Five minutes with: Dr Joanna Romanowska

Dr Joanna Romanowska is a highly qualified and respected General Practitioner, and she’s also an outstanding advocate, practitioner and pioneer of appearance medicine.

She is immensely proud of the creative and life-changing work she can pursue at Clinic 42 and believes strongly in her practice’s brand proposition: “You’ll love what you see.”

How long have you been working with appearance medicine for?

Over 10 years.

There’s a lot of talk about Botox but less seems to be known of dermal fillers. What is it that dermal fillers do?

Our bodies’ natural collagen production decreases with age, contributing to the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin. Dermal fillers are used to lift up lines and wrinkles and fill hollows, to give a smoother appearance to skin and contours. One of the advantages of the hyaluronic fillers, such as Restylane, is that they also stimulate the body’s own collagen production and allow long-lasting results.

Why would you recommend to someone to have Restylane?

There is clinical evidence which shows that improving one’s appearance, is directly linked to how one feels and lifts the mood. Restylane provides a very safe and effective option for enhancing one’s appearance.

What is Restylane made of?

Restylane is a natural substance, made up of very complex carbohydrate-chains, which are broken down very slowly (over a period of months) by the body into simple sugars and used for energy by the body. The chemical name for this specific complex carbohydrate is hyaluronic-acid. We have hyaluronic-acid occurring naturally in our bodies. It is one of the building blocks, like collagen, giving structure between the cells of the body.

Is it safe to have Restylane injected under your skin?

Yes it is, it is one of the safest rejuvenation procedures one can have!

What are the most commonly treated areas for Restylane?

We are able to treat most of the face with this amazing product and new areas and indications are being discovered all the time. The better known treatment-areas are smoker’s lines on the lips and lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth and further down to the chin.

We can also treat crow’s feet and “bags” under the eyes, tear-trough areas, eyebrows, re-define the jaw-line and improve the nose-shape and profile. Recently, with the new Restylane-Vital, we are able to treat the crepe-like changes of the skin on the backs of the hands, the neck, chest and cheek areas.

Is it obvious when someone has had a dermal filler?

When a treatment is overdone, it may be visible to an observer, particularly in the first 24 hours when there may be some swelling. This is more often due to an inexperienced injector, rather than a problem with the product. At Clinic42 we pride ourselves on our patients looking “well” and “rested” without any of their family or friends being able to tell they have had anything done.

Are there any side effects after having Restylane?

The side-effects are usually injection-related rather than product-related and include possible bruising and/or swelling at the injection sites. These are all temporary and usually resolve within a few days.

How long does it last?

Restylane lasts a minimum of six months and, depending on the area treated and amount of product used, may last significantly longer. I have a few patients who, after a couple of treatments in the tear-trough, have not needed re-treatment for over two years. Also, because of its collagen-stimulating effect, there is an ongoing improvement in the skin following Restylane treatments.

Where does Restylane go when it breaks down?

It is broken down by the body’s enzymes into simple sugars and used by the body for energy, finally ending up as carbon-dioxide and water.

Is it toxic?

No it is not.

Once the Restylane is broken down, is the treated area left looking saggy?

Absolutely not! The collagen-stimulating effect of the procedure leaves the skin looking better for years, even after only one treatment.

Can you have Restylane and Botox at the same time?

Certainly, especially if we are treating different areas of the face with the different products. They work in different ways and compliment each-other’s effects.

And lastly, does it hurt?

Yes it does, which is why we use local-anaesthetic to make the procedure comfortable.

Five minutes with: Anne Marie de Spa

What formal training did you receive in Belgium?

I obtained my diploma of d’estheicienne – technicienne de beaute at Lise Loriot school in Brussels, a two-year training course. It was renowned not only for its high standard for aesthetic training but also as a “finishing” school with subjects such as psychology, history of art, history of civilisation (a great help with character make ups) savoir/vivre and music.

In 1964 you opened the first beauty therapy salon in New Zealand. What inspired you to do this?

I decided before leaving Brussels to open my salon not thinking or realising that I was going to be one of the pioneers of this industry, so I arrived in New Zealand with all my equipment and products.

What services did you offer at the salon?

All aesthetic treatments face and body for both men and women, not too different from what you see today.

Was the salon well-received by the public?

With scepticism to start with because people were not of the mind set of spending money on themselves and it was something that was kept quiet, more behind closed doors. Moving to the airport two years after starting in New Zealand meant that I had a much more receptive cliental – the American deep freeze personnel wives.

What provided the need to import a professional range of skincare into New Zealand?

Because there was nothing available, expect for retail lines so one had to initiate your formulations to satisfy the different skin types. When the market opened I set out to find the product which I consider the best of the professional ranges – Sothys.

What was it about Sothys that appealed to you?

I was introduced to Sothys during my training in Brussels and always had it in the back of my mind as something to look out for. It’s a family-run business with transparent and honest policies plus of course excellent products which kindly take care of the skin.

What are the most remarkable changes that you have seen in the beauty industry over the last forty odd years?

The advent of products integrating almost medical grade ingredients has changed the way people view skincare and of course the current trend of cosmetic surgery is most notably the biggest change, it is difficult to say if this trend will continue to grow, what can be said is that people are prepared to take far more drastic action to achieve perceived perfection, which is indicative of peoples desire to look young longer.

What excites you about the future of the beauty industry?

Probably that no matter what technology can deliver in the future, the inherent trait of the therapist’s hands can never be replicated, it is this if nothing else that sets beauty therapy apart as such a valuable and essential form of healing and wellbeing.

The other exciting thing about this industry is the shift in attitude. Forty years ago when I began, my profession was viewed as something of a luxury, today it is far more routine for clients, they don’t perceive the treatments they are receiving as “fluffy treats” but as routine essentials to maintaining great skin health.

Like getting a great cut and colour at the hair salon, a monthly facial has exponential long-term benefits for the quality, health and appearance of your skin.

What is your daily beauty routine?

A light cleanse in the morning followed by my Sothys Hydroptimale Serum and Clarte & Comfort Light Cream, my Sothys SPF20 sunscreen and Sothys Lift Defence Foundation and a touch of Sothys Hydra Glide lipstick.

In the evening I cleanse, tone and finish with my new Sothys Continuous Renewal Care – I just love it! It doesn’t take much time but makes such a big difference long term. A daily routine is a very good investment.

What are three skincare tips that you swear by?

1 Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. A good cleansing routine which includes a cleanser, lotion and a bi-weekly deep cleansing which includes a peel/exfoliate and deep cleanse. If the palette is not in perfect order it cannot receive the paint well.

2 Hydration. Using a good daily moisturiser appropriate to the skin type.

3 And most important in New Zealand would be sun care. It is imperative to wear a daily sunscreen if nothing else.

What is your favourite beauty product?

Sothys Hydroptimale Serum. And when I’m flying the Sothys Destressing Eye Mask and Hydroptimale Mask are musts. I also can’t do without my Sothys Total Cohesion Neck Care, Secrets Eye Contour Cream and Secrets Lip Cream.