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When beauty treatments go wrong. Can you make a claim?

The beauty industry is rapidly growing, with personal injuries as a result of negligence and carelessness also on the rise. Find out what you could be owed.


Public spending on personal beauty treatments is at an all-time high, with the industry being worth an estimated £36bn. Along with the rapid growth of the industry, personal injuries as a result of treatments are also on the rise. 

The arrival of new trends such as HD brows, BIAB gel nails and lash fillers makes it a tricky industry to regulate, with only a portion of treatments and therapists required to have qualifications or accreditations.

Read on to find out when you could be entitled to make a claim as a result of a beauty treatment gone wrong.

How can beauty treatments lead to injury?

The beauty industry is largely unregulated at present meaning that a beauty therapist doesn’t necessarily need qualifications to carry out certain treatments. This isn’t the case for all treatments, with surgical procedures and invasive surgeries being a big exception, but it is always worth researching your desired treatment beforehand.

Chemical, thermal and laser burns, scarring or allergic reactions are all commonly seen in personal injury claims related to the beauty industry. These are all injuries which can have both lasting physical and psychological impacts on a person’s life from a simple eyebrow tint, spray tan or facial treatment.

For example, a person with facial scars left after a 31-degree chemical burn from a wax treatment may have confidence issues leading to a delayed return to work, reluctance to leave the house, or refusal to go anywhere without full makeup.

How can you lower the risk?

While some incidents might be difficult to prevent, the majority of cosmetic-related injuries are actually completely avoidable. 

Complications when using hair dyes and products containing harsh chemicals which may cause skin irritation and adverse rashes can be prevented by carrying out a patch test. Likewise, allergic reactions can be avoided by making sure your therapist is aware of any allergies you have. 

Make sure to attend a patch test and always ask for a consultation so you can discuss your treatment in more detail and find out about the therapist and their qualifications.

After the appointment, ask for aftercare advice so if any late reactions were to occur, you know how to deal with it. Failure to provide this kind of information can be considered a breach in the duty of care owed from the therapist.

When can you make a claim?

You could claim compensation for any injury which was caused by negligence or carelessness. Some common examples are: 

If the salon owed you a duty of care
If a member of staff wasn’t properly trained
If hygiene standards were particularly poor
If faulty or damaged equipment was used
If the risks were not discussed before treatment
If the wrong procedures were followed

There is no exhaustive list of the type of injuries covered by personal injury, meaning you could be compensated for burns, bruises, disfigurement, infections, blistering and more. 

Likewise, this could be caused by any manner of treatment, be it a beauty treatment or cosmetic surgery. This includes lip fillers, dermal fillers, piercings, botox, waxing and laser hair removal.

How long do you have to make a claim?

There is a three-year time limit set on all personal injury claims in the UK as a result of the Limitation Act 1980. This will usually begin on the day you were treated or the day you were diagnosed. 

We would always recommend that a claim is pursued sooner rather than later to prevent misinformation and provide you with enough time to collect proof of negligence or undergo medical assessments.

What proof do you need?

If you proceed with a claim, you will need to provide evidence to support your case. This could be medical notes from a GP, hospital or minor injuries unit, photographs of the injury, receipts and invoices, or waivers, emails and letters. Essentially, any documentation, detailing the dates, times and injuries sustained will make for a stronger case against the individual or salon. 

What could you be entitled to?

You may be entitled to a settlement that compensates you for any suffering (general damages) and any financial costs (special damages) linked to your injuries. 

Each claim is different but you could be entitled to compensation which would cover the likes of physical pain, loss of earnings, travel expenses, care costs and the stress or anxiety implications.

As part of the claim, you will have a medical assessment to properly outline how your injuries affected you with a medical expert.

Getting help from Beyond Legal

If you think you have been injured as a result of negligence during a cosmetic treatment, you may be entitled to general damages, or, in some cases, special damages. Contact one of our specialist personal injury solicitors for advice.

The beauty industry is rapidly growing, with personal injuries as a result of negligence and carelessness also on the rise.