1 October 2021

The 'Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act', which comes into force today (1 October 2021) in England, has made it illegal to provide either procedure to under-18s for cosmetic reasons.

The policy restricts access to botulinum toxin (aka ‘Botox©’) and cosmetic fillers (commonly known as dermal fillers) for persons under the age of 18 years old, except in certain circumstances when a doctor approves the treatments, then administered by a doctor, nurse, dentist or pharmacist.

Caroline Larissey, NHBF director of quality and standards, said: “With the support of the BAW APPG, the NHBF has been campaigning for several years for legislation to raise the minimum age for injectable treatments to protect the youngest and most vulnerable. The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021 is a step in the right direction to protect consumers.”

The Department for Health estimates 41,000 botulinum toxin procedures may have been carried out on under-18s in 2020, and more than 29,300 dermal filler procedures may have been performed on under-18s over the past four years.

Practitioners and business owners will need to ensure that staff are aware of the restrictions and introduce robust age verification processes to ensure they do not provide treatments to anyone under 18 years old.

Updates on legislation in Wales and Scotland are expected in the near future, while Northern Ireland has no current plans to make any changes.

Botulinum toxin (Botox), dermal fillers and laser hair removal account for nine out of 10 non-surgical treatments performed in the UK.

Read the complete government guidance here.