Dr Johanna Ward is a multi-award winning Gp specialising in dermatology. She is a passionate advocate for the power of preventative and nutritional medicine and is the founder of ZENii a skincare & supplement range based on dermatological and nutritional science.
Dr. Ward was educated at Oxford University and Kings College London and lives in Kent with her husband and three children. She set up one of the most prestigious skin and laser clinics in the UK in 2010, which became multi-award winning and to this day is known as one of the best clinics in the UK for cosmetic dermatology. She has devoted her professional career to the science and study of skin health.
Hows it going Dr. Johanna? Let’s start off with a little bit about you and your background first, if you can tell us?
I am a Doctor that specialises in dermatology, skin health, and nutrition. I have devoted my professional life to the science and study of skin health and in more recent years have developed a keen interest in how nutrition affects skin health.
You are a multi-award winning Gp specialising in dermatology, have you always had a passion for the skin care industry in particular? I actually always wanted to be a plastic surgeon during my medical school years because I loved working with my hands and I loved the art of surgery. There was always something exciting about being in the operating theatre, scrubbing up and getting into the surgical mindset that connected deeply with how I felt I wanted to spend my professional life. But one day I met a dermatologist who changed everything for me. I started to spend more time working with lasers, doing skin surgery and minor ops. I was up on Harley Street at the time in some of the most exciting clinics, learning all the latest anti-ageing techniques and I knew then that I had found my raison d’etre. Since then I haven’t looked back and dermatology has become my main focus in medicine.
You founded ZENii, which is a skincare & supplement range based on dermatological and nutritional science, can you tell us how this came about? What has the journey been like so far?
The journey has been exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure! It’s a challenge to compete against the cosmetic giants who have huge budgets and endless resources. But I think that consumers are moving away from mass-produced skincare and are starting to look for skincare that is more bespoke and tailored to their needs. They are moving away from the pseudoscientific skincare that dominates the high street and is sourcing high performance, clinically proven actives that actually affect a quantifiable change in the skin. Consumers want more from their purchases and that’s where brands like mine come into their own. We develop clinically proven, evidence-based skincare & supplements for people who want to invest in the best.
Any challenges or barriers faced so far? If so, how did you overcome them?
The hardest part of this creative process has been funding it. The setup costs are enormous. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who believed in me and who wanted to support me and who knew that my passion & creativity would result in something amazing.
You were previously educated at Oxford University and Kings College London, do you think at some point that maybe you would like to like to become a keynote speaker or host skincare educational workshops?
Yes absolutely. I love training and educating and passing on my knowledge. I already lecture nationally and internationally so I am sure in the future that will become more of a fixture. I think the future of anti-aging and skin health lies in the incorporation of nutrition into skincare and this is where my particular interest lies. My range taps into the incredible synergy that exists between topical skincare and inner, cellular nutrition. From Probiotics to Vitamin D and Omega 3, we are just beginning to understand how impactful optimising these things can have on our skin health & cellular aging.
You already launched one of the most prestigious skins and laser clinics in the UK back in 2010, but what is next in terms of projects for you?
I want to continue my creative journey and continue creating new and amazing products for ZENii. In 2017 I want to release a supplement that I have been creating that will complement the healing process for anyone that is having any kind of surgery. I developed this supplement alongside my surgical colleagues to ensure that their patients benefit from optimal skin and tissue healing after surgical procedures. It will ensure that anyone undergoing the major stress of surgery has all the micro-nutritional support they need to heal well and get back on track fast.
Lastly what advice would you give to other young women wanting a career in dermatology?
A career in medicine is not easy. It takes many years of studying & dedication to get to the top but ultimately if you are passionate about it and love what you are doing, it is a wonderfully rewarding career. Dermatology, in particular, is a dynamic and changing field because science is moving fast. We are understanding more and more now about how the skin ages, how it is affected by disease & disorder and how we can maintain long-term skin health. I predict that pollution & nutrition are going to dominate the next 20 years of skin science, just like UV has dominated the last 20.
Twitter: @ZENiiskincare | Instagram: @ZENiiskincare