The desire to boost self-confidence is as important as tightening sagging skin among women seeking aesthetic treatments, according to new research from Allergan.
The Changing Face of Beauty: A Global Report' comprises opinions on beauty and aging from nearly 8,000 women across 16 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UK and the US. Allergan commissioned the research to inform and shape its marketing and educational programmes and to aid product development .
Almost three quarters (74 percent) of women make the effort to look good primarily for themselves, with partners (37 percent) and friends (15 percent) having less of an influence, the survey showed.
General 'beautification' (63 percent) is a bigger motivator than addressing the signs of aging (50 percent), except in China where changing or enhancing a specific feature was the key trigger for seeking out beauty treatments, the research found.
"There has been a real change in attitudes in recent years, today it is what women feel about themselves that matters most to them. Although they are coming for aesthetic reasons, such as treating facial lines and fold, their real goal is to feel and look better," says São Paulo, Brazil-based plastic surgeon Dr. Mauricio de Maio. "Sometimes their request is to look less tired and healthier, other times they want to look more attractive and younger. When I treat women, I take the time to understand the emotional motivation behind the changes they want to make - it's no longer just about what they want corrected, it's about how they want to feel after the treatment."
When defining outer beauty, skin quality and complexion (56 percent) are as important to women as their body shape (56 percent), the research found. Words describing skin quality i.e. 'complexion', 'glowing', 'clear', 'flawless' are the most commonly used descriptors of female beauty.
Fully 65 percent of women agree facial fillers are more socially acceptable than they were five years ago. The highest levels of acceptance were in Brazil (76 percent), Mexico (76 percent) and Thailand (80 percent). The top three countries with the highest number of users and considerers of facial fillers are Turkey (96 percent), Thailand (90 percent) and Brazil (72 percent).
Fifty seven percent believe facial fillers can look natural, but 21 percent are still concerned about ending up with a 'frozen' facial expression, the research found.
The area of the face that most women are interested in enhancing is under their eyes, with 66 percent specifically concerned about bags under the eyes. In Brazil, women are most interested in correcting age spots (81 percent) while in China, 40 percent want to enhance their cheeks. There were other cultural and geographic differences noted as well. “In Europe women embrace ageing naturally and subtly. In Asian markets, women want a more obvious transformation, while in the Middle East women want to look more beautiful with fast, enhancing results that accentuate their best features. What is especially exciting about this new research is the discovery that women around the world are united by an increasing desire to control how their looks evolve with time," says Caroline Van Hove, Senior Vice President, International Medical Aesthetics at Allergan, in a news release. "And whether through photography filters, makeup or aesthetic procedures, investing in beauty is their way of positively influencing their image."