People are playing a game of Russian roulette with cosmetic surgery and invasive procedures because the sector is largely unregulated
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A scroll through Instagram or TikTok will show you that luscious plump lips and a wrinkle-free, flawless face are now must-haves.
That ever-increasing pressure to look like you are 20 when you are actually 50 means business is booming for those offering Botox, fillers and other “tweakments”.
According to the British beauty council, the industry has made a contribution to the GDP worth £28.4billion. If you throw in aesthetic treatments, you can add up to another £5billion on top.
But, as more people than ever turn to injectable and invasive procedures to try to look the part, they’re paying a dangerous game of beauty Russian roulette.
Because the sector is largely unregulated.
Practitioners are not legally required to have any qualifications in the UK, so beauty treatments can be provided by just about anyone, anywhere.
Is that not insane?
Too many of us take cosmetic procedures at face value, but many medical professionals say some can be incredibly risky if they’re not carried out correctly.
Did you know, for example, that if filler is accidentally injected into one of the blood vessels around your eye, you could go blind?
Antonia Mariconda, founder of the Safety in Beauty Campaign, has been fighting for 10 years to improve things in the sector.
She says: “Everybody has the right to look and feel good, but this right shouldn’t be abused by those entrusted to carry out treatments and procedures.”
Health experts are calling for tighter regulations on non-surgical procedures. However, Antonia says: “Promises have been made by the Government, but none have yet been delivered.”
Her campaign aims to raise awareness of unsafe beauty activities, and helps victims of sub-standard work to access medical, legal and emotional support.
Antonia says: “There is no regulation. Anyone can complete training in just a few hours in one day in the UK. They can then carry out invasive, injectable aesthetic treatments.
“If something goes wrong, there is nowhere to turn, except for places like us.”
Safety in Beauty hears all sorts of horror stories –botched lip fillers, laser burns, dirty premises and fake qualifications.
Thread lifts are a big problem. Antonia says: “Social media is not helping by glamorizing treatments such as fox eyes.”
This involves inserting a thread into the corner of the exterior eye area to create “a pulled-back, fox eye effect”.
She adds: “It looks hideous. And it’s dangerous.”
In safe, qualified hands, many tweakments are great. But in the wrong hands, they can cause real harm.
To find out more about procedures, visit safetyinbeauty.com.
A smooth brow is not worth dying for.