Training initially as an A&E doctor, Dr Mica Engel specialised in aesthetics in Brazil and Italy before settling in London at The Waterhouse Young Clinic . An expert in how to make the most of your natural beauty, her knowledge is extensive and her treatments raved about by the beauty world and beyond. We sat down with Mica to get the lowdown on life as a superhero of the skincare world...
Why did you decide to specialize in aesthetics?
Funny enough, I’ve started my medical career as an A&E Doctor in Brazil and beauty was the last thing on my mind.I was granted a scholarship to study preventative medicine in Italy, and the anti-ageing part of it did it for me. I was fascinated by how we age and how we can do it better, and understanding the science behind aesthetics is my passion now.
When was your big break?
I came to London just after Italy, thinking I will do a post-graduate course in Aesthetic Medicine and then go back to Brazil being “the bomb”. When I finished the course I got two job offers, one at Lifestyle Clinic in Harley Street and the other at Urban Spa at Harrods. There I was, working on the two most prestigious addresses in the world, I had to pinch myself! Needless to say I didn’t go back to Brazil, and 8 years after, I am still amazed to work in one of the best clinics in London, The Waterhouse Young Clinic .
What does an average day look like for you (if there ever is one?!)
There is never an average day; it’s full of life stories and personalities. From a bride in crisis with a massive spot outbreak that needs to be sorted for the big day, from a recently divorced lady needing a “pick me up” to get her confidence back. Every patient is unique, and opposite to my A&E days when I saw a patient just once, working with aesthetics gives me the chance to really get to know (and like) my patients.
What do you enjoy most about your job?â€¨
I feel very privileged to be working towards making people feel better about themselves. Self-esteem is a massive part of wellbeing and health, and if you start your day looking at the mirror and not liking what you see, your day starts off on the wrong foot. I love seeing the reactions on people faces when they like what they see.
Are there any aspects of your job that you find challenging?
Yes, Aesthetic Medicine is still not regulated enough and there is lots to do to assure patient safety. It is still a medical procedure, with indications, contra indications and possible complications, but many people don’t see it that way, thinking that a “cheap and cheerful Botox” is harmless. Trying to educate the public about how important it is to choose the correctly credited and qualified professionals is one of the biggest challenges in aesthetic nowadays.
What's the most common question you get asked by clients?
Is it going to hurt? Just kidding! People are generally concerned about the “frozen” look with Botox, which I am happy to explain that a good Botox treatment should be subtle.
What's your team 'me'?â€¨ Who do you rely on to keep you happy, healthy and sane?
Having a healthy balance of work and fun is not always easy to achieve, and sometimes we have to make difficult choices, but having a clear objective in life keeps me centered and happy.
How is your industry changing?
I think aesthetic treatments are much less of a taboo than they used to be. People are more comfortable admitting that yes, they like to take care of themselves, especially men. When I started very few men would come for consultations about improving the way they look, today 30% of clients are male.Also the amount of information available (good and bad) is overwhelming, so patients are much more aware of what to expect from a treatment, and hopefully more educated to seek the best ones.