The Luxury Channel spoke to Dr. Amanda Wong-Powell of W One Knightsbridge in London, who boasts a long list of A-list celebrity clients. She has just opened her new W One Penthouse Suite in the heart of Knightsbridge, where her specialist team of renowned physicians prides itself on innovative treatments ranging from but not limited to: medical facials, skin peels, Botox, dermal fillers, facial rejuvenation, intravenous vitamins and surgical body treatments.
Firstly, how would you describe yourself?
I am foremost a doctor, but I’m also an entrepreneur and most importantly, I am an artist with beauty. I qualified as a doctor in 2005 and gained my surgical membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2009. I have always been fascinated by surgery, particularly plastic surgery, hence my time spent working in anatomy and orthopaedics as well as spending personal time shadowing and learning from a renowned plastic surgeon. I chose to pursue aesthetic medicine and surgery as a career. I was a Clinical Director of a large clinic group before deciding to set up my own aesthetic clinic with an ethical philosophy that centres on wellness and aesthetics. Over the last year, I have been building my W One clinic in Knightsbridge, as well as globally with partnership clinics through W One Global in Marbella, Milan, Rome, Prague and Singapore.
What is an artist with beauty?
I think that aesthetics is an art form. You need to know which skin layer you are going into and you have to be medically trained but fundamentally, beauty work is an art form. There are lots of doctors out there who are very qualified but if they don’t have that artistic eye, they can’t see where and how to enhance a face as a whole. You have to see the whole harmonious picture. When I am training people, I train them to look at the whole face as a block.
What is special about your clinic?
I believe our clinic is special because we care about our patients. I started this clinic after working for a large corporate company and I saw how badly both the patients and the doctors were treated, and I wanted to do something differently. If you treat your patients and your staff in the right way, then you get the best results. We want people to know that you can have procedures done and you can have them done safely. It’s about being ethical and not selling patients things they don’t need. The best way to describe what I do was summed up by my little boy, who told his friends that “Mummy has a magic wand and she makes people look beautiful”. I have also created a clinic here in Knightsbridge which is a sanctuary. We have created a space like your own living room – a place where you feel comfortable. We are here to make you be the best version of yourself. My philosophy in life is to live life and love what you do and be the best version of yourself.
Apart from exercise and eating the right foods, how should women look after their skin?
To maintain healthy skin, it’s important to know what products you are using; simple things like a good SPF moisturiser and good face wash are important. The place of SPF is so important because of the damage that is done by the sun. Once the damage is done to the skin, it’s hard to reverse it. Even if it’s grey, the rays are still coming through. After the age of 25, we don’t make collagen any more so in your early 20s, start with good skin care. I often tell teenagers that it’s fine to put on make-up but make sure you have a good cleansing routine and know how to put on SPF correctly and moisturise. Water and sleep are very important too. After 25, I suggest using moisturisers that will absorb water and give it to the skin.
How do women choose the right products when there are so many available?
Many of the products in the shops don’t have enough ingredients in them and most of them are the same. It really boils down to which packaging and fragrance you like. Whether you buy Dior, Creme de la Mer or a simple one from Boots – they are the same. If you are going to spend a little more money, then you should use cosmeceuticals which are a combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with bioactive ingredients that have medical or drug-like benefits.
Dermatological research suggests that the bioactive ingredients used in cosmeceuticals have benefits beyond the traditional moisturiser. Not everyone needs them – if you are in your 40s or 50s or above, you should look at them. We have PCA or PH formulas which you can’t buy in the shops. They have more active ingredients in them, such as retinol. Introducing retinol in your late 20s, early 30s is a great idea – just a small amount. This is the role of a good doctor or dermatologist, who can put you on the right path. Also, have a facial every 4 – 6 weeks, as this is a great way of looking after your skin.
What technology have you seen in the last 10 years that really excites you for the future?
The new skin machines are really good at penetrating the skin without damaging the top layers. There is also a new medical pen, which gives you precision injections for fillers that put the exact amount into the skin, thereby avoiding bruising or damage to the skin. Usually practitioners just guess how much to give a patient and that might be too much and give the wrong look. The other area that really excites and interests me is working with stem cells – all the organic things that can be used from our own body. I actually think that going into the future, fillers will become less popular as the ingredient is not your own. If we can have a healthy lifestyle and you can use your own cells, there is less chance of a reaction because it’s more natural, so I think there is a lot more research being done with fat and stem cells. It’s the future but we are not quite there yet – perhaps in ten, fifteen years, when fillers will not be needed.
What is your future?
I have my own company, W One Global, where I operate a private medical luxury concierge – so I see myself as being a successful entrepreneur with a global medical clinic which is known all over the world. My ambition is to form a global cosmetic clinic group with ethical philosophy to ensure patients are having the best possible treatment by the best surgeons and doctors with excellence in care and service. My motto is “strive for nothing but excellence” and this is what drives me forward. I am driven by my love and passion of aesthetics and want the finest clinic in London. I also dedicate my time towards helping others and have been involved in several fund-raising activities. I support the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh each year with a bursary in my father’s memory, to offer medical students an opportunity for financial support towards their elective placement in surgery, and I support the charity Professors Without Borders founded by Tessy de Nassau. I am also a proud member of The Sorority, uniting and inspiring influential women of the world.
These are clearly only the first steps to Dr. Amanda’s global aspirations and we will certainly be following her on the next stage of her journey! For more information, go to www.woneknightsbridge.com.