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Health and Beauty

Just An Illusion

It is becoming more and more acceptable these days to achieve a more youthful appearance without going 'under the knife' in a surgical procedure.

It's probably then not so surprising that between 2012 and 2013 treatments for anti-ageing rose by 10% and in 2013 alone, the world market product revenue was in the region of €5 billion. In Europe, we spent almost €1.1 billion and it was said that this figure was not as high as it could have been owing to the financial crisis. In the US and Latin America, the amount spent on treatments was €2.2 billion and represented 45% of the market. These figures are staggering and it is quite clear that these trends are set to increase as more opportunities to stop the ageing clock becomes accessible and more affordable.

So what does this say about how we look at ourselves in an ageing market? Growing old gracefully is taking on a whole new meaning and it is becoming evident that a younger and a more impressive complexion is being sought. So how is this being achieved?

Facts and Figures:
In Europe non-invasive treatments are the most popular. These include
boulinum toxin, high-alleuronic acid, laser hair removal and IPL
treatments. In the EU the countries with the largest market shares are
France (1.1%) and Germany (17.3%). The German market is very dynamic and enormous budgets are devoted to aesthetic cosmetics and anti-ageing.

Let's look at the target population: Women between 30 and 65 years old (43%) are spending between €250 and €400 a year on cosmetics. 14.4% spend between €250 and €750 in injection procedures per year. 11% spend between €450 and €1000 in long-term hair removal with light. 10% spend between €270 and €1400 in dental aesthetics.

Dr Thierry Besins, plastic surgeon France and scientific director of
the 2014 Anti-Ageing Medicine World Congress in Monaco, clearly states "We cannot alter the ageing process, what we can do is create the impression that we do. We are mere doctors of illusion...". An interesting concept and food for thought. The perceptions of ageing - what are the key focal points? The diagram below shows a woman at the age of 30 years old and at 60.

Dr Thierry Besins continues to say that gentle changes can make a great difference to how people see us and how we feel about ourselves. The 'illusion' can be created by the whitening of teeth, the use of fillers and botox, for example.

Reference point:
Desmond Morris gives us an insight on how we react to the face and facial expressions.

It was from Morris's findings that cosmetic surgeons were able to focus on the development of anti-ageing treatments and procedures. 'The challenge is to give the best impression of rejuvenation'. The treatments are becoming more and more desirable not only because the results are positive but the recovery time after any non-surgical procedure is minimal.

Doctors agree and stress that to create and maintain an everlasting youthful appearance - lifestyle is key. Stating the obvious, sleep is important and a good balanced diet vital. It has also been stated by some of the world's leading cosmetic and well-being experts that 'state of mind' is essential for contributing to a youthful appearance. The argument for allowing nature to take its course will always be a hot topic but to balance the argument, lipstick and mascara have been used for centuries and gives a real 'feel good factor' and as technology and medical procedures advance, perhaps the concept for cosmetic procedures will not have the skeptical reaction it once had. And the stigma that only vain people resort to costmetic treatments will also diminish. As technology and the world of medicine fuse, confidence is raised by the positive results we hear and see in media. Where once we may say, 'Why?' - the balance is tipping and we will be saying 'Why not?'.

When considering any form of cosmetic intervention it is important to do your own homework and research. An established dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will welcome your questions and will often assess your requirements to ensure you are well informed before any precedure.

Just one of a vast number of demonstrations on view at the congress


Sunday, 20 April 2014    Section: Health and Beauty    Author: Anna Fill
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