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Truth be told, being a doctor was never on my wish-list when I was younger. I wanted to be a dancer and performer but life had other plans for me.
As a child, I didn’t like myself very much. I had a dull complexion, overweight, spotty and wore large geeky glasses. I was bullied in school but I tried to fit in and constantly seeked approval. As a result, I developed an eating disorder and was self-harming in my teens.
I always felt like the odd one out. One day I decided to strive as a doctor so I could get recognition through my brains instead. Growing up in South East Asia, it was the culture that you chose the profession of a doctor, a dentist, an accountant, a lawyer or an engineer. I saw it as my duty, being the eldest of 5 to do my parents proud to choose a profession that was highly regarded.
My mother suffered from terrible skin problems – acne, eczema and psoriasis. I remember my mum proudly telling her friends I was in medical school and I would help her clear all her skin issues when I graduated.
She was an amazing woman - great mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. But sadly....I lost her when I was 19 years old.
She was highly intelligent (helping my father build his business when he started with nothing at the age of 16 years old), highly motivated (started several businesses when she was a stay-at-home mum), highly creative (learned to play the flute and speak Mandarin at the age of 40 years old), highly optimistic, and lived her life with vitality, health, laughter, love and family ties.
Three weeks after helping me settle in London for the start of my medical school, I had a call from my family saying she was not well and in 24 hours, she was gone. It was 28th October 1997 and she was 46 years old. She left my dad with 5 children, I was the eldest at 19 years old and my youngest brother was nine. I grew up in my 20s without a female role model. Losing my mother was hard but her memory definitely shaped the woman I am today.
I graduated from Guy’s, King’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London in 2002 and completed my postgraduate qualifications with the Royal College of Surgeons. I started my earlier training specialising in general surgery and plastic surgery before embarking as an anti-aging doctor.
However it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer at the age of 30 years old that led me down the path of wellness and functional medicine. I furthered my studies in USA, acquiring new knowledge and experience in naturopathic medicine, nutrition and natural hormonal balance. It gave me new respect and appreciation for our skin, body and health.
I was voted as one of the Rising Stars in the Aesthetic Industry in 2012, won Best New Clinic in 2013 and was a finalist for the Best Medical Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year in 2014. I am also the author of the book "The Hormonal Acne Solution - clearing your acne naturally without antibiotics, birth control pills and roaccutane" and the First Independent Global Skincare Expert for Bodyshop International. My work has been featured in Tatler, Marie Claire, Vogue, Woman & Home, Good House Keeping, Sunday Telegraph, Elle Magazine, Get The Gloss, Daily Mail, Stella, InStyle Magazine, Stylist, Psychologies and many more.
My life priority completely changed when I became a new mum at the age of 38 years old. It took a little while getting used to my new role but I love being a mum to my gorgeous little boy.
I never realise how tough it is being a mother (sleep deprivation, aching body, very little quiet time and hormonal imbalances). I have a new found respect for all mothers and had to learn new strategies to balance my own hormones while caring for my skin so I don’t look like I’ve aged 10 years in the first year of having him.
In my lifetime, I would love to achieve this (or enjoy striving for it):
- Helping as many women as I can to feel more confident with each passing year either through my treatments in clinic or my online programs (watch this space for hormonal acne solutions and natural hormonal balance).
- Creating a fun organisation in the future to teach kids about skin health, skin care and being healthy - to prevent acne and weight problems which often leave lasting scars both internally and externally..
- Hosting a successful web TV show to educate people about skin, health and confidence.
- Spend time with my family, travel the world and make a difference where I can.