LONDON - Cosmetic surgery is
altering not just how people look but how they feel by changing perceptions of
middle age, a study showed Monday.
Global research group AC Nielsen surveyed people in 42
countries and found 60 percent of Americans, the world's biggest consumers of
cosmetic surgery and anti-aging skincare, believe their sixties are the new
On a global scale, three out of five consumers believed forties was the new
"Our forties are being celebrated as the decade where we can be comfortable
and confident in both personal and financial terms. The majority of global
consumers really believe life starts at forty," AC Nielsen Europe President and
CEO Frank Martell said.
But that doesn't mean they want to look their age.
Healthier eating, longer lifespans and higher disposable incomes have helped
to hold back the years. However, for many people the biggest boost is coming
from the surgeon's scalpel, the survey found.
Confirming Russians' status among the world's biggest consumers of luxury
goods, 48 percent of them, the highest percentage globally, said they would
consider cosmetic surgery to maintain their looks. One in three Irish consumers,
28 percent of Italians and Portuguese, and one in four U.S., French and British
consumers felt the same.
"Cosmetic surgery has become more acceptable and financially it's become
affordable. Our mothers might have gone to Tupperware parties but this
generation is more likely to be invited to Botox parties," Martell said.
With wrinkle-buster botox now considered mainstream, Martell's tip for the
next beauty trend was fat-removing liposuction in your lunch break.
"Lunchtime 'lipo' is likely to become the next cosmetic "special" on the
menu," he said.
AC Nielsen's findings underline how a quest for youth has created one of the
world's fastest growing businesses.
Cosmetic surgery surged 35 percent in Britain in 2005 compared with a year
earlier, data showed from The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Top sellers in the U.K. are botox at 400 pounds, eye surgery at 5,000 pounds
and combined face and eyelift at 8,000 pounds.
"We're seeing more and more facial procedures, particularly people having
their eyes done, we are getting people of all ages, even people in their
eighties are getting surgery to refresh them," said Douglas McGeorge, president
of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Those who blanch at the idea of going under the knife are fuelling another
boom with sales of anti-aging skincare the fastest growing in the skincare
business, AC Nielsen said.
And to tap that multibillion dollar seam, companies are scrambling to
discover ever more unusual products.
French beauty group Clarins will launch in January what it says is the
world's first spray to protect skin from the electromagnetic radiation created
by mobile phones and electronic devices like laptops.
It says the spray contains molecules derived from microorganisms living near
undersea volcanoes and from plants which survive in extreme conditions such as
alongside motorways and in Siberia.