People under 18 years of age will no longer be able to receive Botox and dermal lip-fillers for cosmetic reasons under a new law in England.
The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act, which came into force in England on Friday, means it will be illegal to administer the products to or book an appointment for those under 18, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
The department said failure “could result in a criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine”.
The law applies to those visiting from outside England or who have the permission of someone aged over 18.
Treatments can, however, still be approved by a medical practitioner to be carried out by a doctor, nurse, dentist or pharmacist on those under 18 with a clinical need.
The health minister, Nadine Dorries, announced the law last month after a significant increase in the number of young people attempting to achieve an “Instagram face”.
Dorries wrote in the Daily Mail on 5 September: “No child needs cosmetic procedures unless for medical reasons. Their physical and mental development is not complete.”
The change comes after MPs said a “complete absence” of regulation of beauty treatments such as Botox and fillers is putting the public at risk – and “maintaining the status quo is not an option”.
There was a complete lack of a legal framework of standards around non-surgical aesthetic treatments, which has left consumers at risk and undermined the industry’s ability to develop, the all-party parliamentary group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing found.