In November 2019, HA Derma, the UK distributor for amazing IBSA injectable products, such as Profhilo and Aliaxin, invited me to IMCAS 2020 in Paris.

Once I’d picked myself up off the floor from (happy) shock, I snapped their arm off and said yes!

Who are the IMCAS?

IMCAS stands for ‘International Master Course on Aging Science’ and is a huge annual event held at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.

IMCAS involves both the surgical and none surgical world of aesthetics (in brief terms, plastic surgery and injectable therapies).

Every pharmacy, laser manufacturer, skin care product manufacturer, in fact anything you can think of involved with medical aesthetics in the world has a presence there. You can understand my excitement…

Getting there…

So, last Wednesday evening after a hasty pack (how did I make a medium sized suitcase weigh 19kgs?), I headed off to Manchester T3 for my flight to Paris.

If you haven’t been to Charles de Gaulle airport take my advice, wear trainers! It has three terminals and in Terminal 2 where I landed, even with the use of the shuttle train, my step counter was telling me I’d reached my daily goal!

My Paris taxi transfer was fast and disconcerting, as was the traffic! Trying to cross the four lane roads from the hotel to the conference centre each day, well, never have I felt more like a country bumpkin!

The conference

The Palais des Congrès is a building equivalent to the NEC, but over 3 stories.

The registration queue was a good indicator that I was one of 12,000 delegates! I’ll never get those 102 minutes of my life back spent in that queue, although, I did get chatting to a lovely Spanish doctor which passed the time. It was a reminder that my Spanish is as rusty as my French!

I am acutely aware that UK nurses are one of a few countries in the world who practise independently in medical aesthetics.

Across the majority of the world, the nurses role in aesthetics is little more than a doctors assistant.

This was swiftly bought home to me when I tried to enter a lecture about the use of injectable therapies in the hand and was denied access on the basis I am a nurse, not doctor.

IMCAS recognise that UK nurses are highly trained in aesthetics (many to degree or in my case post graduate level), but we still have a long way to go to be accepted internationally.

The irony was not lost on me that in the UK, seemingly anyone who breathes is training in aesthetics and there I was in Paris stuck outside a lecture hall wishing the ground would swallow me up!

Thankfully my friends at HA Derma were quickly on the case and my pass was upgraded to recognise I was a UK nurse, but IMCAS still have restrictions on our access areas.

I spent precious time with colleagues old and new, and by Saturday I was crossing the roads with ease and leading my colleagues around the Palais as the layout matched the map (something my walking friends may find funny, as I’m not the best map reader!)

An experience I won’t forget

As I was driven along the Champs-Élysées by taxi, after a lovely meal at The Buddha Bar on Friday night, the clock struck 11pm as we reached L’Arc De Triomphe. I glanced back at the Eiffel Tower, which twinkled brighter than a Christmas tree. (I for one won’t forget where I was as the clock struck Brexit!)

As fast as I could say “ooh la la” it was time to head home.

I have to say, I am incredibly proud to be a UK aesthetic nurse.