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The price of perfection

10th December 2011  : 

Perfect body, perfect skin, perfect you? The rise and rise of celebrity inspired aesthetic beauty treatments means that in 2010 more than 9 out of 10* procedures conducted in the UK were ‘non-invasive’; to the woman on the street that means...Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser resurfacing and more. In fact just 2%* of British adults choose to go under the knife for a permanent life long change to their appearance. Just like the USA our use of and hunger for aesthetic beauty enhancements is on the rise but unlike our American cousins our non-invasive beauty industry is largely unregulated, raising risks and the fear factor of choosing nurture over nature.

Non-invasive improvements to our complexion and appearance mean a proactive management of the ageing process. The texture of our skin and our progression through the social settings of adulthood change over time ie career, motherhood, retirement; a progression that dictates that what’s right for us at 25 is different at 45 and beyond. sk:n is a nationwide specialist provider of non-invasive aesthetic treatments. Staffed with over 30 medical doctors and teams of trained and experienced nurses, the company is also a founding member of the Independent Health Advisory Service’s ‘Treatments You Can Trust’ register, the only regulatory body available in the UK for non-invasive treatments. The company has long advocated government legislation and monitoring for their industry and is calling for compulsory regulation. Botox and dermal fillers are widely available and offered by hair salons, beauticians, dentists and even mobile nurses on motorbikes! It’s a situation that is doing nothing to educate and promote best practice and causing confusion, ignorance, fear and misunderstanding for the UK population at large. Expense and fear of something going wrong are the two greatest barriers to choosing non-invasive treatments and put off six out of ten UK adults* considering this choice. However with 28% of men and 36% of women* wanting to improve their skin, it’s clear that a well regulated and trustworthy choice of treatment provider is increasingly important.

Dr Askari Townshend, sk:n’s Group Medical Doctor has a specialism in aesthetic skin improvements such as Botox and dermal fillers says:“Our robust medical protocols and ethical framework are the result of 20 years of research, partnership and experience and they are all there to protect the client. Every face is unique and every client has different expectations, desires and resources in time and money. We put that client at the centre of a relationship that is designed to improve their complexion and sense of well being and self esteem. It’s a gold standard in service and quality that sk:n believes should be accessible to everyone. Without legislation, monitoring and regulation there are no enforced minimum standard; which weakens our reputation as an industry and most importantly places clients that don’t choose a trustworthy provider at risk.”

Nonsurgical procedures are less invasive and have quicker recovery times and this is helping to propel dynamic growth of the sector but a recent Mintel report also highlighted the perception that treatments without permanent results are poor value. The reasons why a man or woman seeks aesthetic improvement are many and varied and any ethical provider will spend considerable time uncovering those motivations.  The fact that procedures aren’t always permanent could be an asset as our social standing, maturity and the natural texture and tone of our skin changes through our lives. While 32% of women would choose treatment to look younger, there are also 1 million adults in the UK seeking to enhance appearance to improve their career prospects*.

The ‘Treatments You Can Trust’ register is currently the only consumer resource for providers that have volunteered evidence that their services meet and exceed standards that protect the health and wellbeing of the client. The regulation includes a ‘medical standard’ setting for what is in essence a carefully calibrated medical procedure. Consumer knowledge around the cost, care and procedure itself will help to allay fears and concerns on investment and risk and as we, as a nation increasingly choose nurture over nature government regulation is the essential step that will protect us.


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