Can You Trust Your Beauty Therapist? Industry Experts Launch Campaign To Make Beauty Safe

Beauty industry leaders have launched a campaign to ‘Make Beauty Safe’ in the UK today, in bid to make the unregulated industry safer for consumers.

Currently, lack of legislation means someone with little or no training can establish themselves as a beauty therapist, and BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology) have joined forces with industry experts to launch a petition and call for change at government level.

“In the past year and a half we’ve done a lot of work in terms of raising the reputation of the beauty industry, but what has become apparent is that without appropriate regulation, this reputation is in jeopardy,” says Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council and ally of the #MakeBeautySafe campaign.

“It’s astounding that you can go on a one-day course and become accredited to perform treatments that break skin or use chemicals without sufficient training. The British Beauty Council is an advocacy group but we support trade bodies in pushing regulation in order to future proof our industry.”

There are an estimated 50,000 beauty salons with 300,000 employees currently in the UK and, pre-COVID, the British beauty industry was worth £28.4 billion ($37 billion) to the UK GDP—more than that of many ‘traditional’ industries.

“We need accountability, we need regulation. Now more so than ever,” says Lesley Blair, Chair at BABTAC. “With confusion around COVID safety measures, a clear code of conduct needs to be established to ensure safety of all those encountering the beauty industry—be it professionally or personally.”

From two-day courses selling themselves as reputable qualifications to unqualified practitioners administering injectables, without the means to deal with any complications, she believe there are many issues to contend with. “We need a government regulated standard across all areas of beauty. Without this standardisation, we will never be taken seriously as an industry and will continue to compromise consumer safety.”

If performed incorrectly, beauty treatments can cause serious harm to an individual’s health—and this is not just limited to advanced treatments like laser, micropigmentation and skin needling.

The rising trend of injectables (lip fillers, botox, et al) can result in devastating complications and popular—arguably routine—treatments like waxing and lash extensions can have severe consequences if administered incorrectly.

“There are so many dire repercussions due to the lack of regulations in our industry, beginning with reputable fit for purpose qualifications having to compete with cheaper unverified substandard training,” says Caroline Hirons, industry expert, aesthetician and skincare specialist.

“Or, worse still, no training at all, resulting in underqualified therapists who are able to provide rapidly advancing treatments without any verification or insurance. Safety and professionalism should be at the heart of everything we do.”

According to BABTAC, the ultimate goal of the campaign is full regulation, either by the government or independent industry bodies, with a mandatory register that can verify all therapists are competently qualified, have a fit-for-purpose qualification, and adequate insurance to ensure the safety of both therapist and client.

“There are a huge amount of qualified, experienced, fully insured beauty experts out there to do your treatments, we want to shine a light on them, and help educate the consumer on what to look out for,” says Blair.

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