UK government to safeguard from ‘botched’ Botox with new licence

By Becky Bargh | Published: 1-Mar-2022

An amendment to the Health and Care Bill would give powers to introduce a licence for non-surgical cosmetics procedures, such as Botox and fillers

The UK government is clamping down on unregulated cosmetics procedures with a new licensing scheme for non-surgical procedures.

Treatments such as Botox and fillers will be covered under the new legislation, which will introduce administrative standards for practitioners.

Hygiene and safety standards will also have to be met.

The full extent of the licence details – covered under the Health and Care Bill – will be determined after a public consultation.

“While most of those in the aesthetics industry follow good practice when it comes to patient safety, far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred after botched cosmetic procedures,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

“We’re doing all we can to protect patients from potential harm, but I urge anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to take the time to think about the impact on both their physical and mental health and ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner.”

Speaking to Cosmetics Business, Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer for the British Beauty Council, said that conversations were ongoing with the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) to ensure the new legislation is up to scratch.

“The commitment from Government to tackle this thorny issue is a big step towards legitimising the professionalism of our industry, something that we have been working to achieve since our inception,” she said.

“We are continuing dialogue with the Department for Health and Social Care together with the JCCP and organisations within personal care to make sure any new regulation succeeds in driving up standards and protects the public from harm.

“There is a lot of work ahead but we remain committed to tackling it head on.”

The battle for better practices

The injectables market is a highly unregulated field of the beauty industry.

In response to the explosion of non-surgical treatments, MPs Carolyn Harris and Judith Cummins spearheaded a year-long investigation into the standards and practices of practitioners.

Key findings of the report, published by the All Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (BAW APPG), showed a complete lack of legal frameworks for these types of treatments.

“There is notably no legal definition of a non-surgical cosmetic, aesthetic or advanced aesthetic treatment, or clarity as to whether treatments are regarded as a beauty, cosmetic or a medical treatment under law,” Harris and Cummins told Cosmetics Business.

Following the study, the government banned Botox and dermal fillers for under 18s.

Any clinician caught administering injectables to those under the age of 18 will now face prosecution.

Weeks later, the UK’s advertising watchdog banned adverts for cosmetic surgery for under 18s in broadcast media.

Non-broadcast media where those under 18 make up 25% of the audience were also banned.

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