1 – Are they qualified?
Now this is a difficult one! Because, unfortunately for you, the UK has no current regulation with regards to who can or can’t inject your face! Pretty much anyone, and I really do mean ANYONE, can self-fund themselves into a career in Aesthetics. It’s not uncommon for somebody with no background qualification to book onto a course in injectables and then set up a week later as an ‘Aesthetic Practitioner’. It’s a very scary industry for you, the general public, and the lack of regulation means that you are often trusting people who really should not have access to injectable fillers or prescription medications.
Many of us in the industry would love to see Aesthetics become regulated and, who knows, in time we hope it will happen. But until then my suggestion would be that you only choose a practitioner who can prove their qualifications beyond a 1 or 2 day course and somebody who has membership to a professional regulated body such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or the General Medical Council (GMC).
2 – How much experience do they have?
Experience is so important. Of course, we all have to start somewhere but if you are considering an advanced procedure such as tear trough filler or non-surgical rhinoplasty would you really want a newly trained injector to perform that procedure?
Ask yourself – how many years have they been practising and how many treatments on average they have performed? This is really important – you may know an injector who has been practising for 10 years but they may also work full time elsewhere and just ‘dabble’ in injectables one weekend per month. The number of treatments performed over time will give you a better indication as to how experienced they are.
How frequently do they update their skills?? A responsible, safe Aesthetic Injector continually updates their professional development – they have to as a prerequisite of their professional body. Are they experienced and up to date with managing complications ie – are they CPR trained? Do they have the knowledge and experience to deal with an allergic reaction? Can they recognise the difference between a bad bruise and a compromised artery?
Give this some serious thought! Complications are rare but do you really want to take a chance on this?
3 – Is the environment clinical and are safety protocols in place?
Where does the Aesthetic Injector perform their treatments? Is it in a private, clinical setting?
Cosmetic injectables should be carried out using an aseptic technique in order to minimise the risk of infection. The setting should be clean and clinical. Treatments should be performed in a private room with hand washing facilities and the floor, work surfaces, couch etc should all be of a material that can be wiped clean. Yellow bins and sharps bins should also be in place.
Have you had a thorough consultation? Do you understand the treatment and the risks associated with it? Has your medical history been disclosed and discussed? Prior to treatment you should sign a consent form and, importantly, you should see a prescriber before each and every appointment involving a prescription medication (botulinum toxin, hyalase for dissolving filler etc).
If this isn’t done then you should be asking yourself – is this practitioner competent and insured to perform the treatment?
4 – Does the Aesthetic Injector come recommended?
A good Aesthetic Injector will have a good reputation locally. They will be searchable online and, hopefully, you will be able to find plenty of reviews from happy customers. If active on social media they may have reviews on their business page. Independent companies such as Trustpilot and Google are also a good indicator, as these are completely independent and not easily faked.
Quite often, if the practitioner is an established business, they will also have a booking software system with an automated review process in place. Again, these are a good indicator as the reviews are coming from a reputable source based on actual appointments that have taken place.
Ask around, do you know anyone who has been to the Aesthetic Injector previously and had a good or bad experience? Do they come recommended by other professionals and well known groups within the Aesthetic Industry; such as consultingroom.com, Save Face or BACN.
Are they registered as official practitioners with the aesthetic injectable companies such as Juvederm, Restylane etc? Google the practitioner and see what you can find!
5 – Are they an ethical injector?
Some of you may wonder what I mean by this! It’s something I feel quite strongly about!
Any reputable Aesthetic Injector will tell you that we, not only, have legal boundaries but ethical boundaries too. As responsible practitioners we have an obligation to act in the best interest of our clients yet too often we hear stories of people being encouraged to have more procedures than they need. Injectors who will happily treat somebody under the age of 18. Injectors who have no clue how to deal with complications and run a mile when something goes wrong. Injectors who promote ‘special offers’ and discounts on injectable treatments (discounting prescription medications such as botox is actually illegal as well as unethical). Injectors who will run a competition for free fillers or botox so that they can increase their following. Injectors who will ‘retouch’ and ‘enhance’ there before and after pictures. Injectors who will use cheap products and tell you they are just as good or better still, not tell you at all. The list goes on.