New RealSelf Aesthetics Interest Survey Reveals 40% of U.K. Adults Are Considering a Cosmetic Treatment in the Next 12 Months, Outpacing the U.S.; Past and Planned Procedures Highest Among U.K. Millennials
- Just over 3 in 4 U.K. adults (76%) want to change at least one part of their body
- U.K. millennials are nearly three times more likely to have had a cosmetic procedure in the past than adults 35+ (40% vs 14%)
- More U.K. adults are considering nonsurgical cosmetic treatments than surgical treatments; interest in both is significantly higher among millennials
- Fear of complications or a bad result is the top concern among those who would ever consider a cosmetic treatment
SEATTLE and LONDON, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Interest in medical aesthetic treatments is piquing in U.K. society, as the RealSelf U.K. Aesthetics Interest Survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of RealSelf, reveals 40 percent of U.K. adults are considering a surgical or nonsurgical cosmetic treatment in the next 12 months, with 37 percent considering nonsurgical treatments and 22 percent considering surgical. The number of U.K. adults planning a cosmetic procedure in the next 12 months slightly exceeds that of U.S. adults (37 percent).
Millennials appear to be driving the U.K.'s high interest in aesthetic procedures. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of adults 18-34 are considering nonsurgical treatments in the next 12 months (vs. 28 percent aged 35+) and close to half (44 percent) are considering surgical treatments in the next year (vs. 14 percent aged 35+). This age group is also significantly more likely to have had a nonsurgical or surgical cosmetic treatment in the past (40 percent) compared to their older counterparts (14 percent of those aged 35+). Though age appears to be a major variable, interest among men and women in the U.K. remains generally balanced. Only slightly more women (41 percent) than men (38 percent) are considering a cosmetic treatment in the next year.
"Younger generations are a key force behind the U.K.'s growing interest in cosmetic procedures, due in large part to the new technologies and treatment options that have made aesthetic treatments accessible to a wider audience," said Dr. Lara Devgan, RealSelf Chief Medical Officer and board-certified plastic surgeon. "Many millennials look at cosmetic enhancements as part of their larger self-care routine, not unlike going to the gym or taking care of their skin. They are more open to the idea that beauty is a feeling of confidence rather than a particular physical feature, and it can be unique and customized for every individual. This survey reinforces the trends and motivations we see on RealSelf, where millions of women and men research treatment options and doctors in order to make confident decisions."
Top Treatment Considerations Are for the Teeth, Tummy
Cosmetic dentistry (43 percent) and laser hair removal (29 percent) are the top treatments among adults in the U.K. who are considering nonsurgical procedures, while tummy tuck (31 percent) and facelift (28 percent) are the most popular surgical treatments under consideration. Cosmetic dentistry tops the list for nonsurgical treatments in both the U.K. and the U.S., but interest is significantly higher in the U.K. compared to the U.S. (36 percent).
U.K. adults considering cosmetic treatments also show greater interest in facelifts (28 percent) than those in the U.S. (16 percent). American adults are twice as likely to be considering nonsurgical fat reduction treatments compared to U.K. adults (29 percent vs 14 percent).
Top 5 Nonsurgical Treatments Under Consideration:
Top 5 Surgical Treatments Under Consideration:
1. Cosmetic dentistry (43%)
(e.g., Invisalign, whitening, veneers)
2. Laser hair removal (29%)
3. Facial skin treatments (28%)
(e.g., dermaplaning, microneedling)
4. Facial or Lip Fillers (24%)
5. Botox or Toxins (18%)
1. Tummy Tuck (31%)
2. Facelift (28%)
3. Liposuction (28%)
4. Chin or Neck lift (23%)
5. Breast augmentation (21%)
Confidence Is the Number One Motivator
Motivations for cosmetic treatments are very similar across both the U.S. and the U.K. Among adults in the U.K. who have had cosmetic treatments or are considering them in the next 12 months, the top motivation was/is to improve self-esteem and confidence (43 percent). Other motivations are to look as good as one feels (35 percent) and to help with weight loss or fat removal (26 percent).
Main Motivations for Having/Considering Cosmetic Treatments:
To improve my self-esteem/confidence
To look as good as I feel
Help with weight loss/fat removal
To look younger
Convenience and to save time/effort
Get my body back after having children
Appearance in the Workplace, Milestone Birthdays Also Influential
Life events also influence U.K. adults to pursue cosmetic work with three in five (60 percent) of those who have had a cosmetic treatment or are considering one in the next 12 months reporting a life event influenced their decision. This is significantly greater among men (70 percent) than women (51 percent). Work-related events were cited most often, with nearly one in four (23 percent) influenced by the desire to appear youthful at work and/or looking for or starting a new job, followed by a milestone birthday (18 percent), upcoming vacation (14 percent), and starting dating or a new relationship (13 percent).
Men are nearly twice as likely (19 percent) as women (10 percent) to say an upcoming vacation influenced their decision and nearly three times more likely to say getting divorced or ending a relationship influenced their decision.
Events That Influence the Decision to Have/Consider Cosmetic Treatments:
UK Overall %
UK Women %
Wanting to appear youthful at work/looking for or starting a new job
Milestone birthday (e.g., turning 40 or 50)
An upcoming vacation
Starting dating/a new relationship
Getting divorced/ending a relationship
My own wedding/someone else's wedding
None - no event influenced my decision
Top Concerns: Fear of Complications or Bad Results and Cost
Among U.K. adults who would ever consider a cosmetic treatment, nearly all (92 percent) admit having at least one concern related to the procedure. The top cited concerns are fear of complications/bad results (53 percent) and paying for the procedure (48 percent). By comparison, the biggest concerns among U.S. adults are paying for the procedure (52 percent) and fear of complications/bad results (48 percent).
Biggest Concerns When Considering Cosmetic Treatments:
Fear of complications/bad results
Paying for the procedure
Concerned about long term effects
Finding the right provider
Don't want to look like I've had work done
Confused/unsure about right treatment options
Stigma associated with people who choose to have cosmetic procedures
I don't/wouldn't have any concerns
Body Areas Most Cited for Change: Teeth and Midsection
More than three in four adults in the U.K. (76 percent) want to change at least one area of their body, compared to 80 percent of U.S. adults. Adults from both countries cite teeth and midsection as the top body areas they want to change, but in different order. In the U.K., teeth (35 percent) and midsection (34 percent) top the list and in the U.S., the midsection (47 percent) leads followed by teeth (33 percent).
In both countries, women are significantly more likely than men to want to change their body in some way. In the U.K., more than 4 in 5 women (83 percent) want to change at least one area compared to 69 percent of U.K. men. In the U.S., 85 percent of women and 74 percent of men want to change their body in some way.
Body Areas Most Cited For Change
Midsection (abdomen or back)
Legs and thighs
Skin (e.g., texture, tone, wrinkles)
Chest or Breasts
These findings support consumer interest trends observed by RealSelf, most notably the growing interest in nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. In 2017, a record 94 million people visited RealSelf to research elective cosmetic treatments, and for the first time ever, half researched nonsurgical treatments. To view the complete report please visit www.realself.com/press.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of RealSelf from July 10-12, 2018 among 1,030 U.K. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 862 have had cosmetic treatments or are considering them in the next 12 months. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact RealSelf.
RealSelf is the leading online marketplace for people to learn and share experiences about cosmetic procedures and connect with the right providers. Millions of people from around the world visit RealSelf each month to browse patient reviews, before and after photos, and medical expert answers to discover which treatments and providers live up to their promise of being "Worth It." From simple skincare to emerging nonsurgical technologies to highly considered cosmetic surgeries, RealSelf makes it easy to get the insights needed to make smart, confident decisions and find the right doctor. For more information, visit The Treatment blog or follow RealSelf on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.