2015 marked a year of explosive growth in the cosmetic industry. The most commonly used data that tracks the number of surgical and non-surgical procedures is supplied by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The report collects information from multiple cosmetic disciplines, including plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, and dermatologists. And it has done so for decades, and therefore represents the most reliable trends in our industry.
Overall cosmetic procedures rose by over 20% from the prior year! That’s an incredible increase, and one that quite frankly I don’t fully understand. The truth is I expect a small increase every year as long as our economy holds up. Past years would see changes in the 3-7% range, for example. And we saw a big change in the stats during the recession years of 2008-10, as patients understandably pursued significantly fewer surgeries during that time. So what is going on in 2015? First, its about demographics. The baby boomers continue to age, and remain interested in looking as young as they feel when they pursue their active lifestyles. Younger generations continue to visit their surgeon’s offices as well, and seem to be generating a higher per capita participation in cosmetic procedures. So they are bringing the age distribution younger as well. And finally there continues to be an increase of self-absorption in our culture. The selfie revolution is an obvious example. Because of social media and changing attitudes, the interest in looking your best at all times must be driving the numbers.
To me, there has to be something more as well. I just can’t figure out how things jumped over 20 percent.