  Whilst both of these complications are rare, your practitioner needs to know how to manage them.  Both of these would require the administration of a prescribed drug which again enforces the need the see a practitioner who is qualified to prescribe them.

3. Be wary of trendy fad treatments

Just because a treatment receives a lot of press and perhaps a celebrity following, it doesn’t mean it’s safe and effective, or suitable for everyone. Unfortunately, tried and tested, safe treatments with a low risk attached don’t make for such exciting press as they are not new. For this reason, be very aware of fad treatments that seem to be a like a fashion trend: there is a reason they come and go.

4. Look for clinics who offer computerised skin assessments

Most reputable and experienced practitioners will know how to treat you by visually assessing your skin and bone structure, however unless they use some form of computerised skin analysis, they will not be aware of what is going on underneath your skin and as such will not be able to treat you to the very best standards and to match your specific needs. 

A computerised skin assessment is a helpful tool. Using images taken by a light box to look at different layers of your skin, it can highlight issues such as sun damage, brown spots, inflammation and red areas which can’t always be seen by the naked eye. This means a more tailored approach can be achieved and these concerns can be addressed before they appear visible at the surface, even preserving your skin and pre-empting other interventions. 

5. Consider a practice that offers a holistic approach

Whilst you might wonder why your complete physical health is relevant when considering aesthetic treatment, remember that skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s affected by everything we put into it.

In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on gut health and the importance of paying more attention to what we eat and drink. For example, unbalanced gut health can lead to dry, irritated skin, and the effects of sugar and how it causes ageing both internally and externally are also widely known.

There are many dietary factors that affect the way we look and feel, so if a clinic is able to work with a 360 degree approach, you can be confident of a superior experience and result.

6. Ensure you can trust your practitioner

Finding your practitioner could be the start of an ongoing relationship, so you need to ensure you are completely at ease with them and trust them absolutely. A good practitioner should offer a no obligation consultation to guide you through their services; allowing you to meet everyone who would be involved in your treatment, as well as experience the surroundings where they will take place. You should be made to feel comfortable asking any and all questions you have, and to be able to talk in detail about your concerns and what you’re hoping to achieve.

Communication is key, so all elements of your consultation should be taken into consideration, starting with how your appointment booking is taken, right down to how you’re greeted at the clinic.

At Waterhouse Young, our goal is to provide effective, research-based, non-surgical medical aesthetic treatments with a focus on natural looking results. We are a highly skilled, award-winning team of medically trained experts, known for our admirable patient care, built around a personal and considered 360 degree approach that our patients trust.

Our extensive treatment portfolio targets a number of skin concerns including ageing, dull and lifeless skin, pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity and acne. Patient wellbeing is our number one priority, which means we’ll never carry out a treatment that isn’t right for you.

At your initial consultation we’ll discuss your goals and will perform a Visia skin analysis. This computerised assessment allows us to examine beneath the superficial layers of your skin, and in doing so we can scope not only corrective, restorative treatment plans, but also preventative ones too. 

Providing a first class patient experience is absolutely central to how we do things at Waterhouse Young. This starts from the moment you enter the calm and welcoming atmosphere of our clinic and extends to every aspect of our service. Our patients often comment on how friendly and knowledgeable our team is, and that we combine a reassuring professionalism with a welcoming attitude that makes the clinic feel like an oasis of calm.

To find out more or to book your no obligation consultation, please get in touch!


Waterhouse Young is one of London’s leading medical aesthetic & wellbeing clinics, founded by one of the UK’s top cosmetic surgeons, Norman Waterhouse - former President of the BAAPS. Based off Harley Street, the clinic features regularly in the media, from Vogue, Tatler, Grazia and Elle to The Times. WY’s longstanding, friendly team is highly qualified and offers non-surgical treatments which are safe, proven and deliver demonstrable results, restoring skin and health to the highest standard.