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The government has proposed a new licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England.

The scheme aims to support those people considering any non-surgical cosmetic procedures to ensure they make safe and informed choices.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures include:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Botulinum toxin injections, such as Botox.
  • Laser hair removal.
  • Tattoo removal.
  • Chemical peels.
  • Face and lip fillers (dermal fillers)
  • Skin lightening.
  • Permanent make-up.

The number of non-surgical cosmetic procedures has increased over the years. In 2020 there was a 29.7% increase compared to 2019, and in 2021 there was an even more significant increase of 49.4% compared to 2020.

Due to more people undergoing these procedures, there has been growing widespread concern among the public and practitioners (those who perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures) about the lack of regulation in this field and the dangers of these procedures. These dangers include physical injuries, such as scarring, aesthetic damage and risk of infection.  There is the added concern that, in some situations, the desired outcome is not achieved.

Injuries from cosmetic procedures

The number of injuries from non-surgical cosmetic procedures has risen as more people undergo these procedures.  This is because many of these procedures are often performed by individuals without the appropriate training or insurance.  Licensing would prevent that.

According to an analysis of the UK’s cosmetic injectables industry by University College London researchers, 68% of cosmetic practitioners administering injections, such as Botox, are not medical doctors.

The Government’s new licensing scheme aims to:

  • Identify those procedures that at present pose a risk
  • Ensure that practitioners have a licence as well as the premises where the procedure is carried out
  • Ensure Local authorities enforce the scheme with support from environmental health officers, trading standards officers and the Health and Safety Executive
  • Make it an offence for an individual to carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures without a licence
  • Require those people who offer procedures to:
    • be suitably trained and qualified
    • hold appropriate insurance
    • operate from premises which meet the scheme’s standards of hygiene, infection control and cleanliness
  • Introduce a minimum age of 18 for those people seeking to receive the procedures licensed under the scheme

The scheme will also introduce a three-tier colour system for each procedure:

  • Green (low risk)
  • Amber (medium risk)
  • Red (high risk)

The procedures will be graded depending on the level of complexity, how invasive the procedure is and the potential complications with the procedure.

If the procedure is high risk (red), then only those practitioners who are qualified and regulated can carry out the procedure.

The regulations, which will set out the details of the licensing scheme, will be debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament.

APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) have recently highlighted this new government consultation and has invited members to share their views.

We at Lester Aldridge welcome this new scheme as it will finally regulate an industry that has been overlooked for a long time and will significantly reduce injuries to those undergoing non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer an injury from a cosmetic procedure, our personal injury and medical negligence solicitors can help. Contact us at for a non-obligation chat about your situation.