AFTER the first lockdown, Victoria Lee felt she needed a little lift.
Having had Botox injections for 10 years, she didn’t think she had anything to worry about.
Only this time, after seeing a different practitioner to her usual person, Faye was left with horrific, painful boils on her face, which have caused her to lock herself away from everyone for a year.
Victoria, a make-up artist from Essex, said: “Firstly, it hurt, which had never happened before.
“Within a week, I started getting lumps on my face. They were huge boils, two on my forehead were coming out nearly an inch.
“They were stretching my skin, very angry, very red, full of pus.”
It wasn’t just the appearance which bothered Victoria. The boils were causing her horrible pain.
She said: “When I would get out of the shower, and you pat your hair dry, blood would be pouring down my face.”
In the mornings, she would find blood on her pillow, and her son even told her to stop taking him to school.
Victoria said: “It was so painful, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t go shopping, I haven’t been out of my house.”
In fact, apart from going to medical appointments, Victoria only went out for the first time to film a new BBC Three documentary about the beauty industry.
Under the Skin: The Botched Beauty Business investigates the fashion for non-surgical procedures, such as Botox, fillers and thread lifts, and the risks involved in what is currently, shockingly, an unregulated industry.
It’s predicted that the non-surgical aesthetics industry will be worth £3 billion a year by 2026, such is the trend, promoted by Instagrammers and celebrities such as Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry, for quick “tweakments.”
The Sun’s Had Our Fill campaign, which recently won a victory when injectibles were banned for under 18s, is pushing for a Government-backed central register of approved practitioners.
Becoming a practitioner is simply a matter of getting a qualification – but as the documentary shows, the training can vary wildly, with some condemned as “barbaric.”
Presenter and beauty blogger Anchal Seda reveals in the programme that the woman who injected Victoria had only undergone ONE day of training.
What’s more, eight other people have suffered complications from treatments by the same practitioner.
Visibly shaken, Victoria – who is yet to find out the cause behind her skin lesions – says: “These companies offering courses need to be shut down and, to be honest, I feel she should go to prison. It’s really upset me.”
Filler that could leave you blind
We also meet Faye Page, a brow technician, who was lucky not to lose her eyesight through a botched filler injection in her nose.
Like Victoria, she had seen someone different to usual and, on a whim, decided to have filler in the tip and bridge of her nose.
Faye says: “As I was lying on the bed, I started to get a motley rash, and one side of my nostril was going numb.
“Had I gone to sleep I would have woken up with no nose in the morning.”
During the programme, she visits Dr Nyla Raja, a cosmetic doctor-to-the-stars who runs a clinic in posh Alderley Edge, Cheshire.
Her clients include Spice Girl Mel B, popstar Fleur East and TOWIE’s Jess Wright.
Dr Nyla examines Faye and explains the person injected into her dorsal nasal artery, a vessel which supplies blood to the eye.
I feel f***ing stupid. You can’t put a price on your face
As Anchal says: “Faye was lucky not to lose her vision.”
Faye says: “I feel f***ing stupid for putting myself in that position in the first place. You can’t put a price on your face.”
Dr Nyla, who has an honours degree in medicine and surgery, reckons she corrects botched procedures carried out elsewhere every fortnight.
She believes it will take someone to die for the Government to take action.
She says: “I don’t understand how those 10 years of intense studying learning the anatomy of the face and neck can be condensed into a two-day course.
“The Government needs to introduce some serious regulation.
“Unfortunately I think it will be something like a fatality for the government to recognise what a serious problem this is.”
In the documentary, two qualified nurses go undercover on separate training courses and the footage from secret filming is watched by a panel of experts, totalling more than 25 years’ experience in the cosmetics industry.
One learns how to perform a threadlift at Boss Babes Uni, based in Liverpool and Marbella, Spain.
After receiving five hours of online tutoring, the nurse is invited to a centre to practise on a volunteer.
It is obvious the volunteer is in pain and is seen to be wiping blood away from her neck.
One expert is horrified by what is captured.
He says: “Barbaric is what comes to mind. The patient should not be bleeding like that.”
During the treatment, the trainer stops to answer her phone, posing a possible infection risk, while the volunteer is seen vaping.
At the end, the undercover nurse receives a certificate which would enable her to administer thread lifts.
The expert says: “This is a medical procedure which should be done in a sterile environment and none of the requirements have been met. This is posing a huge risk to the general public.”
It is revealed that the trainer qualified as a nurse just 18 days before starting to teach the course.
Had Our Fill campaign
Britain’s Botox and filler addiction is fuelling a £2.75billion industry.
The wrinkle-busting and skin plumping treatments account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
50% of women and 40% of men aged 18 to 34 want to plump up their pouts and tweak their faces.
Fillers are totally unregulated and incredibly you don’t need to have ANY qualifications to buy and inject them.
83% of botched jobs are performed by people with no medical training, often in unsanitary environments – with devastating results.
Women have been left with rotting tissue, needing lip amputations, lumps and even blinded by botched jobs.
Despite the dangers, there is no legal age limit for dermal filler, which is why Fabulous has launched Had Our Fill, a campaign calling for:
fillers to be made illegal for under 18s
a crackdown on social media sites plugging fillers
a Government-backed central register for practitioners with accredited qualifications
We’re working in conjunction with Save Face and are backed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
We want anyone considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to be well-informed to make a safe decision.
We’ve Had Our Fill of rogue traders and sham clinics – have you?
The other nurse went undercover at the training academy where Victoria’s practitioner trained, at Faye Coleen Sayers Beauty and Aesthetics Training.
After doing two-and-a-half hours of theory, the nurse was given three patients who wanted their Botox topped up.
By law, every practitioner needs to see a prescribing doctor before injecting Botox for the first time – yet the undercover investigator was told the doctor was happy to prescribe without seeing her.
Eyes popping, one of the experts blasts: “This doctor should be struck off.”
At the end of the day, the nurse was told she hadn’t passed the course and would need to return the following day.
However, the experts doubted one more day’s training would equip anyone with the necessary expertise.
Boss Babes University told the BBC that the safety of their customers and training are their highest priorities. It said it was concerned by BBC’s claims but didn’t have sufficient details to respond more fully.
Faye Coleen Sayers told the BBC she was told by their medical prescriber that Botox could be prescribed remotely during the pandemic.
She said she had never caused any harm to anyone while teaching aesthetics and wasn’t aware of any student causing harm to anyone. She says goes into detail about possible complications on the second day of training.
Under the Skin: The Botched Beauty Business is on BBCThree on iplayer from Thursday, June 24th.