Superdrug offers cosmetics surgery on the high street

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Superdrug offers cosmetics surgery on the high street
Botox and derma fillers are hitting the high street in the UK, as beauty retailer Superdrug begins to deal out cosmetics surgery on demand.

The Skin Renew Service has launched in one of Superdrug’s London stores before a planned rolled out nationwide.

Superdrug says it is only available following a phone booking and a consultation with a qualified nurse, and only for customers over 25 years old.

Medical experts have already come forward to voice their concern about the move.

The Royal College of Surgeons and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) have written to the CEO of Superdrug owner, AS Watson, to express concern at Superdrug’s decision to offer these services.

Administering an injection of Botox® or fillers is a serious and potentially dangerous procedure, and it should only be undertaken by an experienced and fully qualified health professional​,” they say.

They add that impulse decisions to buy fillers and botox, “with customers having them without undergoing a proper consultation with a trained health professional, and not having time to fully reflect on the pros and cons of such treatments​”, may cause permanent disfigurement.

Previous attempts to launch

As the Evening Standard​ reports, Superdrug previously tried and failed to break into the cosmetic surgery market in 2007, offering injections carried out on the shop floor by a third party company.

Boots was actually the first to try to enter this space, with the major health and wellness retail having offered a similar service in 2002. This was withdrawn.

Popular culture playing a part?

It seems like Superdrug believes there has been shift in consumer demand when it comes to these kinds of treatments since its last attempt to take them to the shopfloor.

Some experts have linked these attitudes to the ever-rising popularity of reality TV shows, which predominantly feature people who meet a particular vision of ‘beauty’.

Male grooming in on the act

Male grooming trends have also been linked to the impact of pop culture in this area: Mintel recently released analyst insight on the potential link between current major TV shows popular in the UK, and British men’s grooming routines.

Love Island, a hit reality TV show that follows couples competing to win a significant cash prize while marooned together in a sun-splashed villa, has supposedly encouraged a move towards a ‘spornosexual’ look.

Jack Duckett, Senior Consumers Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel, explains:
Spornosexuals – a portmanteau of “sports”, “porn” and “metrosexual” – are characterised not only by a hyper-athletic physique, but also by minimal, if any, body hair.

“While a number of factors have contributed to the evolution of the trend, reality TV shows such as Love Island and The Only Way is Essex have undoubtedly been the driving force behind the increasing fashion for this aesthetic.”

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