Avoiding the Pitfalls of Illegal Medical Cosmetology Services

VSOsmetology has become a focal point of consumer complaints, surpassing many traditional categories of goods and services, in the China Consumers Association’s analysis of complaints received by the National Consumers Association in 2021.

The Law Enforcement Guide for Medical Cosmetology Advertising, issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation in November 2021, provides guidance to local government in market regulation at all levels to strengthen the monitoring of advertising in medical cosmetology. It also guides consumers on how to avoid the many pitfalls involving illegal medical cosmetology in the market.

In this article, the authors summarize the pitfalls to avoid in illegal medical cosmetology services.


Xue Zheng
Senior partner
DOCVIT law firm

Article 23 of the Measures for the Administration of Medical Cosmetic Services provides that no entity or person shall provide medical cosmetic services without a license to practice from medical organizations and the approval of the registration authority to perform diagnostics and medical cosmetic treatments.

In practice, some life cosmetology organizations often deliberately confuse life cosmetology and medical cosmetology, and perform unregistered medical cosmetology services without permission from the health department. Some cosmetic medical institutions provide cosmetic medical services beyond the scope of medical diagnosis and treatment approved by the health department.

Accordingly, when consumers choose a medical cosmetics supplier, they can inquire through the medical organization inquiry system of the health administration department whether it has a license; and whether its diagnostics and treatment services fall within its registered and approved scope.


Article 11 of the device provides that: “The attending physician responsible for the implementation of medical-aesthetic services must meet the following conditions:
(1) qualified as a physician and registered with the Physicians Registration Authority;
(2) have experience in relevant clinical disciplines;
(3) have completed training or higher education in medical cosmetology, or been engaged in clinical medical cosmetics for more than one year; and
(4) other conditions specified by the provincial government’s health administrative department.

Cao Hui, DOCVIT Law Firm
DOCVIT law firm

Article 14 provides that: “Personnel who have not been approved by the health administration or have not completed the formalities for registration to practice may not perform the services of diagnosis and medical treatment. -aesthetic.

Therefore, the attending physician liability system is implemented in the medical cosmetic services industry – and the attending physician must be a qualified medical practitioner with experience in the relevant clinical disciplines, qualification in medical cosmetology or working there for more than one year, and registered with the administrative health service on its approval by the medico-cosmetic organization.

In practice, personal injuries caused by the irregular operation of “doctors” and “cosmetologists” often occur in aesthetic medicine departments. Therefore, in addition to choosing a legally qualified cosmetic medical organization, consumers should also check whether the personnel engaged in cosmetic medical services are qualified attending physicians – and can also inquire about the doctor’s registration through the inquiry system. from the administrative health department for confirmation.


Article 17 of the measures provides that: “Practitioners of medical cosmetics organizations shall strictly implement relevant laws, regulations and rules and observe the operating rules of medical cosmetics technology. Medical equipment used by medical cosmetic organizations must be approved by the relevant departments. »

Therefore, medical cosmetic organizations must: use drugs and medical devices that meet the registration, approval or filing requirements of the Drug Administration Act, regulations for the supervision and administration medical devices and other laws and regulations of China; purchase drugs and medical devices from enterprises with production and operation qualifications; and use them in a standard way according to the operating procedures.

In practice, some medical cosmetic service providers use poor quality equipment, or drugs and medical devices from unknown sources, or fail to comply with national regulations, resulting in a series of personal injury incidents.

Therefore, before receiving medical cosmetic services, a consumer can check the qualification certificates of used drugs and medical devices – and help prevent illegal organizations from using fake and shoddy medical cosmetic drugs and medical devices from source unknown.

This can be done by querying the official drug regulatory authority website and scanning the drug and medical device code to trace the source.


The law enforcement guide mentioned above lists a series of issues requiring attention in monitoring medical cosmetology advertisements.

These include: the creation of “appearance anxiety” in violation of good social morality; ensure the safety and effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment; compare the effects before and after diagnosis and treatment with the patient’s name or picture as evidence; and publishing medical cosmetology advertisements in a disguised form of health care knowledge introduction, exclusive interviews and news reports are all subject to punishment as serious violations of the law.

For example, ads like “facial features more important than inner quality” and “10 years younger, effective immediately after surgery and up to 90% success rate” all fall into this category.

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In practice, medical cosmetology advertisements containing such illegal elements are not uncommon – and hashtags about “appearance anxiety” are regularly circulated on social media platforms.

Faced with this meteoric trend of medical cosmetology advertising, consumers must remain alert and vigilant, carefully identify quality services and maintain a cautious and scientific mind.

False and illegal advertising on medical cosmetology must be resolutely combated. Even when it comes to legal and compliance aspects, all factors should always be carefully considered before making a commitment.

Xue Zheng is Senior Partner and Cao Hui is Partner of DOCVIT Law Firm

Non-Performing Assets of Li Jing DOCVIT Law Firm

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No.5 Third ring road is MiddleRoad
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China
Tel: +86 10 8586 1018
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