It was only a matter of time and fortunately it is now official: as of October 2021, it will be illegal for businesses to administer Botulinum Toxin and dermal fillers to under 18s for cosmetic reasons.
The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill, proposed by the Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, Laura Trott, has formally passed through both the House of Lords and the House of Commons with unanimous backing.
From the 1st October 2021, those under the age of 18 will not be able to receive either Botulinum Toxin or dermal filler injections for cosmetic reasons. However, if someone under the age of 18 needs either of these procedures for genuine medical reasons then they can still be performed by a registered medical practitioner such as a doctor or other healthcare professional.
As members of Save Face, a national register of practitioners accredited by the Professional Standards Agency that promotes the highest standards of practice and patient care, we at the Dr Hennessy Academy believe this to be fantastic news for everyone working in the aesthetics industry.
Before the passing of this Bill, the Department for Health stated that the number of under 18s receiving Botox or fillers numbered around 41,000 people per year.
As treating under 18s was already a taboo subject for reputable clinics, under 18s would find themselves going to cheap clinics where they would be given substandard treatments that often resulted in issues that needed corrective treatments to fix. Sometimes these issues led to health problems such as infections, haematomas, and even necrosis.
While applying a ban to facial aesthetic procedures for under 18s is a major step forward for protecting children and young people, on its own this does not address the cause of why people under the age of 18 feel like they need Botox or dermal fillers in the first place.
Botox is primarily used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and dermal fillers are used to smoothen or otherwise change the appearance of the face. Before the age of 18, our faces are still growing and developing naturally so applying Botox or dermal fillers is simply unnecessary.
Social media and popular TV shows like Love Island have been blamed for promoting harmful, unattainable body images to young people who then feel pressured into making changes to their own bodies.
The next step is to find a way to protect the mental health of our young people from the development of body dysmorphia related issues as well as anxiety, depression, and other ailments that affect self-esteem.