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Personal Care Products Gaining Ground on Cosmetic Surgery

Posted: February 15, 2008

Two new reports by independent market analyst Datamonitor show consumers’ desire to improve personal appearance is on the rise. Indeed Datamonitor expects spending on cosmetic surgery in Europe and the United States combined to top US$28 billion by 2011. However, the fastest growing area of cosmetic surgery has been minimally invasive procedures, such as Botox injections, which have soared over the last decade. Furthermore, whilst the added convenience and cheaper cost of minimally invasive procedures have contributed to their rise, Datamonitor’s research reveals that products with added convenience are increasingly being sought after. As such, Datamonitor expects the marketing of professional personal care products as alternatives to cosmetic surgery is the next step in this progression.
 
“Consumers are looking to premium products with professional quality and efficacy levels to answer their personal care needs”, says Matthew Taylor, consumer market analyst at Datamonitor and author of the reports. “Time-scarcity and the desire to spend more time at home are driving them to seek products that facilitate pampering and functionally effective personal care treatment off-the-shelf.”
 
Image and beauty are important themes in modern society. Many women feel they do not conform to society's beauty blueprint. Around 20-30% of women in Europe and the United States have considered cosmetic surgery, while almost three quarters (73%) responding to a Datamonitor survey cited body shape as a 'major concern'. Meanwhile, men are also taking more time over their appearance.
 
Almost 50% of consumers in Europe and the United States are concerned about the signs of aging, while almost two in three adults are concerned about body shape. Personal appearance is now a major concern for consumers and is associated with well-being. However, while cosmetic surgery is on the rise, it remains inconvenient and expensive, and consumers will seek out viable alternatives.
  
There is an emerging trend of teaching good skin care habits to teenagers and young adults, building brand loyalty in the process. Changing attitudes have opened up the market for men's beauty and anti-aging products. Products developed for specific anti-aging functions will also benefit from consumers' desires for targeted products. For instance, L’Oreal provides products designed for use by different age groups in order to meet the changing needs of skin as it ages.
 
Although consumer affluence is rising, it often comes at the expense of spare time. Consequently, more effective home use products are increasingly sought, with consumers willing to pay a premium for a prestige product, particularly if it offers convenience benefits. For example, Rodial’s Glamotox moisturizer claims to provide all the benefits of Botox without the inconvenience of surgery.
 
Consumers are now harder to convince and more cynical, so a premium product must be able to back up its claims. Consumers are more connected and more likely to conduct research before making a purchase.
 
Taylor concludes, “The more cynical and distrusting tendencies of the modern consumer mean that any product positioned as premium must be able to back up its claims and provide tangible results. It must be able to demonstrate added benefits when compared to a mass distribution brand.”