Cosmetic Doctor reveals the 6 Red Flags you MUST not ignore when choosing a cosmetic clinic

By Dr. Aaron Stanes

We’re building confidence.

The Cosmetic Connection philosophy is built around confidence and education. Stay up to date with our work for a better insight and understanding.


    Thinking about a cosmetic treatment? You’re not alone. Non-surgical cosmetic treatments have become immensely popular worldwide. And rightly so. The cosmetic market in Australia is growing rapidly, and was valued at 2.95M USD in 2021. But, with a growing market has come a wave of unregulated clinics and untrained practitioners. This has unfortunately caused a significant increase in side effects, complications, and botched cosmetic results.

    As experienced providers of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, the clinicians who work with us at Cosmetic Connection have formulated this list of the 6 most important red flags to look for when choosing a cosmetic clinic.

    Read carefully, as this information could not only save you thousands, but help you to avoid lifechaning side effects, unnecessary treatments, and looking worse.


    Red Flag 1: No Before and After Results

    There is only one reason why a clinic would not have a catalogue of before and after photos of their results to share. They’ve barely done any treatments. Showcasing before and after results allows you to see what’s possible, and what kind of aesthetic eye the clinic has. It also shows that they have experience. And experience does two things:

    1. Significantly increases the likelihood of achieving your dream result.
    2. Reduces the risk of side effects.

    Some clinics even steal results photos from competitors, so look for consistency in the background and style.


    Red Flag 2: No On-Site Doctor

    The biggest reason cosmetic injectables are so available in non-medical settings is through the exploitation of a telehealth rule allowing medications to be prescribed without a doctor present.

    Cosmetic injectables require authorisation by a medical doctor who must consult you.

    Remote prescribing was designed to improve healthcare in rural areas without doctors. But opportunistic corporates quickly realised they can use this to make money in the lucrative cosmetic industry.

    Doctors with zero experience in cosmetics, often located interstate, are authorising treatments for nurses with minimal checks and balances and corner-cutting practices.

    When something goes wrong, this can result in a disaster, because the responsible doctor is often not in the same state, or even knowledgeable about injectables.

    A doctor on-site is a hallmark of excellence and high quality standards in cosmetic medicine. Doctors are held to the highest standards of all healthcare professionals.


    Red Flag 3: Not Disclosing the Products

    If there’s one thing that should make you run a mile, it’s when a clinic refuses to disclose what products they use.

    Approved products have stringent quality control measures, and are regularly batch tested and monitored for safety.

    If the clinic tries to hide the products they use, then it’s likely to be cheap, or worse, counterfeit.

    Ethical practitioners will only use the best products and equipment, and will be more than happy to let you know what’s being used for your treatment.


    Red Flag 4: Fake Self Titles

    ‘Master injector’, ‘Celebrity doctor’, ‘Advanced cosmetic nurse’, ‘Lips queen’, ‘Non-surgical rhinoplasty specialist’.

    These titles are NOT REAL. Made up titles = big ego.

    Real credentials come from accredited universities and medical colleges and take years to achieve. Don’t be fooled by junior injectors with minimal training pumping their own tyres. There are very few formal training programs in injectables.

    Most courses are laughable, and taught by injectors who also don’t know what they’re doing.

    If an injector claims to be trained through a specific organisation, a quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know. Just go to the training provider’s website and look at the courses they offer (entry requirements, duration, what is taught etc.).

    Look for cosmetic credentials like ‘FACCSM’ which demonstrate extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic medicine. Qualifications ‘MBBS’ and ‘RN’ are base degrees.


    Red Flag 5: No Mention of Side Effects

    All cosmetic treatments have risks, even in the most experienced hands.

    Good medical practice encompasses giving you autonomy over your treatment decisions, and to do this you must be fully informed, of the good and the bad. Clinics that don’t talk about risk either don’t know about them or don’t care about them, both HUGE red flags.

    Here’s the thing. Experienced practitioners know how to get maximum results with minimal risk. Inexperienced practitioners either get subpar results with minimal risk (acceptable), or maximum results with high risk (completely unacceptable).

    Minimising risk involves both reducing the chance and severity of a side effect (by using premium products and safe techniques), and by knowing how to identify and effectively treat side effects promptly.


    Red Flag 6: Discounts and Deals

    Cheap prices and specials. Arguably the mother of all red flags. It is the BIGGEST sign that you should absolutely AVOID a clinic like the plague. Like turn the other way and RUN!

    Cheap prices and specials means the clinic is either brand new (therefor a lack of experience), or struggling (meaning their results and service are not good). They DO NOT belong in cosmetic medicine.

    If you’re going in to address a concern about your appearance, do you really want to risk looking worse and botched for the sake of saving money? This is not like getting your hair and makeup done. You’ll pay more for all the unnecessary treatments they talk you into, and to get a quality cosmetic clinic to fix all the problems they cause.

    There’s a saying in cosmetic medicine, do it once and do it right. Especially true for fillers that last years, and botox which you can’t reverse.


    What should you do?

    Feeling put off cosmetic treatments? Totally understandable. However, when done carefully by an experienced clinician, the results can be life-changing. There’s a reason cosmetic injectables are so popular – they work, and they work very effectively.

    The message here is to choose your clinic wisely, and if that happens to be Cosmetic Connection, we promise to put you interests first and your safety and satisfaction above all else.