Aesthetic procedures are elective and classed as non-essential, which means that the industry has taken a big hit during the pandemic. Globally, many practices have had to close for extended periods of time.
Demand has dropped too. This is mainly because consumers’ disposable incomes have been cut by the global recession, meaning that they have less to spend on ‘non-essential’ products and services like aesthetics.
While 2020 has been a challenge for the market, this article is not all doom and gloom. As a recruiter that specialises in the aesthetics space, I’ve began to see encouraging signs that we’re on our way back to business almost as usual.
So, I want to share this positivity with you and the rest of the market. After all, by 2025 the global medical aesthetics market is still projected to grow from $9.4bn to a valuation of $15.9bn at a CAGR of 10. 9%. And that’s something to get excited about.
Let’s get started then, here’s why aesthetics is on its way back.
For one, there’s no shortage of innovation. Aesthetics products and services have continued to improve, becoming more personalised and safer. In my previous article, I highlighted some of the pioneering start-ups driving this innovation.
It is no longer a case of aesthetic treatments being ‘one size fits all’, but rather that it offers specific solutions to address patients’ specific needs. Different types of treatments are now available depending on a patient’s age, skin type, background and more.
As a result of these advancing treatments, there’s been a growing confidence in aesthetics amongst consumers and I don’t expect this to go away overnight. In fact, we’re already starting to see consumers return to practices, picking up where they left off before the pandemic.
There is also the fact that non-surgical treatments are much more accessible financially than their surgical counterparts, making aesthetics the preferred option for financially conscious consumers.
When you put all this together, you realise that this industry is providing an increasingly valuable, yet cost-effective, product. This has begun to attract a range of new, untapped demographics.
For example, there’s been huge growth in number of males getting treatments - which opens up a vastly under penetrated demographic.
Male-oriented treatments like hair removal of the chest rose from 15% in 2016 to 30% in 2018. Meanwhile, hair removal of the underarms rose from 16% to 42%
It’s not just these procedures that are growing in popularity. From hair restoration to injectables and body contouring, there’s an entire world of effective aesthetics that men can invest in. So, clinics offering both male & female tailored treatments should still be set to thrive in the future.
While the larger patient demographic continues a natural shift towards millennials and younger generations, the older groups, such as Gen-X and baby boomers, continue to grow also. Across most demographic groups demand is continuing to increase too.
I think the reason we’re seeing this rise in demand can also largely be attributed to an increasing acceptance of people getting aesthetics treatments, as well as improving treatments.
Nowadays, even popular celebrities are happy to publicly admit that they use aesthetic treatments. For example, Kylie Jenner’s use of lip fillers acted as a great advert for the treatment.
With social media spreading the word about the benefits of aesthetics treatments too, the world seems to have come around and finally understood what this market is all about – making people feel good.
Digital platforms have played a huge role in recent years to progress the aesthetics market. Now an increasing number of industry players are adopting digital tools and techniques to improve customer relationships during the pandemic.
Just as the pandemic has accelerated the use of telemedicine by physicians and patients, equipment and product providers are relying on digital technology in their interactions with dermatology and plastic-surgery practices.
They are using online tools - from lead generation apps and cobranded ads to streaming promotional videos - to build loyalty and facilitate communication with their customers. From my recruitment perspective, I’ve noticed a higher demand for digital marketing specialists to support this movement.
As you can see, there’s a lot of reasons to stay optimistic right now. There’s growth expected across the board in 2021, particularly in Asia Pacific due to the region’s rapid urbanisation.
I expect to see a continued rise in aesthetics in Asia Pacific, motivated by increasing consumer knowledge and interest in procedures, strong local economies and aggressive marketing by leading US and European companies in Asia.
That’s it from me. I hope that I’ve been able to convince you despite the challenges the aesthetics industry has faced in 2020, the future still remains bright. If you have any opinions on this article that you’d like to share, please email me at Ryan.Gillon@medical-cm.com.
You can find more content like this on my consultant page.
I spoke to Dr. Peter Prendergast, founder of the app MeTime, about the post-pandemic aesthetics market and the truth behind "the zoom effect". Listen now.
For this episode of CM Conversations, Ben Thompson & Jerome Richards, Directors at CM Medical, spoke with Rob Jenkins and Will Flack from F&J Agile Solutions.