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Treating your problem skin: Nurse Sally Wagstaff is here to help

By Heather Large | Entertainment | Published:

Many businesses have needed to find ways to adapt in order to survive the lockdown and the beauty sector is no different.

Former Royal Navy nurse Sally Wagstaff runs Xodos Skin & Aesthetics in Staffordshire and has been offering online consultations to customers.

“I have some clients who are very worried about what will happen to their skin if they can’t get in for their regular treatments, so we will be doing what we can over the internet, and getting products delivered to their doors,” says the mother of two.

She set up the business in November 2013 as a way of continuing to use her nursing qualification after leaving the Royal Navy.

From her clinic in Kings Bromley, she assesses her clients’ skin, and prescribes a full pathway of treatment and home care products to deal with ageing, pigmentation, rosacea, acne, dry, oily and misbehaving skin.

She also offers laser hair removal, using the Soprano Ice device, and other treatments such as chemical peels and micro-needling.

“I originally decided to go into business after I left the Royal Navy, and we moved to the Midlands with my husband, who was still in the navy at that time.

“As a registered nurse, I wanted to use my qualification, but with two small children, I didn’t want to go back to full time clinical nursing and shifts.

“I worked part time for a care agency for a while, but really didn’t enjoy it. Having had some laser hair removal after leaving the Forces, I went on a business course and ultimately bought a Soprano Ice and started my own business in Lichfield.

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Qualified nurse Sally Wagstaff set up her clinic after leaving the Navy

“Within a couple of years, I knew I wanted to expand, so decided to train in skin care and anti-ageing skin treatments. This is what I love, and I now do as many skin treatments as I do laser,” Sally tells Weekend.

Under normal circumstances, she would see between 25 and 40 clients every week.

“My average age range is probably 35 to 60, with my most common skin client being between 45 and 55. However, I will treat as young as 18 – 16 in cases of acne or rosacea and on GP advice – and as old as they would like to come to me. They are either concerned about embarrassing facial hair – very common at various stages of life – or want to take away the chore of shaving, waxing, epilating and the associated rashes, ingrowing hair and time that it takes up!

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“Skin concerns range from embarrassment at early ageing, realising a big birthday is only a few months away, sun damage, or just wanting to get the right things in place so their skin doesn’t age too quickly – prevention is always better than cure,” explains Sally.

She finds her work very rewarding especially when her customers are pleased with the results. “I love my job. I love seeing the difference the treatments I offer make to people’s lives. Sometimes it is just a convenience thing like not having to shave but often it can be truly life-changing, with people no longer hiding away and cancelling meetings because of their skin for example, or hiding behind scarves in the summer because of facial hair.

“To get someone’s life-long acne under control is so rewarding,” says Sally.

With the clinic currently closed due to social distancing, she has launched online skin consultations via Zoom and has also been sharing advice on her Facebook page.

“This is a great way for people to get their skin care routines started, discuss home care products, and get my advice on how to treat their skin at home with our fantastic products and home treatments,” says Sally.

Sally offers a wide range of treatments at her clinic

“This is going to be a very challenging time but I can still help so many men and women to keep their skin care on track until they can start coming back in for treatments.

“We have a great home treatment kit, which is definitely going to come into its own over the next few months,” she adds.

Sally takes great pride in prescribing the right products that will make a difference to her customers’ lives.

“Normal challenges are getting people to understand the difference between quality, medical grade skincare – not to mention someone who knows how to prescribe the right products – and the kind of things you get ‘off the shelf’.

“Generally people need educating to understand that if they really want results, they need to get proper products with the right ingredients. These aren’t necessarily cheap, but they are not excessively expensive – you can spend a lot more on an off-the-shelf product that won’t give you the results.

“Nobody regrets starting these treatments – sometimes they can take a while to get to understand the benefits.

“We nurture, discuss, and inform, rather than shove things down people’s throats – this is where my Facebook group is invaluable as it means people can come and get information, advice and support without over-committing. We run product trials, do live treatments etc.

“My time in the navy has absolutely helped my career – it has given me discipline and a drive to work hard and achieve. I always strive for the best, which has been a great help towards my business. My attitude to my clients is that their results are paramount, I will always help to get them the best results possible, and if we are not achieving what we expect, I will try something else until we do get there.

“Honesty and integrity are fundamental characteristics in the armed forces, and I rely on these fully – I’m not out to sell as much as possible, I’m trying to get the best results for the client,” she tells Weekend.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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