25 June 2015, Written by Jenna Rathbone


ALLEGATIONS that Gold Coast beauty businesses are watering down their Botox products to undercut competitors have been dismissed by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). 

Recent media reports suggest clinics on the Gold Coast are heavily diluting their products in order to attract cash-conscious consumers.

However, the peak body, which aims to protect the integrity of plastic surgery as a speciality service in Australia, says there is no evidence to suggest this is happening.

"The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons is unaware of any evidence of injectables such as Botox being diluted by clinics on the Gold Coast," says ASPS president Dr Hugh Bartholemeuz.

"However, we remind consumers of the importance of doing their research ahead of any cosmetic procedure.

"The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons urges people to 'think over before they make over' and check the credentials of the person doing their procedure and the facility in which it's being conducted.

"Botox is a prescription item and its use is not without risk - it should only be given under appropriate medical supervision."

Dr Lindsey Hooke, of Robina-based Rejuven8 Cosmetix, first raised the concerns after she noticed clients weren't getting the right results from some clinics.

"We get people coming to see us sometimes saying it only lasted two weeks and it was meant to last three months," says Hooke. "You can assume that something isn't quite right."

However, Dr Terrence Scamp, of Esteem Medi Spa, has labelled suggestions that products are being deliberately diluted as "complete nonsense".

Scamp, who gave his first botulinum toxin injection in 1990, says that Botox is a powder that must be diluted with a saline solution.  The most common dilution is 2.5ml, while Esteem Medi Spa uses a higher concentration with just 1ml.

Scamp says diluting the product isn't the issue, but rather the total dose injected.

Rejuven8 Cosmetix recently completed a survey which ultimately suggest consumers are uneducated when it comes to choosing proper treatment.

More than 400 locals were interviewed and nearly 33 per cent of people did not know that only a registered nurse or doctor had the authority and correct qualifications to perform injectable treatments.

More than 80 per cent did not know that Botox was a powder that must be mixed before use, while more than 34 per cent of people said the price of injectables was a key contributor to the injectable treatment they chose.  

Some clinics on the Gold Coast are charging less than $4 per unit while others are charging close to $20. Hooke says the cheap prices should be a red flag to consumers.

"If you are offering something at $1 per unit and the cost of that product is $4, then where is the $3 coming from it doesn't make sense," says Hooke.

Scamp says the reason prices vary across the board is because of the buying power of larger clinics.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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