An inquiry has been launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing into new claims there is a rise in people administering their own face and lip fillers from home, with ‘black market’ at-home kits bought online.
Desperate to continue with their filler treatments while in lockdown by following YouTube tutorial videos, the news comes as industry groups are calling for a tightening of regulations around so-called ‘backstreet’ barbers and beauticians, who are operating outside of lockdown rules.
“Dermal fillers to inject in the lips and face are presently legally available to buy online by anyone, not just trained professionals,” says Lesley Blair, Chair of the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology. “Given the potential complications they can cause is frightening in itself, without the added potential for black market products becoming more prevalent now that people are desperate for their treatments in lockdown.”
Advanced aesthetics such as filler should be administered only by trained professionals, but unlike Botox which is a medical treatment that needs to be prescribed by a doctor, dermal filler injections – used to add volume in the skin and lips – can be bought online by anyone. There’s a misconception that they are ‘beauty treatments’ rather than a medical treatment.
“It’s very worrying to hear people are buying filler for at-home use, and it highlights how important it is we get some legal government regulation on the industry,” Millie Kendall, the CEO of the British Beauty Council, tells the Telegraph. “Unlicensed therapists can buy filler on eBay or Amazon, and perform treatments with little or no medical training.”
Kendall feels that if there’s one silver lining to the covid crisis for the beauty industry, it’ll be the start of regulation which should see the end of ‘backstreet’ hairdressers and beauticians. “People don’t understand the risks and ramifications of injectables, if not performed properly. There should always be a doctor or trained nurse on-site in case anything goes wrong.”
“You just don’t know what you’re getting in these injectables you buy online,” adds aesthetic specialist Dr Lauren Hamilton. “It could be a certain brand on the packet with a different substance inside. The dangers are immense and life-threatening. It can lead to infections, blindness and if you don’t know pathways of the arteries you can inject filler into them, causing life-altering effects.”