Safety in Beauty – Three Years of Campaigning; the Not-So-Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly in 2017
I set up my UK campaign organisation, Safety in Beauty, three years ago. I was, and still am, passionate about giving a voice to anyone who had suffered botched or badly done cosmetic procedures or treatments. Until I started Safety in Beauty, wronged customers and clients had no recourse, and nowhere to turn to.
Safety in Beauty has changed all of that. We offer a safe, non-judgemental environment to seek support from an amazing team of volunteers; from doctors and nurses, to psychotherapists to legal experts. No such support has ever existed before.
We Expose the Rogues and Wrong doings in Beauty
When we as the public visit a cosmetic practitioner or beauty therapist, we do so with complete trust. Often, it’s because we want to change something that we don’t like, or that makes us lack confidence. When these ‘professionals’ turn out to be anything but, we’re fearful of what to do. “What if people laugh at me?” “What if people say it’s my own fault?”
Well, we’re here to support you. It’s never your fault and we certainly won’t be laughing.
Since we started, we’ve grown from strength to strength, and have had some huge exposure in the press. I believe that bad practices deserve attention and we’ve managed to expose some awful stories. We’ve had our stories circulated in the national press, boosting our aim to increase awareness of rogue activities and empower you, the consumer. We want safer choices made available to everyone.
Why Do We Do What We Do?
Because we care, and there’s no other organisation in the UK offering this helping hand. We offer a free service, staffed by volunteers on the frontline, fighting for your consumer rights and protecting the wellbeing of the unsuspecting public.
We 100% stand behind the public having a right to choose. We just want it to be a level playing field, with a fair choice and standards and legislation across the board. We’re not dictating choice, we’re simply making the public aware of unscrupulous individuals and companies who put money before welfare.
One of our most triumphant milestones was getting invasive aesthetic procedures stopped at some of the UK’s biggest beauty shows. I just can’t think of why these procedures were ever allowed outside of a licensed beauty practice or clinic. Olympia Beauty, The Anti Ageing Show and The Clothes Show Live were all encouraging visitors to have Botox injections at the shows, in a non-clinical setting.
Shocking. But we put a stop to it, by constantly campaigning against the use of such procedures at live shows. Our campaigning forced organisers into withdrawing such unethical practices.
We’ve also successfully stopped beauticians practicing injecting techniques on deceased humans in certain training schools. Even thinking about the practice is upsetting. These bodies were thoughtfully donated to science, not beauty, only for them to be disrespectfully practiced on in such a way. As a result of the work of me and my team, national law makers are now under pressure to make changes under the Human Tissues Act.
Rogue training courses mushrooming from nowhere into cash lucrative businesses should never be allowed.
Collaborating with the Media, and Our Thanks to Them
We constantly collaborate with the media to help make undercover operations reach the headlines. Such as non-medical individuals performing almost surgical procedures on trusting members of the public. I’m adamant that we’ll make it known how to spot an unlicensed, and dangerously underqualified ‘practitioner’.
We’ve seen non-medical beauty therapists performing invasive thread face lifts, buttock lifts, mole removals and hair transplant procedures. This simply cannot be allowed to happen.
Safety in Beauty appeared in the national press 27 times in 2017, with a huge number of social shares and viral posts. It’s estimated that over 5 million people saw a Safety in Beauty campaign headline throughout the year, either in the press or on social media, increasing our visibility tremendously.
Sadly, it does seem that the more gruesome the story, the more attention it gets. Which in a roundabout way is a good thing – the more dangerous, rogue beauty practices are in the spotlight, the better. But it does leave me wondering why things must get so bad before they get better. I hope in my heart that we as a whole are learning something from all of this. If grabbing the public’s attention with a hall of fame of shockingly botched bodies and messed up faces is going to help, then reluctantly, so be it. But surely there’s a better way?
We want to thank the scores of journalists, press organisations and media agencies helping Safety in Beauty to spread our message. We also offer heartfelt thanks to the members of the public who have come forward to help us raise awareness. Your countless stories that we retell through our campaigns touch us all.
We also thank the beauty industry brands that help power our Safety in Beauty Diamond Awards. These awards enable us to celebrate the dedicated and passionate professionals who care and carry out their work with high ethics, morals and compassion. We fight for you as much as we fight for the greater public. Because there’s much greater strength in numbers.
Here’s to 2018 and bringing even more of the bad side of the industry to the forefront.
A Timeline of Milestone Press and Media Exposés in the last 12 months
Lip fillers gone horribly wrong dominated our top three complaints, as was highlighted in the story of the most shocking case we’ve seen. We can’t stress enough the danger of dermal fillers administered by untrained individuals.
We exposed the story of the women selling used breast implants on eBay. The health consequences of second hand medical devices and products such as breast implants are catastrophic, and this story was beyond belief. It made global headlines and the moral of the tale was never be tempted to scrimp and save money on cosmetic procedures. Buying used breast implants is never going to work out well, and we simply can’t think why anyone would want to.
Our collaboration with the press and the media highlighted the story of a woman suffering horrific burns as a result of a DIY chemical face peel kit. Part of the story was warning the public over the dangers of these unregulated kits and to avoid buying them.
We also highlighted the hazards of buying fake cosmetics and warned of the serious consequences the potentially toxic chemical ingredients could have on the skin and on health.
We ended the year with a fantastic story that featured in the Mail on Sunday, written by journalist and reporter Charlotte Wace on 30th December. This undercover investigation exposed the sheer number of rogue beauty therapists carrying out ‘dangerous and illegal practices’ that can cause permanent disfiguration. Complaints to us have doubled in a year, which prompted this investigation. Charlotte discovered practitioners shockingly injecting filler behind the eyes and was herself told, at 26 years old, that she’d “end up like Gordon Ramsay” if she didn’t have Botox. The beautician wasn’t licensed and claimed to be a nurse before trying to illegally administer the injections.
This collaboration between Safety in Beauty, journalists and newspapers will only continue to expose the wrongdoers, liars and downright dangerous. Our final objective? To have cleansed the industry of all of them.