Beauty treatments are still cutting it

LaingBuisson’s second major study into the UK cosmetic surgery market covers 2019 through to late 2020, including a look at how Covid-19 impacted the scene. In this commentary, its author Liz Heath highlights key findings

The pattern and contrast in market values and growth between the surgical and non-surgical markets continues to be stark. 

Little appreciable growth has been shown by the surgical market and it is currently valued at circa £270m+.  

But the non-surgical market continues to grow and, although value is difficult to verify, is around £3bn in the UK. It has greatly benefited from continued demand for facial aesthetics and growing demand for non- or minimally invasive enhancements such as body contouring.  

Overall demand for surgical procedures has softened since the 2008 financial crisis and the PIP breast implant scandal of 2012, and the figures indicate only a marginal growth in recent years. Some surgical procedures appear to drift in and out of fashion, but demand for breast augmentation remains consistently high. 

Market data is more difficult to analyse for the highly fragmented non-surgical market, which is still considered a ‘wild west’ by many. 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, so the estimated value of circa £3bn appears reasonably accurate.