Dr Georgia Lee has just gotten off a plane from L.A. and there’s no ounce of lethargy on her face. I’m ahead of schedule by 20 minutes, yet she’s already at The Drawing Room at St. Regis waiting for me. I was expecting a convivial tête-à-tête, but she has brought along her personal aide and with good reason. “I want her to constantly learn from me and understand all the aspects of my business,” says Georgia in a measured tone, before politely asking if I would like to order a drink.
Dr Georgia Lee:
Up close, Georgia is a vision in head-to-toe Alexander McQueen: her forest green peplum jacket is cinched by a belt, accentuating her lithe figure, while the subtle dark printed leggings show off her modelesque legs that seem to go on forever. In her Saint Laurent stilettos, she stands well over 6ft. “These heels are so comfortable! Every woman must have a pair.” She enthuses. I feel a sudden urge to get one.
As a prominent veteran in the aesthetics industry with 16 years’ experience, Georgia is a walking embodiment of perfect skin. It is most striking and so luminous that I can almost see my reflection in it. “How does one get flawless skin like yours?” I ask, in a bid to uncover one of life’s greatest secrets – specifically for women. Georgia replies, with a whisper of a laugh. “Less is always more. I try not to use any makeup and I have completely cut out sugar from my diet.” That effectively explains why her coffee is black. Not surprisingly, her approach towards skin care has made her one of Singapore’s highly sought-after doctors, and her belief in providing her patients and customers with top-quality ingredients with an uncompromising attitude is nothing short of remarkable. “I have done my due diligence by visiting 6 countries and multiple manufacturers. Through these visits, I have learnt so many things – like how water varies in quality, texture, mineral content from source to source; therefore different serums need to be made in different places.”
WY-LENE YAP: How did you end up developing your own range of skin care products called DrGL?
GEORGIA LEE: It was rather accidental. In 2004, I developed an allergy called fixed drug eruption (FDE) due to an antibiotic that I had taken – this is a very interesting allergy as the patient will develop blisters with pigmentation on a fixed area of the body like the face or mouth. And every time you take that particular drug, it will always be on the same spot. My reaction was so severe that I went to see my medical school professors and they couldn’t diagnose FDE – they thought it was something more sinister. I took the same antibiotics for a while, hoping to cure it, but it became worse and my whole right side of my face was covered with blisters. When I recovered, I developed quite bad post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is very common in Asian skin. Most of the products in the market were either too mild or too strong for me. So I invested in a small compounding company and started to create my own skin care products to treat my pigmentation. It seemed to work and my interest grew. Shortly after, I started to analyse skin care products in greater detail so that I could refine the existing process and design my own line that is suitable for my patients. The entire thing grew a life of its own and in 2009, we were offered a retail opportunity by some departmental stores.