As an aesthetics practitioner, Shikha Rishi is two-in-one. She combines her medical expertise and insights with an eye of a passionate beautician and makeup artist.
However, as she delved deeper into medical aesthetics, she developed a very different attitude towards beauty – she firmly believes “it is only skin deep.”
“I grew up feeling very insecure about my looks. But aesthetics helped me regain my self-confidence,” she said.
But now when she looks back, she gets a bit annoyed with herself because her pictures tell her a different story. She laments that all the time she spent worrying about her looks were futile.
Someone who had been around pharmacy all her life – her father owns a pharmacy – Shikha wanted to try something new, an adventure which would soon become her passion.
Aesthetics appealed to her because she has worked as a beautician, she has done make-up whenever time allowed her to ride the hobby horse.
However, she knew that she didn’t want to work in a lab. Being a woman of essence, she wanted to do something that was close to her heart, the dermatology side of pharmacy.
Six years ago, when she took up a course at Reading University to gain her independent prescribing qualification – the only community pharmacist in her class – she went “all guns blazing” thinking it was going to be an easy ride. She had previously embarked on an aesthetics programme but underestimated the importance of being a prescriber mainly due to the fact that botulinum toxin was prescription only.
There were too many obstacles along the way. She didn’t know how to order stock. She sought help, offered to work as an apprentice with a doctor specialising in aesthetics but was turned down because a pharmacist at the time didn’t quite fit the bill.
But she didn’t give up. And after undergoing years of training under Dr Tim Pearce at Skin Viva, Manchester, she firmed up her place in the world of medical aesthetics.
She’s now a highly regarded and vastly experienced aesthetics practitioner at Elegant Aesthetic Beauty Clinic in her home town of Bournemouth and Poole.
“I only use the most advanced techniques and products in my consultations including the well-established Botox and Juvederm ranges,” she says.
Ethically she won’t be able to go to bed if she felt she did a treatment on someone who didn’t need it.
“I have had consultations with patients when we ended up deciding they don’t need a treatment at all,” she confesses.
“There are more restrictions on medics, who may lose their license, than beauticians, who don’t have one. They are good at selling, we aren’t because for us it’s a service.”
But does she find that a wasted hour? “No,” she says emphatically. “And that’s probably why I get a whole family come to me for consultation from near and far.”
One of her regular patients flies all the way from Portugal!
This article also appears in the August issue of Pharmacy Business.