Britons are set to spend more than £1 billion on cosmetic treatments next year, according to new figures out today.
Market analyst Mintel predicts that the demand for cosmetic treatments will continue to rise in 2008, particularly for non-invasive treatments such as Botox and collagen wrinkle fillers which have soared in popularity this year.
In the last year 577,000 cosmetic operations and treatments were carried out in Britain this year, compared to 300,000 in 2005.
The number of non-surgical procedures such as laser and teeth-whitening treatments rose from 230,000 to 472,000, with a marked increase in demand for Botox and collagen wrinkle fillers.
The total cosmetic surgery market is now worth just over £900 million – more than double the £430 million spent in 2005.
But Which? has warned that in a boom sector there is a real risk that in the rush to make money some businesses will cut corners.
Health campaigner Frances Blunden said: ‘This report underlines the fact that cosmetic treatments industry is now big business and companies are trying hard to maximise their share of this growing market.
However, Which? is concerned that the lack of effective regulation in this rapidly growing market is leaving consumers vulnerable to sharp sales and marketing practices and unregistered or unqualified practitioners and providers, particularly of non-surgical treatments. If you are considering have any cosmetic treatment, our advice is to check it out thoroughly and get independent information before going ahead.’
Non-invasive treatments such as Botox and collagen fillers have become much more popular because they are seen as less risky and require repeat top-ups, the Mintel report says.
Body re-shaping which includes liposuction, tummy tucks, arm reduction surgery and buttock lifts account for the rest of the surgery.
One in five facial surgery operations carried out in the past year were nose jobs. This is also the most popular surgical procedure with men, the report says.
Breast enlargements are the most popular type of surgery for women, with prices in the UK ranging from £3,400 to £5,000.
Anyone wanting more information on cosmetic procedures can use our interactive guide to cosmetic procedures