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How to Keep Your Face Safe

The UK aesthetics industry is the Wild West.

In the last 20 years, the Government has done NOTHING to ensure that there are rules and regulations in place to ensure that the right professionals can administer treatments like Botox and filler, using the right products and carrying out the treatments in the right places.

It’s literally a free-for-all.

This means it’s down to you to keep your face safe. Here's how...

The Wild Wild West

There are no rules or regulations regarding WHO can administer injectable treatments, WHAT the entry qualifications are, WHO can train others in injectable treatments, WHAT training they have had, WHERE treatments can be administered from or WHAT products are being injected into people’s faces.

So it means anyone from a maxillofacial surgeon with years of surgical experience is able to practice aesthetic medicine, as is a Love Island contestant who has done a one day course led by someone, who themselves, might have questionable/no qualifications or appropriate training…for example.

🤯 Crazy, right?

What does this mean for you?

It means that someone can market themselves as an “Advanced Aesthetics Practitioner” but these words mean nothing. It’s a self-given title. Likewise “Harley Street Trained”.

  • Anyone can inject.
  • Anyone can buy counterfeit products online.
  • Anyone can set up as an aesthetics practitioner anywhere.
  • Anyone can become an aesthetics trainer.

It's down to you to ensure that you take all reasonable measures to keep your face safe, as the UK government has failed to put those safeguards in place for you.

How can you keep your face safe?

Fortunately, there are thousands of exceptional, ethical aesthetic practitioners about.

Here are six things you should look for when choosing a practitioner to do your injectable treatments.

  1. Check their qualifications. Aesthetic treatments like Botox and fillers use medicines and medical devices. The person administering them should be a healthcare professional who is experienced with medicines and medical devices. You can check if your practitioner is a healthcare professional by searching for them on their professional register (GMC for Doctors, GDC for Dentists, NMC for Nurses, GPhC for Pharmacists, HCPC for other healthcare professionals)
  2. Check their training. Ask what training they have done in the treatment you're interested in. What training have they had to manage complications? Make sure you know how they will help if things don't o to plan.
  3. Check they are insured. Healthcare professionals are legally required to have adequate insurance, whereas this is optional for non-healthcare practitioners.
  4. Check their reviews. See what other people have to say about them. This is a great way to see whether others vouch for them.
  5. Check their before and afters. This will give you a good idea about the kinds of patients they treat and their typical results. Of course, you won’t look like the people in their before and after photos, but it’s a decent guide on the results you might expect.
  6. Make sure you have a consultation. This is where you will go through the things that concern you, your practitioner will discuss the options you have. You will also complete a medical history questionnaire and possibly some other questionnaires - Body Dysmorphia screening, skincare questions. You should also be able to go away and think about having treatment.

I’ve heard that regulation is on the way?

In 2022, the UK Government announced it is to 'crack down' on unregulated cosmetic procedures and will introduce a licensing regime in England.

We don't know the nitty-gritty yet and we won't for a while. We continue to see stories in the media of campaigners and MPs raising the issue of long overdue regulation. But there is a lot to be done before that happens.

There are little to no regulations relating to non-surgical aesthetic treatments in England and Wales. The government are still discussing the 'scope and details' of the regulations, which will be 'determined via extensive engagement including a public consultation'.

Scotland has some regulation in place. Healthcare professionals offering injectable treatments are required to be HIS registered. The irony is that non-medic injectors offering the same treatments have NO requirement to be registered!.

The UK health minister has committed to providing patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence. What that actually means, in practice, and how it will be implemented and policed is all wide open. As of August 2023, it’s all still under discussion.

Licensing is unlikely to limit the practice of aesthetic medicine to qualified healthcare practitioners, but let's hope the current total lack of mandatory training, minimum qualifications and availability of counterfeit products is addressed. Until then, it’s up to you to choose your practitioner wisely.

How does Glowday check that practitioners are safe?

All injectable practitioners listed on Glowday have provided us with evidence of their identity, their qualifications, their training, their insurance and we check they are registered with the appropriate regulatory body.

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