While her Apprentice runner-up Luisa Zissman is causing controversy over in the Celebrity Big Brother house, the winner, Dr Leah Totton has been getting on with business. And despite criticism for her express style clinics, she opened her first one yesterday, with treatments such as a quickie 25-minute facial starting at just £50.
Dr Leah won a £250,000 investment sum from Lord Sugar back in July last year, when she beat Luisa’s bakery tools business idea. But she was not without her critics as some labelled the fast-track services as ‘medically inadequate’. However, she won the approval of Lord Sugar, who, when voicing his concerns about procedures on younger clients, prompted assurances from Dr Leah that no injections would be given to under 18s.
Unfortunately these assurances do not seem to have silenced some experts, who still believe that these kind of express procedures could promote unnecessary treatments for women with low self-esteem. One such expert, Vivienne Parry, who attended the Keogh review on PIP breast implants said: “They aren’t being responsible by capping the age group, because they are still encouraging young women to participate in a long list of other treatments to “improve” the way they look. It is still just another way of manipulating impressionable women into spending their money,” she added: “It is all very well and good putting the bench mark at 18 years old, and saying we won’t give Botox to teenagers. But what about the 19, 20, 21 year olds who are trying to emulate a certain look. You only have to put on an episode of The Only Way is Essex to see how young women are becoming increasingly influenced by image and beauty and aspirational beauty.”
And there are others who believe that Dr Leah, despite being a qualified doctor, does not have the medical knowledge required to carry out these procedures. The former chairman of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Nigel Mercer, described her as a “hairdresser in charge of cosmetic surgery’ because she only has a ‘basic knowledge of anatomy.’
Dr Leah however is convinced that these types of clinics are a safe way to offer cosmetic procedures, as she explained: “When a family friend had a botched facial filler procedure that I first realised the issues in the industry. I was still in medical school at the time, and this friend’s bad experience was at the hands of a non-medical practitioner, who was not performing in a clinical environment. I was inquisitive by nature, and read way too much on just about everything, so I started researching the sector and was horrified to find that no law had been broken! There was NO regulation regarding where these treatments should be performed, or by whom.” It was this event that got Dr Leah thinking about opening her own cosmetic clinic.
Parry is still concerned however that all these clinics do is promote the idea that image is the most important aspect in life: “Young women are starting to believe they are happiness comes from looking good, and any kind of clinic offering beauty products is just praying on the vulnerable. However medical these treatments may promise to be, it is still doctors cashing in. It is still just another way of manipulating impressionable women into spending their money. And more often than not the results aren’t what they hoped for.”
Dr Leah, who completed a course in ‘medical aesthetics’ at Harley Street in London, says that her clinics will offer a range of cosmetic procedures including advanced facials to facial fillers to anti-wrinkle injections and fat-loss treatments.
For more information visit Drleah.co.uk.