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How to find the perfect practitioner - things to look out for

Thinking about having an aesthetic treatment? Here’s what - or rather who - you need to know before you book

If you’re new to aesthetics, it’s absolutely crucial that you do your research before booking a treatment. As the demand for non-surgical aesthetic treatments or ‘tweakments’ continues to grow, it’s important to know that if something ever did go wrong, you'd be in safe hands.

Last year, the government-approved Save Face aesthetics register received reports of complications or unwanted outcomes from cosmetic procedures, from more than 3000 people. At the moment there are no standardised training requirements for practitioners carrying out non-surgical aesthetic treatments (eg: botulinum toxin, dermal fillers). In effect, anyone can offer these procedures.

While the Government recently launched a consultation on how to make non-surgical cosmetic procedures safer, a completion date for a new licensing scheme is not expected until some time in 2025. So, if you want to ensure the best aesthetic results and a safe, positive experience, it’s essential to find the right practitioner. Here are the things to look out for…

Training and expertise

If you’re going to quite literally place your face into somebody’s hands, you need to make sure they have the right training, skills and experience.

Non-surgical procedures

“Practitioners should have completed, at the very least, a recognised injectables course in person in the UK (not just online),” says Amish Patel, EV Expert, Aesthetics Practitioner and Trainer, Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic. "The more experience they have as a practitioner, the better. Look on Save Face for a list of reputable practitioners in your area–this accreditation will give you peace of mind.” You can also check if practitioners are on a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) – eg: Save Face, the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM).

Cosmetic surgery

Only registered practicing medical professionals can carry out cosmetic surgery. So, check if someone is a registered doctor or surgeon on the General Medical Council (GMC) online register. Some surgeons also have a cosmetic surgery certificate from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). They may also be members of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM), British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN), British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).  Members of these associations are fully trained and undergo a level of continuous professional development.

Good communication

You should always have an initial face-to-face or virtual consultation. “Good communication is so important before, during and after a treatment,” says Patel. “During the consultation, you should feel free to ask as many questions as you like. For example, what’s the recovery time? How quickly before you see results? Listen carefully to what the practitioner has to say; it can be helpful to take notes. Did they explain everything clearly and were they happy to give you pre and post-procedure advice? You also need to feel that you can contact the practitioner post-treatment.”


Do you feel you can trust your practitioner? “Trust is imperative,” says Patel. “If you feel awkward, uncomfortable, or something just doesn’t feel right in the consultation, walk away. If someone is pressurising you to have a treatment, leave immediately. I would rather a nervous client have a face-to-face consultation, go away to think about it, then return another day, knowing that they feel confident and ready to start their aesthetics journey.”


Pricing should be available on the practitioner’s website and other marketing materials. You can also call the clinic directly. Is there a charge for the initial consultation? Is there a follow up fee? How much will the procedure cost? Aesthetic treatments at reputable clinics are an investment, so you want to make sure you have all the details. “Training, quality injectable products, cleaning, insurance, and even the treatment room costs a reputable aesthetic practitioner money, and that's before they have even started injecting your face,” says Patel. “Be very wary of any cheap deals, as somewhere they will be cutting corners to your detriment and safety.”

Safety and hygiene

Aesthetic treatments should always be performed in a safe, hygienic and sterile environment. “Client safety is paramount,” says Patel. “Your consultation is a good opportunity to have a look around. If you’re not happy with anything, run. As with any injectable procedure, there is always a small risk of infection, so you need to choose someone who is working in a hygienic environment and who will share their certificates of insurance (on request).”

Reviews and pics

Patel says that reviews can help to give a general idea about a practice but are not definitive, so you need to be discerning and follow up with your own research. Personal recommendations from trusted friends, family and colleagues can also be very useful. Look at before and after photographs for an idea of what to expect. Be aware that lighting, flash photography and clever camera angles can create an unrealistic effect, although there’s less chance of this if you’re dealing with a reputable practice.

Amish Patel, Aesthetics Practitioner

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