Revealed: how the UK beauty and aesthetics market is really performing
The state of the UK beauty and aesthetics industry – from the most popular non-invasive treatments and who is performing them, to the truth about the relationship between beauty therapists and medics – has been revealed in the National Hair and Beauty Federation’s (NHBF) 2020 Aesthetics Survey, and PB has the exclusive.
More than a third (39%) of aesthetic treatments are now taking place in beauty salons, while just under half (49%) are happening within aesthetic practices/clinics run by medics, found the report.
Microneedling and chemical peels are the most commonly provided non-invasive aesthetics treatments, with the majority of these performed by aesthetic therapists in beauty salons. Other popular non-invasive treatments include microblading and laser, while anti-cellulite reduction, body-contouring and fat-dissolving are tipped to get big later this year.
Dermal fillers and botulinum toxin (botox) are the most popular invasive treatments, and mostly performed by medical professionals.
The NHBF's Aesthetics Survey aims to provide insight to Government on the aesthetics industry by gathering information on the most the popular treatments and who is performing them.
Who is performing the most popular non-invasive aesthetic treatments?
223 survey respondents said they perform microneedling treatments on average one to five times per week, highlighting the popularity of this skin rejuvenation service, while 25 said they conduct the service six to 10 times, on average, per week.
The majority of these treatments are performed by aesthetic therapists (116) – those with a Level 3 beauty qualification and further aesthetics training; followed closely by nurses (86), aesthetic practitioners (48) and Level 3 trained beauty therapists with no additional aesthetics training (33).
Meanwhile, 200 survey respondents said they perform chemical peels on average one to five times per week, while 38 conduct the service six to 10 times, on average, in the same time period. The report also found that 88 respondents perform microblading one to five times per week.
Aesthetic therapists who hold a Level 3 beauty qualification as well as aesthetics training perform peel treatments the most, with 114 survey respondents from this group stating they perform the service. This was followed closely by nurses (95), aesthetic practitioners (45) and Level 3 trained beauty therapists (42).
Beauty salons dominate in the microblading field, with 108 beauty professionals stating they perform the treatment regularly – split between aesthetic therapists (77), Level 3 trained beauty therapists (24) and Level 2 trained beauty therapists (7). Only a small number of nurses (19) said they offer the service.
“A number of beauty therapists [are] offering aesthetic treatments with only Level 2 beauty therapy qualifications, which does not comply with current guidelines,” said the NHBF in its survey report.
“However, it should be noted that it is only in recent years that regulated qualifications have been developed for some of the treatments listed. Some therapists may have gained knowledge, skills and experience well before qualifications and guidance on progression routes and prerequisites became available.”
The current recognised route into aesthetics is a Level 3 Diploma-sized regulated qualification in beauty therapy as a minimum. The qualification includes detailed underpinning knowledge of anatomy, physiology and advanced consultation skills.
More experienced and qualified aesthetic therapists (Level 4) are also offering treatments such as plasma pen (said 55 survey respondents), cryolipolysis (45) – which is also known as fat freezing, and laser treatments for tattoo removal (45).
Are the beauty and aesthetic industries working well together?
The NHBF states its survey suggests that many beauty salons and aesthetic practices are working in partnership with nurses or other medical practitioners to provide non-surgical aesthetic treatments.
Of those businesses that require medical oversight – a term which describes the relationship between a non-medically trained beauty professional and a medical professional providing the prescription – more than half (61%) have a medic on-site, more than a quarter (28%) have a medic on call and a smaller number (11%) have a remote medic.
The NHBF recommends that a client must always have the initial face-to-face consultation at the treatment location with the person providing the medical oversight (the prescriber) prior to any treatment.
“Having prescribed the treatment, the prescriber may then delegate the administration to an aesthetic practitioner. The type of oversight provided (medic on-site, medic on call, remote medic) should [also] be prominently displayed in the salon to ensure the client can make an informed choice,” the body said in its report.
The NHBF is also recommending premises where non-surgical aesthetics treatments are offered should be licensed, building on existing local authority treatment licences.
Caroline Larissey, director of quality and standards at the NHBF, said: “We believe qualifications and premises licence should be a mandatory requirement for beauty salons or aesthetics practices offering non-surgical aesthetics treatments.”
“We also believe that training on dealing with serious adverse side effects and medical emergencies should be mandatory for aesthetics practitioners and should be refreshed annually. Such training should form part of the premises licensing requirements we recommend.”
Why has the NHBF Aesthetics Survey been launched?
The survey findings will be presented to the new Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to help the group get a better understanding of advanced beauty and aesthetic treatments.
The survey was distributed by Professional Beauty and Aesthetic Medicine, members of the Beauty Industry Group, beauty and aesthetics training groups, and professional bodies such as the Royal Society of Public Health and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
It was completed by 412 respondents – 145 were medical practitioners and 128 non-medical aesthetic therapist working in a beauty salon or aesthetics practice. The survey was carried out during February 2020.
What do you make of the survey findings? Comment below.