As soon as I walked into her consultation room I was mesmerised by her skin, even as we chatted I couldn’t help wondering what treatments she was having herself - because whatever they were I wanted them myself. When she smiled or frowned there was visible movement and some lines, but her face was fresh, like she’d just returned from a relaxing holiday in the sun and more importantly I could feel how comfortable she was in her own skin. The first thing Dr Dondos asked me was how I felt about my face and what I felt I wanted done. She then handed me a mirror and asked me to tell her what I saw. Until that moment I don’t think I’d really thought about how important it was to link the two. I was so used to going for Botox, having something injecting into my forehead and around my eyes and then 10 days later hardly being able to frown if I tried. All of a sudden I was being asked what I wanted to achieve and the ball fell in my court. Dr Dondos is all about ‘positive ageing’ – the ability to visibly age alongside a little medical intervention. She explained to me how things that we do now won’t necessarily work a few years down the line and it’s about tweaking the treatments as we move forward. She also told me to imagine my beauty plan as a pyramid, where we are building up the regime from the base of the pyramid and how using this approach will eventually lead to the best outcome for my skin. I was straight away intrigued, most cosmetic doctors I had been invited to see don’t have any interest in the way my skin is making me feel, they’re happy to just get on with the treatment, leaving me to hope for the best.
I straight away knew how Dr Vicky Dondos had made a name for herself as one of the go-to ‘face whisperers’ for those wanting ‘zero-detection work’ - because she actually looked at her clients - inside and out. After our initial chat she told me that she wouldn’t be doing any Botox on this first consultation and I was to come back when my last top up had completely worn off so she could start afresh. At the time I felt quite disappointed as everyone wants a quick fix, but I already trusted Vicky and I knew she was right.
Dr Dondos has been practising aesthetics for 15 years and co-founded Medictics in 2006. There are three clinics - one in Harley Street, one in Connaught Street in West London and one in Cirencester. Each clinic is a UK Doctor trained clinic which all specialise in non-surgical cosmetic treatments and skin surgery. I have been visiting Dr Dondos in Connaught Street which is a lovely clinic with a very private feel.
In addition to Botox, Dr Dondos suggested that I start adding Hydrafacials to my beauty plan and it was then that she introduced me to Joanna Jaworska who is a senior aesthetician/aesthetic practitioner at her clinic. The aim of the facial is to completely cleanse, extract, and hydrate the skin using a patented technology, which leaves you with a really refreshing glow. During my first Hydrafacial Joanna was brilliant at explaining exactly what was happening during each part of the treatment and I really had an understanding of how this was benefiting my skin. I am very lucky to have very tolerant and non sensitive skin, and I didn’t find the facial uncomfortable at all - I actually found it super relaxing. The treatment includes what I can only describe as hoovering of the skin, as impurities are sucked out. This was probably my second favourite part of the whole process, after the part in which Joanna physically squeezed out any impurities which were left behind after the peel and exfoliation. It was so satisfying. I found talking with Joanna really interesting, she definitely knew her stuff and was very passionate about the industry and everything that is being achieved. The Hydrafacial was finished with a red and near infrared LED light put over the face to help reduce redness and further stimulate collagen production. For some they are left with a redness after the treatment but my skin felt fully cleansed and super smooth, and I was lucky not to have any redness, however I definitely didn’t want to put make-up on for as long as I could get away with. I’ve had two Hydrafacials with Joanna now and both times I have felt the benefits around 5-7 days later when I have definitely had a glow, so much so people have asked why I look so refreshed. I am looking forward to seeing Joanna again in the next few weeks, as next time we plan to go a little harsher with the peel - which really excites me.
In between Hydrafacials I went back to see Dr Dondos who agreed it was time for some more Botox. (Phew) I must admit that at first I didn’t find the results quite strong enough and I didn’t like that I was still able to see lines in my forehead (especially on those zoom calls) - but now after a couple of visits back to Vicky I believe this was because I had been so used to a complete forehead freeze. Dr Dondos uses Botox to give a more rested rather than completely wrinkle-free result and she is quite clear that having cosmetic procedures is ‘not about looking younger, but about looking fresher, less tired – more like yourself.’ Dr Dondos has also spoken with me about other treatments that are possible including fillers, however throughout my career I have also worked on many surgical television shows where I’ve seen a lot of cosmetic procedures that have gone wrong, and this has given me a less than positive view on fillers and other irreversible injectables - however after meeting Dr Dondos - I’d never say never!
I hope to be returning to the clinic soon to put more of a long term treatment plan in place with both Vicky and Joanna. Since meeting them both I now totally understand that looking good is not just what we physically see in the mirror but how we feel inside. And for those of you who would love to learn more about Dr Dondos’ theories on positive ageing she has a book out ‘The Positive Ageing Plan, By Dr Vicky Dondos’ which is an expert guide to healthy and beautiful skin.