Likelihood of Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery

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Likelihood of Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery

In the United States, the top motivations for having/considering cosmetic procedures are to boost self-esteem/confidence (40%), to look good and enhance appearance (36%) and to look younger (26%). The top 4 reasons why consumers are waiting too long to go for cosmetic surgery include cost, fear of pain, unsure about the exact/desired results, and lack of knowledge on the type of practitioners to see.

Psychographic Profile: USA

Hobbies & Interests

  • The majority of American adults that were considering to change their "personal well-being and/or appearance" last year are the ones who like to do more exercises (58%), prefer eating healthier foods (55%), consider investing more in mental health (33%), and make better efforts to lose weight (32%).
  • In the United States, adults aged 18-34 years (88%) are more likely to consider changes of any kind related to their "personal well-being and/or appearance" as compared to the ones aged 35 years and above (80%). American adults in their 20s and 30s, who are likely to consider cosmetic surgery, are the ones that prioritize self-care and/or have a health and beauty routine.
  • Out of all the Americans that are thinking to invest in their well-being and appearance, over 36% are considering cosmetic treatments in the next one year.

Motivation

  • In the United States, among people who have previously had or are considering cosmetic procedures, the top motivation was/is "to improve self-esteem and confidence (40%) followed closely by looking as good as one feels (36%)".
  • The top motivations for having/considering cosmetic procedures are:
  • "To improve my self-esteem/confidence": 40%
    "To look as good as I feel": 36%
    "To look younger": 26%
    "Help with weight loss/fat removal": 22%
    "Combat aging": 22%
    "Convenience and to save time/effort": 15%
    "Get my body back after having children": 12%
  • The top 4 reasons why consumers are waiting too long to go for cosmetic surgery include cost, fear of pain, unsure about the exact/desired results, and lack of knowledge on the type of practitioners to see.

Purchase Habits

  • In the United States, the top 3 purchase influencers for the cosmetic procedures are dermatologists (34%), friends (30%), and social media (24%).
  • The top factors that are considered while selecting a cosmetic treatment provider are patient reviews (67%), education and board certification (66%), before and after procedure photos (53%), procedure costs (45%), friend/family recommendations (42%), provider’s website (32%), and provider’s social media presence (14%).
  • According to a survey conducted by RealSelf, about 21% of US adults that are planning to do a cosmetic procedure would consider spending full or a part of their tax return on the treatment.
  • The top concerns when considering a cosmetic procedure are:
  • "Paying for the procedure": 64%
    "Fear of complications/Bad results": 60%
    "Finding the right provider": 51%
    "Recovery/Downtime": 39%
    "Don’t want to look like I’ve had work done": 35%
    "Concerned about long-term effects": 35%
    "Confused or unsure about the right treatment or procedure options": 21%
    "Stigma associated with people who choose to have treatments": 9%

Attitudes & Beliefs

  • A majority of surgeons surveyed in the United States say that their patients like a "more natural" look (78%) as compared to a "sculpted" look (15%).
  • According to a survey, if American men were given an opportunity to gift a cosmetic surgery procedure, they would most likely gift it to their significant other (34%), followed by gifting to a friend (21%) and their mother (10%). If American women were given the same opportunity, they would most likely gift a cosmetic surgery procedure to their friend (26%), followed by giving to their mother (20%) and their significant other (11%).
  • For the 20 million baby boomers in the United States that are currently using online dating apps/sites, "the high stakes of the modern dating world can be intimidating as they age." According to a survey report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, US adults aged over 55 years are considering cosmetic procedures "to help them put their best face forward."

Aspirations

  • Because of increasing usage of "photo filters, facial modification apps, and Photoshop apps", more American millennials are seeking to get Botox and dermal fillers as compared to the previous years. According to a survey, about 55% of cosmetic surgeons in the US saw patients going for cosmetic treatments "at least in part to look better in selfies."
  • According to a survey report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), a majority of Americans now favor "a more dramatic and curvier shape" as compared to the previous standard.
  • Americans also have career aspirations when they go for cosmetic procedures, with over 57% of cosmetic surgeons in the US agreeing that one of the top reasons for getting a cosmetic procedure was "the desire to stay relevant and competitive at work."

Psychographic Profile: World

Interests & Motivation

  • In the United Kingdom, "women exposed to cosmetic surgery advertisements were more likely to report a discrepancy between their ideal and actual body-image: 44% wished they were thinner and 68% wished their appearance was in some way more attractive."
  • Globally, the social and cultural factors that motivate a person to undergo a cosmetic treatment include media influence, fashion and film industry influence, the peer pressure of beauty and appearance, and changing dimensions of beauty.
  • Globally, the health factors that motivate a person to undergo a cosmetic procedure include a rise in obesity and increasing safety margins of cosmetic surgery while the economic factors include declining cost of surgeries.
  • Photo sharing over social media platforms has led to a surge in demand for cosmetic surgeries by more than 33%.

Purchase Habits

  • In the United Kingdom, social media has a great influencing power as around 46% of Brits agree that "social media has made getting non-surgical procedures more commonplace."
  • Around 71% of adults in the United Kingdom agree that psychological assessment is important before anyone is allowed to get a cosmetic procedure. About 59% of UK adults believe that "there is still not enough regulation for non-invasive cosmetic procedures, while an agreement with the sentiment rises to 62% for invasive procedures."
  • Almost 60% of consumers search online for information on cosmetic procedures.

Attitudes & Beliefs

  • Women who undergo cosmetic surgeries are more likely to have low self-esteem and life satisfaction, rate their appearance as less attractive, had high media exposure and had few religious beliefs.
  • People who have higher media exposure tend to believe that cosmetic procedures would bring them benefits, while religious individuals are more likely to have contrast perceptions about cosmetic surgeries in line with their beliefs.
  • When it comes to materialistic and non-materialistic women, the respective perceptions and judgments of the cosmetic surgery benefits were no different. Materialistic women are more likely to see benefits in cosmetic surgery than non-materialistic women.

Aspirations

  • Based on a study, women with partners consider cosmetic surgery to retain their long-term partners by enhancing their physical attractiveness.
  • According to a survey conducted by BBC, about 60% of South Korean women in their 20s have had cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures. "The popularity of the trend is reflected in a music video released by K-pop girl band SixBomb showing off their before and after surgery appearances for the song Becoming Prettier." The rising desire to look like the celebrities of the K-pop culture has led to an increase in South Korean women undergoing cosmetic procedures.
  • In Brazil, cosmetic surgery is generally considered as normal instead of it as a vanity project, "and is common among all strata of society."

Demographic Profile: World

Location

Age

  • Breast augmentations (53.9%) and rhinoplasty (62.4%) are more popular among the age group of 19-34 years old. The 35-50 years age group was second on the list to consider breast augmentations (35%) and rhinoplasty (23%).
  • Botulinum toxin is more popular among the age group of 35-50 years old (46.6%) and 51-64 years old (24.2%). Interestingly, Botox is also considered by the age group of 19-34 years old (22.7%) and 65+ years old (6%).
  • Non-surgical fat reduction is more popular among the age group of 35-50 years old (42.9%), followed by 19-34 years old (36.5%).
  • Liposuction is almost equally popular among the age group of 35-50 years old (41.9%) and 51-64 years old (40.9%)

Gender

  • Females account for 87.4% of total cosmetic procedures globally while males account for only 12.6%.
  • Of the total cosmetic surgical procedures, about 86.5% were females while only 13.5% were males. The top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures considered by females include breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty, and breast lift. The top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures considered by males include gynecomastia, liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and ear surgery.
  • Of the total cosmetic non-surgical procedures, about 88.1% were females while only 11.9% were males. The top 3 cosmetic non-surgical procedures considered by females include botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid, and hair removal. The top 3 cosmetic non-surgical procedures considered by males also include botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid, and hair removal.

Income & Education Level

  • In Brazil, patients consider “right to beauty” as one of their human rights. In public hospitals, cosmetic surgeries are provided for free or at low-costs, and the government provides a subsidy for almost 0.5 million surgeries each year. And as a result, one doesn't need to have a higher income/education level to undergo cosmetic surgery.
  • In the United States, over 33% of adults whose yearly household income is more than $75,000 report that a close friend or family member underwent a cosmetic surgery as compared with 20% of US adults whose yearly household income is below $75,000.
  • In Mexico, the education level of the majority of respondents of a cosmetic surgery survey was high-school (38.8%), followed by undergraduate (30%) and secondary education (21.3%).

Family Status

  • In Mexico, the marital status of the majority of respondents of a cosmetic surgery survey was single (57.5%), followed by individuals that have a partner (42.5%).
  • In an American survey, 56.3% of the respondents, interested in cosmetic surgery, were married, and 43.8% were not married. According to a survey, about 50% of American parents with children under 18 are presently seeking cosmetic procedures as compared to only 28% of American adults without children under 18.
  • According to a Brazilian survey, 37.4% of the respondents were single, 53% were married or in a relationship, 7.6% were divorced, and 2% were widows or widowers.

Key Trends: Cosmetic Surgery Marketing

Trend #1: Selling Happiness Instead of Procedures (Brand Message/Marketing)

  • Augmentation, liposuction, and rhinoplasty are the names of some of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures—"what plastic surgeons do—and not what patients buy."
  • Some consumers want to enhance their appearance and/or feel good about how they look while some seek improvement in their self-esteem. The consumers are not simply paying for surgery but they are paying to "no longer suffer from insecurity, anxiety, and embarrassment." To fulfill that happiness/desire, people who visit a cosmetic surgeon’s website do so with certain goals and desires in mind.
  • Drivers of this trend: According to a survey, the main motivations for having/considering cosmetic procedures are to improve their self-esteem/confidence (40%), and/or to improve their appearance (36%), and/or to look younger (26%).
  • Examples: A lot of cosmetic surgery providers have successfully implemented the "sell happiness" strategy and some examples include Roxy Plastic Surgery, Laser Skin Wellness, and Dr. Youn. Roxy Plastic Surgery's brand message says "Let your beauty be magnified with ROXY Plastic Surgery and your confidence soar." Laser Skin Wellness's brand message says "Revive your inner glow."

Trend #2: Safety and Trust (Brand Message/Marketing)

  • All cosmetic surgeries, including the less-invasive ones, involve risk factors and raise concerns about the anticipated outcome among consumers. It also includes safety concerns as consumers "feel safe (clinically and emotionally) in the hands of a qualified and experienced doctor."
  • Websites and social media pages of several cosmetic surgery centers share their client reviews, pre- and post-surgeries photos, and doctor's qualification and certification details. A few examples of these centers are mentioned below.
  • Drivers of this trend: The top factors that are considered while selecting a cosmetic treatment provider are patient reviews (67%), education and board certification (66%), before and after procedure photos (53%).
  • Examples: Some examples of cosmetic surgery providers who have successfully conveyed their safety and trust include Premier Aesthetics Group, Laredo Wellness, and Dr. Kolker. Premier Aesthetics Group's brand message says "How old you are is your business. How young you look is ours". Laredo Wellness's brand message says "Beauty And Wellness Without Compromising Quality."
  • Dr. Kolker's website mentions information about the doctor's qualifications and certifications as "Dr. Adam R. Kolker, double board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City."

Research Strategy

There was no recent information found on the income, education level, marital status, and hobbies of the consumers having/considering cosmetic surgery in the world. We scoured through various survey reports published by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and National Center for Biotechnology Information among many others. We also looked at various media articles and cosmetic surgery websites to find global-level information. We were unable to find any related data with these strategies. This may be because information such as income and education level varies greatly depending on each country and that's why overall global data could have been misleading if provided in the global survey reports.

As a result, we've included the income, education level, and marital status of the top 3 countries that have the highest number of cosmetic procedures. For the marital status, we were only able to find 2013 data for the US and 2012 data for Brazil.

The key marketing trends in the cosmetic surgery segment were selected based on the highest number of mentions on various marketing agency websites that specialize in cosmetic surgery marketing, marketing case study websites, and cosmetic websites. To further corroborate the key trends found from these sources, we also reviewed 20 cosmetic surgery providers' websites to analyze the common branding, targeting, and marketing trends.
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