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Botox and lip fillers banned for under 18s

What age can you get lip fillers and Botox in the UK?

A new law means those under the age of 18 will no longer be able to access Botox or lip fillers for cosmetic reasons.

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The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act makes it illegal for Botox and dermal lip filler procedures to be administered to anyone under 18 years of age, or even to book an appointment. .

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says failure to comply with the law could result in a criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine.

The law also applies to people visiting from outside England. It also does not matter if an under the age of 18 has permission for the procedure from an adult - the legislation still applies.

Former health minister Nadine Dorries announced the change in law in September, writing in the Daily Mail: "No child needs cosmetic procedures unless for medical reasons. Their physical and mental development is not complete."

Lip fillers and social media

The news came following a concerning spike in the number of young people in search of the 'Instagram face'. Over the last couple of years, children have also been exposed to lip filler packages and adverts for unsafe cosmetic procedures online. Children as young as 13 have been searching for lip filler packages.

The government said it had ethical concerns over whether anyone under 18 years of age have the "emotional and mental maturity to give informed consent" to Botox and lip filler procedures. MPs also said an absence of legislation of these beauty treatments puts people at risk, and that it is "not an option" to carry on without a form of protection.

The government believes children should not be accessing cosmetic procedures "on the commercial market without a medical or psychological assessment".

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Exceptions to the law for lip fillers

However, in some situations, such treatments could be approved by a medical practitioner. But, they must be carried out by a doctor, nurse, dentist or pharmacist if being performed on someone under 18, and there must be a clinical need for them.

Prior to the legislation introduced on October 1, there was no legal framework at all surrounding non-surgical aesthetic treatments. This made them accessible to under-18s and put young people at risk.

Article History

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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