We Are Sunshine

Americans didn’t cut back on cosmetic surgery as much as they did autos in 2008

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Americans have not cut back on large cosmetic purchases nearly as much as they have cut back on other major elective purchases, data released this week by the American Society of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery suggests.

2009-03-19-lipstick-effect-tanningnews.jpgCosmetic surgery — among the most discretionary of purchases available to consumers — is an $11.8 billion industry in the United States. Despite a challenging economy, non-surgical cosmetic procedures dropped just 11.7 percent in 2008, according to ASAPS figures.

“It has often been said that Americans actually increase their small vanity-driven purchases during recessions — something often referred to as ‘The Lipstick Effect.’ But it appears that major beauty purchases have not suffered as much as, say, the auto industry,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “We’re hearing good reports in the indoor tanning market from the first two months of 2009 — it appears that ‘The Lipstick Effect’ is still in play.”

Americans underwent 8.49 million non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2008, with botox injections and laser hair removal as the most popular. Women make up 92 percent of those procedures, ASAPS reported.