Hey gang! Back again with another interview - this time with one of my favourite beauty practitioners in London! I want to introduce you to Dr Daniel Hunt - Founder and Director of Imperial Aesthetics in Harley Street London and Chalfont, St Giles. I go to Dr Hunt for some of my own personal procedures, such as Botox and fillers. A lot of people don't know I have some little tweaks here and there, and I credit it to Dr Hunt's very natural style of injectable. I only want to subtly undo the process of gravity, whilst remaining true to myself, and Imperial Aesthetics 100% gives you that. Dr Hunt kindly agreed to this interview and I found it fascinating! I hope you do too :)
Hi, I’m Dr. Daniel Hunt, a qualified medical Doctor and aesthetician, and the founder of Imperial Aesthetics Clinics based in London's Harley Street and Chalfont St Giles, South Buckinghamshire.
I'm a medical doctor with a degree in anatomy from Manchester University, and a master’s in medicine and surgery from Imperial College London. I was really interested in those areas of medicine at the start of my career and worked at Great Ormond Street and in NHS emergency (which I returned to through the Coronavirus pandemic), before moving into aesthetic treatments and establishing my own clinic.
Of course, all that study of facial anatomy has come in very useful!
What made you specifically want to work in aesthetics?
This whole area of medicine always interested me because, even though the procedure is carried out on a patient's body, the effect of it is felt in their mind; in terms of their mental health rather than the physical health most surgery takes care of. Both kinds of surgery make people feel better, but in very different ways.
Originally, I was interested in cosmetic surgery, and studied and worked towards specialising in that. It gave me a huge admiration for surgeons, but I also realised it wasn’t quite for me; part of the job I love is meeting and getting to know people, and surgeons spend most of this time with their patients asleep!
I leaned towards aesthetic treatments because its still very much about making people feel good about themselves, but you also get to build a relationship with your patients and can provide a more personalised, relaxed, and patient focused feel to everything (I can attest, I LOVE mine and Dr Hunts chats before the procedure!)
Starting up a business felt very natural as I'd worked in banking and recruitment while I was going through medical school, and my dad’s an accountant who specialises in small and medium businesses which helped give me the confidence to open my own clinics. It's been a great experience to shape the business, and the team, and the services, very much to how I feel aesthetic treatments should be offered; making sure there's the time to give every patient a personalised experience, with the highest possible medical and quality standards.
Do you have a “style” in your work?
Every patient is an individual and I'm always very attentive to what each individual wants, we all have different visions of the perfect lips, or cheekbones.
My personal preference is always towards very natural, subtle, minimal treatments; conventional ideals of natural beauty are very based in balanced proportions, so as an aesthetician I'm often seeking that balance for my patients. Even in terms of treatments to roll the years back a little, I like to help people look great for their age, it's when you push too far beyond that healthy balance that you get results which look a little unnatural.
It's the A-lister approach; a huge number of the Hollywood stars who look great for their age and you don't think have had any kind of work done, do owe at least some of it to very subtle, very natural aesthetic treatments.
The brand, or feel, of the clinics has come very much from my background; they're very clean and minimal with the feel of a private medical experience. I'm sometimes a little uncomfortable with how aesthetic treatments are marketed, to me it's important to remember these are medical treatments, they should be provided with absolute professionalism, in a spotlessly clean environment, with the best possible tools and materials you can buy. I want my patients to feel they're in very safe and experienced hands with many years of training in anatomy, medicine, and surgery behind them.
Can you tell me a little bit about your processes? How do you go about creating the perfect “look” for your clients? What things do you take into consideration?
As I mentioned, each individual has a different opinion of the perfect look, though I'm always encouraging that balance between the aesthetics work and nature.
Whenever I meet a new patient, all I'm really interested in is them and what's on their mind, so I often start a consultation by giving them a mirror, and just letting them talk.
I hope it's not much different to chatting with a friend about what you hate about your nose, or crows feet, or lip shape; the difference is once you've said what you don't like and what you'd prefer, I can suggest a treatment that can help, explain exactly what it involves, and the kind of results you can expect.
I do encourage patients away from too big a change in one go, it often looks unnatural, and it can also be surprising how much of a difference a small, subtle change can make; you can always add more if it isn't quite enough, taking something away if there's too much is not nearly as straightforward!
Why would you recommend going to a Dr for your treatments?
I'm perhaps a little biased for that question!
I do recommend it, and that mostly comes from the level of training we all receive, and the exceptional standards of safety and cleanliness we have drummed into us for years, so it all becomes habit.
In my own case I also have the added benefit of specialising in studying and working on facial anatomy, which certainly gives me an advantage in terms of minimising any pain or avoiding blood vessels or risk of nerve damage.
There’s also absolutely no question that I would only ever use the best quality products and equipment available; every aspect of our service is premium and focused on clinical safety; from my level of expertise in facial anatomy through to the filler and Botox used in treatments.
What is your personal favourite treatment to perform?
The one that makes my patient radiate with new confidence!
It's true though, what I love about the job is seeing patients feel better about themselves, that's what attracted me to this field of work, it doesn't really matter if it's nose work, or lips, or the jawline; whatever sends a patient out of the clinic smiling and feeling great about themselves is my favourite, always.
Do you work alone or have a team?
At present I'm the only doctor carrying out treatments, but of course I have a fantastic support team helping with everything else, from accounts, web design and social media through to the reception team who always hit that perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness. You can't be worrying about the business when you're providing medical treatments to patients every day, having a good team makes it possible for me to keep really focused on doing my best work.
What business advice would you give newer aestheticians?
If you're going to do anything you should always try to do it to the highest possible standard, and that's especially true in medicine; really learn your craft, learn everything you can about facial anatomy and the different treatments, know it all inside out.
I certainly recommend to anyone interested in the profession that you seek opportunities to assist or shadow an experienced aesthetician; see it all done by a professional and learn good habits from the start.
However, you think about aesthetics, we are injecting material into people's faces and you have to take that very seriously, and seek to learn how give your patients the right treatment, the safest and most professional way possible.
What is a common misconception about our industry?
The one I hear most often is “you can always tell when someone's had work done”.
As an aesthetician who always tries to maintain a very natural look through subtlety that's a frustrating one; I definitely feel the truth is you can always tell when someone's had unsubtle, or poor-quality work done.
There are lots of people out there with beautifully minimal, natural looking work that no one notices, that's the art of aesthetics work to me I suppose in being so natural no one can work out how it is that you look so good!
What do you love about working in London?
Apart from a few years at university I've always lived and worked in or nearby London, I love the energy of the city and you can never really run out of things to do with your personal time. Professionally, London is often where you find the best quality work and the innovation in almost any medical field.
It's also an incredible feeling to practice on London's Harley Street, which has been renowned for medical excellence since the 1800s. Just as a tailor might hope to have a shop on Saville Row, it's a privilege to be around all that medical history and heritage.
What is next for Imperial Aesthetics?
It's still a very young company so I'm very focused on setting my standards and making sure every patient gets consistent great experiences at the clinics.
I'd like to expand slowly on our treatments, and a bit longer term it might be nice to expand to other locations and have other doctors offering treatments, but that's all secondary to making sure the service I'm currently offering is at the exceptional standard I want my patients to expect from me.
Thanks so much for the questions! You can find out more about the clinics and treatments at www.imperialaesthetics.co.uk
I absolutely LOVED hearing more about Dr Hunt's background and how a clinic operates the business side of things! I highly encourage ANYONE, looking for subtle, beautiful tweaks - I highly recommend Daniel. You can also find him on Instagram here.