Teresa Tarmey on aesthetics regulation and holistic skincare

Published 14th Feb 2024 by Ellen Cummings

Super facialist and skin specialist Teresa Tarmey discusses the potential new regulations for aesthetics and beauty treatments, and how she treats clients at the Teresa Tarmey Clinic

Don't miss Tarmey at Professional Beauty London – she'll be discussing 'Combination treatments for treating adult acne and scarring' at 11am on Sunday, March 3 on the Skin and Advanced Treatments Stage. Register for Professional Beauty London here.

When it comes to world-renowned facialists, Teresa Tarmey is up there with the best of them. 

With her top-secret roster of clients rumoured to include the likes of supermodel Kate Moss and actors Sienna Miller and Naomie Harris, and features in British Vogue and Forbes magazine, Tarmey has nearly 50,000 hours of hands-on treatment experience. 

However, the Yorkshire-born “super facialist” didn’t know she was destined for skincare stardom when she first started her working life.

“I genuinely didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she says. “I wasn’t academic at all; dare I say this, I didn’t event take my GCSEs. I just wanted to get out into the big wide world and work because I didn’t want to do exams.” 

Tarmey originally wanted to be a nurse but, fortunately for the beauty industry (and her clients), she changed her mind at the last minute and enrolled in a two-year beauty course at Rotherham College

More than 25 years later, Tarmey now has a team of seven people based in her sleek and airy, art gallery-esque clinic in a converted synagogue in Notting Hill, London, in addition to her newly opened residency in luxury London hotel, The Cadogan.

Tarmey insists that her success didn’t happen overnight. Explaining how she grew her impressive client base from scratch, she says, “I moved to London 16 years ago and I didn’t know a single person. 

“I wasn’t aiming for the stars or aiming to get press attention. It’s just word of mouth – someone gets results and tells someone else about it, and luckily enough for me, someone must have told a celebrity. 

“I think celebrities trust celebrities, so they think ‘If it’s good enough for so-and-so, it’s good enough for me’. And then press are interested because they’re interested in celebrities, so it’s like a domino effect.”

Getting to work with a variety of people is part of the reason Tarmey has stayed in the industry for so long. 

She explains, “I get to meet so many different people on a daily basis. I usually do a maximum of seven treatments a day, but it’s actually like meeting seven friends every day. It’s such a social job.”

Holistic skincare

Aside from people, Tarmey’s other great love is skin, with her treatment menu consisting of myriad advanced treatments including laser, fractional radiofrequency, peels and HIFU, to name just a few. 

Check out Tarmey's skin rejuvenation treatment secrets in this interview.

While she loves being able to help clients with their skin concerns, her motivation behind focusing on skin started out as personal.

“The reason I went into skin more was because of my own adult acne,” she explains. “It was really bad until I was about 40, but I still get spots occasionally. 

“I was trying to treat skin from an acne point of view, but also trying to keep it at bay and prevent scarring, so there were different stages in skin that really inspired me to go more into aesthetics.”

Tarmey will be talking about how to treat adult acne and scarring at Professional Beauty London on March 3 – register to attend here.

When it comes to her ethos, Tarmey is a big believer in not treating issues aggressively – “‘Little and often’ is a sentence that I use a lot,” she comments. 

While she does take a gentle approach to her treatments, they are still very much targeted, and all the more effective for it. 

“I like to treat clients for different concerns in one session. So, we don’t do standalone IPL, we don’t do standalone peels – we don’t do standalone anything, apart from resurfacing and ultrasound. 

“Other than that, every single treatment we do is a combination treatment. I think this is really important because most people have more than one concern, so I like to treat them individually and in a bespoke way.” 

Laser-based treatments are “hands down” Tarmey’s favourite way to treat clients. “Removing people’s pigmentation and broken capillaries is such a buzz, so if I had to pick one treatment, it would be resurfacing,” she says.

In her clinic, Tarmey uses the Alma Harmony multi-platform device.

“It’s great because we don’t have to mess around with different machines. One of our signature facials is called the Advanced Facial. We always start this with a light, no-downtime peel to get rid of any dead skin and prep the skin for extractions.

"After extractions, we use the lasers for any pigmentation, broken capillaries, scarring, things like that. We also always try to do a bit of light microneedling to deliver vitamins and help rejuvenation. Then we finish with LED to calm everything down.”

The skin concerns Tarmey is most often asked to treat are usually a result of sun damage.

“The education around SPF and sun safety has come on leaps and bounds, but I still think there’s a certain clientele that’s not ready to give up the sun.

"People who think they’re really educated are still trying to get their SPF from their foundation. I see a lot of sun damage, from broken capillaries to pigmentation, especially on the chest and neck.” 

New regulations for aesthetics

As someone who puts so much emphasis on the value of combination treatments, the categorisation of these in the amber category in the Government’s draft aesthetic licensing document is concerning for Tarmey. 

Find out more about the proposed categorisations here.

Combination treatments – along with other beauty therapist treatment mainstays like standalone radiofrequency, HIFU and non-ablative laser treatments – were provisionally been placed in the “Amber: procedures with medium risk of complications” category.

This means that – if the proposed categorisations go ahead in their current form following the consultation – licensed aesthetic practitioners would need to have relevant oversight by a named regulated healthcare professional (who has gained an accredited qualification to prescribe, administer and supervise aesthetic procedures) in order to carry out the treatment. 


Although nothing has been confirmed regarding licensing for aesthetic procedures at the time of writing (the consultation period ended on October 28), Tarmey is wary of what the potential outcome could be for herself and other experienced beauty therapists who have built their businesses on providing combination and advanced treatments. 

She has voiced concerns about the attitude of generalising beauty therapists and medics, regardless of individual experience, training or qualifications, explaining, “I do disagree with a few things that are in amber, and that’s not from a selfish point of view. It’s so broad.

"There are a lot of people who shouldn’t be using lasers, for sure, but then how could someone stop me, who’s been using lasers for 26 years?

“If that happens, I think it’s really unfair to the people that have been doing it for a long time because, you know what? There are some people that are better than doctors.

"Just because someone is a GP, it doesn’t make them a skin specialist. So how can someone who’s a GP now suddenly going to be good at doing lasers a year later? I’ve been doing this for 26 years.”

Partnering with prestige brands

Tarmey’s extensive knowledge and experience has landed her some enviable brand partnerships, including a touring residency with Soho House Health Clubs and a two-year contract with luxury fashion house Dior.

“With Dior, I did a year as UK ambassador and a year as global ambassador,” she explains.

“It was on the facial side of things, delivering facials Dior-style with Dior products – so it was from a professional angle, which is what I like to be known for.”

Tarmey’s desire to champion the professional aspect of treatments also pairs perfectly with her latest role as a brand ambassador for advanced treatment device manufacturer Alma.

After using Alma laser devices for 15 years, it’s a natural progression which Tarmey is thrilled about.

“I’ll be doing educational things, a bit on social media, but mainly the more professional, behind the scenes stuff as well.

"I hope that one day I get to give advice on what I think will be good in terms of technology and what the customer wants too.”

Ellen Cummings

Ellen Cummings

Published 14th Feb 2024

Ellen Cummings is the senior content writer at Professional Beauty, working across the magazine and online. Contact her at [email protected]

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