She is one of the world’s leading experts in fillers and botox. Now, Dr Jonquille Chantrey wants to change the face of the aesthetics world.
When she is not jet-setting across the world teaching surgeons how to correctly use anti-ageing jabs and speaking at international seminars, she can be found at her clinic in Alderley Edge, where her customers fly in from all over the world to see her.
But while many think of fillers and botox as treatments of vanity, Dr Jonquille, 41, is determined to show that they offer so much more than a mere cosmetic spruce up. For 30 per cent of her work is helping people who suffer from facial disfigurement, scarring and nerve palsy – which can all be improved with the right and skilful application of facial fillers.
And at her clinic, ØNE aesthetic studio, she has trained psychologists and hosts yoga and wellbeing sessions which are as much about treating the inside as the outside for her clients.
“People think it’s all about vanity. People say ‘oh it’s a bit vain’. But I’m not interested in vanity, my patients aren’t vain,” she says.
“They are doing it for so many different reasons. They might have had health issues, lost loads of weight, going through a divorce, doing it because they still want to look competitive in the workplace because people are telling them they look tired.
“I take time in my consultation to understand the patients, rather than just ‘oh you want that line fixing – no problem’.
“For me it’s about your motivation and your relationship with yourself. This year I performed one of the biggest global beauty studies of its kind – 14,500 people and 1300 doctors across 18 countries to understand in more detail how people feel about their body image and their motivations for treatment.
“Many do not necessarily want to recapture youth, but think they look much older or more tired than they feel inside. It can be a misalignment with the way they feel and the way they look. There are also patients that want to be more attractive or simply look more normal, due to facial disfigurement.”
It has been an incredible journey for Dr Jonquille. She studied at Manchester High School for Girls as a bursary student before going on to study medicine and surgery at Nottingham Medical School.
She returned to Manchester to work at Booth Hall Hospital specialising in children’s intensive care and burns before heading to Wythenshawe Hospital where she specialised in burns and plastic surgery.
She also worked as a surgeon in an anti-scarring Biotech company at the University of Manchester where her prestigious research work was published in The Lancet.
But in 2004 she was headhunted into the aesthetics industry – at that time a fairly new thing. Now she estimates she has completed some 30,000 aesthetic procedures.
Jonquille says: “I love burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery and aesthetics allows me to have a more in-depth relationship with my patients and achieve a quicker creative result with less downtime. Now, everyone is trying to get into aesthetics, irrelevant of their background – and not always for the right reasons.”
In 2007 the pharmaceutical company Allergen who make Botox and Juvederm approached her to become one of their key opinion leaders. And by 2009 she was in demand flying across the world teaching other doctors.
She says: “I only teach advanced practitioners at the top of their field. I also train the trainers and have taught many of the top UK doctors. I’ve lectured in five continents, the US, Australasia, Asia, South America and all over Europe and Russia.”
in 2010 she set up her own clinic in Alderley Edge so that she could be in control of her medical portfolio.
She says: “I’d worked for and seen many clinics where I did not agree with their ethics of patient care and financial greed. I would never compromise patient care and instil this into my staff as a core value. When I worked for other clinics I decided ‘you’re not going to tell me who I’m going to treat, if I say no it’s no’.”
Why would she say no to someone wanting fillers or botox?
She sighs: “Lots of different reasons. Sadly, I see so many people who need corrections from other practitioners who need a lot of care – often it’s not that easy to just ‘fix’. I decline if someone has unrealistic expectations, if what they want isn’t right for them cosmetically or safety wise, medically. If I think in any way there’s a psychological risk to the patient I decline and offer alternative help. The priority of patient care is being lost in this specialty which has now become a commoditised industry.”
Jonquille’s ethos is it’s all about improving people without making them look radically different.
She says: “I study trends as it is a big part of my international work, but I don’t tend to have the patients who say ‘make me look like this celebrity’ or ‘I want to have massive lips’. I recommend what is both safe and beautiful for that individual, but of course this is subjective.”
Is there a particular age when you are “beyond repair” I ask?
“Not at all. I have patients who range in age up to their 80s. My mature clients tend to be very polished individuals. They still exercise, they do yoga or pilates, and they say this is just a part of their upkeep. I dye my hair, I get my nails done, so why shouldn’t I do this?”
There is a four month waiting list to see Dr Jonquille for general botox – she now tends to deal with the more complex cases – but has trained doctors working alongside her too. Her work is so renowned that 80 per cent of her customers travel from all over the world to Alderley Edge just to see her.
“I can only see so many patients and have a long waiting list, but I’m very driven by my social responsibility. I train globally so that more patients are safe. When I teach hundreds of doctors, this translates to thousands of patients getting better results.”
What does Jonquille put down as the secret of her success?
She says: “A lot of dedication and the intention of always putting the patient first. I’ve cared for many patients and their families over the years and performed thousands of procedures. What drives me is patients being in the safest hands. I’ve seen so many changes in the industry and want to raise the ethics not just in the UK but globally. I was chosen as one of the top 7 female doctors internationally to work on a panel that leads research, clinical trials and innovation. I’m currently leading a social responsibility campaign, educating the public about safety, about choice.
“I think we’ve all got a role in society’s pressures. I say it’s wonderful to improve yourself, be it inside or out, but self-acceptance is key. Try not to strive for perfection, it doesn’t exist.”
Her clients have included some of the world’s most famous stars – but discretion is naturally key in her line of work. In the past she has worked in LA in the month leading up to the Oscars to assist with “last minute tweaks” for Hollywood stars, as well as at the BAFTAs.
But she says she tries to keep her treatments affordable, with botox costing £350 for three areas and £450 for a syringe of Juvederm filler.
She says: “It’s not money that motivates me it is always to try and do better, learn more, understand more, grow more. Last year I trained as a yoga teacher in 2 principles, one of which included Chinese medicine. My purpose is to help people to accept themselves completely and we can only do this through emotional, mental and spiritual growth, not just by defining ourselves from what we look like.
“I say to people let me fix what bothers you on the outside, and then you can focus on what else is important in your life.”
As for Jonquille’s own regime, she has Botox, radio frequency and ultrasound skin therapies as well as medical skincare to stay looking polished.
She doubled the size of her Alderley clinic in 2018, which now offers as many wellness session as aesthetics options – everything from yoga to acupuncture and wellbeing coaching.
She says: “The clinic now offers a more authentic expression of how I endeavour to help others. I lead a special meditation session called ØNE beauty project once a month with the intention to help spread positive body acceptance and self-image.”