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It’s the situation many consumers are now accepting – when age or ego makes such a bodily impact that something just has to be done. While going under the knife has become increasingly less taboo, new research from Mintel reveals that for Brits it now seems going under the syringe would be more apt. With high profile celebrities – and now even royalty – choosing to help nature with fillers and lifts, non-surgical procedures have never been so popular, as numbers have passed the one million barrier for the first time in 2009.

The number of non-surgical procedures performed in the UK has risen impressively from 950,000 in 2008 to 1.1 million in 2009. Furthermore, non-surgical procedures are now estimated to account for more than nine in ten (92%) of all cosmetic surgery procedures performed, taking 74% of market value. Surgical procedures have grown by almost 9% between 2008 and 2010 with value increasing by almost 30% over the same two year period.

Indeed, despite concern about money, demand for cosmetic surgery has been sustained during the recession. The total market achieved growth of some 17% between 2008 and 2010, to reach an estimated value of £2.3 billion in 2010. With an overall estimated 19 million adults (48%) saying they would like to have some form of cosmetic surgery, there is even further potential for the industry to convert potential patients and Mintel forecasts the market to grow to £3.6 billion by 2015. Today, the annual number of cosmetic procedures in Britain stands at 1.3 million – up 30% over the past two years alone.

Alexandra Richmond, Senior Health and Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:

“While traditional procedures maintain their popularity, the non-surgical sector is booming. Accessibility has been a key driving force, with consumers now able to have a procedure in their lunch break or alongside their dental appointment. In addition, access to both surgical and non-surgical procedures is improving with many leading providers opening new hospitals and clinics across the UK, which is helping to support further growth within the industry. Value growth should pick up the pace further in 2011 as improved consumer confidence buoys spend in the sector. “

Mintel’s latest research also reveals that just one third (32%) of British adults feel they don’t need cosmetic surgery and expense remains the biggest deterrent to would be patients, with over half (58%) of Brits claiming this reason for not having it. And when it comes to reasons why they would, almost four million (20%) adults who would have or have had cosmetic surgery would do so to make themselves look younger. In addition, almost one million adults (4%) who have had or would like to have cosmetic surgery would do so to improve their career prospects.

Breast augmentations remain the most common surgical procedures in the UK, accounting for a quarter (25%) of the overall total, followed by Blepharoplasty (15%), Neck/Facelift (13%), Tummy Tuck (11%), Liposuction (10%). Rhinoplasty, Otoplasty and Brow lifts make up the remainder of procedures.