The British Beauty Council has commended the Government for “taking a huge step” to regulating the cosmetic procedures industry by confirming its plans to introduce licensing for non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as botulinum toxin and fillers.
The Government says that “far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred after botched cosmetic procedures”. It adds that it is committed to protecting patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence. An amendment to the Health and Care Bill would give the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the power to introduce a licensing scheme for procedures such as botulinum toxin and fillers, with the scope and details to be determined via public and stakeholder consultation.
Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer, British Beauty Council, says: “The commitment from Government to tackle this thorny issue is a huge step towards legitimising the professionalism of our industry – something that we have been working to achieve since our inception three years ago. We are continuing dialogue with the Department for Health and Social Care together with the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (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 move by the Government is its latest to further safeguard people who access non-surgical cosmetic treatments and follows on from new legislation, which was supported by the British Beauty Council during its passage through Parliament, making it illegal to administer such treatments to under 18s. As well as banning adverts on all forms of media including social media, influencer advertising and traditional advertising for cosmetic procedures which target under 18s. It is estimated that around 70,000 under 18s receive botulinum toxin or cosmetic fillers each year, according to the Department for Health.
The licensing scheme will introduce consistent standards that individuals carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures will have to meet, as well as hygiene and safety standards for premises. It will focus on those cosmetic procedures which, if improperly performed, have the potential to cause harm.
Further details on a public consultation will be set out in due course.