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Teens ‘need shielding from Botox ads on social media’

SOCIAL media bosses are facing calls to clamp down on unofficial adverts targeting young women with multi-buy cosmetic surgery procedures.

Save Face, a government-approved register of accredited practitioners that aims to uphold standards in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, has raised concerns about “unethical” deals of lip-freezing injections and skin-smoothing fillers being touted on Instagram and Facebook.

They want a ban on under-18s being targeted with this content, as well as tougher sanctions on influencers and celebrities used to promote them. The body said complaints about procedures offered on social media more than doubled last year to 579, from 222 in 2017.

These related mostly to “celebrity” package deals where three or four treatments are offered in one appointment. Save Face said combined injections can exceed recommended safe-dose levels, increasing the risk of complications.

Customer complaints included post- procedure swelling and bruising, lumps and nodules, vascular occlusions, infections and allergic reactions which all resulted from dermal filler treatments. Some said they “felt they looked worse” after having facial work done.

Providers regularly use unendorsed images of stars such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner to boost interest.

Instagram says official, paid-for ads can only target over-18s and must not contain before-and-after pictures. However, the #kimkpackage hashtag shows free accounts known as “organic content” getting around these rules.

A spokesman for Instagram and Facebook said:

“We are looking at our policies around the promotion of cosmetic procedures to identify areas for improvement.” Posts flagged by Save Face as “pressuring” young people included a £550 “Kim K Contour Pack- age” of lip, jawline and cheek injections. Another promoted a “The Kylie Jenner Package” for £499, which included cheek and jawline fillers, plus the customer’s choice of lip or chin fillers.

Ashton Collins of Save Face said: “Our concern is that younger and younger people are becoming interested in these treatments and we are requesting Instagram and Facebook to be more responsible about the way they allow those users to see those sorts of posts.”

Former Love Island star Tyne-Lexy Clarson, 22, said cosmetic surgery providers contacted her after she left ITV’s reality villa in 2017.

She told the Standard:

“They said ‘We’ve seen your pictures on Instagram. and one side of your face could be more symmetrical … a little filler here and there would make that go away’ and make you look better apparently. But I would never touch my face because I pride myself on being natural.

“You don’t know the long-term risks of these things that people have done.”

The Standard contacted businesses behind the social media posts for comment. The only one to respond, the owner of a beauty “clinic” offering a “Kim K Package”, said:

“We use Instagram because it’s free advertising and the amount of people it can reach… “You have to have realistic expectations, it’s all in the forms you fill out, it’s not that you’re going to walk out an hour later looking like Kim Kardashian.”

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