Clinics are facing an onslaught of beauty-conscious clients desperate to get back to their injectables.
Clinics are facing an onslaught of beauty-conscious clients desperate to get back to their injectables.

Businesses are bracing for Botox mayhem and beauty makeovers

Lockdown hasn't been kind to the plump lips, smooth foreheads and razor-sharp jawlines of Sydney.

With anti-wrinkle injections fast degrading, phones at cosmetic medical practices have been running hot since resuming services this month, with some facing "an avalanche" of clients.

Clinics contacted by The Sunday Telegraph are booked out weeks, even months in advance, with one clinician saying phones were "going bananas", with people feeling "hairy and wrinkly" and demanding laser hair removal and injectables.

Aesthetic medical treatments were stopped at clinics after March 25, gradually reopening in May as restrictions eased.
Aesthetic medical treatments were stopped at clinics after March 25, gradually reopening in May as restrictions eased.

But as the image-conscious celebrate a return to their "essential" beauty services, those hunting bargains are warned it's not business as usual.

Only medical practitioners at health premises can administer injectables under current NSW guidelines, meaning non-medical beauty salons that reopen on June 1 can't offer the Schedule 4 drugs.

Dr Naomi McCullum of The Manse clinic urged people to book in at reputable medical clinics, which had medical practitioners on site.

"Patients should not trust the low-end clinics who refuse to invest in patients' safety. This is even more important during a pandemic," she said.

 

Dr Naomi McCullum. The Manse offered limited services treating medical issues only during the outbreak.
Dr Naomi McCullum. The Manse offered limited services treating medical issues only during the outbreak.

Dr McCullum, who stopped aesthetic services from March 25 until early May, opened a second Sydney clinic this month and said she is busier than Christmas, usually the peak period for procedures.

"Our regular patients need to get back on top of their beauty, and we've had an avalanche of new patients," she said.

"Our issue now is that we don't have enough doctors to keep up with the high demand for our services, so our biggest focus right now is recruitment."

After months make-up free in trackie-daks, male and female clients were also spending big on anti-wrinkle injections (from $390) to dermal fillers and thread lifts that can run into the thousands.

"Patients now have much more limited options of what they can do with their time," she said.

"They are less into fashion. Holidays are out, dining is out or not what it was, there are no events.

"Cosmetic medicine is something highly rewarding for them that they love and can spend their time, money and effort on."

 

Influencer Emma Rose is open about her use of cosmetic procedures.
Influencer Emma Rose is open about her use of cosmetic procedures.

Those who endured months of work-from-home Zoom meetings, "forced to stare at themselves regularly … in bad lighting" were extra enthusiastic about a refresh.

"I think they have become more conscious of their faces. It seems to be about how they feel in the mirror, rather than for others, which has always seemed the case in my experience of treating cosmetic patients."

Lifestyle influencer Emma Rose, 31, said she was among the first back at The Manse when injectable bookings resumed.

Rose, who has 600,000 followers on Instagram, gets anti-wrinkle injections every six months and was due for a top-up when lockdown began.

"I was thinking: Oh my gosh, how long is this going to last for?
"I know it doesn't really matter, you're not going anywhere but, for me, I'm still on Instagram, I'm still shooting, so I did freak out a little bit.
"It is one of those non-essentials I really value … and because of the social media, there was a little more panic for me. It makes me feel better and more confident on camera."

 

Dr Michael Molton, President of the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, said people should expect longer wait times for injectables.
Dr Michael Molton, President of the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, said people should expect longer wait times for injectables.

Dr Michael Molton, president of the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) said the decision by NSW Health to restrict injectables to health premises during COVID-19 was a welcome move.

CPCA has been lobbying for years for better regulation of injectables to stamp out untrained injectors and entrepreneurial operators using telehealth consults to "rubber stamp" hundreds of procedures a day without face-to-face doctor assessments.

But he warned COVID-safe protocols would mean longer wait times for appointments and people should avoid seeking quick injectable top-ups at non-medical practices.

"Cosmetic medicine is a bona fide form of medicine for several reasons, most importantly because the products we use have side effects and complications," he said.

"People need to be patient and not be tempted to go to places that are not following best practices."

Originally published as Sydney bracing for Botox mayhem

While not ordered to close, cosmetic medical clinics reduced services to medical-only to help the health sectors resource for the pandemic.
While not ordered to close, cosmetic medical clinics reduced services to medical-only to help the health sectors resource for the pandemic.
Australians spend more than $1 billion a year on cosmetic procedures. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Australians spend more than $1 billion a year on cosmetic procedures. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Rose receiving a skin-tightening threadlifts at The Manse.
Rose receiving a skin-tightening threadlifts at The Manse.

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