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Botox, fillers and the under 18’s: the new rules you need to know

New legislation states that under 18's will no longer be able to receive cosmetic injectables – about time too, we say

You only need to do a quick social media scroll to see that injectables including botulinum toxin – aka Botox – and fillers on young people and even teenagers are big business.

The Department for Health recently estimated that as many as 41,000 botulinum toxin procedures may have been carried out on under-18’s in 2020, and that more than 29,300 dermal filler procedures may have been undertaken on under-18’s since 2017.

Meanwhile, an investigation by VICE UK in 2019 revealed that 90 per cent of practitioners in London and Essex failed to ask children their age before booking them in for lip fillers.

Ex Love-Islander Molly-Mae Hague, who recently had her #loveislandlips dissolved, admitted to first having filler when she was just 17; some unscrupulous practitioners are treating people even younger than this.

As advocates for safe, professionally performed and regulated aesthetics treatments, we are completely behind the new ‘Botulinum and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act’ which has been passed to ban under 18’s from being able to receive cosmetic Botox or fillers.

And about time too, as previously dermal fillers were unregulated, meaning non-medical professionals with zero qualifications could administer them on any age and in any situation. Yes, even your neighbour could’ve injected you.

The Act will also require a doctor, registered medical practitioner or health professional to administer any procedures where there is a medical need in the under 18’s – this requirement is not currently in place.

MP Laura Trott has been working extensively with national aesthetics register Save Face, who have campaigned for many years to bring this issue into public focus. Trott introduced the Bill back in January 2020, which has now gained cross-party backing in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. HM The Queen has also given it her stamp of approval.

“No child needs cosmetic Botox or fillers and I’m delighted my Bill has gained Royal Assent,” said Trott.

“I cannot thank Ashton and the whole team at Save Face enough for all their tireless work in this area. The case studies have made such a difference in really bringing to life the danger of unscrupulous providers, and I am thrilled that we have been able to change the law to ensure children are now protected.”

Although now officially enshrined in law, the Bill is expected to come into full force in autumn 2021, to give businesses time to familiarise themselves with the legislation, train staff, and ensure that processes can be adapted.

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