Top Tips from Specialist Medical Aesthetic Doctor Dr Xavier
Dr Xavier Goodarzian's passion is cosmetic medicine. He is a specialist medical aesthetic doctor who co-owns "Xavier G Medi-Spa" - an established non-surgical medical aesthetic clinic in Southampton City Centre.
Xavier is also a director and lead trainer for "Innomed training", a company dedicated to professional medical aesthetic training for doctors, nurses and dentists.
Hair and Beauty Jobs were delighted when Xavier took time out of his busy schedule to share his knowledge with us.
Find out where his passion for aesthetics came from, how his sculpting and painting interests positively influence his work and his invaluable advice for those wishing to pursue a career in this sector.
Q. Have you always had an interest in aesthetics?
I've always been interested in the aesthetic side of life. I was brought up in a family that was artistic. My Uncle was a professional painter and I had the first brush in my hand at the age of five doing watercolours. And in fact during the school holidays I could always be found painting or sculpting.
When I went to med school, the aesthetic industry as we know it today didn't really exist. There was either plastic surgery on the one hand or beauty on the other with nothing really on offer in between. It was only concidentally, when I did my training in the '80s and '90s that the aesthetics community really started to develop and eventually would offer a channel for realising my passion.
But even during my dermatology training in Belgium, my interests were aesthetically orientated. When it came to writing a dissertation I chose a theme of anti -ageing treatments for the skin whilst everyone else seemed to be covering cancers and skin diseases. My approach was fresh and received a good reception.
Q. In what way did your training on the Continent benefit you?
Dermatology training is very different in Belgium compared to the UK. Within the UK when you train in dermatology you are limited to the ingredients that the NHS can afford. In Belgium there are no such restrictions and you can get the ingredients you want to make up different skincare products.
Q. How did you get into aesthetics?
When I came over to the UK I did a lot of work in different parts of medicine spending time in A&E, psychology and even GP training.
It was whilst undergoing some work in dermatology that I noticed the growing popularity of aesthetics with the advent of Botox and fillers.
In 2001 I started going on courses, picking up certificates and gradually became more and more involved in the sector. I started going to seminars and it's there you get to meet the reps and find out what products there are out there.
It all grew from there.. I had a locum GP post and practiced aesthetic medicine during the week. About a year and half ago I gave up my role as a GP to concentrate fully on aesthetic medicine.
I guess I came to a point where I realised I didn't really love what I was doing. Now I absolutely love what I'm doing
Q. What do you love about what you do?
It's a great industry to be in. I Like making people happy. As a GP you mainly deal with people's problems. With aesthetics your job is to enhance someone's wellbeing, make a difference to their life. It's not all about vanity but about wellbeing.
Q. Is there anything that frustrates you about the industry?
Yes, lack of adequate legislation surrounding who can adminster certain treatments. Therapists for example shouldn't be giving injectable treatments as they lack a medical background. There can be problems that occur post treatment and if they can't recognise the signs of infection or treat an infection when it's present then it's not fair on their clients.
I run courses on aesthetic medicine and will only accept Doctors, nurses and dentists onto the courses. All have some degree of medical background and what's important is not leaving the client at risk should something go wrong.
Q. What advise would you give to someone wanting to progress within this field?
Educate yourself. Whether you're a doctor or a nurse, you need to educate yourself. Training courses can often be confined to one day giving enough time to cover the product, how it works, how to market it and then some practical application of the procedure.
The certificate you receive for going on one of these courses is a certificate of attendence not competence. You then need to educate yourself by going on further courses and practicing on 'models', people you can trust like close friends and family. Go and watch other people and learn from their techniques, the more you see the better you become
Go to seminars, watch demonstrations on videos, DVDs on injection techniques
It's all about information, education and practice. It's imperative that you get hands on experience before you start taking someone elses money
Q. What qualities are necessary in a good aesthetic practitioner?
You have to be aware of aesthetics. It's not just about giving an injection but looking at someone's face and saying that is what they need. You have to have an eye for detail and know what would look good on someone. You can train to look at someone's face aesthetically. In fact I did develop a course on facial analysis.
A good practitioner will always give a client a consultation. Not only is the consultation process key to selling a product but it's necessary as otherwise you risk not giving your client enough information or unrealistic expectations. There can be problems and clients have to be aware of the potential pitfalls.
Q. What are the hallmarks of a good clinic?
The ambience has to be right and the surroundings have to be correctly adapted to what you're doing. In a salon for example a waxing may have taken place some time during the previous appointment for example, and therefore the area won't be as clean as necessary
A full consultation is essential
After care is vital. There is no adequate aftercare given in some clinics.
Consumers should look for an experienced practitioner that can back up claims by showing you before and after pictures of clients he/she has treated.
Q. What would you like to see happening within the industry?
We need to demystify and open up the industry but it needs to be done professionally and within medical parameters. We need to establish minimum acceptable standards.
We also need to focus on the gaps that are in the industry; consultation, facial analysis and marketing/business development