In case you haven’t heard, Superdrug recently announced they would be piloting an aesthetics clinic in a London store. This news has caused mixed feelings in the world of aesthetics and amongst my colleagues. As I’ve been pondering the subject myself, I thought it would make an interesting topic for this month’s blog. High street treatments – yes or no?

Superdrug’s reputation

Last week I was at the regional British Association of Cosmetic Nurses meeting in Birmingham and the topic arose – “Superdrug doing aesthetic treatments, what does everyone think?”. The opinion on our table was mainly negative, but I disagreed with most of my colleagues.

Superdrug is a high street brand name and though it may not hold the power of Boots it probably comes a close second. As such, it makes the most sense for them to want to protect their brand and provide an exemplary service (rather than become a Daily Mail story falling at the first hurdle).

Saturday girl

I have a bit of experience with the company, because I worked for Superdrug as a Saturday girl from the age of 16 to 18. They paid us well and we were limited to five hour shifts. I also worked for Boots as a nurse in my early 30s and learnt a lot from them. In order to protect their brand, Boots made certain we had the best and most regular training. As a little insight into what that means: I worked with Class 4 lasers and Boots had us trained and educated on two-week-long residential courses ending in stringent exams that we had to pass. We were lucky enough to have the most incredible professor of Laser and Light Based Therapies.

Boots taught me how important team work is and how any individual in our team could ruin the experience for any patient. They did everything in their retail based power to ensure we didn’t damage their reputation. Incidentally, they couldn’t make their services work and despite individual branches running successfully (as ours in Shrewsbury was) they took the decision to close Boots Healthcare Services after three years.

A professional service

Superdrug will have to deliver the goods, just like any other reputable practitioner – be that a sole practitioner like myself or the large national clinic chains. Their nurses will have to be contactable out of normal clinic hours to deal with any post-treatment problems. They obviously won’t want to be accused of lack of professionalism or negligence by not providing a quality service. The treatment will only be as good as their staff and a one-day basic course in botox and fillers does not make a safe practitioner. Training and learning is ongoing, expensive but essential.

The future of aesthetics

I am sure Superdrug realise that aesthetics is not an easy business to be in. Constant reinvestment will be mandatory if they are to succeed. I wish them well! To be honest, I take far more issue with irresponsible companies providing basic training for non-healthcare trained staff in Botox and fillers than I do with a household brand name setting up.

Meanwhile, I watched the first of three episodes of “Sex, Knives and Liposuction” recently and I definitely would recommend it. Cherry Healey presents this investigate series about cosmetic and aesthetic treatments and what drives people to end up having them. The first episode shocked and saddened me… I shall watch the next two and babble on about it next month I’m sure.

Thanks for reading!

Wendy