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Anna Fill Interviews

An Interview with Dr. Jean-Luc Vigneron... Face 2 Face!

The 15th Aesthetic & Anti-aging Medicine World Congress (AMWC) took place in Monaco in April. Attending were some of the world's leading and well renowned experts and companies in the field of anti-aging medicine.... The conference is going from strength to strength with each year becoming bigger and more influential. Attending as guest speaker was Dr. Jean-Luc Vigneron who spoke to a crowd of over 1000 people about a 'new real efficient and painless medium peel'.

Dr. Jean-Luc Vigneron is founder of the clinic Villabianca near Saint Paul de Vence, in the South of France, and has contributed to many of the articles that we have featured in The Riviera Woman on the various aesthetic treatments and techniques. We speak with Dr. Vigneron to find out how the industry is evolving and what actually led him on his journey to being a leading aesthetic dermatologist.

When you studied medicine did you know in which field you wanted to specialise in? Where did you study?

[JLH Vigneron]: I studied in Strasbourg from the age of 9 and remained in Strasbourg until the end of my degree in dermatology. During the first 3 years of studying general medicine, I also gained a diploma in Sophrology and Homeopathy. My first idea was to specialize in Obstetric and Ggynecology, but it was during my first internship that I realised this field was not for me.

I then thought of Dermatology, this for me was to be a specialty that would bring me closer to the beauty of women. I have always sought to understand all that is beautiful, harmonious and full of emotion, in art, in landscapes, in fashion and in people's bodies. Having completed 7 years of medical studies, I continued for a further 3 years to complete a degree in Dermatopathology, which was a very complex study and extremely involved. This was a whole new and fascinating world. Six months after completing all my major studies, I performed my first chemical peel.

With dermatology do you need extra years of study in order to specialise?

[JLH Vigneron]: Yes, I became a qualified dermatologist after the 10 years of studying, together with my qualification in homeopathy. Aesthetic dermatology was not taught in medical schools, something that is still the case today, so with great determination I continued to find institutions to further my knowledge. I became the 4th person in France to acquire a Laser CO2, and the 10th person in France to use collagen Zyderm as a filler. From the early days of my studies it was peelings that interested me the most. At the time I read most of the books written about rejuvenation. And when a book is well written and in such great depth, one almost knows the technique. I visited Dr. Aron-Brunetière and Dr. Pierre Fournier both in Paris and Dr. Clyde Litton in Washington DC, all reknowned doctors in aesthetic proceedures.

I became a pioneer for most cosmetic dermatology techniques and so often participated in the initial development of new techniques. Between 8 and 10 doctors from France, joined an association we had created called the GRAME (Groupe de Recherche et d'Application en Médecine Esthétique). Together we advanced very quickly compared to others in the field. I then became President of the GRCD (Groupe de Recherche en Chirurgie Dermatologique) and also President of the SFDCE (Société française de dermatologie chirurgicale et esthétique) and then of the European Society for Skin Rejuvenation. Together with my wife we organised many national and international congresses and seminars.

You are well known in the profession for performing Deep Peelings, explain the importance and benefits of this procedure.

[JLH Vigneron]: Deep Peels are a wonderful technique. They act by a very powerful stimulation of syntheses of collagen and elastin. The skin is smoothed and there is also a lifting and plumping effect. We can, as the case may be, rejuvenate the face by 10 to 15 years. The improvement is for life and the skin then ages more slowly. The histochemical studies evoke a "REVERSE" effect and this word is used in scientific books! The more wrinkled the face, the more stunning the effect. Similarly, skin that is thin is the best ground to get the best improvement. I worked on the phenol formula with Yoram Fintsi around the year 2000. Unfortunately Yoram suddenly died and I continued to improve the formula and method of application, dressing and so on. To date I have performed more than 1000 full face peels 'ExoPeel', which is the name of this particular peeling. I never cease to be amazed on the one hand by the result, and on the other hand by the extraordinary positive effect the treatment has on the morale of my patients.

Do you need to continually update your 'skills'? Is this by attending conferences?

[JLH Vigneron]: Yes, sometimes the conferences are of a high level. When you attend many international congresses every year, your knowledge of all the new trends, the new machines and the new concepts increases. In truth, the most important things you can learn is in the 'corridors' with your colleagues where you talk about new flighting ideas.

How and when did you decide the location of your clinic?

[JLH Vigneron]: Initially I thought of creating a clinic in Paris and Normandy, for personal reasons. I had met Christine, my wife, and she was working as an organizer of congresses and seminars. I didn't understand why there were no experts in Peelings on the French Riviera, so our idea in the beginning was to offer to perform my specialty treatment (Peelings) and be located in all the main cities without having one base. But now with our clinic in La Colle sur Loup / Saint Paul de Vence, we are well positioned and only 20 minutes from Nice airport which has proved beneficial for many of my patients who arrive by plane. I am at equal distance from Monaco and Cannes and the clinic has easy parking facilities which is very important.

Christine and I live in Saint Paul, in a small paradise with many trees and hens. Back in 1998 the location was still very rural, almost like a desert. This 'desert' is now the location of the new Polygone Shopping Arena. The development in the area motivated me to construct a new and modernised clinic, still very well positioned and very close to the old location. The 'new' Clinique Villabianca was officially opened in November last year, 2016.

Photo Left by Dominique Agius

Esthetic treatments have changed so much over the past few decades. What would you say have been the greatest changes?

[JLH Vigneron]: In my opinion:
- Chemical Peelings - I am, all modesty aside, the first doctor in Europe to have resuscitate, then improve the method of peelings by continually researching the technique personally. The real hard work came between the years 2000 and 2005 on how to inform and communicate what we offered to the public, and also to other professional dermatologists who were not taught about these techniques. We were able to reach the right people through the many conferences and workshops my wife and I organised.

Now we have the knowledge and expertise to improve both young and older skins.

  • - Botox – which I have used since 1998 - was a real revolution. This process gave a very clear result in a few minutes, with no trace and no secondaries effects.
  • - The art of filling. The recent fillers, the use of cannulas have revolutionized the technique: hydration, volumisation.
  • - The threads: what a wonderful improvement thanks to the creation by the Korean. I started using threads in 2002!
  • - The lipolysis techniques which destroys fat without surgery: Its principle relies on controlled cooling (Cryolipolysis), by Chemistry (Deoxycholate)
  • - More recently, HIFU (focalized ultrasounds) the results are tightening to the face and the body.
  • - The art of hair removal. I must emphasis here that this technique has to be done by laser by dermatologists, and not by beauticians with pulsed lamp.

What types of treatments are requested the most? Do you have other doctors working with you?

[JLH Vigneron]: The most requested treatments are : 1. Botox * 2. Fillers * 3. Peelings.

I work with my friend and colleague Dr Bertrand Pusel, dermatologist. He loves lasers which is his expertise and we have all the latest lasers at Villabianca.

At Villabianca, we also have expert collaborators:

  • Dr Le Liboux - specializes in intestinal Microbiota and food rebalancing, with incredible results.
  • Dr Thomas Modschiedler, Plastic Surgeon - He reshapes necks and faces. Dr Modschiedler is very experienced.
  • Dr Philippe Bartel and Léa Foret, Dentist - specialised in oral implantology and esthetic dentistry.
  • Dr Patrice Kugelstadt, Rheumatologist & Bone densitometry (To know the resistance of the bones after the menopause)

Some people may feel nervous before having treatments, how do you reassure them?

[JLH Vigneron]: - I sing a song! The key is to explain the procedures well and so logically, there is not too much stress. We can also give "good pills" and we perform anaesthetic injections if necessary. But really, stress with the patient is not at all a frequent issue.

"The consultation is the most important time... To explain what I see in comparison to what the patient sees!"

Do you always offer consultancy for someone requiring advice and before considering treatment?

[JLH Vigneron]: Of course Anna! And it is often the most important time... To explain what I see in comparison with what the patient sees!

What is the best way to make contact with you?

[JLH Vigneron]: - By phone +33 (0)4 93 32 03 60 and also by email

- You can also visit our website This website is not perfect but it will be improved in the upcoming months.

We are situated at: 832 bd. Pierre Sauvaigo, 06480, La Colle-sur-Loup/Saint Paul.

We look forward to seeing you!

You can see all our articles with Dr. Jean-Luc Vigneron and Villabianca HERE

Monday, 1 May 2017    Section: Anna Fill Interviews
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