7 May 2019

Beauty treatments have been under the spotlight recently, creating a number of headlines.

What’s popular?

The most popular beauty treatments in the UK are manicures and pedicures, says salon software provider Versum after collecting data from more than 325,000 of its salon clients. Eyebrow and eyelash services come a close second, followed by facials, hair removal and anti-wrinkle treatments such as Botox/fillers.

The research also showed that clients visited their salon an average of five times a year spending more than £200 in total.

Cost versus safety

A survey by the pharmaceutical company Allergan across 18 countries of over 14,000 consumers aged 21-65 found that cost was the first priority when considering a non-invasive cosmetic procedure, followed by effectiveness, and lastly, safety. Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (73%) said they expected to spend money on aesthetic treatments in the coming year.

Males and millennials

Men feel just as much pressure as women to have cosmetic treatments that improve their appearance, says Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Save Face also reports that more men than women visit its website. In addition, a BBC survey found that nearly half of men between the ages of 18 and 30 ‘might consider’ having a procedure with the most popular choice being stomach and chest improvements.

Meanwhile, a BBC poll found that 48% of female millennials (18 to 30-year-olds) believe that cosmetic procedures are similar to having a haircut, and 66% had already had or are considering a surgical or non-surgical procedure. In this poll, anti-wrinkle treatments such as Botox were the most popular, followed by lip fillers and breast surgery.

Mental health concerns

NHS England’s medical director Professor Stephen Powis has called for providers of cosmetic procedures to have training in spotting vulnerable clients, saying that too many are operating as ‘a law unto themselves’.

Plans are under way for members of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners to be trained about the issues some clients have with their appearance and to spot the signs that someone may have mental health issues, for example, body dysmorphia. Anyone who appears vulnerable could be advised to seek help.

Superdrug, which offers anti-wrinkle treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers to over-25s, also announced earlier this year that it would be improving its screening for mental health problems. It plans to start using a questionnaire endorsed by the Body Dysmorphic Foundation to help spot vulnerable clients.

Read our blog post about spotting the signs of body dysmorphia.