Buyer Beware – Mirror Exposes ‘Dodgy’ BOTOX® Provider

After a tip-off, the Sunday Mirror sent an investigator undercover to expose a back garden BOTOX/fillers practice. 

Joshua James has no medical qualifications, yet runs a ‘L’Unico Salon’ from a garden building behind his Cambridgeshire home, offering both BOTOX and dermal fillers.

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    The Mirror article explains:

    “A Sunday Mirror investigator went undercover to expose his dodgy practice after a tip-off from a previous client.

    “The medical world fear he is just one of a growing number of rogue practitioners offering the increasingly affordable and popular wrinkle-banishing treatment at a risk to clients’ lives.

    “Our probe comes two months after the NHS revealed it is picking up a mounting bill correcting botched procedures performed by non-medical practitioners like James.”

    James told the Sunday Mirror reporter

    “You don’t need to see a doctor to have BOTOX®.”

    This is not entirely true.  It is surprisingly not illegal to inject BOTOX® without qualifications or registration. However, the law does state that botulinum toxin must be first prescribed by a doctor, dentist, prescribing nurse or registered pharmacist and that there must be a face to face consultation with the prescriber in order to establish medical history.

    The Sunday Mirror reporter did not have a consultation with a qualified prescriber, yet at her second appointment, the beautician was ready to carry out BOTOX without having asked any questions about medical history or even age.

    The article goes on:

    “When our reporter asked about his qualifications, James described himself as a “cosmetic practitioner”.

    “According to Save Face, a government-approved register of accredited practitioners, this means he is a beautician. The group said: “Anyone can call themselves that. It is not a medical term.”

    The Sunday Mirror spoke to the ‘Save Face’ organisation about their experience. Director Ashton Collins said:

    “By offering Botox without requiring his patients to undergo a face-to-face consultation he is seriously compromising patient safety. It also begs the question as to where he is sourcing the medicine.”

    James refused to disclose details of where he obtained supplies.

    Joshua James promotes his services over social media. His Instagram account advertises “Botox parties” for eight clients at a time with free treatment for the host.

    Read the article in full at:

    Saving on BOTOX®?

    The Sunday Mirror article states that prices start at £220 for 1 area of BOTOX at this back garden practice with non-medical practitioner. This isn’t even providing value.

    At SkinViva, the same treatment is just £180; yet all cosmetic treatments are carried out by medically qualified Aesthetic Practitioners – doctors and dentists who have also been specially trained in aesthetics.

    SkinViva Advice on Cosmetic Treatment Providers

    Our advice to consumers is to check very carefully before going ahead…

    • Who is carrying out treatment?
      • Do they have any medical qualifications?
      • Are they trained in cosmetic injections?
      • Are they members of any professional bodies?
    • BOTOX – Botulinum toxin is a prescription only medicine
      • Who is prescribing the product?
      • Is the same person carrying out treatment?
      • Is there a face to face consultation?
      • Where are they getting supplies?
    • Dermal fillers – no prescription required
      • What products are used?
      • There are many brands of dermal fillers available
      • Be wary of cheap imports or brands of dubious origin
    • What aftercare is provided?
      • Where can you go if something isn’t right?
      • Do they know how to handle any adverse effects?
      • Is aftercare included?

    For further information, see our article

    SkinViva Manchester

    SkinViva was established in 2008 and has an excellent reputation for offering high quality skin treatments in the North West.

    Their team of Aesthetic Doctors & Dentists offer free consultations at their main clinic in Manchester and also at an extensive choice of conveniently located locations across the North West. Clinics are held at salons and centres in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Manchester, Stockport and Bury.

    A consultation is always required prior to any cosmetic treatment and this is arranged with an experienced aesthetic practitioner. The same individual would carry out treatment and this can normally be done at the same appointment if required.

    For further information or to arrange a confidential consultation with a cosmetic doctor or dentist, please call 0161 865 1141, email

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