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| MARKET TRENDS | ANALYSIS


lunchtime services for nine-to-fivers, and has spawned an entire medical tourism industry for customers who often need to work within a tight budget. But while the Luxury Institute may


have been largely overtaken by events and the democratisation of anti-ageing and cosmetic procedures, its views nevertheless offer a fascinating insight into the upper end of the aesthetic medicine market. In fact, a recent survey of its membersÕ opinions about plastic surgery, entitled WealthSurvey: Age Obsession, delivered some surprising findings. Its headline observations were that


most wealthy Americans (those earnings at least $150 000 annually) are concerned about maintaining memory, eyesight and weight as they age, while women worry particularly about wrinkles ® although few opt for cosmetic surgery or botox. Up to 53% of wealthy Americans admit


to having adopted an anti-ageing regimen (anything from a healthy diet to liposuction) in pursuit of better health and a more youthful appearance. Women within this social group are


more concerned about the effect of ageing, and are thus more likely to engage


in anti-ageing routines than men; 67% of US women say they would or have done, compared with 32% of men who are similarly disposed. More women than men will eat health foods (76% say they would), strive to get enough sleep (58%), or alter alcohol intake (53%). Men are 16Ð 21% less likely to embrace any of these behaviour-altering tactics. While there is an evident drive to avail


the elixir of youth, wealthy Americans are seemingly realistic about ageing, with 71% professing that 'age is just a number'. Nonetheless, many feel the pressure to look younger. In this regard, the Age Obsession survey yielded interesting observations. The reasons given for adopting anti-ageing procedures included: ■ Pressures to look 'young' are greater now than in the past (68%)


■ A youthful appearance can boost professional success 58% (women only: 81%).


As to this latter finding, the cosmetic


industry can take a share of credit for the claim by 72% of women and 62% of men in the Luxury InstituteÕs 'wealthy' bracket that they consider they look younger than their age.


However, the ever-increasing uptake of


cosmetic medicine is no longer fuelled only by the conspicuously wealthy. As reported previously in PRIME, global markets are returning to pre-crisis levels of confidence. The US, for instance, recently reported a 5% increase (to 13.8 million) in the number of procedures carried out. With the recession easing and Americans finding they have more disposable income, more are seeking to fix their 'imperfections'.


Enthusiastic Australians The trend is evident in what might be considered second-tier global markets too. The latest example of this was seen last month when the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) returned its latest annual industry audit that showed a 15% increase in spending on non- and minimally-invasive treatments in 2011. Some AUS$645 million was spent on


cosmetic procedures in Australia last year, and 2011 was the fifth successive year in which the Australian market


prime-journal.com | June 2012 ❚ 13


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