Surgery loses face in beauty therapy

Market analysts LaingBuisson’s first major study into the UK cosmetic enhancement market has revealed an interesting new split: near-static growth in the cosmetic surgery sector, pitted against a buoyant market for non-surgical interventions such as Botox and injectable fillers. Report author Liz Heath gives the details.

LaingBuisson’s Cosmetic Surgery UK Market Report, First Edition, estimates that the cosmetic surgery market was valued at around £273m in 2017, with little evidence of real-terms growth over the last five years. 

The non-surgical market in the UK is, however, burgeoning. Although estimates vary, figures suggest it could be worth in excess of £3bn within the next five years.

Overall demand for surgical procedures has softened since the 2008 financial crisis and the PIP scandal of 2012, and the figures indicate only a marginal growth of 0.5% in real terms in 2017 due to continued consumer caution.  

Market data is more difficult to analyse for the highly fragmented non-surgical market, which is still considered a ‘wild west’ in regulatory quarters. But information provided by Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, indicate that the industry was worth £2.3bn in 2010 and could already have reached £3.6bn. 

Although precise figures are difficult to pin down, an indicative growth rate of 55% in a decade illustrates the future potential of this market.