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Superdrug to provide mental health screening before giving Botox injections, following criticism from the NHS

Taking criticism constructively...

24 Jan 2019

Last year, Superdrug announced that they would start offering non-surgical cosmetic treatmentslike Botox and dermal fillers in store. The first Skin Renew Clinic launched within the flagship store on the Strand in London shortly after, and offers customers a consultation with a qualified nurse, followed by treatment with Botox from £99, or Juvederm dermal fillers from £199.

Needless to say, the launch caused a stir within the beauty world and beyond, and Superdrug faced criticism for trivialising potentially damaging cosmetic procedures, putting them on par with a casual beauty treatment like an eyebrow tint or bikini wax.

One opponent of the service is the NHS, whose most recent criticism urges the high street retailer to consider mental health disorders as well as physical suitability prior to treatment.

Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England, has said the injections risked fueling mental health disorders - leaving the health service to pick up the pieces.

Their concern is that the proliferation and trivialisation of treatments like Botox and fillers will fuel issues like Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a mental health condition where a person spends an unhealthy amount of time worrying about perceiving physical flaws (that are often unnoticeable to others), and recommends a screening process to protect vulnerable customers.

While it is still unclear what that screening process with entail, Superdrug has assured that it is completely committed to the issue.

Superdrug launched its Skin Renew service, which it says is in response to demand from 10,000 customers surveyed. In-store treatments will include Botox and Juvéderm dermal fillers, administered by qualified practitioners – although you have to be over 25 to book it.

Clinics have seen a recent spike in demand for cosmetic treatments, a fact that’s been partially attributed to the popularity of Love Island. “We’re launching this service in response to customer demand for anti-wrinkle and skin rejuvenation treatments,” says Caris Newson, head of health and wellbeing services at Superdrug. “We’re listening to what people are telling us they would like, which is the reassurance that if they choose to have aesthetic treatments then it will be administered by highly qualified nurse practitioners in a private consultation room.”

It’s always good to have a choice, but getting anti-wrinkle and filler treatments on the high street shouldn’t be treated as lightly as getting your eyebrows threaded or nails done. However, Superdrug has imposed the over-25 age limit and says all potential Skin Renew customers will have a consultation with a qualified nurse and full medical questionnaire before going ahead, to allow them “to make the best decisions about engaging in aesthetic treatments”.

Of the Superdrug customers surveyed, 25% said their motivation for choosing cosmetic procedures was to feel more confident, while for 53% going to a fully qualified practitioner was their top priority.

Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s health and wellbeing ambassador, said, “Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in the number of people claiming to be ‘expert’ practitioners in the field. It is surprising how many people engage in these services without having a full understanding of the qualifications or competence of the person carrying it out.

“This is why I support Superdrug’s move in delivering a high-end service. By employing practitioners who have not only been vetted but also have an excellent track record in terms of their experience, qualifications and competence, customers can be confident that they are getting the service they deserve.”

Services start at £99 and are only available at the Strand branch in London initially, but Skin Renew could soon be rolled out across the UK.

Would you try a cosmetic procedure in your local pharmacy? If you do decide to go for it, make sure it‘s what‘s best for the most important person of all – YOU.

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