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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Saskia Rowlands

Beauty salon offers 17-year-old girl lip fillers as clinics flout ban on teens

Rogue beauty salons in Greater Manchester could be flouting the law by offering potentially ­dangerous lip fillers to underage teens without checking their ID. It's a criminal offence to give Botox to under-18s for cosmetic reasons.

But an under-cover investigation by the Mirror found two clinics in Prestwich and Salford prepared to offer the procedure to 17-year-old girls. A total of 50 clinics across England were approached and the vast majority didn’t ask for age verification.

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Experts fear for youngsters' safety as social media pressures drive them to cheap deals. Fillers can cause extreme swelling, blood clots and even blindness.

The Government ­guidance states: “It is a criminal offence to administer botulinum toxin (commonly known as ‘Botox’) or a filler by way of injection for a cosmetic purpose to a person under 18 in England, even if they have the permission of someone over 18. It is also an offence to make arrangements or book an appointment to provide these treatments to anyone under the age of 18 in England.”

The influence of reality stars such as Kylie Jenner, who had her lips enlarged aged 17, has led to a surge in demand for the procedures – often carried out in hair salons and in living rooms. The Mirror reporter approached over 50 practitioners seeking to book lip filler consultations for her 'younger sister'.

They then visited eight clinics with two 17-year-old girls, Ula and Lulu. Even just making arrangements is a contravention of the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021.

It is not enough for the practitioner or business to decide that the young person looks to be over 18 – they must take steps and check documents to make sure they are certain the person is 18 or over to avoid breaking the law.

But just nine practitioners of the 50 – less than a quarter – asked the girls’ age or ID when booking. Of the eight clinics the actors visited, six failed to mention ID during a consultation, while seven said the girls – who were 17 but simply told them they were older – were suitable for fillers and agreed they could book in for the procedure, without checking their ID.

Half the clinics were training academies. Currently no qualifications are required to buy or inject filler. Incidences of botched lip fillers are rife: industry watchdog Save Face, a national register of accredited non-surgical practitioners, received 1,948 complaints in 2022.

Ula and Lulu attended consultations at eight salons across Essex and Manchester, and told practitioners they were 18, and were taken at their word. At no point did they actually have filler administered.

Lulu outside The Lip King beauty clinic in Salford (Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)

At an appointment, The Lip King, who operates out of an office block in Salford and has 16,400 Instagram followers, said Lulu had 'good shaped lips for filler'. It suggested she have 1ml injected – twice the recommended starting dose.

At Her HQ in Prestwich, a practitioner suggested Lulu start with 0.5ml of filler. Two others complied with the law.

Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, said it was 'gravely irresponsible' of clinics not to check ID and showed a lack of ethics and safety standards.

She added: "Young girls perceive [filler] as a low risk beauty treatment as opposed to a medical intervention and will seek out providers who do not take appropriate measures to verify that they are over 18."

Faye Winter at the Pride of Manchester awards (Manchester Evening News)

Love Island’s Faye Winter called on police and local authorities to clamp down on clinics flouting the ban. Faye, 28, who had her lips reduced after her parents told her they looked silly on the show, said: “With the increase in ‘makeover videos’ on social media, salons are becoming more reluctant to check identity to see if patients are of age.”

The Government has said it intends to set up a licensing regime for non-surgical procedures such as Botox and fillers but has not done so yet.

Jordan Parke, The Lip King, said: “I was under the impression she [Lulu] was about 19 or 20. She was a pretty girl and her manner of dress led me to the conclusion that she was well over 18.”

Her HQ denied any wrongdoing, saying: “If you had proceeded to book an appointment, a full client consultation would have been carried out as we do not carry out treatments on any persons under the required legal age.”

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