Dr Prenna Jones

From car­di­ol­o­gist to anti-age­ing guru

The Daily Telegraph - - News Review & Features -

Dr Frances Prenna Jones’s for­mer col­leagues used to call her “the quack”. She trained as an NHS car­di­ol­o­gist, and thought noth­ing of be­ing wo­ken at two in the morn­ing to per­form an emer­gency an­gio­plasty, so it came as some­thing of a sur­prise when she de­cided to turn her at­ten­tions to cos­metic der­ma­tol­ogy in­stead.

“Now that my col­leagues are all ap­proach­ing 50, they’re chang­ing their tune,” she says, laugh­ing. “They’re ask­ing me for ad­vice.”

It was an anaes­thetist friend of hers, who worked for plas­tic sur­geons, who sug­gested the change.

“He said, ‘You know, I think you’d be amaz­ing at all the cos­metic stuff be­cause you’re geeky and science-y but also you have an aes­thetic eye’,” she re­calls, “And some­thing just clicked.” But the tran­si­tion was not straight­for­ward. Sev­en­teen years ago, when Prenna Jones de­cided to change ca­reers, cos­metic der­ma­tol­ogy was still in its in­fancy and she had to spend time re­train­ing in Brazil and Aus­tralia, be­fore set­ting up her own clinic in Lon­don’s May­fair.

To­day, Prenna Jones is one of the most sought-af­ter cos­metic doc­tors in the UK. Her celebrity clien­tele in­cludes Dav­ina Mccall, Louise Red­knapp and Mil­lie Mack­in­tosh – those are the ones who have gone on record: other ru­moured clients are singers, ac­tresses and more than one su­per­model. Her treat­ments

‘Peo­ple think, I don’t have to age the way my par­ents aged any more’

com­prise mesother­apy (an anti-age­ing pro­ce­dure in­volv­ing tiny in­jec­tions into the sur­face of the skin), fillers (she prefers to call them “vol­ume re­plac­ers”) and, of course, Bo­tox.

Such pro­ce­dures have, in the past, been dis­missed as su­per­fi­cial stick­ing plas­ters for a gen­er­a­tion ob­sessed by looks. But Prenna Jones in­sists that what she of­fers is “real medicine”: ap­ply­ing the knowl­edge she gleaned as a car­di­ol­o­gist to a dif­fer­ent area of the body. “It’s not just about ex­ter­nal age­ing, it’s about in­ter­nal age­ing and the syn­ergy be­tween the two,” she ex­plains. “There have been lots of stud­ies show­ing that if you look bet­ter on the out­side, you func­tion bet­ter on the in­side. It’s pre­ven­tive medicine.”

She also notes that her grand­mother, who died last year at the age of 105, had taken care of her ap­pear­ance un­til the very end: “One of the rea­sons she lived so long is that she got up and did her hair, put her make-up on and went out and was cheer­ful and friendly,” says Prenna Jones. “I gen­uinely do think that.”

In­deed, re­search pub­lished in 2009 in the Bri­tish Medical Jour­nal found that look­ing young as you age di­rectly cor­re­lates with liv­ing longer. The study ex­am­ined 1,826 twins and found that the twin who looked older died ear­lier than their younger-look­ing twin. Fur­ther stud­ies have shown that tak­ing care of your ap­pear­ance ac­tively re­duces the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol, which can neg­a­tively af­fect the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem.

There’s also the re­as­sur­ance that Prenna Jones is a proper doc­tor, or – as she puts it, “if s---- hap­pens, I know what to do, which is why I worry about peo­ple com­ing into this busi­ness with­out a medical back­ground.”

Her top tips for skin­care are sur­pris­ingly sim­ple: she ad­vo­cates fol­low­ing a strict cleans­ing rou­tine, wear­ing daily SPF and putting an ex­tra coat of Vase­line over eye cream to give an ad­di­tional level of mois­ture. She also ad­vises look­ing out for prod­ucts that con­tain an­tiox­i­dants – par­tic­u­larly if you live in the city. The Prenna Jones “hero” prod­uct is Formula 2006, a glass bot­tle filled with gin­ger­coloured liq­uid, an in­fu­sion of vi­ta­mins, an­tiox­i­dants and anti-age­ing in­gre­di­ents that work to­gether to re­ju­ve­nate and pro­tect the skin.

Formula 2006 is a one-stop so­lu­tion and, just like Prenna Jones her­self, in­cred­i­bly ef­fi­cient. She ad­mits to be­ing “reg­i­mented”. At home, her black tights are sorted in zip-lock bags ac­cord­ing to whether they are sheer or opaque. “I’m very or­gan­ised. You’re talking to a girl who walked into a car­di­ol­ogy out­pa­tients’ clinic and there were 150 pa­tients to be seen. You had to learn pretty fast to get things done.”

Prenna Jones still de­scribes her­self as “a geek” and is the only qual­i­fied doc­tor in the UK to have a pri­vate re­search and de­vel­op­ment lab­o­ra­tory in Dorset, where she cre­ates her own prod­ucts – the lat­est range,

“The Fix­ers”, launches this week, promis­ing to rev­o­lu­tionise your skin and there is science be­hind it: the Fix DDSS sooth­ing balm, for in­stance, is de­signed to soothe both the im­muno­genic and neu­ro­genic in­flam­ma­tion which of­ten causes sen­si­tive skin. In­gre­di­ents in­clud­ing Omega 6 ce­ramides, hyaluronic acid and camomile, which com­bine to main­tain the bar­rier lipid layer of skin.

If it all sounds baf­fling, then in per­son, Prenna Jones is an ex­cep­tional ad­ver­tise­ment for her own skill: a petite blonde with high cheek­bones and pale, al­most translu­cent skin. She re­fuses to give her own age, but a few con­ver­sa­tion clues re­veal she must be in her late 40s, although she could eas­ily pass for a 30-year-old.

She says her goal is to make a client look “fresh and the best ver­sion of your­self ” so that when some­one com­pli­ments your ap­pear­ance “all you have to say is ‘thank you very much’. You don’t have to ex­plain your­self.” The age range of her pa­tients tends to be from around 35 to 65, although her old­est is 89. “And she’s fab­u­lous,” she grins. Prenna Jones, how­ever, is not shy about turn­ing clients away. Re­cently a long-stand­ing pa­tient brought in her young daugh­ter who wanted in­jecta­bles to plump up her lips. The first thing she did was to bring up a se­ries of In­sta­gram pic­tures on her phone of mod­els and re­al­ity stars with over-in­flated trout pouts.

“And I said ‘Ok, we’re not go­ing to do that’,” Prenna Jones con­cludes crisply. So­cial me­dia feeds full of eggshell-smooth fore­heads, over­in­flated lips and cheek­bones con­toured to within an inch of ab­sur­dity are a con­cern. “It wor­ries me enor­mously,” she ad­mits. “Do I say no [when peo­ple ask for a sim­i­lar look]? Good­ness, yes. Those young girls, in 10 or 15 years, will they say: ‘Why did you do that to me?’”

This grounded at­ti­tude is surely the legacy of a no-non­sense up­bring­ing in Wales, where both par­ents were GPS and where Prenna Jones later stud­ied medicine at Cardiff Uni­ver­sity. Her par­ents taught her that, in or­der to be a good doc­tor, you al­ways have to put the pa­tient first. It’s a phi­los­o­phy she’s car­ried into her own prac­tice. And over the years, Prenna Jones has no­ticed a shift in how anti-age­ing is per­ceived. “I think there’s less stigma as­so­ci­ated with treat­ment. There’s a big turn­around in the sense that peo­ple think ‘I don’t have to age the way my par­ents aged any more’.”

There’s also been an up­surge in the num­ber of men com­ing for treat­ment – Prenna Jones says over 25 per cent of her clients are male, “and be­cause what I do is science-based, it gets re­sults and that’s what men are in­ter­ested in… Peo­ple are much bet­ter in­formed than they were.”

She lets slip that it’s her 25-year uni­ver­sity re­union soon. Now that she’s one of the most highly soughtafter prac­ti­tion­ers in her field, I very much doubt any of her con­tem­po­raries will still be call­ing Frances Prenna Jones “the quack”.

Frances Prenna Jones’s new range, The Fix­ers, is avail­able to pur­chase via her web­site: dr­france­spren­na­jones.com

Celebrity fa­cial­ist: Frances Prenna Jones, at her sa­lon, right, ap­plies her knowl­edge she gleaned as a car­di­ol­o­gist to cos­metic der­ma­tol­ogy

Sought-af­ter: clients in­clude Louise Red­knapp, above, and Dav­ina Mccall, left

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