Face & Body | Dr Victoria Dobbie



Dr Victoria Dobbie BDS, dental surgeon, founder and medical director of Face & Body in Edinburgh, is a woman in business, like millions of others, who aspires to have it all in terms of career, marriage and children. But while the majority of women struggle to make real progress in terms of gender equality in the workplace, she has broken through the glass ceiling to become one of the UK’s most respected non-surgical cosmetic experts – ironically an industry where 80% of leaders are men.

Victoria’s career as a dentist and her in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy sparked a desire twelve years ago to move sideways into the field of aesthetics, an industry that has progressed and grown at a fast and furious rate in recent years.

It’s also an industry that uses unfamiliar, scientific-sounding language and holds high the promise of magical, life-changing results, but which still also has regulatory issues and treatments carried out for the wrong or misjudged reasons.

While Victoria’s vast experience, on-going training and skill and artistry in the area of injectable treatments all underpin her meteoric rise to the top of her profession and have dubbed her ‘the sculptress’, you only have to meet her to realize there are more fundamental issues at play, like empathy, trust and honesty. Being on the same wavelength and therefore able to sensitively identify the real issues and reasons why women seek aesthetic treatment; having the passionate desire as well as the ability to make a difference and transform people’s lives; and being able to identify what holds women back and paradoxically can make us our own worst enemies. The combination of all these factors means that Victoria, perhaps inadvertently, has become a motivational speaker and role model for working women across the board.

“Women are doing amazing things but they are often quite hard on themselves and that can include spending money on things that could make them look and feel better,” says Victoria. “Much store is set nowadays on achieving gender equality by making changes in the workplace, but for women to succeed in business things also have to become more equal in the home.

“Working women are still coming home and doing most of the domestic tasks and that’s what has to change,” she says. “I’m very fortunate in having a supportive partner but we still had to sit down and talk about what each of us needed,” says Victoria, who reveals she has instilled self-sufficiency into her twelve and thirteen-year-old sons.

“Men, and for that matter older children, have to understand this and pull their weight accordingly. It requires good communication and being able to ask for help when need be, which many people think is a sign of weakness when actually it’s a strength. Most important of all, women need to have a personal plan that targets where they want to be in five years in order to ask the right questions.

“I spent eight years as a dental surgeon in the army, which was a good training ground, if a little extreme,” she adds. “I had to fight my corner at times, using assertiveness rather than aggression. But I’ve since learned to copy male high achievers and remain focused on the end goal by using a variety of tools, including networking, on-line training, and putting myself forward as a speaker at conferences, which tends to be well received as my style is very different to that of male speakers.”

While the Edinburgh clinic and its professional team members could paper a wall with awards, qualifications and testimonials, the one Victoria is particularly proud of is becoming the first doctor in Scotland accredited by Dr Arthur Smith, a Canadian plastic surgeon renowned for his empathy and sensitivity whose academy is founded on the ‘science of beautiful results’ – and was rewarded with a set of golden calipers as a result.

“This enables me to measure optimum results with my patients in a scientific way,” she explains. “Less can be more in an industry now capable of delivering such amazing results that it’s very easy to get hooked and keep going back for more. Now I can say categorically to a patient, ‘Okay, this is beautiful, stop now.”

What is beautiful? “At the end of the day being able to understand that is the ultimate aim,” says Victoria. “This industry has changed so much in recent years but now more than ever it is a specialist area, one that can’t deliver good results done ‘on the side’. Really good treatments are invisible and can’t therefore speak for themselves! And with the very latest Ultherapy facelift the results are truly astonishing and can completely change people’s perceptions of age – and it doesn’t involve down time or scary stuff!”

Already the most popular non-surgical treatment in America, Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound to tighten muscles under the skin on the face and neck, is undoubtedly the treatment of the future that’s here today, but so too is the way in which treatments and products can now be combined for ever better results.

“For me, success is no no-one being able to spot my work,” she says. “I want people to tell my clients that they look great but not be able to tell why. We won’t ask people to change products for the sake of a sale or have treatments we don’t believe are needed. We take pride in being honest and trustworthy so that whatever route a client wishes to take, they can be sure all the products and treatments are chosen for their quality, effectiveness, and above all, their safety.”

Given that many women are working well into their 60s these days, having non-invasive work done can turn back the clock in terms of appearance and give a massive boost to a woman’s confidence and self-esteem. And yes, deep down you know you are worth it