A booming beauty industry in the Bay has brought beauty therapist Katie Mead to Tauranga to open her own clinic.

The Cosmetic Clinic, which opens in Bayfair shopping mall in two weeks, will offer affordable beauty and skin rejuvenation treatments including laser, skin treatments and injectables at lower prices than currently available in the Bay, says Mead.

"We are affordable, and yet, given we are a franchise business that means we don't sacrifice quality. On the contrary we have access to all the latest equipment and tools that standalone clinics may not be able to offer."

With a staff of 10 therapists including two nurses to administer injectables such as Dysport (an injectible product similar to Botox) and dermal fillers, Mead says her team will be trained extensively in all aspects of the business and will attend annual training sessions to stay abreast of industry best practice.

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"Unfortunately in New Zealand there are hazy regulations in the beauty industry, even around treatments such as laser which involve tools that need to be administered with care and knowledge. The international network of The Cosmetic Clinic opened its first location in Queensland, subject to the tightest regulations in Australasia and I am pleased to say that the New Zealand clinics meet the same strict protocols and regulations."

Beauty therapist Katie Mead . Photo/ Andrew Warner
Beauty therapist Katie Mead . Photo/ Andrew Warner

Mead is herself a therapist with seven years experience, and she taught at an Auckland beauty therapy school for two years. She was one of the team in New Zealand's first ever The Cosmetic Clinic which opened in Sylvia Park, where she spent two years, progressing to management.

Now she is fulfilling her dream of owning her own clinic.

One of The Cosmetic Clinic's most popular treatments is laser hair removal which Mead expects will take off in the Bay given its beach culture. It is, she says, a very affordable approach to hair removal.

"Particularly if you are a person that waxes all year round, laser actually works out cheaper than waxing."

After six to 12 sessions, Mead says hair is removed permanently or at least by 95 per cent.

"Although this can fluctuate in some areas due to hormonal changes, but generally we find that after the initial sessions, people would only need one session a year to maintain it."
Mead says it is no more painful than waxing.

"We have two medical grade lasers with different settings and therapists use a cooling air to calm the skin being lasered and always work to the level you are comfortable with."

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And while legs and underarms are the most popular area, more women are having bikini hair removed.

"Laser is suitable for this area too - in fact any area where there is hair you want removed."

The clinic's other popular treatments are packages including Dysport which is similar to Botox, and dermal fillers for lips, and anywhere else where ageing skin has lost volume.
Mead says these treatments are growing in popularity with all ages.

"There are young people who might want a little adjustment, as well as women from mid 30s who want to keep wrinkles at bay."

Mead says the clinic will offer a niche where people can afford these treatments which are otherwise seen as a luxury. A unit of Dysport is just $6.50 a unit, and Juvederm lip fillers start at $499.

As well as being affordable, Mead says the clinic makes its services accessible and welcomes people to walk in and inquire about what treatments might be appropriate. The clinic offers free consultations.

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"Because we are in the mall, it's easy to take advantage of our fast, effective treatments while you are out shopping."

Q & A
What is laser hair removal?
A permanent hair reduction treatment, which eradicates hair growth by targeting either the root of the hair or the blood flow to the root, depending on your skin tone. Once a hair follicle has been successfully treated, hair will no longer grow from it.
How does it work?
A qualified technician targets the hair root or blood supply using a concentrated beam of light. This light is absorbed by pigment, damaging the follicle and rendering it incapable of growing hair. This results in long-lasting reduction in the hair growth of the treated area. Laser hair removal results in permanent hair reduction. In some people, hair never returns (though everyone is different, and results vary).
Does it hurt?
It can be uncomfortable, but not 'painful'. Following treatment skin may be a little red, like a mild sunburn, but this passes quickly. During the laser treatment the technician uses cold air to reduce discomfort.
How many treatments will it take?
Laser hair removal targets hair during growth phases and hair grows in 'cycles' so most clients require between six treatments to 12 treatments, timed 4-6 weeks apart to achieve the desired, hair-free result. .
Will it work with my skin tone?
The Cosmetic Clinic has multiple laser machines that allow a range of hair types and skin tones to be treated.