Rules and Regulations of Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatments

By Florence Goulbourne

Stricter rules and regulations regarding non-surgical cosmetic treatments?

As the beauty market continues to expand at a phenomenal rate, the landscape of non-surgical cosmetic treatments is constantly changing. With this change comes the reinforcement and introduction of rules, new and old.

Statistics show that now more than ever, patients place a great deal of value on appearances with studies revealing that 55% of a person’s opinion is driven by physical appearance. With an array of new and impressive treatments being introduced to the market, patients are investing more in elective procedures to enhance the way they look rather than simply accepting their perceived ‘imperfections’.

The introduction of new treatments and increased awareness of these procedures is the driving force behind the rise in the popularity of non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Advances in this field now allow patients greater freedom and choice over how they look without the need or want to go under the knife.

Considering the recognised reasons why more patients are opting for the non-surgical approach to augmentations and enhancements, it is unsurprising that the UK’s non-surgical cosmetic sector is rapidly expanding. Currently, the industry is worth an astonishing £3.6 billion with anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal filler injections accounting for nine out of ten procedures.

For years following these developing changes in the industry, JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) have been closely working with the government and national bodies seeking greater regulation on non-surgical aesthetic treatments in the UK. They stated:   “We aim to create a safer environment for members of the public undergoing non-surgical treatments with mandated qualifications, premises criteria, insurance and many other steps relating to the sector and industry.”   As the industry continues to increase and expand, it’s important that patients and practitioners alike understand the rules and regulations amongst the aesthetic spikes the industry is recording.   One of the most important rules and regulations within the aesthetic treatment industry comes from the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act, which came into force on 1 October 2021.   The key message of this newly implemented regulation states that from October 1st, it is a criminal offence to administer Botulinum Toxin (more commonly known as anti-wrinkle injections) or a filler by any way of injection for a cosmetic purpose to a person under 18 in England – even with the permission of someone over 18 such as a parent or guardian. Furthermore, it is also a criminal offence to provide or book an appointment to provide these treatments to anyone under the age of 18 in England.   This regulation in particular works to safeguard children from any potential health risks of cosmetic fillers.   With this newly integrated law, officials are hoping to minimise the risk of those under the age of 18 becoming susceptible to dermal filler related issues.

Moreover, it seems like officials are buckling down on the rules and regulations that apply to those under the age of 18 given new advancements. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) announced that adverts that promote cosmetic interventions to under-18s will be banned under new rules and regulations. The new code imposed by CAP will come into force on May 25, 2022 and will cover both invasive and non-invasive procedures.

Examples of these procedures include but aren’t limited to dermal fillers, skin rejuvenation treatments, cosmetic surgery, laser treatments and chemical peels.

In a statement regarding this new regulation, CAP stated:   “The evidence shows there is potential that exposure to different forms of media including advertising, particularly those that focus on body image ‘improvements’ such as cosmetic intervention procedures, is likely to exacerbate body image dissatisfaction and negativity during vulnerable stages of [children’s] lives.”   Taking this into consideration, this new rule states that ADs for cosmetic procedures mustn’t appear in non-broadcast media, which is specifically targeted to under 18s, including marketing methods such as billboards and magazines. Moreover, Ads must also not appear in any form of non-broadcast media where under 18’s form over 25% of the audience.   Additionally, the new rules stretch to cover issues such as exaggerated or unrealistic claims relating to aesthetic treatments. This includes the use of before and after images that may be deemed damaging.   This new law comes into effect following the aforementioned regulation on the ban of administered aesthetic treatments to those under the age of 18. After expressed concern by senior NHS and public health figures regarding the potential harm such Ads can have on young people’s mental health – The new rules will ensure ads can’t be targeted at under-18s. This also means the ads can’t mislead or otherwise exploit the vulnerabilities of their audience.

Furthermore, the JCCP has released a ten-point plan for non-surgical cosmetic treatment regulations. These plans come as part of the congregation’s work to improve patient safety within the aesthetic medicine industry. The ten-point plan overview is as follows (as provided by Harley Academy):

1. Statutory Regulation

Seek and advice on statutory regulation for the non-surgical treatment sector.

2. Mandatory Education and Training Standards

Government and education/training regulators in the UK to mandate specific qualifications, education, and training requirements for specific modalities.

3. Clear and Transparent Information

Aesthetic service providers to clearly display simple, informative guides on all services provided including risks, benefits, costs, qualifications, and insurance to members of the public.

4. Definition of Medical and Cosmetic Treatments

Work with Government agencies to clearly define in law what constitutes a ‘medical’, a ‘medically-related’ treatment and what is ‘cosmetic’ only.

5. Safe and Ethical Prescribing

Implement robust standards and regulations for safe, ethical and professional prescribing within non-surgical aesthetics.

6. More Regulated Advertising and Social Media

Tighter controls and penalties on exaggerated, inaccurate, and misleading advertising and social media posts concerning aesthetic treatments and training.

7. National Complications Reporting

Introduce enhanced and coordinated processes for the reporting and analysis of adverse incidents at a national level.

8. Adequate Insurance Cover

Legislate all cosmetic non-surgical aesthetics surgical practitioners to hold robust and adequate indemnity insurance covering each service provided.

9. Licensing of Premises, Treatments and Practitioners

Set nationally agreed standards for licensing and regulating premises, treatments procedures and individuals.

10. Raising Consumer Awareness

Raise public awareness of the risks and benefits associated with non-surgical treatments.

Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment Summary

Here at Fox Group International, we welcome and support these processes and urge all practitioners and patients alike to comply.

Safety should always be the main priority where aesthetic treatments are concerned and Fox Group International (including Fox Pharma, Fox Clinic Wholesale, REVOLAX and Seventy Hyal) always intends for its marketing efforts to reach qualified, aesthetic professionals and the 18+ demographic.

Furthermore, all our digital prescriptions through Fox Pharma require a face-to-face date as a mandatory field, ensuring that both the end-user and practitioner are protected. This ensures high standards and industry practices are met, encouraging our customers to follow industry rules and regulations, including not treating anyone underage.

Want a reliable source for your aesthetic supplies online? Shop from Fox Pharma.

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