In the last twenty years the field of aesthetics has changed significantly. Today, when looking for the right aesthetician who can give you a natural yet rejuvenated look, you can expect to step into a state-of-the-art clinic and have a vast array of treatments available. At NewLife Aesthetics, Mo Ashraf brings over twenty years of experience to her Raynes Park clinic, and she is an expert in advanced technologies including laser and collagen treatments too.
Janie Smith caught up with Mo to find out more about her and her Raynes Park clinic.
Janie: Mo, what inspired you to enter the field of aesthetics and become an expert in your field?
Mo: Even before I was a teenager I had a passion for beauty, as I referred to it then. I loved the creativity and was particularly fascinated by how one could change ones look through cosmetics. As I entered my teens both beauty and fashion became what I would come to realise was a calling. I enrolled at the London College of Fashion and gained a Diploma in Beauty.
Advancements in skincare and body treatments especially interested me, so I made it my mission to learn everything possible so that I could offer my clients the results they sought.
At twenty seven years old I opened my first clinic in Fulham followed by a second one in Hammersmith. Since then I have ensured that my skills and experience have kept up with this fast-paced industry that is known today as medical aesthetics.
You took a break to work and study overseas, what made you choose Raynes Park as the location for your new clinic?
After twenty successful years running two clinics in London, I moved to Dubai to become a clinical operations manager for a cutting-edge medical aesthetics firm that worked alongside world renowned international dermatologists and surgeons. I loved my role and whilst there I completed an MBA. It was this that inspired me to return to the UK. As I planned to come home I knew I had a mission; to use all the skills I had acquired to set up a new medical aesthetics practise that was accessible to all. Raynes Park was the perfect fit; it is vibrant but retains a local village feel.
You mention offering services and treatments for all, what are women looking for in terms of beauty in 2019?
Looking good is important for women today just as it has been for centuries. What has changed over time is what is considered to be beautiful. Increasingly women are favouring a natural youthful look. Symmetry of features and skin tone has become less important. It is about achieving a glowing complexion. Of course, given that we live amid air pollution and have hectic lifestyles, a youthful appearance isn’t always easy to achieve.
The growth of social media has also had an impact. Women will come into the clinic asking for specific treatments because they have read about it online. This can be a double-edged sword in some ways as it’s great that our clients are well informed, but it is essential that we don’t perform a treatment they have requested if it can’t deliver the results they are looking for. To ensure our clients are happy we always begin with a one to one consultation. We will not offer a treatment if it isn’t appropriate.
What can women do themselves to look after their skin at home?
As a rule, I would advise clients to think about their health and beauty goals as long term. What we eat, and drink has a profound effect on how we look and feel. Ensure that at home you are following a suitable skincare regime. Do remember that these are not short-term fixes. To many it may seem obvious but in the world of instant gratification we can meet clients who are not aware of this.
Mo, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Increasingly, I plan to offer non-surgical treatments that give long term safe results. On the medical front I believe we will offer vaginal rejuvenation, nasal oxygen, IV therapy and powerful combination therapies.
I will be keeping up with all the latest innovations so that NLA will become the most advanced and reputable clinic in South West London. I also see expansion of our clinic locations in the future.
As a woman working in what is still predominantly a man’s world, have you ever felt at a disadvantage because of your gender?
When I first set up my own business I was so excited that I was fulfilling a dream that I didn’t think too deeply about it. Thirty years later I have come to realise that running your own business is a huge undertaking for anyone, regardless of gender. There are so many hurdles to overcome that gender is not as important as having resilience and the energy to face them. I knew that I was offering a solution to my client’s problems, so I didn’t doubt myself as a woman.
If you could give any advice to current or future female entrepreneurs that are reading this, what would you say?
1. It is essential that you personally believe in your product/service. People will see straight through you if you don’t.
2. Enjoy what you do. Running a business is all consuming so you must enjoy the process.
3. Know your stuff! You will gain credibility if you stay on top of the game.
4. Think long term. Work on building your reputation to gain repeat business. Like youthful skin, a business is rarely an overnight success story.
Featuring: Mo Ashraf, NewLife Aesthetics
Visit: NewLife Aesthetics, 42, Coombe Lane, Raynes Park, London SW20 0LA
Written By: Janie Smith | Arts & Culture Editor