Business / Industries

Changing women help generate world's third largest beauty market

By Yu Ran in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-15 07:39

"More consumers are flying to Taipei to get plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures as they cost half of those in South Korea," said Wang, whose clinic faces extremely stiff competition from 400 other cosmetic establishments located on a 4-kilometer-long road in downtown Taipei.

Risks and regulations

Statistics from the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics showed that the percentage of accidents and disputes caused by the cosmetic surgeries undergone by Chinese consumers in Korea have increased from 10 to 15 percent yearly. The association also revealed that up to 80 percent of derma fillers are illegally injected in hotel rooms by people recommended from online social platforms.

"I've seen too many victims of illegal medical surgeries or injections which haven't been performed by licensed physicians at licensed medical institutions with products that have been approved by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)," said Cui Shuang, deputy director and dermatologist at Shanghai Major Young Plastic Surgery Hospital.

"It is essential for the media and government to educate consumers about the correct way to consume such products and services. The more expensive and legally imported products operated by experienced licensed doctors have better effects and fewer side effects."

Working at one of the only two specialized plastic surgery hospitals in Shanghai, Cui believes that the industry should be more regulated to prevent the occurrences of medical accidents. Her major clients are still middle- and upper-class women aged from 30 to 50, though she has noticed that more young graduates are seeking her out these days.

"The lower-risk face-lifting and non-surgical procedures have attracted younger people in their 20s to change their facial features, while elderly consumers mainly go for cosmetic products that can result in firmer skin and reduce wrinkles," said Cui.

With regard to the future trends in the cosmetic surgery industry in China, Cui expects to see more experienced doctors open clinics to provide more specific treatments. She also foresees that new information about cosmetic procedures will be more openly shared among Chinese and international experts in conferences, discussion panels and online platforms.

"Although we are still lagging behind a little with certain new products that are still awaiting approvals from CFDA, I believe that Chinese doctors will be able to catch up by using upgrades to current products," said Cui.

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