By Rosemary Weiner
As research shows, the average US consumer is very serious about how they look and how they feel. Cosmetics are a $26 billion industry in the US. In addition, it has become evident that spas are no longer the exclusive domain of the rich and famous. The Spa industry has become a $15 billion culture that is growing at a rate of 23% per year. According to recent statistics, there are, approximately, 11,000 Day Spas and 100’s of Resort/Destination Spas (overnight accommodations) in the US. These numbers are testimony that beauty care and wellness have become a significant factor in not only the daily routine of consumers, but also their leisure time. All of them offer some type of anti-aging services.
The recent emergence of more than 1,500 Medical Spas throughout the U.S. is a clear indicator of the influence of our anti-aging and image conscious society. According to a report from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery that appeared in the June ’06 issue of Skin Inc., non surgical cosmetic procedures have increased 60% among men and 30% among women since 2000. In addition, injection of anti-aging products has increased among both men and women by 162% since 2001.
With the growth of Day Spas, Vacation Spas, and Medical Spas, it has become clear that our aging population of men and women are looking for both psychological and physiological resources for their anti-aging arsenal. Cosmetics have become “Cosmeceuticals”, and there has been a merger and blending of beauty treatments with Alternative and Holistic treatments and modern esthetic treatments.
Today’s “youth conscious” consumer is being offered a variety of choices to deal with the visible signs of aging. The traditional “invasive” surgical intervention is a staple in the industry. However, there has been an emergence of “less invasive” and “non-invasive” alternatives throughout the spa industry.
Consumers that elect to go the route of “invasive” cosmetic procedures have been well advised by their surgeon of the risks and potential outcomes of their decisions. In addition, most procedures are performed in a “hospital like” setting or clinic and strictly regulated by the standards and regulations of a State Medical Board or other regulatory agency.
On the other hand, procedures classified as “less invasive”, such as “skin peels”, “microdermabrasion”, laser treatments, and intermittent light therapy may be offered in settings other than a hospital or clinic and may not be subject to the standards and regulations of an overseeing government agency. The consumer that elects to go this route, needs to be very savvy about the qualifications and training of the person performing the treatment they are about to receive, and the medical supervision and protocols that support the person performing the procedure. Although these procedures are highly effective, “less invasive” does not necessarily mean less risk to consumer safety.
In the Spa World, natural and “non-invasive” terminology seems to go hand in hand. Most credible spas offer a variety of anti-aging therapies that are based upon established ancient rituals or proven physiological protocols that prevent, heal or improve the visible signs of aging.
For example, in the western culture, we’re all about feeding the skin cells with “cosmeceuticals” to combat the skin aging process. Therefore, most facial treatments and masks, etc, are based upon that principle. In the Japan, they believe that the secret to beautiful skin is more basic. Healthy skin cells require adequate circulation in order to nurture the continuous development of new cells. In order for the facial muscles to be firm and tight they must be exercised and toned. Japanese Ko Bi Do is an effective massage technique when incorporated into a facial treatment. Specifically, it targets the blood flow to skin cells and stimulates and exercises facial muscles.
Choices are there. One only need to take the time to research the alternatives for the very important and significant decision about how you will deal with the aging issues.