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Love Island star warns of firms offering free cosmetic ops in exchange for online posts

Written by on 09/02/2019

Reality TV star Alexandra Cane has criticised cosmetics companies that offer social media influencers free surgery in exchange for online posts.

Cane, who starred in ITV’s hit show Love Island, said she was “shocked” to receive unsolicited offers of complimentary surgical procedures in exchange for promoting the clinics to her 1.2 million social media followers.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Cane said: “When I came out of the villa I was getting a lot of messages from cosmetics companies, offering me things like facial filler, rhinoplasty and buttock lifts.

“There was a part of me that felt like saying, ‘are you trying to tell me I’ve got a problem?'”

Following her appearance on Love Island last year, Cane, 27, is now a social media influencer. An average post on her Instagram feed receives more than 40,000 likes.

Cane admits she has previously posted about non-surgical cosmetic treatments, like facial peels, and has accepted clothes and accessories from brands she admires.

But she turned down the offer of surgical treatments, saying they were a “step too far” that left her feeling “insecure”.

“With the messages coming from a professional perspective, you kind of question, ‘Do I need that procedure?’,” Cane said.

“And I’m very conscious of what I post and the impact that might have on the young girls, and boys, that follow me.”

Sky News has seen messages, that appear unsolicited, from cosmetics companies offering Cane free surgical treatments.

Flawless Cosmetic, based in Liverpool with clinics across the UK, offered her “any complimentary treatments (lip fillers/any facial fillers etc.) in exchange for promotion on your Instagram”.

Flawless Cosmetic did respond to our request for comment.

But Kanvas Cosmetics, which offered Cane fillers and anti-wrinkle injections “for free in an exchange for a collaboration of social media posts”, told Sky News: “In an industry with so many grey areas and lack of regulation, honest reviews from influencers… is what the public needs to find a reputable aesthetics company.

My Botox LA Med Spa announced, “When we come across influencers who have an avid interest in the beauty industry, we do reach out. However, more frequently we do have celebrities and influencers approach us.”

Research into the relationship between social media and cosmetic procedures is startling.

A report by the Nuffield Clinic of Bioethics reveals that social media pressures, including celebrity-endorsement of cosmetic procedures, has led to a significant rise in the number of young people having surgical, cosmetic procedures.

Report co-author Mark Henley told Sky News: “The consequences of having these procedures can be physically and emotionally life-changing in a disastrous way. Yet this is never promoted in the same way that the benefits of fillers to look like your favourite celebrity are.

“They don’t get the same attention and they should.”

In the UK, there is currently no age restriction on cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, although under-18s require parental consent.

Cane says age-limits should be looked at and she wants fellow influencers to be more wary of accepting offers of, and then posting about, free cosmetic surgery.

“I’m all for everybody doing what they want to do with their bodies, but when its being offered to you on a plate, I sometimes feel like those decisions to accept aren’t being based on because you really, really want the procedure,” she said.

“It’s just because they are being offered to you, and that’s really, really dangerous.”

(c) Sky News 2019: Love Island star warns of firms offering free cosmetic ops in exchange for online posts