I’ve gotten Botox injections and fillers a handful of times. It all started when I was 28 and did a story on them for Elle. I wasn’t convinced about the lumpy filler, but once the Botox had done its job paralysing my muscles, I knew I was hooked. My skin looked so smooth and great. I don’t have an addictive personality, so I head to an aesthetic doctor once a year to keep my forehead and eye areas looking suitably smooth. I always go to doctors on Harley Street or other respected clinics that have been personally recommended to me.
Even though I have access to some of the best aesthetic doctors in the country, that doesn’t mean I always get the same results. Injecting Botox takes real skill and an artistic eye. You need someone who knows every muscle of the face and how it will respond when injected with the product. I’ve had brilliant, respected doctors tell me they can’t erase my forehead wrinkles completely because my eyebrows would droop (the horror). However, the last doctor I saw removed said wrinkles, and thankfully, my eyebrows stayed put.
With that in mind, the news that Superdrug will be offering a £99 Botox treatment (a fraction of the usual £250 or more price tag at higher-end clinics) and dermal fillers (from £199) at the Skin Renewal clinic in its flagship store is a bit worrying. If it becomes popular, there are plans for the services to rollout in stores nationwide. Treatments will only be administered to those over 25, and customers will have to call ahead to arrange a consultation with an aesthetic nurse before they can be treated.
Up until now, “affordable Botox” was something I would never consider, and I don’t think Superdrug will change my mind about that. As I’ve said before, even doctor shopping around high-end clinics led me to experience quite varied results.
Whilst Superdrug will be doing everything it can to ensure these aesthetic nurses are highly skilled (could you imagine the backlash if something went wrong?!), the application of Botox seems too tricky to standardise across a nationwide rollout. Everyone’s face is unique, and we all metabolise the toxins differently, so my concerns are more with the rumoured plans to expand the treatment in stores across the country. When it comes to friends and colleagues, they recommend specific doctors to me, not overall clinics.
“This is the first time that we’re launching our own service with our highly qualified Superdrug nurse practitioners,” Superdrug spokesperson Caris Newson says. “We’re launching this service in response to customer demand for anti-wrinkle and skin-rejuvenation treatments. People are telling us they want the reassurance that treatments will be given by nurse practitioners trained to the highest standards.”
All information aside, I have some final thoughts about Superdrug offering Botox treatments: I’m wary of how all of this will go. I’m still a huge fan of Superdrug and how it has revived itself in recent years (it stocks incredible drugstore brands and is truly innovative in its approach), but I don’t think Botox injections should be lumped into the same beauty category as press-on nails or hair dye.
As one member of our private Facebook group, The British Beauty Line, brought up, high-street stores are starting to offer services as a reason for customers to visit stores instead of buying online. So just as I avoid the threading chair in my local Superdrug, I’ll be giving the Botox and fillers a wide berth too.
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