Superdrug to Offer Facial Rejuvination Treatments, Amid Surgeons’ Concerns

Wednesday 15th August 2018

High street retailer Superdrug has said it will start offering Botox, dermal fillers and other non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments, which has sparked concerns from surgeons that the injection treatments should not be seen as casual beauty treatments.

Superdrug have launched their Skin Renew Service as part of their London Strand store, with the expectation that it will roll out nationwide amongst Superdrug’s bigger store locations. Unlike many other facial rejuvenation clinics and beauticians, Superdrug’s requirements are fairly basic; anyone who is over 25 can book over the phone and after a consultation with a qualified nurse will be ready to receive treatment.

The treatments take place in a private consultation room and start from £99, less than the starting price for a number of aesthetic clinics, and would be undertaken by a qualified registered nursing professional.

The issue however comes from the risks involved in injection based cosmetic treatment. Spokeperson for the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons, Gerard Lambe, provided a warning that Botox, dermal fillers and other non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments should not be seen as a casual beauty treatment similar to hair waxing or eyebrow threading.

He noted that any injection is a serious procedure only to be undertaken by a qualified, experience health professional. There are many risks involved with it, from a risk of infection, to the risk of not applying the injection correctly, which given that the treatment concerns delicate facial muscles, can lead to facial paralysis. As Botox stays in your body for at least three months, the effects will last at least that long.

The potential risks of the procedure led to a decision to block beauticians without medical training from joining the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners, a voluntary register intended to improve the safety of fillers treatment.

Botulinum toxins, commonly provided under the brand name Botox, are a prescription treatment that can be used to relax facial muscles, which reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet. It is not a permanent procedure and as people’s facial muscles react differently, there is not even a guarantee that it will achieve the desired effect. It can also only be used in certain areas, so sagging eyelids cannot be fixed. Dermal fillers are an injection of material into specific areas which will increase the fullness of the skin and reduce sagging.

Botox and fillers have become increasingly popular, along with other more invasive procedures with the success of shows such as Love Island, which have a number of cosmetic providers as advertisers, along with cosmetic dentists and hairstylists who have reported increased business as a result of people wanting a look similar to the contestants on the show. This has led to a rapid increase in the number of places that offer the treatments, and the ensuing concerns about experience and qualifications.

Superdrug’s clinics, even rolled out, should be able to fulfil the legal requirements, and due to the pressure and requirements on larger organisation should have a basic level of safety. However, the issue of whether this treats what is a medical procedure like any other beauty treatment will continue to be discussed.