Talking to… Francesca Sherwood |

7 mins

Talking to… Francesca Sherwood

The director of True Medispa, winner of Skin Clinic of the Year at Professional Beauty Awards, tells Kezia Parkins about the art of the consultation and the entering awards

Francesca Sherwood, owner and director of True Medispa, is no stranger to accolades. Before winning Skin Clinic of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards 2023, under her lead the clinic scooped both the People’s Choice and Best Customer Service awards at the Richmond Business Awards 2022, after being highly commended at the same awards the previous year.

TrueMedispa celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Located in Twickenham, Greater London, the clinic has become a bedrock of the community, growing to house a 10-strong team including doctors Dr Stephen Humble and Dr Elly Amir to provide advanced treatments.

“We are very skin focused and all about results-driven treatments,” says Sherwood. “We’re very much about science-based products, and when we’re looking at machinery we look at the studies to make sure we’re getting results for our clients. It’s all about taking clients on the skin journey and building up a relationship to get the best results you possibly can as well as working inside and out.”

As well as topical skincare, True Medispa recommends vitamins and collagen drinks to clients to continue their skin journey. “We see ourselves as a skin clinic and are very passionate about delivering knowledge to help clients understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” says Sherwood.

Sherwood herself has numerous qualifications, including advanced electrolysis, laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation light treatments, as well as being a Dermalogica skin expert. “I’m always training and upskilling. I love learning about skin and have countless books on the subject,” she says.

Non-invasive boom

Despite having doctors on the team who are kept busy with injectable and advanced treatments, Sherwood is finding that it’s the non-invasive treatments that are beginning to boom and become more popular with her clients.

“I’m finding a lot of people are going for more non-surgical treatments, but those that are still going to deliver a good result,” she adds. At True Medispa, the most popular among these are mesotherapy and hyaluronic acid treatment Profhilo.

“While I love microneedling, it really has become a bit of a trend. Mesotherapy has been around for years and is incredibly effective but has ended up being a bit forgotten about,” says Sherwood, who believes the reason is a modern mindset that wants instant results and believes that to achieve beauty, there must be pain.

“When microneedling first came out, everyone was trying to go really deep to cause as much trauma as possible and draw blood to get the best healing and collagen response,” says Sherwood. “It’s not all about going deep or drawing blood unless you are treating something like deep scarring. Most people just need skin rejuvenation. It’s all down to the individual skin therapist to give that knowledge during the consultation.”

The art of the consultation

Bad reactions to aesthetic treatments circulating on social media is nothing new but recently we are starting to see more adverse reactions to non-invasive treatments such as microneedling – another example of how trends can encourage clients to opt for treatments they really don’t need.

Sherwood says that a lot of this is down to social media hype: “Loads of young girls are injecting their whole faces but they haven’t sorted out the actual texture of their skin and they end up looking older. I often think if they had a couple of good facials beforehand, they wouldn’t have needed all those injectables because they would have beautiful-looking skin to start with and that would make them feel more confident.”

She adds, “It’s sad really, but all of this can be avoided if a consultation is done properly. Our therapists and doctors work as a team to figure out what the client really needs.”

Sherwood believes that True Medispa’s in-depth consultation process really makes the clinic stand out both in the community and to awards judges. “We take everything into consideration and find out all the details about your skin, your goals, what supplements you’re taking as well as your diet and exercise routine.”

True Medispa also has skin scanners – devices that can scan a client’s face enabling you to see any sun damage, hydration levels, pigmentation problems and impurities. “Clients love this and it helps us visually demonstrate what is going on with their skin,” she says. “Again, it’s about taking clients on a journey, building that trust and educating them about their skin while giving them the tools to improve it. We come up with a package for the client so that we can get results together.”



Francesca Sherwood launches True Medispa in Twickenham


Wins Beauty Salon of the Year at London Hair & Beauty Awards


Highly Commended for Best High Street and People’s Choice at Richmond Business Awards


Wins People’s Choice and Best Customer Service awards at Richmond Business Awards


Wins Skin Clinic of the Year at Professional Beauty Awards

The right retail

Sherwood also credits this bespoke approach and team effort approach for True Medispa’s excellent retail numbers. “We demonstrate to our clients how supplements and skincare make a huge impact on results. They understand why we are selling them the product and that it’s not being pushed on them.”

“Many of the products are used in our facials so the clients get to experience the feel and see the amazing results during their treatment. We often offer free samples for our clients to try because we are confident it is the best for their skin, and they will always come back and buy the full-size product.”

All of Sherwood’s staff, including those at front of house, undergo extensive product training with all of True Medispa’s supplier companies which include Exuviance, Dermalogica and Skinbetter Science. “Our retail success is measured on a weekly basis by our manager, Julie, printing out reports and charts for each staff member. This highlights if they need more assistance or training to help them recommend relevant products to their clients.”

“We often focus on a ‘product of the month’ on our social media platforms and have offers of products combined with treatments, such as recently ‘buy two Skinbetter products and receive a free Skinbetter peel’.”

Superior socials

Speaking of social media, Sherwood really puts herself out there on True Medispa’s platforms. “With social media, it’s about not being shy and just getting on to do a video,” she says. “For me, social media presence is really important. If you make yourself visible, before someone comes to your clinic, they’ll have an understanding of who you are and what you are about. I don’t jump on gimmicky trends – I’m trying to educate clients about the skin and the treatments I do.”

Another thing that makes True Medispa’s social channels stand out is their clinicalgrade before and afters that demonstrate the clinic’s great results with a clear absence of any lighting or camera trickery.

“We have a dedicated room for pictures. You don’t have to have a professional camera or anything; we just use our phones and a ring light. The client needs to go in that same area every time you take a picture and you should be taking pictures every time your client comes in,” she says.

Not only are these images fantastic for attracting new clients on social media, they are also valuable for client satisfaction. “Often, you’ll have a client coming to you saying ‘I haven’t seen a huge difference’, then you show them their starting pictures and they’re like, ‘wow, yes!’”

True teamwork

For Sherwood, teamwork is everything and her secret to a strong and happy team is winning awards. “We’ve entered a lot of awards and it’s such a good way of recognising the hard work and the achievements of not just yourself but your staff as well. It’s a team effort and it boosts staff morale and clients are happy for us.”

In 2023, True Medispa won Skin Clinic of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards (pictured above, right). “The Professional Beauty Award is such a prestigious one, and being recognised as a Skin Clinic is something that we’re passionate about,” says Sherwood. To further reward her team for the win, Sherwood treated them to a trip to Champneys (pictured above, left). “All my girls love skin and have a commitment to delivering excellent results – awards give us all the opportunity to work together to be the best we can be,” she says.

This article appears in February 2024

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February 2024
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