Botox and fillers now banned for under 18s – but more regulation needed warns British Beauty Council

by | Sep 30, 2021

As of Friday 1st October, it is illegal for businesses to give Botox and dermal fillers to under 18s for purely cosmetic reasons.

According to the Department for Health, it is estimated that around 70,000 under 18s receive Botox or cosmetic fillers each year. From 1st October, the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill will prohibit procedures for under-18s in England if they are for aesthetic purposes and not approved by a doctor. The new law warns businesses that they should verify proof of age, and that consent from parents or guardians is not a defence. In cases where a medical need is determined and approved by a doctor, these procedures must only be undertaken by registered health professionals.

The British Beauty Council had been supporting the legislation during its passage through Parliament.

Click here to access the ‘Botulinum toxin and cosmetic fillers for under 18s’ guidance.

Click here to access the ‘Botulinum toxin and cosmetic fillers for under 18s’ guidance for businesses.


  “Safety and professionalism should be at the heart of everything our industry does, but with so little accountability this just hasn’t been the case when it comes to aesthetics. This new law that is a step in the right direction, but we have still more work to do.
“There are so many dire repercussions due to the lack of regulation in the aesthetics industry. Professionals with reputable, fit for purpose qualifications, are having to compete with those with unverified substandard training, or worse still no training at all. If we are to salvage and rebuild the sectors reputation in this field, we must better regulate the sector in terms of minimum standards on training and education, adequate insurance and accountability when things go wrong.”

– Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer The British Beauty Council


The British Beauty Council supports the NHS advice on deciding to have a cosmetic procedure.

  1. Always book a consultation prior to any treatment with the person who would be doing the procedure.
  2. Do not pay for a procedure until you’ve had a consultation to make sure it’s right for you.
  3. Have a cooling off period before committing to the procedure to decide whether you want to go ahead.

Questions to ask:

  1. How many of these procedures they’ve done?
  2. What qualifications and training do they have?
  3. Are they a member of a relevant professional association that shows they meet set standards in training and skill?
  4. What are the most common complications of the procedure?
  5. What aftercare you can expect and who will look after you?
  6. What should you do if something goes wrong or you’re not happy with the result?
  7. How much it’ll cost, and if it’ll cost extra to have further treatment if needed?
  8. For information to take away with you, such as a leaflet from the manufacturer of the product they’ll use.

Information the practitioner should tell you about the procedure:

  1. How it will be done?
  2. How long it will take?
  3. Whether anaesthetic is needed?

They should also tell you about what to expect after the procedure, including:

  1. What pain you can expect afterwards;
  2. How long the recovery should be;
  3. The potential risks and complications;
  4. How long the results will last;
  5. What you can expect to look like after the procedure.

Always avoid:

  1. Group treatments, or events involving alcohol.
  2. Treatment vouchers sold online on group discount or voucher sites.
  3. Mobile aesthetics services where procedures are performed in places such as private homes or hotels.
  4. Practitioners who only advertise on social media.


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