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Arthur Swift, MD, CM, FRCS: Ahead of the Curve

By: Abby Penning
Posted: June 24, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of
Dr. Arthur Swift

Swift’s work with Victoria Park Medispa has involved clinical research for innovative skin care offerings.

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“I was with my teenage kids in Paris a few years ago, walking in the Louvre. We began talking about how the Renaissance came to be considered the most prolific art era in the history of mankind,” Swift explains. “One of my daughters asked, ‘But of all of the artists painting and creating during that time, why did just these become the ones who are remembered, and whose works are treasured centuries later in the Louvre?’ And I thought about that, and I said, ‘Because they had the passion to take that extra step, that extra effort, to truly go for greatness.’ From there, I thought about how I could extract that type of effort and the principles those artists used to really make a difference for patients. We are the Renaissance artists of our time. Patients are our easels, their faces our canvas. We should be creating beautiful works of art.”

Thus began Swift’s development of the BeautiPHIcation concept, a creation designed to bring out the ideal beauty in any individual face by applying a mathematical principle he calls “phi” to help it gain a particular proportion and definition. “It’s based on the concept that ideal beauty might be a universal notion,” he says. “It’s that divine proportion, the golden ratio, that was used by the Renaissance artists, and that artists and architects have used for ages to achieve beauty. Then, maybe by correcting something on the face here and defining something a bit more there using injectable fillers and Botox, you don’t change someone’s look, but you make her look the best she can.”

When Swift debuted the concept at a medical aesthetic meeting a few years ago, the industry responded enthusiastically to his idea. “It was almost an audible sigh of relief from the audience of aesthetic physicians. They’ve had the tools all along to do this, but I was kind of giving them a paint-by-numbers way to apply their skills,” he says. And while he understands everyone might not subscribe to the golden ratio, or “phi,” definition, he explains that a mathematical concept as the basis of his idea, however a cosmetic physician might think best to apply it, is key to restoring symmetry and balance—and thus, beauty—to the face.

Consequently, for the most part, the BeautiPHIcation concept has only seen success, something Swift is quite grateful for. “This was a three-year labor of love that culminated in my receiving the 2009 Medicis Cosmetic Industry Award,” he says. “The award recognized me for my ‘pioneering work and innovative techniques that have kept Canada at the forefront of aesthetic medicine,’ and I’m happy I can contribute at any level to the industry.”

Dedication and persistence

The award hasn’t meant the end of the work on the BeautiPHIcation concept, however. Swift is currently working on launching a line of skin care products that reflect and assist the “phi” principles, as well as developing the BeautiPHIcation Academy, a series of training seminars to be presented in multiple cities across North America that will familiarize more physicians with the concept and the principles of aesthetic enhancement accordingly.