A NEW law banning Botox and fillers for under 18s is about to come into force.
The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords back in April – and makes it illegal to give botulinum toxin or filler injections to anyone under the age of 18 – except in exceptional medical circumstances.
It will become law in the new session of Parliament which started today on October 1.
Estimates put the number of Botox treatments given to under 18s at about 40,000 per year. These will now be illegal.
It was brought forward with the intention to safeguard children from the potential health risks associated with botulinum toxin and dermal fillers. These procedures will still be available to under-18s from a limited range of registered health professionals where there is an assessed medical need.
It was almost unanimously agreed that this bill was needed.
One of those in support was Cosmetic Couture CEO Maxine McCarthy.
She said: “This law is long overdue. We have never and would never offer clients under the age of 18 any treatment – it’s been on our consultation forms for years. You have to be 18 or over.
“I fully welcome this and hope the authorities can clamp down on those rogue traders who break this new law – our industry is extremely professional in the most part and I can’t really see who would argue with this.”
During the passage of the Bill into law, Health minister Nadine Dorries told the House of Commons: “I believe everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their bodies, but our role in Government is to support young people in making safe, informed choices where necessary and to protect them from potential harm that cosmetic procedures can do to their health.
“The increasing popularity of cosmetic procedures and the pressures on young people to achieve this aesthetic ideal are well documented and I believe this Bill is an important step in putting these necessary safeguards in place.”
While admitting she has herself used Botox, Nadine Dorries has recently said the need for the bill has been highlighted by “a boom in inquiries from people wanting a so-called ‘Instagram Face’ – seeking cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers to give them the high cheekbones, cat-like eyes and full lips seen in the heavily airbrushed photos that celebrities post on social media.”
Popular TV shows have also been blamed for an increase in inquiries for treatments from the under-18s.
Programmes like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and especially ITV2’s Love Island have also been blamed for the number of teenagers seeking ‘tweakments’.
But the trend may be changing.
This year’s season of Love Island included a row between contestants after Sharon Gaffka and Faye Winter took offence when Hugo Hammond said that he found ‘fake looks and personality unattractive’.
Another TV reality star, Molly-Mae Hague, 22, a former contestant on the show, has very publicly highlighted reversing her lip fillers and other non-surgical procedures that she underwent as a teenager in order to pursue a more natural look.
Anyone breaking the new law will be subject to prosecution and hefty fines – and a defence that you didn’t know the age of the client will not wash!!
From October 1, anyone doing so will face prosecution and there will be a requirement for businesses to verify a person’s age before arranging appointments.