Find out more about our practitioners as they tell their own stories, in their own words…
Introducing Dr Kalpna Pindolia, STORY Marylebone aesthetics doctor, and Director of Education at Harley Academy.
Dr Kalpna Pindolia, MB, BCh 2000, MCEM, Level 7 Certificate in Injectables, travels from her Surrey base to practice aesthetics at STORY Marylebone where she is a filler specialist. She also has a key role at Harley Academy, the UK’s largest aesthetic medicine training provider. There she sets the educational agenda for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who want to learn how to administer injectables safely and effectively.
We caught up with Dr Kal and got the kickboxing North Londoner to share her thoughts on everything from the most popular aesthetics treatments to what reminds her of her days at sea as a cruise ship maritime medic…
What brought you to STORY?
A fateful opportunity to work with like minded professionals focused on a patient’s holistic path to self confidence in their facial appearance. Every single person there cares about you.
You train doctors, nurses and other medical professionals in injectables, too and design the learning modules for their Level 7 qualification – tell us about that.
Teaching medical aesthetics in particular, is my happy place. Apart from looking after my colleagues to rock it with their new journey as an aesthetics injector, I am passionate that this scope of practice becomes a more responsible, safe and ethical area.
My role has an impact on individual careers and lives. Having been in the shoes of many of my colleagues previously working for the NHS and looking for more work/life balance, I love being able to inspire change. As well as the industry’s future as a whole, I can positively impact the care given to an individual patient by sharing knowledge and experience.
Working for Harley Academy means I can contribute to a speciality where there is a lot to be done.
Which is your favourite treatment to perform?
I specialise in bespoke, age-appropriate treatment plans for natural rejuvenation that respects the skin and facial dynamics. Cheek filler is my favourite treatment to perform and it’s one that’s often neglected considering it’s impact on our overall facial appearance.
What is the most popular treatment at STORY right now?
Tear trough treatment. We self-diagnose our faces not necessarily with the components we see, but with emotion. The emotion of tiredness usually originates from the mid-face and periorbital area, like the tear trough. A prominent tear trough is the result of multifactorial ageing changes where treatment, which could be skin treatments or filler, can have quite an impact when managed well.
You have incredible skin, please share your skincare routine with us!
My morning routine is pretty on point. I will cleanse with a foaming cleanser. Then alternate days there will be some kind of gentle acid application, mostly lactic or glycolic. The other alternate day is usually niacinamide or antioxidants. Then some moisture with peptides and a tinted sunscreen.
My skin needs, just like yours, vary so I am always amending what I do. I am laziest in the evenings, so that’s when a cleanse and nightly retinol happens… when I remember!
I enjoy microneedling treatments on a regular basis. It’s so logical to harness the body’s own rejuvenating processes to restore skin function and health. I love the results too!
What are the 3 most important things a person can do to look after their skin?
Use sunscreen every day; keep your routine simple and do-able; look for evidence-based information and avoid getting skinfluenced by marketing ploys.
You get to take over the clinic stereo for the day, what are you playing?
It’s all about the 90’s hip hop and RnB at the moment… the good old days, when music was good 😉
What did you do before moving into medical aesthetics?
Emergency medicine and maritime medicine.
I loved the fast paced, challenging environment of emergency medicine. Working with such hard working and inspirational teams was wonderful. I also got to meet patients from all walks of life with a variety of presentations.
Working on cruise ships was also a great experience, where I worked as a ship’s doctor all over the world, looking after crew and passengers. Travelling in a tin can all over the world looking after 3-4K people at a time had its fair share of challenges but, again, I met some wonderful people through the experience.
I love medicine and the beauty of the human body inside and out. Every role I have had in my career has helped me grow as a doctor and as a person.
What do you do to relax?
Kickboxing – one-way traffic with a trainer, that is – if someone tried to attack me, I would probably run!
How did you get into aesthetic medicine?
After several years working in NHS Emergency departments, I was looking for a totally different challenge, that would allow me to use my accrued medical knowledge and skills, plus no more night shifts!
Medical aesthetics is a happy, balanced blend of people, knowledge and practical skills. I also feel a lot of empathy with the people I treat who are going through the ageing process and personally understanding what a profound impact feeling good about your appearance can have on day-to-day life. I approach it as a journey, not a race: mind first, skin next and then injectables.
What do you enjoy about being an aesthetics doctor?
The people. I get to meet the most awe inspiring people everyday, whether it be clients or the people I work with. Being able to be there for someone on their journey to liking themselves just a bit more, through treatments or even just talking, is a beautiful privilege.
Can you cook?
Depends on the definition. I am more a ‘won’t cook’ rather than a ‘can’t cook’ in my mind. My signature dish is probably gourmet cheese and jam sandwiches. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it… My last meal would be cake batter ice cream milkshake with a lamb burger (no lettuce or pickles please). And, as you may be able to tell from the photo here, I do not do oysters.
What’s the secret to getting natural-looking results from injectables?
Express yourself. A good, professional relationship with your medical practitioner will keep you safe and give you the outcomes you desire. Also, there is no need to rush, patience is key. Be proud of you, we are just helping you with tweaks so that you still look like you, just a refreshed version of yourself.
If you weren’t in medical aesthetics, or medicine, what would you do for a living?
Probably teach wellness to children as a life skill. I would love to be a lady of leisure to be honest, volunteering for charities, like Age UK and Mind.
What’s the last TV show you watched?
Below Deck Mediterranean – reminds me of days at sea… and all the drama!
What do you think about societal pressure to stay young looking – is it sustainable? Should we really still put so much value in looking young?
Personally, I believe the focus should be on ageing well, rather than looking young. Looking young is different to looking well for your age. There is much danger in the pursuit of looking young. The first thing is that looking too young is unnatural in the first place, so you are setting yourself up to fail. How about ageing gracefully instead?
Tell us about your interest in the psychological aspects of ageing and medical aesthetics.
Psychology is fascinating. The fact that our minds are electric conduits in a brain led by a cumulative sum of genetics and life experience is wonderful. Once you click that you have a lot of control over your mind and how it processes the world, it can transform your life. I wish I had known this earlier. I had to get old to find out!
My first approach is about challenging people to discover what they like about their face – as they usually come because of something they don’t like. What they like is important too – let’s have more of that!
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Causing a bounce in someone’s step. That smile after a person sees their results is lovely!
What’s your party trick?
Disappearing. No really, I can stealth exit really well.
If you’d like to see Dr Kal, book your consultation at STORY Marylebone now.