‘I have seen some awful videos of bloggers self-injecting cosmetic fillers, using kitchen knifes to contour make up, and even Sellotape and glue to remove blackheads…’
Cosmetic surgery coach Antonia Mariconda is a leading authority on health, beauty and cosmetic surgery in the UK and is the beauty expert for Comparethetreatment.com, a website dedicated to improving knowledge and trust in cosmetic treatments — as well as those who administer them. As an award-winning beauty blogger with a massive following — 48.6k followers on Twitter at last count — she’s only too aware of the power of social media. Here, she explains why honesty is the best policy when it comes to cosmetic treatments advice…
People are savvy and value my ‘no nonsense’ approach. I wear my heart and mind on my sleeve on social media — what you see is what you get. If I think something works, I will put it through its paces and sing its praises. But, if something is unsafe or dubious and shady, I have no hesitations in also sharing that with my audience. Truth should always prevail.
Image and wellbeing is so much more than skin deep. I have worked hard for the last 10 years to create a role that guides and advises the public on the safest ways to become the best version of themselves. By this, I mean approaching cosmetic treatments from an inside-out perspective.
I am all for the public — and only for them. I believe that somebody working within the industry should report back to them and be their voice, too. The UK has no current support structures for members of the public if — and when — things go wrong. I have worked hard to ensure there is some kind of recourse, and I will continue to encourage this industry to have collective accountability.
Sadly, some bloggers offer the wrong advice and tips to the public. I see this day in and day out and I am not afraid to flag it up on social media and will share it without hesitation. I have seen some awful videos of bloggers self injecting cosmetic fillers, or using kitchen knifes to contour make up on a face, or even use Sellotape and glue to remove blackheads. This kind of attention-seeking activity causes me serious concern and doubt. All bloggers should clearly display a safety disclaimer or warning at the outset of their videos, ensuring the public are aware of the content is unsafe, unprofessionally and without clinical verification.
Transparency should always reign. I always declare to readers that I am neither a doctor or a surgeon or even a medical professional and, no matter how well researched and informed my personal reports might be, my views should never be substituted for medical expertise and advice. There is nothing wrong with being frank and honest.
The UK cosmetic interventions industry remains largely unregulated. It has been three year since Sir Bruce Keogh made promises to clean up the industry so it was safer and more transparent for the consumer. But, since then, very little has actually been done. Whilst many businesses and professionals have pledged to support and raise awareness, there is still much work needed.
The #SafetyinBeauty campaign enables me to help the public through a structured and proactive channel. It was launched in October 2013 in response to the growing dissatisfaction and devastation caused by dubious treatments. I formed the organisation alone but, with the support of a group of like-minded professionals and experts, it has grown to what it is today. I owe much to the fantastic help, advice and guidance I have had along the way. It is run by voluntary supporters and professionals who do not receive any financial remuneration for the time and services they generously give for the greater good of the campaign objectives.
The emotional and relational factors of a person are often side lined in the cosmetic treatment journey. I started studying counselling two years ago and I have almost finished my diploma, and will continue with a degree. The subject opened my mind to the immense lack of support that currently exists for the patient seeking aesthetic interventions. There is a great need for pre- and post-treatment counselling as, without it, there may problems further down the line. I believe communication is key and an integral part of the overall positive clinical outcome.
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The Safety in Beauty campaign seeks to:
- Help, educate and empower consumers
- Facilitate a better, safer, more transparent industry
- Offer much-needed support
- Give peace of mind to everyone seeking to improve his or her looks
- Supports member of the public by allowing them limited FREE access to emotional, legal and medical advice and support.