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Don't Rush Into 'Tweakments'

From fillers to fat-busters, today’s cosmetic procedures offer all manner of promises. But with the cost of living pulling on our purse strings it’s easy to make the wrong choice in a hurry – especially while the industry remains unregulated. Aesthetics expert Dr Julia Sen offers advice on what you should be looking for to ensure you make the right decision.

Who doesn’t look in the mirror from time to time and feel the need for a confidence boost? A little something here to straighten those frown lines or a little something there to tighten a sagging jawline. The good news is advances in non-surgical aesthetics have moved on leaps and bounds over the last few years, thankfully both in terms of safety and efficacy, and in this country alone the industry is worth £3billion a year. It means those niggly signs of ageing we once just had to live with can now be sorted with a needle. So much so that anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers make up almost 80% of treatments carried out in the UK.

However with a never-ending list of procedures, we shouldn’t view them all as quick-fix beauty panaceas ... and this is where the bad news comes in. Aesthetics are not your average pamper treatment like getting your roots touched up or brows shaped, and therefore shouldn’t be entered into lightly. While there are plans in the pipeline for the Government to finally crackdown on what is currently an unregulated industry, at present there is no legally required training for those offering such treatments. Shocking, I know.

So with numerous procedures readily available on the high street, at surgeries and even in hair salons, choosing the safest option can be confusing. Therefore, it is vital to do your homework before committing and find a clinician and a clinic you completely trust.


Do your research beforehand by visiting clinic websites, asking for patient testimonials and looking at the types of treatments on offer. Ask friends for their recommendations and an honest account of their experiences. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, so arrange a face-to-face consultation before going ahead with anything.

You should be told what to expect before, during and after treatments, and be advised on specific precautions and any follow-up care. You should also expect to be listened to when it comes to what you would like, but it is equally important to listen to what can be realistically achieved.


The most popular treatments are undoubtedly fillers and Botox, and I believe that when small amounts are judiciously placed, they works wonders to lift, repair, strengthen and support. Whether you are looking for enhanced lip volume, to restore volume or define features, these non-invasive injections can, when administered properly, deliver natural, long-lasting results.

However, while promises to turn back the clock may sound very tempting, you need to remember that these are medical procedures and as such can have associated side effects and complications. Our facial anatomy is a complex thing and as an eye surgeon with more than two decades of experience, I understand it more than most. A needle in the hands of someone with little to no training can spell disaster.


Many people just don’t have the spare cash to treat themselves, so I understand why they would opt to go with a procedure purely because it has a lower price point compared to, say, a doctor-led clinic. But the places that offer cheap injections may well be under-trained and unregulated so do your homework and check. A survey conducted by Save Face revealed 83% of those seeking non-surgical treatments did not know if their practitioner was qualified or not.

You know the saying, if something looks too good to be true it probably is. If you find somewhere offering a cut-price aesthetics menu be wary. Of course, we all love a bargain; but if you’re left with serious side effects then it’s hardly value for money. Horror stories of botched injections are all too real often due to the fact that far too many filler products are not CE or FDA-approved. Find out if they are using a recognised and trusted brand, and if not then what are you actually having injected into your face?


Dr Julia Sen is a Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon. She heads up her Health & Wellbeing Clinic in Worcester as well as working with Chamberlain Clinic. Find out more here.


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