Dr Joshua Van der Aa is an award-winning aesthetics expert with a clinic on Harley Street.

What attracted you to the world of aesthetics?

Complete chance. I started a post-graduate degree in dentistry after qualifying as a medical doctor to work in maxillofacial surgery. Early on in dental school a colleague suggested I take a look at facial injectables. My interest was piqued. The more I discovered, the more it blew me away: the dexterity involved, the subtle but effective difference a few injections made… Things snowballed.

I was offered a post in Amsterdam. In turn, I was offered a job in London so I cut short my dental studies to pursue this career full time. And now I have my own clinic – and I’ve never looked back!

 How often do you travel for work?

Constantly. In fact, it’s doubled since the beginning of the year. I now travel fortnightly between my base in Harley Street and Antwerp in Belgium where I run a clinic twice a month for a few days at a time. On occasion, I go weekly. And, so far this year, I’ve already attended a couple of major medical aesthetics conferences: IMCAS in Paris and AMWC in Monaco.

Do you have to travel with equipment? 

Luckily not. I make the device-based treatments I offer available only to patients who see me in Harley Street. These include CO2 laser, Morpheus8 microneedling, PRP, EMsculpt. I keep and order stock for the Antwerp clinic over there. It also means I can travel quite light and make sure I steer clear of hold-ups before boarding flights.

How do you balance life and work, particularly with the filming of Belgian docu-series The Sky is the Limit?

It’s a delicate balance but I feel I do it quite well. The secret is in building in that bit of luxury. Getting away – really away – if only for a few days to a country hotel makes all the difference.

It did take extra planning for the TV show. But it was great fun and I soon adapted to being trailed by a camera crew on-and-off for four months! It’s honestly something you just get used to. The final episode of nine aired in January. Life in Belgium is quite different now, very positive for work. I’m honoured I was one of the entrepreneurs they followed.

Funnily enough, I’ve been stopped for selfies a couple of times in business lounges since being in the show, which is quite lovely. One time, in the Eurostar premier lounge, someone tried to book an appointment with me there and then, but I had to explain I don’t personally manage my clinic calendars.

What are the latest cosmetic trends?

I usually caution against anything that’s trending. I like to give only the lightest touch, keeping work incredibly discreet and natural-looking. No one should ever know you’ve had anything done, but they should think you’re looking fresh, energised and well.

Cosmetic work is more popular than ever in a general sense and vastly more men are seeking it at the moment, and work to improve the eye area is absolutely booming.

What’s your most requested treatment? 

It’s tear-trough filler. I treat so many City types, professionals, and business owners and, by far, this is what they ask for the most. It’s where we very subtly augment the area under the eye, to soften the hollowing that occurs, because we can look tired and aged otherwise. It’s incredibly rejuvenating and often wipes away years in minutes.

I offer treatments for hollowing in the upper eyelids as well. That’s also in huge demand. And frown line botox is popular with this group too – just enough to soften that angry-looking groove – it must be all that concentration that’s needed at work.

If you’re curious about why certain colleagues are always looking rested and ready, they’re probably seeing someone like me; they’ll still be feeling the pressure of the job but it’s not showing on their face, and that can be incredibly advantageous in business.

What’s your skincare routine on a flight?

I always wear and pack the products I use daily so that I keep that consistency going and don’t disrupt my routine. I use medical grade vitamin C serum and an eye cream; I always take those with me. Most passengers will benefit from a hydrating moisturiser or serum to limit skin dehydration. Water intake is important too. And move about a bit if you can. This will reduce puffiness. 

What’s been your most rewarding travel experience?

It’s impossible to pick one, but I do love travelling for conferences. It’s amazing to meet up with colleagues from all over the world, we have such a great time. It keeps me up to date with the latest advances and these experiences always refuel my passion for the job. 

I’m excited to be flying long-haul to Philadelphia again in September for NeedleArt. The conference is hosted by my friend and colleague Dr Christian Subbio. Last year, I attended as a delegate. I’m returning as a speaker this time, an enormous acknowledgment.

And most challenging?

Honestly, I don’t want to sound boring, but it’s just getting to the airport in London. Timing is tight, so when I’m working late here and I know I’ll be starting work from midday in Antwerp the next day, that’s always a bit challenging. But, twice now on leisure flights, I’ve responded to cabin crew calls for a doctor to assist a passenger taken unwell mid-air. Luckily, on both occasions, all turned out well.

What’s your dream destination?

 It’s anywhere that takes me a bit further than where I’d naturally be going. For example, when I went to New York, I found myself longing to go to Los Angeles. I like to go to places I don’t usually get to travel to because of the distance.

And I’d love to go to Navagio Beach. It’s in the Ionian Islands, it’s secluded, and it looks breathtakingly beautiful. One day!

What is your indispensable travel gadget?

My universal chargers. I can’t be without them. 

What’s your inflight entertainment pick?

I usually download a couple of shows of whatever TV series I’m watching. Right now, it’s Succession.