On 29th April 2021, new legislation was approved by the Queen, banning anyone under the age of 18 from accessing Botox and/or fillers in the UK.
The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act prohibits specific cosmetic procedures being performed on under-18s, except under the direction of a registered health professional (e.g. doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses).
The bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 12 March 2021 by MP Laura Trott and was passed in Parliament on 29th April. Whilst the ban was officially in place from yesterday, it isn’t expected to come into full force until Autumn this year.
In the past, there has been little to no regulation when it comes to cosmetic procedures on young people under the age of 18, however, following a general shift in attitude towards fillers and botox from both celebrities and everyday consumers, more attention has been brought to the matter with concerns raised about the accessibility to children and teenagers.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Health, it is estimated that roughly 41,000 botulinum toxin (botox) procedures may have been performed on people under 18 in 2020 and over 29,300 dermal filler procedures have been carried out on under-18s in the last four years.
MP Laura Trott said:
“No child needs cosmetic Botox or fillers”, claiming the ruling will eliminate what believes to be “dangerous and unnecessary procedures which can ruin children’s lives.”
For those who require necessary treatment, the ban also introduces regulation on who can carry out the procedures. Trott feels this development is a “big step forward in protecting young people, particularly women, from unscrupulous providers.”
Why There Needs to be More Regulation
For most people, facial growth doesn’t stop until the age of 18 (and can sometimes continue into adulthood) at which point the face becomes more balanced. Unfortunately, during the period of growth, many young people see these imbalances as flaws and feel that their facial features are oversized or too small in some areas.
This can lead to the desire for cosmetic procedures such as lip fillers, non-surgical rhinoplasties (nose jobs) and cheek fillers, however, interfering with the face before it has fully developed can lead to negative side effects, particularly if performed by someone who does not have the correct medical training.
It is also important to consider the psychological effects this type of treatment could have on someone who is not yet fully developed mentally. Whilst people of any age can experience anxiety or insecurities about their appearance, these feelings are particularly common during teenage years due to the way in which the body undergoes such drastic changes with the addition of hormonal surges.
Many young people also feel the pressure to conform to societal beauty standards as seen on television and social media and can become obsessive, seeking further cosmetic procedures in the impossible pursuit of perfection. Although these feelings are experienced by people of all ages, adults are more likely to be able to rationalise these feelings and make better, more informed decisions.
Unfortunately, with a lack of regulation within the industry in the past, there have been a number of unscrupulous people posing as trained professionals attempting to lure in clients with cheap prices, something which is especially appealing to young people. In these cases, practitioners are often negligent and unethical, posing great threats of infection or long lasting damage.
What this Means for Skin Consultants
Here at Skin Consultants, we have always put our clients’ health and wellbeing first. All of our procedures are carried out by a Licensed Medical Professional, Dr Chris, and our treatments will continue to be carried out on only those over the age of 18.
For more news and advice, check out our other useful blogs or get in touch with one of our helpful team members who will be happy to answer any queries you may have.
Alternatively, book a free consultation today where we will work to understand what it is you wish to achieve and discuss our recommendations together!