Lawyers welcome new legislation to protect consumers from harmful unregulated cosmetic procedures

Neille Ryan

Partner & Head of Personal Injury

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February 22, 2023

Personal injury lawyers at Kent law firm Furley Page have welcomed provisions in the Health and Care Act 2022 designed to protect consumers from harmful, unregulated or unlicensed cosmetic and beauty treatment practitioners.

The Act, which is now in force, gives the Secretary of State powers to require the licensing of cosmetic procedures which have, until now, been largely unregulated. The new laws will hopefully make it easier for people who have suffered physical or psychological harm as a result of a beauty treatment or cosmetic procedure to seek damages by bringing a personal injury claim.

Neille Ryan, Partner & Head of Furley Page’s Personal Injury team, said: “The increasingly popular beauty treatment industry has, until now, been largely unregulated while beauty treatments are more widely accessible than ever.

“Although the majority of the aesthetics industry shows good practice when it comes to patient safety, it is also true that treatments including injections, the application of light, electricity, cold or heat, and the insertion of needles or placing of threads under the skin, are being administered by practitioners with no, or questionable qualifications and no insurance to cover losses and damages if things go wrong.

“The Health and Care Act 2022 now gives the Secretary of State powers to require the licensing of cosmetic procedures. The aim is to ensure consistent standards and protect individuals from the harmful physical and mental impacts of poorly performed cosmetic procedures carried out by those without licences, by making it an offence to perform such non-surgical work without a licence.”

In recent years Furley Page’s Personal Injury team has advised clients who are facing wide-ranging problems following cosmetic treatments including adverse reactions, scarring, burns, contaminated products, inadequate hygiene leading to infection, and psychological injury.

Kelly Richardson is a Chartered Legal Executive with Furley Page’s Personal Injury team. She said: “All too often, people are enticed by quick fixes at cheap prices, while the Covid pandemic also led to huge growth in unregulated ‘at home’ cosmetic procedures, but using such services could come at a great cost to consumers.

“It’s really depressing how often, despite a clear cut, strong claim, the victim does not receive a single penny in compensation, due to unscrupulous practitioners having no insurance, insufficient means to pay or even disappearing.

“If you are looking at a cosmetic procedure then we strongly advise that you do your research, including asking to see the practitioner’s qualifications and insurance details before you commit. Meanwhile, if you have signed a consent form or a waiver, don’t be misled into believing you can’t claim. These waivers constitute an unfair contract term under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, and are ultimately a worthless attempt to deter the customer from taking legal action.”

Neille Ryan concluded: “While it is encouraging to see new legislation introduced to protect consumers, at this stage the Government has only given itself the power to introduce licensing, and it remains to be seen whether they will actually follow through.

“In the meantime, if you have suffered physical injury or psychological harm as a result of a beauty treatment or cosmetic procedure, then you should seek legal advice as you may be successful in pursuing a personal injury claim.”

For legal advice on making a personal injury claim, please contact Neille Ryan on or call 01227 763939.