Under-18s banned from getting botox and fillers under new law

A close up of a woman's mouth. A gloved hand is holding a needle near her lips.
Around 41,000 botox injections are given to under-18s each year. Credit: Unsplash / Sam Moqadam
  • By Digital Presenter and Producer Mojo Abidi

Children are now banned from getting botox or fillers under new legislation. 

The 'Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act' has made it illegal to provide either procedure to under-18s for cosmetic reasons. 

The Act will also require a doctor, registered medical practitioner, or a health professional to administer the jabs when there is a medical need in young people. 

The new laws passed through Parliament this week and will come into force in autumn.

The change could stop around 41,000 botox injections from being given to under 18s each year, according to the Department for Health.

The changes will come into effect in autumn. Credit: Unsplash / Sam Moqadam

Sevenoaks MP Laura Trott, who introduced the Bill, said "no child needs cosmetic botox or fillers. 

"I am thrilled we have been able to change the law to ensure children are now protected." 

Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners, has been campaigning for the change for eight years. 

Director, Ashton Collins, said she is "delighted" with the new law. "We have been campaigning for greater protection for young people who are being targeted, exploited, and harmed by unscrupulous practitioners since 2014," she said.

"It truly is a monumental step forward that will help safeguard the people most at risk of falling into unsafe hands.”

Some of the risks include abscesses, haematomas and even permanent blindness. Credit: AP

The move has also been celebrated by medical practitioners. 

Cosmetic doctor, Dr Tijion Esho, sees five patients a day seeking corrective treatments after a procedure that has gone wrong.  

He said: "I’ve seen everything from abscesses caused by severe infections to haematomas - big clots of blood in the lip - and in more extreme cases, necrosis where the tissue in the lip starts to die.

"Under-18s tend to have been impacted by digital pressures to look a certain way and in many instances don’t have the finances necessary to opt for these treatments with a reputable, medical practitioner."

"We are now moving towards a much safer future for patients,” he added. 

Botox is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Credit: AP

Plastic surgeon, Dr Paul Banwell, believes it is better to wait for the face to fully develop. 

He said: “Botox is a treatment that is ultimately designed to combat wrinkles. Put simply, there just isn’t the need for Botox before this age. 

"With fillers, it’s necessary to wait until we’re at a point of maturity - physically and emotionally. Before the age of 18 our face hasn’t fully developed and fillers are not necessary." 

Dr Banwell added: "By 18, we’re hopefully at more of an age of emotional maturity. We're more able to understand the implications, risks and purpose of a cosmetic treatment as well as having realistic expectations." 

Businesses will have several months to get ready for the new laws, train staff, and make any necessary changes.