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Skin clinic expands services in the heart of Hamilton

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Two Bermuda skin clinics have teamed up to expand their services into the heart of Hamilton’s business district.

Karen Mayor is a registered nurse who graduated from Oxford and has spent the last 30 years working in both King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the aesthetic field of plastic surgery. For the last seven and a half years, she’s worked part-time for the Élan Clinic Medspa. In 2006, she opened her own business, Body Sculpture, and has divided her time between the two ever since.

Now Ms Mayor is making Body Sculpture her full-time focus and giving her Élan clients a more central, in-town option for certain treatments.

Located on the fourth floor of the International Building on Bermudiana Road, Body Sculpture has always focused exclusively on Endermologie, which is a non-invasive technique for reducing the appearance of cellulite. Now, Ms Mayor is taking what she used to do for the Élan Clinic and moving it to Body Sculpture — offering clients other treatments like medical-grade microdermabrasion, Obagi skin care, laser hair removal, laser treatment for spider veins and Laser Genesis skin renewal.

“Laser Genesis is a rejuvenation for the skin,” Ms Mayor said. “It helps heat the dermis and stimulates collagen production so you do get a slight tightening, but it will help fine lines, rosacea, pore size and improve rough texture.”

Thanks to the use of a spare laser machine the Élan Clinic did not have room for, Body Sculpture is effectively a “satellite facility” for the Élan Clinic’s laser services. Ms Mayor will now be open to clients full-time and in a more central location for those looking to sneak out of work for a quick treatment.

“With the recession hitting for both businesses, I just said, ‘Look, it makes more sense, I’ve got my business here if we open it up then do five days a week doing the laser treatments’. So all the stuff that I’ve done up at the Élan Clinic, I can now open up and do here,” she said.

“I opened here full-time in January. All of my regular clients who have been coming for laser, many of them are in this area. With Ace, XL, and other companies nearby and all the people walking around here or walking across the park — it’s fantastic,” she said.

“It’s just more convenient for people who are actually working in town. For people coming in from out of town, the other location is fine, plus there are things they offer there that we don’t — like Botox and other injectibles, and they the Medifast weight loss programme which we don’t do,” she said.

Ms Mayor has seen interest in her business grow over the years despite the economic climate. It wasn’t until recently that she felt a slowdown.

“As for Body Sculpture, the recession didn’t hit hard. I was surprised. At the end of last year was really the first time I could feel a difference, but it’s because there are a lot of people leaving,” Ms Mayor said. “Everybody’s obviously feeling it — you can tell by all the advertising out there. A lot of expats have left.

“But it’s beginning to pick up now with summer on the way. So just when I start thinking, ‘oh no, this is really hitting,’ it always sort of recovers a bit,” she said. “That’s why I decided to expand here — to try and make it more central and see if that helps.”

The Élan Clinic, now under new management, is also expanding and offering new services. The clinic, located on Cavendish Road, was previously owned and operated by plastic surgeon Dr Bruce Lattyak. In August 2011, Dr Gerhard Boonstra, a general practitioner, and his business partners Glen Wilks and Carmel Baxter-Wilks took over the clinic.

Mr Wilks, owner of Kafu hair salon and the newly-opened Polished Nail Bar, and his wife co-owned the Aesthetic Skin Clinic with Dr Boonstra. That clinic is now closed and has become a part of Élan Clinic.

“We incorporated the Aesthetic Skin Klinic into Élan,” Dr Boonstra said. “All of the clients and the two nurses who worked there are now at Élan. So we’ve amalgamated be retained the Élan name.”

While Dr Lattyak is no longer an owner of the clinic, he is a “visiting consultant” who comes to Bermuda every six months to see clients with plastic surgery needs.

The clinic has hired a new medical aesthetician. Sara Smith worked for the spa at Cambridge Beaches for five years before leaving the Island in 2010 to retrain as a medical aesthetician in California. The Australia native then moved to London and worked with a doctor in Knightsbridge for two years before returning to Bermuda three months ago.

“I specialise in helping people with acne problems, pigmentation issues, anti-ageing and Rosacea. I can perform laser hair removal, medical microdermabrasion, chemical peels and I specialise in the Obagi systems,” Ms Smith said.

“I will be offering a few beauty services as well. At the moment, it’s just facial waxing and gel polish nails. I hope to expand that,” she said.

“I learned a lot of procedures that they don’t actually offer here on the Island yet. In time I would like, along with the doctors here, to introduce new things.”

What excited Ms Smith the most is helping people who may have skin problems they’re self-conscious or embarrassed about. “My absolute passion is skin. I love helping people with skin complaints. Acne is a very common complaint and pigmentation as well. I love everything that I do, but I really love that. With skin — people see it everyday it’s rewarding to help people look and feel their best.”

While Ms Smith does not do injectibles like Botox and Restylante, Shameela Simons, a registered nurse who recently earned her Certified Plastic Surgery Nurse designation through the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, does.

“I have my certification in advanced techniques in injectibles — not everybody on the Island has that,” Ms Simons said. “So I can do not only the basic areas in the upper face — I can do other areas that require more advanced training as well.”

Ms Simons has been with Élan Clinic for about two years. She felt the effects of a slowing economy.

“It’s slow right now — probably because it’s an elective thing. I mean, we have an existing clientele, but not a lot of new clients,” she said. “I’ve spoken to friends of mine who are general practitioners — even in their general practice they see a decline with people losing their jobs and no major medical, they can’t come. Or people leaving the Island.”

Ms Smith is still working to build up her clientele.

“I must admit, the economy … you know. It is slow. I don’t think we’re the only ones though,” she said.

“But I’ll be honest — the people that come in here — money’s not an issue. It’s just the phone’s slow at ringing at the moment. Once they’re in here, I would not say price is an object. I think people know that these services generally are going to cost you.”

Ms Smith says the Élan Clinic is willing to work with anyone on any sort of budget.

“If it is ever an issue, and we can see somebody’s spending a lot of money, we might put the consultation money toward whatever the cost of the treatment is or give them a complimentary peel or something — we just work with everybody.”

Body Sculpture and Élan Clinic are offering new clients a free consultation and 20 percent off their first treatment.

For more information, contact Body Sculpture on 292-5164 and the Elan Clinic Medspa on 296-7439.

Élan expands: Élan Clinic's head nurse Shameela Simons, and new hire, Sara Smith, a medical aesthetician hope new services will help bolster business.
Boosting business: Karen Mayor, owner of Body Sculpture, hopes extending her hours in a central location will bring in more clientele.

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Published April 08, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 07, 2013 at 7:40 pm)

Skin clinic expands services in the heart of Hamilton

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