Medical beauty therapies on the mend: IMCAS

Thu Jan 7, 2010 11:02pm EST
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By Caroline Jacobs

PARIS (Reuters) - Medical beauty treatment sales will be on the mend again in the next years after a decline of about 15 percent in 2009, with more women looking for natural-looking touch-ups and pampering in increasingly popular medical spas.

IMCAS, the International Master Course on Aging Skin, expects beauty therapies including laser treatments, breast enlargements and wrinkle-filling injections to grow 5 to 10 percent a year worldwide until 2013.

The financial crisis meant the keenest users by far of medical aesthetic treatments, women, pruned spending on their quest for youthful appearances or beauty in whatever shape or form.

Revenues in the medical aesthetic treatment industry as a whole fell 15 percent to 3 billion euros ($4.30 billion) due to fewer surgical acts and a 40 percent decrease in energy-based therapy equipments like ultrasound massages or laser skin treatments.

However, wrinkle fillers and active cosmetics -- creams that contain vitamins or promise to lift the skin -- resisted the crisis best, down 0 to 5 percent in 2009.

The segment should grow an annual 10 percent in the next years with 15 percent growth seen for botulinum toxin shots that smooth out wrinkles on the forehead or between the eyes.

Botulinum toxin, mainly known via Allergan's Botox brand which since recently is facing competition from Ipsen's Azzalure, is the most popular beauty therapy, followed by hyaluronic acid jabs to fill the folds of the skin around the mouth and cheeks.

"Medicalized beauty treatments can no longer be seen as a pure luxury," Laurent Brones, business development manager at Symatese Biomaterials, a French maker of collagen, told Reuters.   Continued...