Cost puts patients off cosmetic work

By Agnes Rose

Cost is the number-one factor preventing people from undergoing cosmetic procedures.

Too expensive fee levels were cited by 50% of 500 men and women who took part in a survey looking at why people who have considered cosmetic treatments did not go ahead. 

This is closely followed by fears of possible complications (46%); looking unnatural – for example, over-inflated lips, frozen expressions – with 41% quoting this as the cause; and ‘horror stories in the media’ at 32%.

Other highlights include:

 Nearly a quarter (22%) don’t know how to find a reputable practitioner;

 28% are scared of suffering pain during the treatment;

 One in five (21%) decided they want to ‘grow old gracefully/accept their flaws’ – yet there is a considerable age discrepancy, with older people less likely to accept their fate;

 16% fear being judged by friends and family. The older the respondent, the less likely they were to care;

 14% are worried their partner wouldn’t like it.

Maxillofacial surgeon Miss Sieuming Ng and Dr Subha Punj

The research was conducted by independent survey company OnePoll on behalf of SafeAP, a marketplace app that helps people find qualified practitioners, founded by two doctors. 

App pioneers

Maxillofacial surgeon Miss Sieuming Ng, along with Dr Subha Punj, pioneered the app to ensure non-surgical aesthetic procedures are delivered by qualified healthcare professionals in a safe environment.

She said: ‘It’s always interesting to get an overview of human behaviour in times of social change, such as during the current cost-of-living crisis and a post-pandemic world. 

‘Unsurprisingly in this climate, cost is still the overriding factor for many people considering undergoing an aesthetic treatment. 

‘However, the survey did throw up some interesting results with, for example, few over-65-year-olds cite a fear of pain as an issue, compared to almost 60% of 18- to 24-year-olds. 

‘This may simply mean that with age comes less worry when compared to the benefits of achieving a rejuvenating look. 

Civica Medical Billing

Gender differences

‘Gender differences were also notable – perhaps men feel less of a societal stigma and therefore are less fearful about possible complications or looking “unnatural”.’

The survey found a considerable gender divide in certain factors, such as the worry about complications – over half (53%) of women cite that as a concern, compared to just over a third (36%) of men. 

Women are also more likely to be put off by horror stories in the media, with half (49%) scared of having treatments thanks to frightening headlines. 

Men care considerably less, with just over a quarter (27%) being concerned about what they see or read in the news – although it is thought possible women are simply more exposed to negative stories in female-focused publications. 

Genders are aligned when it comes to growing old gracefully, with equal numbers (21%) saying they are resigned with what they see in the mirror and will accept their flaws.

More men than women are concerned about what partners will think, with around 15% of men reporting that as a factor, compared to about 13% of  women. 

Interestingly, more than twice the amount of men (21%) than women (9%) admit to having already had a negative experience with a cosmetic procedure.

SafeAP also released the results of a companion survey, which polled 500 women only. The results were largely the same, although it further revealed that 80% of women in Northern Ireland are concerned they would appear unnatural, superseding all other concerns. 

The Safe Aesthetic Practitioner (SafeAP) is an app for both practitioners and customers. It offers qualified practitioners business management tools, including a platform to outline their qualifications, while offering customers a portal where they can connect with registered professionals.