Thank God! Finally - someone with a bit of common sense and gumption. On Friday 16th October, Conservative MP Laura Trott introduced a Private Members bill, seeking regulation in the aesthetics industry to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to have cosmetic fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments.
No fillers for under 18s
Laura Trott has been working tirelessly to get this bill introduced and to open up the wider conversation about the current lack of regulation in the UK when it comes to cosmetic treatments like fillers.
Who, under 18, is even thinking about getting anti-ageing treatments or those that augment features? Well, obviously, girls of this age certainly don’t need any cosmetic treatments like these. But there’s always been a huge amount of pressure for women to look good, and young girls are often easily influenced by celebrities they see on TV and Instagram. In fact, since the arrival of TV shows like Love Island, lip filler requests in the UK have gone up exponentially, and celebs like Kylie Jenner have played a major part in boosting the popularity of the treatment.
However, going for lip fillers is not to be confused with going for highlights or getting a manicure - these are cosmetic treatments that come with risks, so it’s always better to go and see a medically qualified practitioner who will talk you through the potential risks, weigh up whether the treatment is right for you, perform it safely, and be there for you should you experience any negative side effects or issues. But there are too many unscrupulous people out there who are happy to market themselves to, and prey on, the insecurities of young girls, treat them without any medical training, and leave them to fend for themselves the second something goes wrong. This is totally unacceptable and is something that this bill seeks to change.
To put things into perspective, if you’re planning on getting a tattoo in the UK, you need to prove that you’re 18 or above. If you want fillers, there’s currently no such requirement. There’s just no logic to that. Especially when you consider the things that can go wrong with this type of treatment. Infections and blindness to name just a couple.
Something else that Trott has mentioned is the need to open up the conversation around wider regulation around the entire industry, which would mean greater patient safety in the UK. As it stands, anyone can order a cheap bit of filler online and inject it into theirs or someone else’s face. Or they can nip down to their local beautician who might be able to squeeze them in for a lip filler appointment after their eyelash tint. But while someone may feel confident using a needle, if they’re not medically qualified, they’re not able to administer urgent medical attention if something does go wrong.
So, thanks, Laura Trott. Let’s hope this will provide a well-needed shakeup! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - we need regulation around fillers in the UK. Doctors, dentists, nurses and prescribing pharmacists only, please! You can find these - and only these - on Glowday.