Cosmetic procedures and injectables have become so commonplace in modern beauty routines that when someone mentions they’ve had Botox, fillers or a boob job, we don’t even bat an eyelid.
But our desensitisation to these appearance-altering treatments can often lead to a disregard for the potential psychological impacts of cosmetic enhancements (such as the effects of injectables on teens).
However, as of July 1st 2023, new regulations will be put in place to hopefully manage the cosmetic industry's potential for harm on those most vulnerable to aesthetic societal pressures.
The Medical Board of Australia will require patients to undergo psychological screening prior to cosmetic procedures such as plastic surgery and anti-wrinkle injections. Plastic surgeons, cosmetic doctors and nurses will use a 'validated psychological screening tool' to determine if a patient is a viable candidate for cosmetic treatment, according to the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
We asked cosmetic nurse and founder of Angel Aesthetics, Sylvia Crouch, what these new regulations will mean for patients, practitioners and the cosmetic industry at large.
The new regulations aim to make cosmetic procedures safer for patients
According to Crouch, the new regulations will require all patients “to undergo a psychological assessment before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.”
The aim of the assessment is to “evaluate the patient's mental health and wellbeing to ensure they are mentally fit to make informed decisions about the procedure, and to identify any underlying mental health issues or vulnerabilities that could affect their ability to cope with the procedure and its potential outcomes,” she explained.
While it may seem like a lot of unnecessary red tape, Crouch believes that the regulations have the ability “to improve patient safety by ensuring that patients are fully informed and supported throughout the entire process, from initial consultation to post-operative recovery”.
Patients can expect more comprehensive consultations
“The initial consultation process will be more comprehensive,” Crouch assures us. “Nurses [will be] spending more time with the patients to assess their mental health, [and] patients may also be required to provide more detailed information about their medical history and health.”
Subsequently, the new regulations will inevitably affect “the timing of the appointments and the costs involved [too]”.
Only time will tell if the regulations will deter potential patients from making uneducated decisions
While Crouch is currently unsure if the regulations will actually deter anyone from seeking out cosmetic enhancement, she hopes it doesn’t drive a demand for black market injectables and procedures — “I believe our clients are smarter than that”.
Ultimately, the new regulations are indicative of a positive change in the cosmetic industry
The Angel Aesthetics founder believes that the new regulations “could lead to improved patient satisfaction and better long-term outcomes for patients undergoing cosmetic procedures”.
“[However], practitioners may need to adjust their practices and procedures to accommodate the new regulations, which could result in additional costs and time commitments,” and patients deemed unsuitable for procedures following psychological assessment could potentially limit the availability of certain cosmetic procedures to some patients.
But, while it “may present some challenges, the focus on improving patient safety and outcomes is a positive step towards creating a more responsible and ethical cosmetic industry.”
Transparency in the beauty industry is always appreciated as far as we’re concerned. So while we weren’t pleased when we found out about the effects of gel nail polish, we appreciate being able to make informed decisions about our manicures.
Main image credit: @kyliejenner
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.