What is your background & talk is through your journey to Harley Street?
Born and raised in France, I completed my Medical Degree and Aesthetic Medicine Qualification from University Hospital Lariboisière Saint Louis, Paris in 2003.
Following this, I first worked with leading specialist plastic surgeon Dr Sydney Ohana in Paris and then with talented Dr Sebagh. Working closely with them was a blessing as they taught me a lot about aesthetics and it enabled me to expand my realm of expertise. After 15 years working with Dr Sebagh I decided to start my own practice, first on Wimpole Street and now on Harley Street.
You are French but based in London & have been for some time, what is your favourite thing about london?
I absolutely love living in London. This city has a great energy and is very cosmopolitan, you never get bored and you always meet new people.
What does a typical day in the life of Dr Anne look like?
I am at the clinic Monday to Thursday and I usually start seeing patients at 9am. A typical day would be waking up, having my breakfast (breakfast is sacred and that’s the first thing I do when I wake up!), getting ready and then off to the clinic. I then see patients back-to-back with a little coffee break here and there if I have time until the last patient, usually around 7pm. After work I just go home, have some dinner and an early night so I am rested and energized for the following day. My working days are very intense and busy, not a minute to rest, but that’s the way I like it. I usually go for a drink with my daughter on Thursday evening after a long week of work to gently ease into the weekend, we both love it. Fridays and weekends are my rest days, where I recharge and have some quality time with friends/family.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents have been a great source of inspiration for me. They are passionate about art and have always been very sensitive to aesthetics and perfectionism. They have passed this on to me throughout the years. As kids we would go to museums, opera, ballets, and concerts.
Aesthetic medicine is for me an art where the canvas is one’s face. My goal is to gently highlight my patients best features and I’ll always do so paying very close attention to ‘detail’. I am myself very perfectionist in my job and I guess that’s a great quality to have in this industry.
You are very much a “light touch” practitioner with a “less is more”, more natural approach which I find very refreshing. Is this at the heart of all you do?
Absolutely! The purpose of aesthetic medicine is to enhance one’s features and reduce signs of aging, but not completely change a face. I’ve always worked with a very ‘light-touch’ ethos, starting with a small amount of products to gently enhance the features of my patients and that’s how I am known for today. Patients come to see me knowing that I will always go very light and I believe that’s very reassuring for them, especially when they’ve never had anything done before and it’s their first time, it can be quite scary for some. For me, a good job is done when a patient looks naturally radiant and glowing but no one can tell something has been done.
Do you think attitudes to aging differ from country to country, culture to culture? I’ve always felt the French are less youth obsessed & have a more positive attitude to the life cycle.
Of course. First of all, ethnicity affects how our skin ages and skin colour has an important role in this.
Women from middle-East, Asia and Africa age better than Caucasian women. Caucasian skin is fragile, usually showing an earlier loss of elastin and collagen fiber structure, which causes wrinkles. Darker skin tones have a compact dermis in the deep layer of the skin, with more active cells and a stronger collagen network. Because of this, dark-skinned people typically do not start wrinkling until 10 to 20 years later. Caucasians as they tend to have a lower amount of melanin are more susceptible to pronounced photoaging and premature appearance of aging due to damage caused by UV rays. Darker skin tones with a higher melanin content have stronger photoprotection, leading to less photoaging more prone to dyspigmentation.
Secondly, there are cultural differences in the way we see aging and deal with aging. For example, European women (French especially) are very conservative when it comes to aesthetic treatments in comparison to American or Middle Eastern women. In general, my patients are quite conservatives in their approach and sometimes a little scared when it’s their very first time.
What is your preferred procedure to do?
I love microneedling combined with PRP. It is to me one of the best treatments to boost collagen production (collagen production decreases as we get older and plays an important role in skin elasticity) and reduce signs of aging and we’ve seen amazing results from such treatment.
Microneedling, by the punctures from the needles, stimulates our natural wound healing process and encourages collagen and elastin production.
PRP (platelet rich plasma) when injected into specific areas of the skin acts as a matrix that promotes your own collagen to grow, regenerates tissue, and thus acts as to naturally smooth and tighten the skin. In this way, PRP softens wrinkles and creates smoother skin texture and tone.
Combining PRP and Microneedling effectively treats acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and uneven skin texture irregularities.
What is the most popular procedure you offer?
Botox by far! We recently ran an audit at our clinic and over 50 patients audited, 50 of them replied coming for Botox injections so that shows how popular this treatment is. But I would say injectables in general (Botox and dermal fillers). This is what I specialize in and I believe this is what I am most known for.
Lastly, how does menopause or peri menopause impact on ageing?
Menopause causes many changes to your skin. During menopause, your body gradually stops producing estrogen. As estrogen dips, less collagen and elastin are produced making our skin thinner and less elastic, resulting in wrinkling and sagging skin.
As the production of estrogen from the ovaries dramatically declines the levels of androgens, male sex hormones incl. testosterone, stay the same. That new imbalance of hormones can cause hair growth/increased pilosity, increased skin oil production (Hyperseborrhea) and dryness. Skin becomes finer and dryer, loses its elasticity and starts sagging.