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10 Top Tips for the New Aesthetic Shopper

Now that aesthetic treatments such as Botox® (Botulinum toxin) and dermal fillers are sought after by so many millions of people around the world there has been an explosion in the numbers of practitioners advertising their services and targeting potential customers with their deals, cut price offers of treatments and special treatment packages.

The first timer is now faced with a confusing array of offers and providers for your first aesthetic treatment.  What should you be looking for?

Here is the first-time shoppers guide to choosing your aesthetic practitioner……..

  • Beware of Cost Cutters

Try not to be drawn in by cost alone.  Low prices do not always equate to quality. There are many cheap aesthetic product imports that are of a low quality with dubious claims and potential for greater incidence of side effects and poor outcomes.

Check the brand of the products being offered and do some homework on their popularity and safety simply by logging onto Google.  Or ask your potential clinic to explain the product that they use and how they justify being so low cost.

  • Check out your Practitioner

The law still allows many facial aesthetic treatments including Botox® and dermal fillers, to be provided by non-medically trained people.  All it takes is a day or half day course to allow individuals to start treating you.

To be safe in your practitioner’s hands check out a few things first. The practitioner should be competent and experienced with knowledge of facial anatomy and physiology. This is usually implicit in their professional status but you may wish to enquire about the training and experience.

Medically trained practitioners will be registered with their professional bodies such as the GMC (Doctors) NMC (nurses), GDC (for dentists). However, beware that such professional status does not guarantee aesthetic competence or experience!

Is the practitioner recognised by the safe practitioners register provided by Save Face, or is he/she a member of the British College of Aesthetic Practitioners?

Are there any indications of professional post graduate training such as a University Masters Degree in Aesthetics?

Practitioners should understand the products they are using and choose those appropriate to your specific skin condition, age and agreed expectations, and not just go for the cheapest on the market this month.

Ask the question what type of botulinum toxin or fillers are used in the clinic.  There are many brands now available and some may have better product characteristics than others. Check with your practitioner why they choose the products offered.

  • Is the clinic setting Safe and Clean?

Aesthetic clinics do not need to be registered with any regulatory body.  Care Quality Commission, (CQC) registration is required for medical treatments that include medical diagnosis and treatments such as in a GP surgery, or invasive aesthetic treatments such as face lifting threads. Such a CQC endorsement will reassure you that the clinic and practitioner has had a formal assessment and has been approved in 5 standards of care;




Responsive to clients /patients’ needs

Well led

Does the clinic appear clean, private and appropriate for aesthetic treatments?  Some practitioners operate from a home site which is perfectly acceptable providing the clinical area meets the standards expected for safe practice and there are basic infection control procedures in place such as hand washing and clean surfaces and a private area for treatments.

  • Is the Practitioner Insured?

Whether you go to a fair ground, a cinema, a shop or hairdresser, you might expect the company would have public liability insurance as a minimum to protect you in case of accidents.  Likewise, in an aesthetic clinic, you are placing your health in the hands of a practitioner and no matter how experienced and professional he/she is, sometimes there may be unexpected complications.

You should be confident in the knowledge that your practitioner is insured to cover such situations in the rare event that something goes wrong.

  • Is your practitioner equipped and trained to deal with Potential Complications? 

The use of dermal fillers by non-medical individuals is a great concern of most medical bodies and regulators and the government is considering legislation to protect the public.  Dermal fillers in the face and lips are of particular concern due to the real risks of devastating disfiguring complications from blocking blood supply to the skin or serious infection.

Prevention is obviously the prime goal but if something does go wrong you need to be confident that the practitioner has the tools and knowledge to deal with the situation.  Your aesthetic practitioner should have immediate access to a minimum of

ADRENALINE (for emergency allergic reactions)

HYALURONIDASE (for emergency dissolving of filler material)

  • Ethics and Honesty

We tend to have a natural suspicion of second-hand car salesman, not always justified but we fear being taken advantage of. We expect our practitioner to be honest and ethical in approaching our facial assessment and in providing options for treatment.

On your first visit you should have the chance to express your own ideas and concerns in a comfortable and unrushed setting, feel listened to, and be able to hear suggestions and advice from the practitioner.

First timer attenders should have plenty of time to decide on any options suggested and  ideally should avoid invasive or injectable treatments on the first visit, to allow some cooling off and thinking time after your visit.

If you are feeling pressured or uncomfortable then do not agree to anything on your first visit.

  • Realistic Expectations

You should be advised what to expect and reminded about realistic expectations.

If you are shown unbelievably amazing before and after photos, then they probably are unbelievable and you should be cautious. If you are promised amazing results beware they are achievable and realistic and in keeping with what you want.  Some clients want a natural and comfortable improvement in appearance, not a transformation which looks artificial and out of place in your everyday life.

  • Testimonies

They can be really helpful but beware legitimacy.

  • After Care

Your doctor or dentist will usually offer you follow up care after treatment?  Does your practitioner provide after care?

Once you leave the clinic will you have a contact number for immediate advice and help should something be worrying you or apparently going wrong such as increased swelling or bruising etc after treatment.

What about weekend support if something goes wrong.  Will you be advised to go to AE or your GP because the practitioner is either unavailable, uninterested or unqualified to deal with the issue.  Your practitioner should be available  for a  conversation if you are worried about anything after your treatment and be equipped and qualified to deal with any concerns that you might have.

  • Safe Prescribing

Botulinum toxin (Botox®  and other brands are available), is a prescription only drug prescribed by prescribing practitioners only. Professionals who can prescribe include doctors, dentists, and prescribing nurses and pharmacists.

Beauticians are not able to prescribe your Botox® personally but are perfectly safe in making an arrangement with a prescriber to provide your treatment.

Is your practitioner a prescriber? If not how do they obtain the Botulinim toxic for your treatment.

It is perfectly acceptable and common practice for a third party qualified prescriber to provide the prescription for your practitioner but you should expect, as a good practice requirement, for the prescriber to speak with you to explain the drug to you and see you face to face to answer any questions you have.

The GMC (General Medical Council) guidelines recommend that prescribers should not prescribe Botox® over the phone

It is important that the prescriber assesses your suitability for treatment and your general health, medication, allergies etc. Only when satisfied should the prescriber agree to provide your Botulinum toxin prescription for use by your practitioner.

It is now illegal to administer some aesthetic treatments to under 18 year olds and so do not be offended to be asked for ID if you are lucky enough to look younger than that cut off age.  If you are encouraged to receive aesthetic treatment and are under 18 years of age be very cautious and maybe ask a family member for advice.

Sharing injectable treatments between clients, such as a prescribed drug such as Botox® and other injectables such as dermal filler syringes,  is becoming more common to help with lowering costs. However,  bear in mind that such practice will put you at considerable risk of infection and is exceedingly wreckless practice.  I am aware of some who have been offered to share a treatment of Botulinum toxin or a syringe of filler with a friend for a good discount as part of a cost saving deal.  Hepatitis, blood borne viruses such as HIV and Aids and rotavirus to name a few are just some of the risks.

So as a shopper you have a lot to think about…….choose carefully 

 Your health and well being are important to you and to us

Your face is important to you and to us.

Your safety is important to you and to us.

Your confidentiality and quality of care is important to you and to us.

Your after care support is important to you and to us


Cosmedica Clinics

Rest assured that your doctor and nurse team at Cosmedica are fully trained, ethical and competent in all of the treatments provided.

We hope that when shopping for your aesthetic treatment you will find that we meet your standards.

We are CQC approved and qualified to offer non-judgemental honest and ethical advice to guide and support you on your aesthetic journey with us.

You are safe in our hands.