Save Face Work With The Mail on Sunday to Expose Rogue Beauticians
‘You’ve got so many lines you’ll end up like Gordon Ramsay’: What one rogue beautician told undercover reporter in a bid to give her Botox illegally as a soaring number of women risk horrific scars from treatment
Investigation follows a shocking rise in cases of botched beauty treatments
More than 1,000 complaints made in 2017 – double the number since last year
One beautician claims to be a nurse and told reporter, 26, she needed Botox
Rogue beauticians are carrying out dangerous and illegal procedures which can leave women permanently disfigured, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Our undercover investigation follows a shocking rise in cases of botched treatments, with far more than 1,000 complaints by clients and doctors – double the number last year.
As the ‘New Year makeover’ season approaches, we have discovered medically unqualified beauticians offering ‘non-surgical’ nose jobs, breast enhancements and electric skin lifting – and even injecting ‘filler’ chemicals behind the eyeball.
Some of the practices exposed by our reporter are illegal. Others, which risk blindness, severe blood loss and even death, are allowed because of lax UK regulations. Many of these treatments are banned elsewhere.
Reacting with horror to our findings, campaigners and leading doctors called for a clampdown on rogue practitioners and demanded drastic changes in the law.
The investigation found:
- A beautician conned clients by claiming to be a nurse and illegally tried to administer Botox to our 26-year-old reporter posing as a potential client, saying that she would ‘look like Gordon Ramsay’ without treatment;
- An ‘aesthetic practitioner’ inflicted shocking bruises and facial lumps on women by injecting a dangerous ‘tear trough filler’ beneath their eyes.
- Campaigner group Safety in Beauty says complaints have doubled in the last year to 1,249, while accredited practitioners’ group Save Face reports an astonishing trebling since 2016 in botched treatments, to a total of 934 cases.
Treatments such as ‘non-surgical nose jobs’ and breast enhancements use dermal fillers which are banned for use by non-medics in the US and other countries – but not in Britain.
Leading consultant cosmetic surgeon Rajiv Grover, shown our evidence, said: ‘I’m stunned this is happening. We knew about the dangers of beauticians carrying out lip fillers, but the treatments they are now offering are seriously dangerous. Even I wouldn’t feel confident carrying out some of these procedures. The medical industry will be absolutely horrified that this is going on.’
Mr Grover, former President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, (BAAPS), pointed out that if something did go wrong with the procedures, it was unlikely that the beauticians would be able to take corrective action.
He added: ‘This is Russian roulette – it may go well a few times, but inevitably it will end in disaster. And those disasters will be life-changing injuries.’
One beautician who has been the subject of complaints by several ex-clients, Magdalena Gouzd, runs ‘Beauty Box by Maggie’ in Hornchurch, Essex.
Yet somehow she obtains prescription-only drugs such as Botox and the fat-busting solution Aqualyx – apparently sourced from her native Poland, according to former clients.
By law, Botox can only be administered after being prescribed by a doctor or qualified medical prescriber – but Ms Gouzd, 36, illegally tried to inject our reporter within minutes of her arrival, claiming it ‘could not go She then told the reporter, aged 26: ‘There are so many [lines] and eventually they are going to become permanent and you are going to look like Gordon Ramsay.’
She also offers non-surgical nose jobs, and ‘butt and breast’ enhancements using dermal fillers – all treatments which come with serious risks. She told our reporter that a buttock enhancement (achieved by injecting vast quantities of fillers) would be safer than choosing surgical implants.
Astonishingly, this is not illegal, despite a major Government review in 2013 recommending they be banned for use by non-medics, as is the case in other countries.
Mr Grover said: ‘These are risky things – and when you inject in the breast and buttock, you are putting in a high volume of substances. Even if there are safe products out there, how does someone who isn’t qualified get hold of them? A British girl underwent buttock injections with a rogue practitioner in a hotel room in America and died.’
One of Ms Gouzd’s clients, Mary Smith (not her real name), compared the pain she experienced during her appointment to ‘going through childbirth without pain relief.’ She said one of her eyebrows fell off after treatment for ‘microblading’ and one of her lips was left with a hard lump of filler on one side.
Another rogue beautician is Sharon Freeman, 44, of Forever Young Aesthetics, in Birkenhead, Merseyside, who is said to have disfigured two women by carrying out tear trough fillers – both of whom spoke to The Mail on Sunday.
She used a substance called Juvederm Ultra 4, which according to manufacturer Allergan, is not suitable for use on the delicate skin near the eyes, and says so on the product labelling. It is designed for reconstructing larger areas such as cheekbones and the jaw.
Allergan added that the treatment, ‘should only be done by a trained and qualified healthcare professional… in an appropriate clinical environment.’
Alarmingly, when former client Roxanne McGenity, 31, went for corrective treatment with a consultant, the filler was found at the back of her eyeball – and she said the doctor told her she was lucky not to have gone blind. ‘She used me as Frankenstein’s monster – she literally butchered me,’ said Ms McGenity. ‘My face felt like I had sinusitis – the fillers had been moving around in my eye area. My doctor said I was lucky not to get an infection or go blind.’
She added: ‘I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror – I cried every day. I had to have the filler dissolved – because she even injected behind my eye socket.’
Ms Freeman is also alleged to have carried out Botox injections illegally – clients told us they were given Botox without a consultation with a registered prescriber beforehand, and she advertises Botox treatments on her Facebook page, charging £90 for one area, £180 for two.
Chloe Davies, 32, was treated with facial and lip fillers in her own home by Ms Freeman earlier this year, paying £370. Chloe said: ‘I went into hiding, and spent as long as I could off work. My eyes were really painful. Whenever I looked up, my eyeballs would start to throb.’
Another client said Ms Freeman offered to rectify botched fillers using a ‘draining process’ – however, the correct way to solve the problem is to dissolve the fillers.
Ms Freeman told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I have nothing to say to you’, and slammed the door of her home. Ms Gouzd is understood to deny any wrongdoing.