Injectable Interest

By Katie Middleweek, European Cosmetic Markets Tel: (44) 020 7193 6862 | August 31, 2012

The aesthetics market in the Big 5 has seen an interesting and fruitful year—certainly for those involved in making money in the sector. Consumer interest has continued apace and the number of treatments and procedures to facilitate this has grown in turn.

According to the most recent figures from French aesthetic treatment manufacturer Qmed/Galderma, it has been revealed that the aesthetic injectables market in France grew by 12.7% in the past year to reach a total estimated value of $50.2 million.

The injectable market jumped nearly 13% in France last year.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) injectables for wrinkle treatment and volume correction are by far the biggest segment in the non-invasive aesthetics market, accounting for more than half of the market. Figures from Qmed/Galderma state that the HA injectable segment was worth $27.0 million in 2011, charting dynamic growth of 15%, which exceeds overall market growth. The second largest market segment, muscle relaxants (such as botulinum toxin) was valued at just over $17.2 million, a rise of 7.5%, followed by two smaller segments: skin quality injectables and semi-resorbable HA, each valued at $2.5 million. Skin quality injectables, which cover mesotherapy procedures and HA skin boosters, may currently be small but they were the most dynamic segment of all in France, reporting growth of 25% in 2011.

While growth has been dynamic for the injectables market, this is not to say that it has been completely unaffected by the troubled economy in France. In 2010, for instance, the segment for HA injectables recorded even stronger growth of 20% (IMCAS). Leonor Vignol, head of aesthetic, corrective and hospital business France, at Qmed/Galderma, confirms: “The economic crisis has increased the delay between two treatments for some patients, but thanks to new patients, we see a constant evolution of the market.”

And one segment of the aesthetic market that is on the brink of some major growth is laser-assisted body contouring. Syneron’s Cellulaze, which is claimed to be the first and only minimally invasive surgical cellulite treatment on the market in the country, is designed to lead to long term or permanent improvement. Emmanuelle Bassmann, managing director of In-Trend Ltd., a consulting agency specializing in beauty and the aesthetic medicine markets said, “The trend for non-invasive body contouring, which successfully tackles cellulite is just beginning. This market sector is expected to explode in the next 10 years.”

There have also been some new developments in collagen growth stimulation through energy-based devices. Sygmalift by MedixSyteme was launched in France in March of this year and uses lower level laser light to penetrate deep into the skin tissue to synthesize the fibroblasts, increase tissue oxygenation and release collagen to create smoother, younger looking skin. Meanwhile Syneron’s eTwo uses infrared light and bi-polar radio frequency energies to remodel the deep dermal layer of the skin by stimulating new collagen growth.

Reasons for Change
The Italian trade body Unipro does not publish data for the aesthetics sector, making it a challenge to distinguish what trends and figures are emerging in the country. However, in May 2012, Doxapharma, a pharmaceutical market research company, conducted a survey of 1,000 Italian women and 500 men, as well as a number of independent aesthetic surgeons, to gain an insight into the Italian aesthetics industry.

The Doxapharma report, “Behaviour, Attitude and Experience of Aesthetic Surgery in Italy,” was conducted for the Fondazione Italiana per la Medicina e Chirurgia Estetica or the Italian Foundation for Medicine and Aesthetic Surgery. When asked about the primary motivation for seeking out cosmetic surgery, 85% of participants cited a fear of aging. There was a 9% increase in the number of participants considering having a first procedure and only 4% of men and women completely opposed to any form or treatment, surgical or non-surgical. The average age range of women undergoing procedures is between 35 and 44, when the first signs of aging begin to creep in.

Demand for non-invasive body contouring, which successfully tackles cellulite, is expected to soar in the next 10 years.
The report also claims that the main reason women decide to have surgery or cosmetic procedures in Italy is due to a desire to feel good about themselves and to carry out their daily lives with greater confidence. Of the women who had already undergone some form of procedure, 43% said they experienced a definite increase in their self-esteem. They chose to have treatment for personal benefit and not because of their partner’s opinion about their appearance.

Breast augmentation remained the most popular treatment among women followed by common concerns related to the general silhouette such as fatty deposits and cellulite. The motivation behind men’s decisions to undergo procedures is slightly different than women’s, prompted more by a motivation to attract a potential partner. Of the men interviewed, chief concerns when it came to body image were to eliminate unsightly love handles (54%) and reverse thinning of the hair (39%).

Highs and Lows
Given the fact that Spain has spent much of the past year in the headlines over the state of its economy, it is perhaps of little surprise that aesthetic surgery saw sales fall in 2011. A report into specialist medical clinics by research firm DBK, published at the end of the year, revealed that sales last year fell 5% last year to about $275 million, continuing the downward trend for a fourth year running.

The DBK figures seem to confirm the position of the Spanish industry body for this market—Sociedad Española de Cirugía Plástica, Reparadora y Estética (SECPRE)—which announced in April that the number of operations carried out in Spain had fallen by just over a quarter since the start of the economic crisis.

Some areas and companies, however, have bucked the trend. Clínica Londres, for example, has revealed that liposuction has posted significant growth, with the number of operations rising 20% since 2010.

“Liposuction is a very efficient technique whose results are visible in the medium term,” said Clínica Londres medical director Dr. Agustín Ramos. “We currently benefit from new methods, such as laser-assisted liposuction that enables us to reduce volume and provides excellent retraction of the skin.”

The Madrid-based clinic reported that demand for laser hair removal rose 10% and that Botox injections were the most popular treatment last year, with some 11% growth. Unsurprisingly, Botox was more popular with women than men who represented 90% and 10% of treatments, respectively.

“Men are nonetheless showing more and more interest in this treatment,” observed Ramos.

Controversial Times
The UK aesthetics category has certainly been injected with its fair share of controversy this year following the PIP breast implant scandal, which affected an estimated 47,000 women in Britain who had been fitted with the unauthorized silicone filler enhancements (breast implants). However, this didn’t keep UK consumers from going under the knife, as the category saw a boom in figures and every procedure, including breast augmentation.

In 2011, 43,069 women and 38,771 men had invasive cosmetic surgery, with figures increasing by 5.8% and 5.6% respectively compared with 2010, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). The top surgical procedure for women was once again breast augmentation, with a massive 10,003 operations carried out from 2010-2011, an increase of 6.2% on the previous year, followed by blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), face and neck lifts, breast reduction and rhinoplasty.

For men, rhinoplasty pinched the top spot for a second year with 1,043 procedures carried out, up by 5% on the year before, followed by breast reduction, blepharoplasty, otoplasty (ear surgery) and liposuction. Interestingly, fat transfer procedures debuted on the top 10 list for men, plumping up by 5% to 220, while abdominoplasty or “tummy tucks” made a comeback nipping in with a rise of 15% to total 124, after the men’s sub-sector declined by 20% last year.

It can be seen that the European aesthetics market has been through another dynamic year and by and large it has been a positive one. Recent scandals such as the PIP controversy have not deterred consumers from going under the knife and the sheer variety of procedures, both invasive and non-invasive, are on the increase, as are the number of places to get them done. And while this continues to be the case, it looks like things will keep heading in the same direction, for better or for worse.

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited.