Under-18's travel to Wales for Botox after England bans practice

Under-18s are bypassing England's ban on Botox and lip fillers by getting appointments in Wales, campaigners have said.

Under-18s are bypassing England’s ban on Botox and lip fillers by travelling to Wales, campaigners have said.

Cosmetic Botox and lip fillers for under-18s were banned in England back in 2021, but the rule does not apply in Wales.

Campaign group Save Face, which maintains a list of qualified cosmetic practitioners in the UK and pushed for the law change, said it has received reports of children coming to Wales to get around the ban.

The Welsh government says it is working to address what it describes as a “regulatory gap” in the area.

Save Face director Ashton Collins. / Credit: Save Face

Director of Save Face, Ashton Collins, told the BBC that treatments were becoming increasingly popular among young people.

Having worked with MP Laura Trott to implement the law in England, she thought it was a “no brainer” for Wales to also adopt the law.

The organisation says a “crisis is waiting to happen with young people”, as children believe fillers or Botox are akin to getting their eyebrows done – instead the risks of botched procedures can lead to blindness and tissue damage.

The campaign group heard from one concerned mother in Hereford who said her 18-year-old daughter had travelled to get the treatment.

Ruby David, 18, from Bridgend wanted lip fillers and was fueled by pressure from social media, but her parent’s concern had stopped her.

Speaking to Wales Live, she said she wants an new law in Wales preventing young people from “making mistakes”.

She said: “Two or three years ago I probably wouldn’t have cared as much as I do now.

“When I was 15 or 16, I was like ‘oh whatever it doesn’t matter – you only live once’.

“The older you are, the more you think about things. You think about the outcome, or what could happen.”

Ms Collins has said that an age limit would avoid children having to deal with potential complications.

She added: “People only report to us when something goes wrong, so what we’re seeing is literally the tip of the iceberg.”

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