Under-18’s Travel to Wales for Botox After England Ban

Danielle Lowe
By Danielle Lowe

Danielle Lowe is the Marketing Manager for ConsultingRoom.com, (www.consultingroom.com) the UK’s largest aesthetic information website. 

Campaigners report that individuals under 18 are finding a way around England's ban on Botox and lip fillers by seeking appointments in Wales.

Director of Save Face, Ashton Collins, told the BBC that treatments were becoming increasingly popular among young people.

Save Face have collaborated with the BBC to highlight the gaps in regulation in Wales that enable practitioners to inject under 18s with dermal fillers and Botox. 

They worked with MP Laura Trott to bring in the law in England which came into force in 2021. We are shocked that Wales, Scotland, and Ireland have chosen not to follow suit. We talked to the BBC at length about the issues this causes not only the residents of these countries but also how the lack of action has led teens to travel across borders to access the treatments.

The organisation says a “crisis is waiting to happen with young people”, as children believe fillers or Botox are akin to getting their eyebrows done – instead the risks of botched procedures can lead to blindness and tissue damage.

The campaign group received a message from a concerned mother in Hereford who revealed that her 18-year-old daughter had journeyed for the treatment.

Ruby David, 18, hailing from Bridgend, expressed her desire for lip fillers, influenced by social media pressures. However, her parents' apprehensions had deterred her from proceeding.

In an interview with Wales Live, she advocated for a new law in Wales that would prevent young individuals from "making mistakes." She conveyed, "Two or three years ago, I probably wouldn't have cared as much as I do now. When I was 15 or 16, I was like, 'oh, whatever, it doesn't matter – you only live once.' The older you are, the more you think about things. You think about the outcome or what could happen."

Ms. Collins emphasized that imposing an age limit would spare children from grappling with potential complications. She further elaborated, "People only report to us when something goes wrong, so what we're seeing is literally the tip of the iceberg."

Save Face advisory board member, Sophie Riddell shares her views on how the gaps in the law affect her as a practitioner and her patients.

Save Face are calling upon the Welsh, Scottish, and Irish governments to take action to protect young people from being exploited and harmed by unscrupulous practitioners.


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