Driven by a growing sense of wellness and self-care – particularly in younger consumers – interest in medical aesthetics treatments is at an all-time high, according to the results of a global study.

More than two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed in a worldwide medical aesthetics study conducted by Allergan said taking care of how they look and feel are important components of daily activities that can also include work, volunteering, and running errands. Over half (53%) of consumers globally would consider a non-invasive aesthetic treatment.

Demand for injectable treatments could double in just over five years

“We are a maintenance-focused society,” says Montreal surgeon Dr. Arthur Swift. “The same people who are committing to monthly gym memberships and private sessions with trainers are requesting facial injectable treatments.”

To develop the report released this month, Allergan tapped into more than 14,500 aesthetically conscious consumers and 1,300 medical aesthetic practitioners in 18 countries to explore the mindset and motivations of aesthetically conscious consumers across a variety of ages, races, cultures and genders.

 

Top concerns included facial lines or wrinkles around the eyes, with almost a third (32%) of consumers worldwide currently considering a facial injectable treatment.

More than half the millennials surveyed would consider a surgical or non-surgical intervention to enhance their appearance, with 61% agreeing their overall appearance impacts how successful they are in life. They are more motivated to make changes as part of their lifestyle choices.

“They use words like ‘preventative care,’” says San Diego dermatologist Dr. Sabrina Fabi. “We know there is an increasing desire for knowledge about facial injectables, skincare, and body treatments, and this eye-opening report will ultimately lead to more informed and honest conversations between practitioners and their patients.”

 

A Happy Marketplace

An article in The Aesthetics Channel supports many of the findings in the Allerghan report and concludes that today’s medical aesthetics is the fastest growing segment in the healthcare field.

“It is a happy marketplace and aesthetics is a very good field in which to run a medical business. If you do a really good job with your patients, then they tend to stay with you for a long time.” Thomas A. Albright, CEO of Recros Medica

Jeffrey Frentzen writes that demand stems from increased public acceptance of medical aesthetics and safer, more effective non-invasive treatments. The field has seen a rising adoption of procedures among men, as well as millennials and younger generations thanks in part to the Internet, television and social media influencers.

Demand for the older groups such as Gen-X and Baby Boomers continues to grow but at a slower rate. Adults under 45 are nearly twice as likely to consider aesthetic procedures compared with those over 45.

Alisa Lask at Nestle Skin Health said, because of this growing interest in non-invasive procedures, “we’re expecting the market to double by 2025.”

Medical aesthetics practitioner Crystal Lewis RN with two patients

Younger consumers are making aesthetics part of their anti-aging regimen and overall lifestyle. More people seek preventive aesthetic procedures at earlier ages. They are oriented towards their skin and skin health earlier in life rather than later.

“There has been a recent emphasis on smaller doses at younger ages, meaning that it looks more natural than in any previous era,” said Dr. Lara Devgan, Chief Medical Officer of RealSelf, the leading online marketplace to learn about cosmetic treatments. “This along with social sharing trends has reduced stigma and made it more mainstream.”

 

Digital Boom

In an age where social media is prevalent and filters are the new standard, digital platforms have become a forum for beauty conversation and discovery.

The study found that 28% of global consumers turn to the internet as their first stop when searching for an aesthetic treatment and 82% of U.S. consumers (ages 21-35) turn to Instagram as their leading source of information.

“We are a maintenance-focused society.”

“They are more educated than ever,” says Dr. Swift (right). “As with everything else that has evolved in the cosmetic industry, so too have aesthetic patients in being more mainstream, reaching out through social media, and using before and after photos as references.”

Lori Robertson, a Registered Nurse and a medical aesthetics clinical director, said younger patients today know exactly what they want.

“They research online, talk with their peers on social media, and then walk into your office knowing you and your practice in advance, as well as the kinds of services you offer,” Robertson said in the Aesthetics Channel report.

“This is a fresh development that is really changing the face of aesthetics. They trust you right off the bat without even meeting you, as opposed to a 50-year-old patient that isn’t into social media and who requires a traditional consult to explain things.”

 

Trending Treatments

Aesthetics Channel report also looked at what’s trending in medical aesthetics. Their findings are in line with increasingly popular procedures at TH Medical Aesthetics.

Among all age groups, neurotoxins and dermal fillers remain the most popular gateway treatments, with the facial aesthetic products segment retaining the largest share of the market in 2018. Botox® brings in both men and women, but an alternative filler growing in popularity is the longer-lasting Bellafill® which supports the production of endogenous collagen over time.

PRP with micro-needling at THMA

Another emergent market segment in aesthetics is the integration of regenerative medicine such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) into a host of cell-based therapies. Increasingly, PRP is being used in combination with micro-needling, another in-demand treatment, in order to drive HA fillers into primary treatment areas around the face and neck.

Non-surgical feminine rejuvenation procedures (such as those performed at THMA using the Health Canada-approved DiVa Vaginal Laser) are one of the fastest growing in-office therapies.

Frentzen writes that baby boomers can be expected to take advantage of this non-surgical procedure to strengthen the elasticity of the vaginal wall in order to enhance sexuality and reduce incontinence.

Additionally, in demand now at TH Medical Aesthetics:

  • Dermal filler treatments to ‘plump up’ sagging ears and restore a youthfulness to hands
  • Hair restoration using PRP growth factors and cell regeneration
  • Intense Pulses of Light (IPL) that use light energy to restore skin to its natural beauty
  • OxyGeneo for facial rejuvenation through oxygenation infusions