How a Former NHS Surgeon is Hoping to Put Yorkshire on the Beauty Map with Week-Long Event
Seeing the connection between the way you feel and the way you look, Dr Lubna Khan-Salim takes a holistic approach to beauty and she is now using her experience to put Yorkshire on the beauty map
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a Yorkshire-based surgeon. I was an NHS plastic surgeon but I left at the beginning of 2020 to start my own clinic, Time to Bloom, a skin, health and wellness clinic designed to cater for women who are 40 years and over wanting to explore beauty treatments in a very safe and ethical way.
I’ve always had a passion for health and beauty but throughout my training, I got a real interest in women’s health in particular. I saw that beauty and wellness go hand in hand, because if you feel good then you look good, so my business is about educating people to look after themselves, more than just their external aesthetic.
You take a holistic approach to beauty – tell us about that.
When I do my consultations with patients we explore everything to do with their wellness, for example exploring their sleep, how they eat, their movement and activity, their overall general health and lifestyle choices. When you put them together, all these factors contribute to how you feel and how you look, so we take a really tailored approach to helping people improve their wellness and then everything that’s related to beauty is just the cherry on top.
People might think it’s botox or fillers that they want, but often it’s how they’re feeling about themselves and their general lifestyle that is most important. We all have such high pressure lifestyles and it can actually be really hard to have any time for self-care or to look after yourself properly. For us it’s just about helping people to come up with a very simple achievable lifestyle goal to help them feel their best.
You are the founder of the This Is Yorkshire Beauty event. Can you tell us more about it?
Since moving to Yorkshire in 2016 I’ve realised that a lot of the focus of the beauty industry and big events tend to happen down south, and if anything does happen here it’s in the ‘Big North’ as everyone thinks the North is one big county. I felt like Yorkshire gets neglected a lot, so what I really wanted to do is to hold an all-inclusive event to do with beauty and wellness that puts Yorkshire on the map.
This Is Yorkshire Beauty is a week-long event taking place in May 2023 which will cover four main pillars that I find are really important and topical at the moment; diversity and representation in beauty; sustainability and all the greenwashing that goes on; future beauty trends and what’s coming up; and the side that I concentrate on, which is the non-surgical and women’s health side of things.
It will involve introducing lots of new beauty brands to the North but also highlighting all the exciting brands that already exist up here and showcasing the talent and the fact that Yorkshire’s got a voice and we should be included, so it’s an element of levelling up. Also serving a need – in my experience over the years I’ve been here, there’s such a wealth of interest and the same appetite for beauty and wellness in Yorkshire as there is everywhere else, so it should be represented up here as well.
What can people expect?
There will be both free and ticketed events, such as pop-ups, masterclasses, panel discussions, live demonstrations and more. For example, Grantley Hall are going to have a whole day event all about women’s health, biohacking and the menopause. People will be able to try out some of the amazing equipment they’ve got in their elite gym like cryotherapy chambers and fitness testing devices. Also at The Ivy in York, we’re having a panel discussion about the good, the bad and the ugly side of social media and the beauty industry and the pressure that we feel. At John Lewis in Leeds, The Beauty Society are going to be doing masterclasses talking about future Spring/Summer trends for 2023 and talking about some of the positive stuff that’s coming out of the beauty industry in terms of products and sustainability.
There’s quite a few more but that’s just a taster. We’re trying to make it really inclusive with something for everybody. Basically just showing what happens behind clinic doors so people can get an understanding of the reality and they can actually ask questions and get real answers. I feel that with the beauty industry, there’s often a lot of hype but very little substance so we’re really trying to open the doors and give people a taste of what it’s all about.
Where do you hope to see this going in the future?
This will be our inaugural first event but we hope that if it takes off and people are interested it will just get bigger and bigger each year. We’d like to be able to envelop the whole of Yorkshire and include more venues and more businesses, as well as introduce lots of brands which start down south but want to see themselves up here too. Basically, put Yorkshire on the map so people all over the country can’t wait to go to This Is Yorkshire Beauty event.
What’s your best beauty advice?
My best advice would be that beauty is already there and it’s just about recognising what your own true beauty is. We have so much prescribed beauty out there in terms of what we see on social media, or what the industry or brands tell us beauty is. There’s a lot of beauty policing and we often have so many unachievable standards, but I think everybody has their own beauty and it’s about having the confidence and realising that beauty really starts from within. That’s where it should start – not at the bottom of a serum bottle or from a needle or sort of external validation. It’s there already, and it’s about understanding that we’re all individuals and recognising that as a good thing. I feel like my role as a doctor really isn’t to sell people things it’s basically to help them to find their own true beauty.