The purpose of the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill 2019-21 is to prohibit specific cosmetic procedures being performed for purely aesthetic purposes on young people under the age of 18 years old in England.[1]

In cosmetic procedures, Botulinum toxin is used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles[2], whilst dermal fillers are used to fill out wrinkles and creases in the skin or increase the volume and definition of the lips and cheeks.[3]

Currently there are no statutory provisions restricting access to these procedures for children and young people. A 2017 report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on Cosmetic Procedures and Ethical Issues noted that there are statutory minimum age limits of 18 for other appearance-related procedures such as tattoos and sunbed use.[4]

The 2013 Keogh Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions called for “greater protection for vulnerable people”, noting that young people and girls in particular, were becoming more concerned with their appearance.[5]

The Bill, a Private Members’ Bill, is sponsored by Laura Trott MP. It was selected through the ballot procedure where Laura Trott came fourth.  The Explanatory Notes state that this is a ‘handout Bill’ from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 5 February 2020 and its Second Reading took place on 16 October 2020. On 25 November 2020, the Bill passed Committee Stage unamended. Report stage is due to take place on 12 March 2021.

[1]    Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill Explanatory Notes, pg.1

[2]    Botox injections, NHS, last reviewed 9 Jul 2019

[3]    Face and lip fillers (dermal fillers), NHS, last reviewed 16 Jul 2019

[4]    Cosmetic procedures: ethical issues, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 22 Jun 2017

[5]    Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions, Department of Health, April 2013, pg.11

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