Don’t be a victim of cheap beauty!

On Thursday, April 6, 2023, the Healthcare Employers' Association (VADDA) in cooperation with the Latvian Association of Aesthetic Medicine (LEMA) and the Latvian Association of Beauticians and Cosmetologists (LKKA) launched the informative campaign "Victim of cheap beauty". Its purpose is to draw the public's attention and inform about the caution required when choosing clinics and specialists for face and body aesthetic procedures. Unfortunately, such procedures are often carried out using substandard and even dangerous equipment, seriously endangering the health and safety of the population, in addition to affecting the industry and creating a hidden economy.

This trend in the aesthetic medicine and beauty industry was observed during the Covid-19 pandemic and continues today. More than two years of observations have prompted professional associations to launch an information campaign on the safety of aesthetic services, consumer rights and the dangerous consequences of poor quality services. The press conference is the beginning of wider action, so the participating associations call on both the public and the media to raise the issue of cheap but dangerous beauty.

The chairman of the board of VADDA, Māris Rēvalds, emphasizes: “In order to combat the fraudulent practice, it is necessary to arrange both the legislation and the involvement of the media to cover the fraud attempts. They should be discussed publicly. It is very important that consumers also defend their rights, protect their health, and, upon recognizing violations, contact the Health Inspectorate and the Consumer Rights Protection Center. For example, if you discover the fact that the service is provided by a "fake" clinic, knowingly using such words or their derivatives as "medi" or "clinic" in the name, which helps create an image of a reliable medical institution, report it. I invite service recipients to pay attention to the equipment and its origin, as well as whether the specialist has mastered the particular method. There are procedures that can only be performed by a medical practitioner, but in many places they are performed by specialists without proper education. Poorly performed service can at best be ineffective and the customer will lose money, but at worst can cause serious harm to health, for example, if fake laser equipment is used in the hands of uncertified specialists.”

The survey shows that it is important for customers that services are performed with equipment that meets safety requirements and is regularly inspected

Public opinion research center SKDS has conducted a survey "Consumer habits when choosing beauty care and aesthetic medicine services" in order to assess the factors influencing consumer behavior and opinions when receiving aesthetic medicine or beauty care services.

Of the 761 respondents surveyed, 95% said: it is generally important for them that the institution where the services are received is officially registered in the register of medical or beauty services institutions. 55% of respondents, who have ever had one of the beauty care procedures, chose a specialized clinic the last time they received the service. When asked about the choice of the last service, 60% of the respondents confirmed that they had researched several institutions/specialists before making a decision. For 85% of the respondents, it was important that, when receiving services, they are performed with equipment that meets safety requirements and is regularly inspected. At the same time, three quarters of respondents allowed the possibility that fraudulent companies could provide services with fake equipment.

The majority of respondents (78%) generally allow the possibility that there are legally operating institutions in Latvia that are called beauty care clinics, but in fact they are places of service that do not meet the mandatory requirements and whose activity is not controlled by anyone. At the same time, the majority (74%) of respondents has not experienced fraud, deception in communication or at the time of receiving a service related to beauty care and/or aesthetic medicine. 10% say they have encountered something like that. This shows that there is probably a lack of awareness and a critical view of the beauty and aesthetic medicine industry in society.

Three quarters (75%) of the respondents in general allow the possibility that in connection with beauty care and/or aesthetic medicine in Latvia, fraudulent companies could provide services with fake equipment (rather allow such a possibility - 51%, definitely allow - 24%).

What to make sure before trusting someone with your beauty and health

1. Specialist qualification:

  • Is the specialist who provides the service registered in the register of medical practitioners and medical treatment support persons?

  • Is code M56 (selective photothermolysis and ablative laser surgery) assigned to the specialist providing the service? This code allows you to perform procedures with high-power laser devices, including laser hair removal:

2. Device safety:

  • Is the device CE (Conformité Européenne) marked according to the medical device standard?

  • Is there an annual safety inspection sticker on the device?

  • Enter the name of the device in the Internet search engine to verify the reliability of the device and the manufacturer.

3. Safety measures during the procedure:

  • Does the specialist who performs the procedure provide the client with safety equipment and also use it himself?

  • Does the specialist make medical records in the client's record system or medical record card?

4. Settlement

  • Do you receive a check or other appropriate payment document when paying for the service?

Before you trust someone with your beauty and health, before you visit dubious beauty "clinics" or a suspiciously cheap laser hair removal salon, CHECK!

Information about the informative campaign „Victim of cheap beauty” and the SKDS study:

The press release was prepared by:

Sanita Pelēķe
Public Relations specialist
Phone: +371 29449628