Professional Beauty - Government review could affect laws on injectables and peels

Government review could affect laws on injectables and peels

15 August 2012
Government review could affect laws on injectables and peels

A major review into cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures including botox, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, and skin peels, has been officially launched today (August 15) by the Department of Health.

The government review, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, and health secretary Andrew Lansley, promises to scrutinise the cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetics industries, which could potentially change the law on who can perform which treatments. For example, concern has been raised about beauty therapists performing treatments such as peels and laser treatments.
Keogh has recommended stricter rules in key areas including anti-ageing dermal fillers, which he said require only basic safety checks. 
The clean up of the cosmetic surgery industry follows the problems women experienced with PIP breast implants earlier this year. 
Keogh has called together a review committee to help advise him in making recommendations to the Government by next March on how it can better protect people who choose to have surgery or cosmetic procedures. 
The members of this expert panel are:
Andrew Vallance-Owen, former medical director of BUPA
Catherine Kydd, campaigner on PiP implants
Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, emeritus professor of health law, ethics and policy at University College London
Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire magazine
Dr Rosemary Leonard, GP and media doctor
Professor Shirley Pearce, clinical psychologist and former vice chancellor of Loughborough University
Simon Withey, plastic surgeon
Vivienne Parry, writer and broadcaster
The call for evidence, will ask people’s views on:
The regulation and safety of products used in cosmetic interventions
How to best ensure that the people who carry out the procedures have the necessary skills and qualifications
How to ensure that organisations have systems in place to look after their patients both during their treatment and afterwards
How to ensure that people considering cosmetic surgery and procedures are given the information, advice and time for reflection to make an informed choice
What improvements are needed in dealing with complaints so they are listened to and acted upon.
Keogh said: “I’m concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is…we want to hear views from everyone, particularly people who have experience of the cosmetic surgery industry or of other cosmetic interventions – good and bad – so we can learn what works best."
Nobody representing the nursing or beauty therapy industries has been invited to participate in the expert panel advising the government. However, the findings and any consequent changes in law are likely to affect the scope of practice of both professions.
We want to hear your views. Should beauty therapists get a voice in a review that affects who can do salon-staple treatments such as laser hair removal and peels? Leave your comments below.


Lauren Bowen
29 Sep 2012 00:06

I am a Beauty Therapist, about to train to do Semi permanent make up, and also have studied Health Sciences through the Open University.

My view, which I may be slated for on both sides, is that treatments such as Botox, and even Semi Permanent make up shouldn't be made availble to just anyone. Beauty Therapists work hard to get where they are (not all I agree), and there should be other courses available for those who wish to progress.

There are many who wish to get into the aesthetics industry, who have the A & P knowledge and the desire to learn who don't wish to do nursing, as to put it crudely don't want to spend 3 years wiping bottoms. I think that there should be more advanced beauty courses available to those who wish to do the treatments that are a slightly grey area, which combine the nursing training with the Beauty therapy

I do agree that there should be more legislation so that joe public can't train in 5 days to be able to use lasers etc, however it's about time that people started to recognise that there are therapists out there that have the abilty and the desire to further themselves into this area

24 Sep 2012 11:50

Having been in the beauty industry for more than 30 years and a tutor of beauty, anatomy & physiology, health and safety etc for more than 20 of these years, I feel it should depend on your experience and recognized qualifications when performing botox, fillers etc. I paid a lot for training and insurance to perform these treatments and feel clients do need to be informed but not told who they should go to. It's should be up to the client. If they are informed then they will go to a practitioner by reputation. In my opinion, therapists should be able to show competency with years of experience in electrolysis, red vein etc before being able to gain further advanced training in botox, fillers, laser, semi-perm make-up. You can do so much harm with tattooing if you do not know what you are doing and it seems anyone can train in this without any prior beauty knowledge. I would like to see at least 10 years in the beauty industry and proof of no claims on their insurance beforehand. I've never had a problem with any of my treatments as I am passionate about this industry and feel it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Clients will only source out other means of getting their treatments. Isn't it safer that practitioners are trained, insured and using recognized products? Please don't put all therapists in the same category; some of us are highly skilled in what we do and it's so unfair. There are good and bad in all professions.

Nicola Crellin-Bansal
21 Aug 2012 11:50

I am appauled to hear so many negative comments about our industry, as a Beauty Therapist for almost twenty years, I am passioante today as the day I qualified.
For many years, I worked in Further Education teaching Anatomy and Physiology, as well as facial and body treatments and the importance of consultation and aftercare advice procedures.
Students are also made aware of stringent regulations of checking for Contra-indications and if at all in doubt send clients to see their GP, who are highly qualified to treat clients, with any ailments, as we are not medical.
I believe as other professional Therapist's, that continous professional development is paramount as our industry is forever evolving.
I trained and trained others in the art of Micro-pigmentation and continually up-date my skills, by attending workshops on a regular basis.
I also carry our Advanced Cosmetic Procedures, which involve reducing the apperance of warts, Verrucas,Thread veins, Milia and skin tags, to name but a few,which medical professional are no longer interested in treating, as this is not a lucrative market, but as I care for my clients and their well-being, I am here to help.
I feel I am being penalised for carrying out injectable treatments, not all clients are suitable for this treatment, I always advise clients, after a lengthy consulation, to think about the procedure and offer less invasive treatments.
I would not carry out injectable treatments if I was not confident and competent in doing so, I beleive not all therapists should offer this treatment, but with correct training and structured guidelines, this is a cosmetic procedure. I follow strict Health, Safety, Hygiene and Sterilisation policies and follow HABIA's industry regulations.
I would be very happy to be inspected and to attend any training course the Goverment recommends. I am not medical and do not protest to be so, however, the medical practioners are not Therapists, and we adopt an holistic approach and my clients come to me as I care.
Why are we such a threat? I would not now or ever consider carrying ou a medical cosmetic procedure, there are just some treatments that should be only carred out by a medical practioner, however, I would not consider injectable, Fillers/Botox a medical procedure.

K Galvin
20 Aug 2012 12:40

Back in 2005, my first involvement within the beauty industry was through the injectable market where involved with a national chain bringing non surgical 'beauty' treatments to the High Street. In effect, socially we accepted that such treatments were salon professional and enhanced the beauty salon treatment lists in a growing market place. Used medically these treatments are performed from a diagnosis for the purpose of prevention of migraines or smoothing areas of scarring etc. but generally people wanting to have such treatments at their local salon/spa are doing so to make themselves look and feel better -so clearly these treatments are not solely for the purpose of medicine.
The medical practioners that I work/worked with are seeing the industry as a job which in turn makes a good salary, they have not necessarily got involved with injectables due to their passion for beauty! Going into medicine in the first instance was to care for people perhaps save lives - injectable botox/filler treatments are not used for these reasons within beauty salons?
We trained many medical practitioners and not all had the confidence or the art to fulfill these treatments, in turn I have a salon where non of my beauty therapists would want to offer these treatments. But a beauty therapist who is confident enough to undergo the correct training and finds his/her flair, is as capable of administering such treatment as any GP/Nurse or other medical profession, however they must have all the training to deal with any complications, which I'm sure any therapist would want to know this anyway. Bearing in mind they would be dealing with their regular clients (Salons main income) offering them many other treatments on a weekly basis.
I end on this - I offered injectable treatments through medical practitioners at many salons throughout the South West. Within my 3 years I had been told on many occassions by clients that they had been asked to go to see them directly as treatments would be cheaper. It's a very difficult industry to have trust in, so I now have my own beauty clinic where we offer laser treatments etc. and the therapists that do this are fully qualified, have ongoing training and offer a good service where clients trust them - We never do Groupon or the like. We must remember that it's all down to customer satisfaction and our care for our clients and how we help them with looking after their skin on all levels. This means we shouldn't be held back when we need to be guided forward! To stop salons offering these beauty treatments would be holding the industry back - things change and progress all the time, we need to embrace the progression but just monitor things better. Alot of people are at risk of losing their livelihoods this situation hasn't happened over night yet it appears it may be ending that way. There definitely should be someone on the board representing the beauty sector from this angle.

Salon Owner

Claire craft
19 Aug 2012 19:15

Hi I would like to comment that beauty therapists with the right training are very capable with the correct training can carry out treatments such as peels, Botox, fillers and laser. Some doctors / nurses have no idea as far as the kind of treatments are concerned and within the beauty industry come a cross lots of complaints about them a lot of them don't have the artistic flare to carry out these kind of treatments. Where as beauty therapists withe the medical training that is needed are very capable to carry out the treatments from all angles. Please take into account our views and look at the training which is given by the

Many thanks

Claire Craft

Glenis Wade - Beauty and Spa Business Consultant
17 Aug 2012 18:54

Injectable and cosmetic procedures are not really my expertise. But I strongly believe that the beauty therapist’s voice needs to be heard.

Injectable practitioners of all guesses need to get their points across, as varied as they may be.

I note how the profile of the panel is skewed by class, gender and profession. It's a shame they've managed to wrap the breast implant errors up with the injectable rights debate.

I found it curious how Keogh on the news did much finger pointing at hairdressers and what he called "beauticians". He said little about unscrupulous plastic surgeons or the implant manufactures that started the row.

Yes there should be representation from HABIA and BABTAC and those bodies who offer insurance for the injectable. I'm puzzled why Marie Claire editor is on the board I hope she’s not representing the beauty industry.

It's important to ensure that the beauty therapy trade doesn’t become the fall guy in this process.

kirsty hopper
17 Aug 2012 18:22

It is vital that people from the heart of the beauty industry are involved in this. I have experience of both having treatments, providing them, and having visiting practitioners providing them to me and for my clients. I have had good and bad experiences. The concerns I have are heard from both clients and other clinics and salons.

I am a Therapist and I am trained and perform after thorough consultation cosmetic injections be it the agreed best option for the client. I don't believe its for every therapist, there needs to be a great commitment and interest in the physiology and in working standards. I think the above mentioned issues and practices in the article above do have to be in place to ensure the standard of treatment we give.
I feel that by being educated and experienced in this industry and in many treatments over 24 years, I am able to advise in a non_bias and balanced way. My business is not solely run on selling injectables so giving correct information, informed options allows me the tools and time to let the client think. We are here daily if they would like to pop back again and if they have treatment here we automatically book for ongoing after care. We are available at any time. It is not a case of they are treated then nobody looks at them again until they want o spend more money. Reputation is what keeps us in business and we aim for the client to be always well informed and happy.

My clients have used visiting medics in the past, some are happy with that and they still do have treatment with them. We are happy with that too though it is only one or two clients. I never approach the clients about moving to have treatment with me, they have other treatments with me. for lots of individual reasons my clients chose to come to me because that is what they want. Following the first treatment they were happier, they said we covered things the medics never ever covered and said advice given by me afterwards had not ever been informed of. Some had had treatments with visiting medics in my clinic/salon others at surgery or other venues all were treated by medics. I have retained 100% of these clients which im delighted with. It is their choice and thats the choice they made.

Personally I believe thats down to many factors. The customer service, thats what we do in this industry. I have had medics work in my clinic doing injections who have left to drive home before the client has even left the treatment room. I have been let down often by various medics not showing when my client has mentally geared up for treatment..possibly taken time of work or has worked it in to her diary for a special event. often the medics are indifferent that they let this person down and at times what is worse they have made comments like "it wasn't worth my time to just see a couple of people". That is something should never be a factor, How much the day is worth, you can't build a client relationship like that.
I have also had medics leave sharps lying in treatment rooms, i have had them invite my clients to there home for treatment so they don,t have to pay an irrelevant amount to use a treatment room.
following treatment the medics go home and can't be contacted by the client, they also don't do follow up treatments automatically with every treatment. sometimes they visit very sporadically. on occasions clients have felt they were not getting as good a treatment as they have had other times. Although this is my business and I care about my service, its very difficult to speak to these people about what we expect standard wise. I guess they see it not as important as their day job... Theres the issue we have.

After Years of being both a client in various places and from having these same problems in my clinic I could see no way forward other than to train myself so that I could keep an eye on the level of service and really understand what is going on. This in turn lead to me doing some clients treatments who asked me to.
After that its history. My clients were so much happier.

Im here every day if there is anything at all the want to ask.
Botox and filler is not the answer to everything. I have the ability to offer the correct treatment for the best result therefore people are not having treatments and being un happy with the result.
The clients feel less pressured to have more and more done as they have felt with medics. The point when i stopped having a visiting practitioner was when the best one we had became greedy and unfocused.

I want my clients to be happy, to have the best available treatment that suits their lifestyle and there needs. This level of service can only be reached by having all the treatments at our disposal. Also by having built an ongoing relationship of trust with the client. I also believe there treatments need to be done in an Clinic?salon where we are set up properly to store products and records in the required way.
You can't achieve this with a medic running in and out with their notes under their arm, and products shoved in a bag. They often cant remember the clients name and face because they visit so many places. That client wants to feel you know her and your are taking her needs as your priority. if the medic then leaves and wont be back for four weeks we are left with client after care anyway. I often when having treatments in other places experienced similar issues. I think the medics have other jobs, they are pre occupied and tired from travelling. The products have been in transit too. They come to make money and go.
My reason for training to do these treatments is to raise the standard, to build a relationship with my clients and give them all the options available. To do their treatment in a safe, clean and controlled area and at the same time a friendly comfortable on which they feel they can pop in anytime and ask questions.

Yes I believe some beauty therapist should be doing these treatments.
I believe that not everyone would want to anyway. You need a high degree of skill and experience,confidence with the anatomy.
anyone doing these treatments should have all training necessary to deal with any possible requirements of the client and of day to day management of these types of treatment.

I believe that making it illegal for therapists of this standard is missing the point and will cause more of the worrying trend for people having treatments in their own home. Theres no record keeping, no way of policing this. No way of knowing the person has the training needed.
I also believe banning therapists would inflate the greedy and rushed way the industry is going. If you have a different day job and you choose to go around doing botox then of course its for the money and in many cases people have things done they didn't need.

For me as a therapist, i spent my whole working life thinking about ways to get the best results and keep my clients happy. I would never encourage someone to have a treatment that they do not require. We have so many other options and advice at our hands.

If there is a worry about who is doing these needs to be across the board. Somebody who is an A&e nurse for example, has many other things on their mind to think about other than best results at botox. Surely we cant be saying people who do not study this subject as priority are fitter to do treatments than those of us who spend our lives studying these things with the best interest of our client top of the list.

I would be more than happy to do any training asked of me if there were regulations brought in. We need standards. What we don't need is a greed driven situation where our clients no longer have the choice to be treated by us. After all it is a choice they make. It is one that displeases some of the out of town visiting practitioners purely in my view this is purely financially driven because the clients have a treatment with us and they always come back. We provide a service that works for them. we follow very high standards and often thats not how it has been elsewhere for them.

Its massively important that therapists to can Legally do the treatments so that the choice is out there for the client. The outcome speaks for itself.

Both clients and ourselves are fed up of the way things have been being done. Were not wanting to lower standards...were are raising the bar.

This ruling needs to address the real issues in this industry and not punish the wrong people. The industry is needing looked at. we want standards. Any working therapist who has been accepted and trained to do these treatments and who has spent time and money studying, would be more than happy and capable of doing any required bridging course to satisfy a board.
its possible many medics who do botox would not have the same attention to detail when it comes to studying faces, just like we would not have their skill to do dentistry for example.
Its what we do with a passion and its what we want to do best. Its not about the making lots of money from lots of random people.

In my view ruling therapists out would be exactly that. Financial gain for people who do not commit full time to that type of work.

My parting comment would also be that pip and the issues surrounding it were nothing to do with our side of the industry. That is something we would refer clients to a good doctor for and thats the difference.

I hope my comments are of use.
Kind regards

Kirsty Hopper
MD Therapy

Mary k
17 Aug 2012 12:58

I suggest people from CTIA and other talk/write directly and show them what a quality safe outfit you are, emails are useless, this needs, hard copies sent recorded is always the best way, show then that you are indeed a lot safer that a lot of doctors who just give out antibiotics, but do a 1 day injectable course,

Details here,

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh
NHS Medical Director
Room 504
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London SW1A 2NS

Lorraine O'kane
17 Aug 2012 12:49

As a member of the CTIA and a beauty therapist with over 23 years experience, I feel that is such a shame that us therapists are not invited to voice our views and put forward a very good argument to prove that we are worthy of doing such treatments. I firmly believe that a new career pathway should be produced to allow therapists to enhance and improve their skills to a much higher level. Possibly a level 5 with clear recognition of aesthetic medical therapy in skin care. We have the experience and skills to develop ourselves in such a way. I feel that it is total discrimination not to allow such a pathway to be developed. Many therapists work very successfully with the medical side of our industry in providing professional aesthetic treatments, particularly injectables. Why is it that some medical professionals do not want to work or even speak to therapists to create a partnership?? We should be heard, we have some of the best qualified therapists here in the UK who just want to progress and strengthen their skills in beauty.

Julie Speed
17 Aug 2012 09:19

The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) is the leading association for beauty therapists and injectable practitioners. Many of our members perform cosmetic interventions, such as Botox, filler injections, laser and IPL treatments and chemical peels.

We welcome Sir Bruce Keogh's review of regulation for cosmetic interventions as an opportunity to establish a sustainable self-regulatory settlement for the industry which enjoys public confidence. As part of this, BABTAC is seeking to work with clinicians to develop a professional qualification which would encompass both the clinical and aesthetic skills required for cosmetic interventions.

BABTAC will be making an extensive contribution to Sir Bruce Keogh's review on behalf of the beauty industry and any therapist wishing to comment or become involved should email us at

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