REVIEW: Dr Leah's Clinic

Space age skin treatments
A pristine waiting room that vaguely reminds of a posh dentist’s welcomes visitors to Dr Leah’s cosmetic skin clinic. Dr Leah Totton, for the uninitiated, is last year’s winner of The Apprentice and with Alan Sugar as her backer, has opened her first clinic in the City. The slightly austere surrounds come as a reminder that this is no pampering, incense-burning spa where a nice lady will massage your cheeks with fragrant oils – this place means serious business. As Linda, my nice but no-nonsense therapist says, there will be no candles and no twangly music, ‘unless you’d like me to sing for you’.

Here, customers – men and women come here in equal measure – can choose from a menu of treatments such as the semi-medicinal sounding glycolic facial peel, lip enhancement, fat freezing and the ubiquitous Botox. Even the therapists are dressed in nurse-like blue and wear plastic gloves.

However, there are also plenty of options for those of the less-is-more school, and so I asked Linda to go gentle. For my gaping pores and tired and blocked skin, she offered me a round of microdermabrasion, a skincare technique that has crossed over from Hollywood to the mainstream. A ‘wand’ buffs away the surface layer of the skin, giving instant lift and a glowing complexion. This felt like a mini Hoover was worked all over my face. This being a top-of the range clinic, the wand is diamond-tipped, no less. Indeed, the surface of my skin felts much smoother and – after a week – it has retained its silky feel.

This was followed by a leave-on exfoliant with salicylic acid, a particular type of acid that is known to open up clogged pores and prevent them from getting blocked again, so although it was all rather medicinal, at least I knew exactly what I was getting. And then came the fun science part – after the exfoliating mask was removed, a contraption full of flickering LED lights was placed over my face. This is called photo rejuvenation and its claim isthat the natural light helps to tighten skin, smooth wrinkles and shrink pore size. Discovered by NASA when trying to grow a plant in space, the LED treatment quickly made its way into the beauty industry. Once doused in LED light, the plant bloomed. So let’s face it – what’s good enough to revive NASA’s plant must only do wonders for our skin.

Dr Leah’s Clinic, 24 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4TY: 020-78775999,