Helpnote – Clinics & Treatments
Various cosmetic, non-invasive/non-surgical skin treatments are offered by clinics and beauty salons. Clinicians and beauticians will need to hold manufacturers’ training certificates or, where applicable, show CQC/RQIA-registration and confirm their “suitable credentials” under Rule 11.9 of the BCAP code which applies to advertisers offering treatments in medical/health matters. In most cases, advertisers want to make claims for which they have insufficient evidence. For all new claims, Radiocentre needs to see randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials in peer-reviewed journals so that it can seek a professionally-qualified view from an independent consultant.
To follow is a list of the most common forms of treatment that Radiocentre sees, along with the types of claim that have been cleared or rejected.
Lasers can make claims such as “can tighten your skin”; “can help your skin look younger/firmer”. A claim such as “can rejuvenate your skin” is unacceptable per se but can be accepted if qualified by “with younger-looking skin”. Lasers can’t make claims for acne scarring unless it is performed by a qualified dermatologist. As robust evidence/clinical trials have not been provided as yet, no claims have been cleared for lasers’ efficacy for nail fungus. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) lasers can’t make claims for skin/face but can make claims for the treatment of thread veins and hyper-pigmentation.
Lasers (including IPL) advertising hair removal are acceptable and may claim “permanent hair reduction” and “remove unwanted hair” but not “remove hair permanently”. They may also claim “virtually pain-free” (but not “pain-free” or “painless”) and they can be described as “safe”.
Very limited claims can be made for laser treatments for hair restoration; that such treatments are “clinically proven” but that “results may not be visible”.
For laser treatments for slimming or body-sculpting, see the Laser Lipo section below.
Fillers and Injectables
Fillers and injectables (e.g. restylane, juvederm, sculptres) may be advertised and can make claims such as “can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”. They can’t make claims for stimulating collagen growth or for permanent effects.
Botox and other botulism toxin treatments are prescription-only-medicines (POM) and cannot be advertised at all. If a clinic offers fillers alongside Botox, the script may mention “injectables” but must not state “injectables and fillers” (because the injectable here can only be Botox).
Radiocentre has cleared ads for companies offering training to clinicians in the use of Botox.
Fat Reduction, Weight Loss and Body Sculpting
Lipo or lipolysis treatments are non-invasive treatments that have some effect on a person’s fat cells. In most cases pores are opened up in the fat cells’ membrane walls and their contents are emitted into the spaces between the cells where they are either reabsorbed or burnt off through exercise. Therefore claims such as “can sculpt your body” are acceptable. Claims to “target / reduce cellulite” are not acceptable as these have not been adequately proven.
Due to the absorption process it is unlikely that the treatment itself leads to weight loss and Radiocentre has yet to clear any claims along those general slimming lines.
Lipo treatments cannot be described as “non-surgical liposuction” because the measure and type of effect are too different/not comparable to invasive surgical procedures. Similarly, cosmetic facial treatments (e.g. CACI) may not be described as “non-surgical face lifts”.
We have yet to see robust clinical evidence that laser lipolysis is effective.
Radio Frequency treatments (e.g. Pelleve) have been adequately proven and can therefore make claims such as “can tighten your skin” and “smoother, younger-looking skin” and “an immediate tightening effect”.
Body sculpting claims for ultrasound cavitation treatments (e.g. Cellulos) are allowable.
Body sculpting claims can be made for this cooling treatment but no other claims. As the effect takes several weeks, claim such as “results in two” hours are not acceptable.