Therapist wins complaint claim against newspaper that called her a rogue beautician

The Mail on Sunday was Newspaper forced to print an apology to a beauty therapist after it called her a “rogue beautician” and a “cosmetic cowboy”.

Danielle Hindley won the complaint against the paper regarding an article dated December 31 about an investigation it carried out in which an undercover journalist made an appointment with her for plasma skin tightening.

The article, which appeared on the paper’s website a day earlier than the print edition, investigated “dangerous and illegal procedures” being carried out by “rogue beauticians” in the UK. Hindley was named alongside her picture with the writer’s account that Hindley told her that “nothing could go wrong” with plasma skin tightening and that it was “one of the easiest treatments I have ever learnt to do”.

A picture of a former client of Hindley’s was also featured, showing the woman post-treatment with “swollen eyes” and “an array of burn marks” – both reactions to be expected with plasma skin tightening treatments and part of the skin-rejuvenation process.

Hindley complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), saying she acted within the law in the context of both her encounter with the paper’s undercover reporter and the former client that was mentioned.

She called the article’s claims “significantly misleading” and said that as a qualified beauty therapist her professional reputation that was damaged by the article’s claims.

IPSO ruled that the Mail on Sunday had not offered sufficient basis for its claim that Hindley had acted improperly, and while the paper did not accept a breach of the code, it did update the online article to include a correction.

The clarification says: “In a previous version of this article we suggested that Danielle Hindley, who administers plasma skin tightening treatment, was a ‘rogue beautician’ and a ‘cosmetic cowboy’. 

“We have been asked to confirm, that Ms Hindley is a trained beautician who is legally entitled to carry out the plasma treatment described. We did not have a basis to suggest that Ms Hindley had ‘botched’ treatments, as implied by the article. 

“The general references to ‘cosmetic cowboys’, ‘rogue beauticians’ and ‘illegal procedures’ do not apply to Ms Hindley and we are happy to make that clear.”

The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) announced earlier this month that it would remove therapists from its registers for injectables, a decision made "on the basis of consideration of potential risks, lack of evidence, lack of training courses".