The beauty and wellness industry was badly affected by the lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the government has eased lockdown restrictions, aesthetic clinics are reopening complete with safety protocols so that people can once again pamper themselves.
Dr. Emehly Sevilla, or Dr. Em, owner of Vine Holistic Medical Aesthetics Clinics, related that when she started operating the Contours clinic at SM Megamall in September 2020, she had to introduce a lot of safety precautions.
“We had to revamp the clinic because of Covid-19 and it was a requirement of the mall that we install acrylic barrier in the reception area,” she related. “Since acrylic is rather expensive, we just installed the acrylic in the reception area and then in the other areas, we just used acetate.”
To avail of their services, which include infusion drips, natural face lift and contour, skin rejuvenation and hair revitalization therapy, among others, clients are encouraged to call the clinic to make an appointment. Walk-in clients, however, can be entertained but this will depend on the number of clients that are in the clinic at that particular time.
“Before clients can enter the clinic, they need to have their temperature checked. We also do pulse oximetry testing because you can actually check the heart rate if it is normal and the oxygen levels in the body,” Dr. Em said.
Additionally, the client will also have to fill up a more detailed health checklist that is patterned after the checklist of a hospital. It also includes a declaration that states that the client can be held liable if any of the Vine staff get infected with the Covid-19 virus.
“Prior to getting into the treatment area, the clients will be asked to wear booties over their shoes and their handbags will be placed in a plastic bag. They will only be allowed to hold on to their cellphones,” she said.
When the client enters the treatment room, she will be asked to lie down on a bed that has a disposable and waterproof lining on top. This lining is disposed of and changed after every client. The area is sterilized after each procedure.
“Our staff wear PPEs, face masks and face shields and we make sure that they wear gloves when they are servicing our clients,” she said.
Dr. Em is confident that clients will start coming back to Vine after months of being locked down at home. “Our clients are slowly coming back. The patients I have not seen for a year, are also coming back.”
She was forced to close all three Vine clinics last year. Of the three, she was able to retain her clinic at the Bonifacio Global City because it served as their Covid-19 testing enter. She was lucky to have an alternate source of income during the pandemic so that she could pay her staff. She also started doing offsite testing and eventually, it became part of the services that the clinic offered.
“Patients do not want to go to the hospital to have their Covid-19 test. At Vine, they know that the chances of being exposed to the disease are very small considering that it is not a Covid facility,” Dr. Ems said. “We find that people would come back because they feel safe and I think that is our edge over the other Covid-19 testing centers.”
When the government finally allowed aesthetics clinic to reopen, Dr. Em was forced to permanently close the other two Vine outlets at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City and at SMDC Light Residences in Mandaluyong City.
“Golden Phoenix Hotel was transformed into a Covid facility so we had no choice but to close our clinic there. We had to close our clinic at SMDC Light Residences because it is a private residential building and they are very strict about having visitors,” Dr. Em said. “So we retained the clinic at BGC and I inherited, so to speak, a clinic in SM Megamall which is presently known as Contours operated by Vine Aesthetics.”
For now, Dr. Em is happy to concentrate on her two clinics and her practice in Batangas. She is confident that people will start returning to her clinic this year.
“This is the year to make yourself feel and look better after months of being locked down,” she said. “It is time to make yourself beautiful in a very safe environment.”
Image credits: Bernard Testa