The red carpet has been laid out, the champagne is flowing and Dr Gabriela Mercik is standing at the entrance to her London based clinic, 56 Harley Street Clinic, welcoming all her guests with a big smile and open arms to the launch event for her new advanced skincare range aptly named, Dr Gabriela.
Renowned for innovative non-surgical procedures and ground-breaking skincare ranges Dr Gabriela Mercik is a leading aesthetic doctor on Harley Street, but is also one of the main teaching doctors for many of the latest aesthetic procedures in the UK and has a very impressive client list that includes royalty, as well as some of the UK’s leading celebrities.
The global number of hair and beauty treatment establishments has shown positive growth in the last five years which, according to Euromonitor International’s latest data on institutional channels, increased by an impressive 14% on 2011 numbers. This number is expected to increase by an additional 14% in the next five years to reach over three million establishments. With more aesthetic doctors now launching their own branded skincare it would seem that Dr Gabriela’s skin care range has come just at the right time.
Source: Euromonitor International from Dr Gabriela
Euromonitor International had the pleasure of being invited to the launch event, which took place in October 2016, to learn more about her new advanced skincare range but also to get a better insight into this fast moving and multi-billion dollar industry. Here we share some our key findings from talking to her at the launch party:
What was it that made you want to work in the aesthetic and luxury cosmetics industry as a doctor?
First and foremost I love working as a doctor. I worked at a hospital for the transplantation of hearts and lungs for over 10 years and rose swiftly to become one of Poland’s leading cardiologists. My career then took me to Northern Ireland, where I worked in cardiology and palliative care. In 2009 however, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After going through chemotherapy, I decided that I needed a change and that it was time to re-consider my career. I wanted to spend my time doing things that would above all, bring me happiness.
My friends were opposed to the idea of my giving up work and advised that 'aesthetic medicine’ may be an interesting area of medicine that I could look into. I did not know much about it at the time but because I have always had an artistic soul, I liked the idea from the very beginning; although it sounded very challenging not to mention daunting.
I went onto to study this relatively new medicine (at the time) and my teacher told me that I had an outstanding talent and skill with my hands and that I should seriously consider continuing my career in this area and work as an Aesthetic Doctor.
I continued working in cardiology for some time but also started working slowly at a small aesthetics clinic in Northern Ireland. I then went on to open a small clinic in Omagh, but, as it happens, fate got the better of me and took me in a different direction: I had a serious car accident and had to stop working completely for some time, which turned out to be much longer than originally anticipated.
By that time however the seed had already been planted and my love affair with aesthetic medicine had already begun. With so many foreseeable possibilities and such enthusiasm and hunger for this new medicine, I could no longer sit around at home waiting to recover from my accident and had to get my new-found love to work!
I started to run my own courses teaching doctors and nurses throughout the UK and Worldwide. In addition to this, I introduced new products to the UK market, such as Nanopeptides, PDO threads and Organic Fillers along with new technologies for skincare using molecular water and active oxygen. I also designed my own injection protocol for PDO threading as a method to inject these in a safe way for both patient and doctor. To date, I have personally trained over 300 specialists in this field and am a regular contributor and speaker at leading global lectures and conferences around the world.
But, above all, since 2012 I have had my very own clinic on London’s Harley Street. Opening my own clinic in London was a very proud moment for me, if not one of the proudest moments in my life as I was the very first Pole to open a clinic on the worlds-famous Harley Street. I, of course, still have very fond memories of Northern Ireland as this is really where it all began.
You have recently launched your own luxury skincare range? Can you tell us a bit about the new Dr Gabriela products?
Yes, I am very excited indeed about my new luxury skin care range. Word of mouth has been remarkable, so much so that the brand is growing at an impressive rate without any advertising.
In terms of the science behind the Magic Serum, the formula contains small water molecules which penetrate the skin and activate a natural cleansing/detox process but also help to stimulate blood flow at the same time. As the blood is stimulated it flows into the arteries around the area where the serum has been applied which then helps to deliver vitamins and other growth hormones to the skin, which are stored throughout the body. In effect, this causes a natural self-rejuvenation process and the cells themselves detox the skin.
Source: Euromonitor International from Dr Gabriela
Why did you launch your own brand and what is unique about the new Dr Gabriela skincare range?
The Dr Gabriela brand is very unique – it is designed for every age and every skin type. We all need water to live and so too does our skin.
This skincare range came about during my treatments in the clinic: patients were increasingly asking me about what creams they should use and what new “magic” creams were on the market. Initially I devised a product that was meant purely for my patients – this was my very first magic serum consisting of molecular water and active oxygen which keeps the skin hydrated for 72 hours!
It was however so successful, that it seemed only natural that I should open this up to everyone and not just my own private clients. Thanks to the technology that we have today we can create these amazing new creams and products - this makes me happy. I can pass this happiness onto people who use my creams and who then get compliments about their glowing skin. This is magic and I simply want people to be happy.
Source: Euromonitor International from Dr Gabriela
The trend of what is now termed “cosmeceuticals” has been accelerating at an unprecedented speed in the last few years. With a number of aesthetic doctors and surgeons like yourself also launching their own specialist skincare range and with what now seems to be such a fragmented market place, how do you compete with other cosmetics brands and where do you see the Dr Gabriela brand sitting against luxury high street brands?
I am not afraid to say that I do not have any competition in the market.The Dr Gabriela brand is a high-end luxury product. In the last few years we have seen many skin doctors launching their own brands and skincare rages, but in most cases, these are just generic creams, which are ready-made and manufactured in a standard factory along with many other branded creams. Their only real involvement in the skincare range is maybe the design of the packaging and how they want their logo to appear. This way they get a ‘ready-made’ cream with a fancy logo on it rather than a cream which is really going to help the skin.
My creams are designed and manufactured with passion. From the very first idea to the final product packaged and on the shelf, they are exceptional. From the moment you start to use these creams you will see a marked difference in your skin’s appearance and condition. A new line of my brand, which is called H+R Hydration and Rejuvenation, is ready to be introduced to the market, this is an additional luxury product as part the Dr Gabriela cosmetics line.
Are you targeting a specific age group or ethnicity or is this a universal product?
My brand is designed for young skin to protect it and for mature skin to repair it. Most people want proven products and want to see results. They are also looking for non-invasive and safe treatments, without having to take drastic measures or undergo a general anaesthetic and/or endure further complications.
The ingredients used in skincare should be natural, match the age and ethnicity of the skin and should nit be tested on animals. The Dr Gabriela brand is based on olive oil, coconut oil and this special molecular water which contains active oxygen. Many of the natural ingredients are delivered into the skin by new technology.
What I want is to make people happy and help, where I can, to change their lives. Through my work I can help to give my clients courage and increase their self-confidence and self-asteem.
What has been your proudest moment of working in this industry and what do you love most about your role as founder and CEO of 56 Harley Street Clinic?
The most important thing for me is the quality and guarantee of my work and I am proud of my Dr Gabriela brand – both the clinic and the new luxury skincare.
During a double blind test on my H+R Hydration and Rejuvenation hand cream consumers reported a 100%reduction in wrinkles and fine lines, 75%of consumers said their skin was softer and 75%said their nails were stronger. Additionally, my skincare range was nominated for Best Professional Skincare by the My Face My Body 2016 Awards. The Dr Gabriela Serum and Molecular Mask have already received a number of awards. Through the use of a 3D camera, we have also been able to carry out hydration tests and have proven results that in just 20 minutes the Dr Gabriela Magic Serum can help to reduce wrinkles on the face and keep the skin hydrated for up to 72 hours.
Last but not least, what is the future of skincare and where do you see the cosmetic/aesthetic industry going in the next 5- to 10-years?
I believe that my clinic is already a Centre of Excellence for many treatments, including PDO Threads and skincare and that these treatments will soon become part of everyday life for men and women.
In the next 5 to 10 years we will have an anti-aging pill for the skin, injections for hair-loss prevention and creams which will help to prolong youth. Skincare will also become increasingly digital. Soon we will be able to implement a tiny chip into the skin which will measure our skin’s hydration levels as well as record any sun damage. This information will then be used to create our very own personalised skincare which will be blended to work according not only to the time of day but also to where we live and the overall state of our health.
I also believe that we will soon be able to have our own in-home IV drip containing a specialised formula to aid in the reduction of stress in the body. Creams will increasingly protect the body from pollution and we will start using nanotechnology more to repair the skin. This (nanotechnology) I hope will come sooner rather than later because I am a great believer in nanotechnology and have a feeling that there is a lot more to come from this technology.
It may come as no surprise that I am currently working on a cream that uses nano-molecules, which we will launch in 2017 in time for my birthday which happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. After all, we need love and good skincare.