It is no secret that the beauty sector is growing at a rapid rate, with figures suggesting it will represent between 20-30 per cent of the self-care market products within the next 18-24 months. Look Magazine recently revealed that residents of Yorkshire have a love of contouring and self-tanning, probably fuelled by the steady stream of images on social media, television and magazines of constantly tanned and beautiful women. The pressure for women to look good is not new but it seems more and more women are spending money on expensive, invasive beauty treatments as well as over the counter cosmetics. We wanted to know if this constant need for perfection is harmless or if the UK is heading towards a beauty addiction epidemic.
Retail trends can often provide an interesting insight into consumer behaviour with retailers constantly on the look out on ways to capitalise on the more lucrative aspects of the beauty marketplace. With this in mind, it is interesting to see how the more traditional fashion brands, such as New Look, River Island or John Lewis are branching out into the beauty and cosmetics market. The Independent newspaper recently published a report stating the average British woman will spend around £70,000 on beauty products in her lifetime so it is understandable that retailers want to profit from the current obsession for beauty.
Many famous companies have been successful at branching into the cosmetic industry because they are known and trusted brands, which means many consumers are more likely to buy beauty products from them than from a lesser-known company, even if they are the same products at similar or lower prices. Yet even though a well known brand can produce the entire outfit and look for a girls night out, they may not have taken the same steps to formulate their cosmetics as companies that are more skincare-specific. Of course each company has to follow the necessary legal testing and compliance rulings, something important for consumers with allergies or sensitivities, yet there could be a higher risk of adverse reactions and skin irritations from commercialised cosmetic products.
A downward spiral…
Beauty treatments are one thing, but this can lead to more invasive treatments and procedures. Temporary treatments such as self-tans, make-up and contours may not be enough to satisfy some consumers needs so they find themselves searching for more permanent solutions. This could be anything from facial peels or Botox to laser hair removal or fat freezing. With treatments now available for nearly every beauty and body insecurity the only limit is your bank balance.
And with social media reaching such a large market many companies are targeting their consumers through their favourite influencers and celebrities. The bigger the influencer or celebrity the more people their products can reach. However, due to the day-to-day costs of living, some consumers are heading to cheaper salons or less experienced beauticians to have these procedures. Just like with nails, waxing and hair treatments, it is not very easy to see what the skill level or quality of a particular beautician is until after a treatment has been carried out. Yet poorly executed treatments could result in allergic reactions to the skin, which can be painful or unsightly and in some instances, permanent damage can be caused.
The most popular beauty treatments
There are many beauty treatments that have risen in popularity this year with Botox being one of the top treatments to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, especially on the face. Botox can also be used as a treatment for several other medical problems, including migraines and teeth grinding. However Botox has become increasingly commercialised with many appointments being made available as something you can have done in your lunch break. This can mean that Botox is not only being offered by qualified specialists and skincare doctors but can also be carried out by inexperienced beauticians. Because of this the number of people aged between 19-34 who are having Botox has increased by 41% since 2011. Considering Botox is a semi-permanent procedure and will fade in only a few months, it is easy to understand how these simple procedures can draw people into an unhealthy beauty addiction.
Laser treatments have also seen a huge rise in recent years. As well as hair removal, eradicating acne scarring and even reducing stretch marks, laser treatment is an attractive treatment that can offer many benefits. But again, many consumers are unaware of potential risks and complications that could arise from these treatments. There have been many cases of pain, burns from the inappropriate use of the device, unwanted changes in skin colouration and skin reaction to the laser reported resulting in injury by laser treatments becoming much more frequent, with one woman even suffering second degree burns after one procedure. The impact of these injuries was so severe that she was awarded £13,000 in compensation and compensation specialists LegalExpert.co.uk predict that these cases will become increasingly frequent.
Yorkshire may not have as many invasive treatment lovers as some of their neighbours but the search for aesthetic perfection is obviously high on the wish list of many residents. If you are thinking of having beauty treatments or procedures you have to remember that these kinds of situations are quite rare, however you can reduce the risks to yourself by researching the provider and procedure before deciding when and where to spend your money.
Considering of jet-setting abroad instead? Think again!
Another option for cheaper beauty treatments is to head abroad, however this often a highly risky option. Many countries simply do not work to the same high standards and guidelines you would find in the UK, especially when it concerns infection prevention and hygiene. There are magazines that have regular features about botched cosmetic treatments – both here in the UK and abroad – yet many consumers do not even consider the risk of treatments abroad. Every single treatment should be evaluated for complications and risks that could occur, however small the treatment may be.