Claire Thrift often starts the weekend with a takeaway pizza or curry, but she had never phoned for a Botox injection. This weekend she became one of the first people to make use of the UK's first home-delivery medical cosmetic service.
Dubbed "Botox-on-a-bike", a range of therapies is being offered by a London-based chain of clinics to be administered in homes by a doctor who comes to call on his motorcycle. Services include skin peels, Botox and injectable wrinkle fillers - administered Dr Cyrille Blum.
Dr Blum, 55, a Parisian with 15 years' experience in the field, is Botonics's main house doctor. For the past few weeks, he has been riding across London to different addresses, his panniers full of syringes and an icebox of refrigerated Botox on the back of his bike.
The west London-based Botonics group of clinics says it has been inundated with inquiries since it launched the service last month: would-be clients include working mothers, professional models, businessmen and celebrities.
Shortly after 6.30pm on Friday, Dr Blum arrived at Mrs Thrift's address in north London, clad in black motorcycling leathers. He talked her through the procedures she had booked - Botox around the eyes, and dermal fillers to smooth out lines around her mouth.
Moving his client to the brightest place in the house - the sofa in the lounge - Dr Blum administered the treatment, checked all was well and then rode off into the night.
Mrs Thrift, 27, declared herself extremely happy with the results. "The whole thing took about 10 minutes and it was great, really relaxing," she said. "The idea of being able to recline on my sofa and have my husband here during the treatment is far more appealing than going into a clinic."
Dr Blum, who checks that each person is suitable for treatment and that their home meets sanitary requirements, said he had seen a broad range of clients during his first few weeks of housecalls.
"A lot of businessmen like to have this done, because it's very discreet, comfortable and very quick," he said.
According to Dr Blum, the most popular treatments are around the eyes, mouth and forehead. Prices are the same as those in the clinic - Botox injections starting at £200 - plus an £80 "delivery charge".
Botox is now the most popular non-surgical medical cosmetic treatment in the UK.
But Dr Patrick Bowler, chairman of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors, said despite the apparent popularity of Botonics's house-call service, potential customers should proceed with caution.
"I can see the pros," Dr Bowler said, "but you wouldn't go and have your teeth checked in someone's front room, would you? Most people know what good medical practice is and, clearly, on the back of a bike is not it."Reuse content