Beauty Business in America (All the Stats you Need to Know)

We all know the saying that beauty is pain. What they didn’t want you to know was that beauty is also serious cash. The Benjamins rolling in and out of this industry would make you think twice about setting up your own clinic.

The art of making oneself attractive has been around for the longest time. It’s been there ever since the time of Cleopatra and her Cesar-seducing methods. People have tried everything and almost anything to make themselves fairer, skinnier, younger and more attractive.

What is the Beauty Business

Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, people are held to certain standards. You’ve got to have flawless, supple skin, zero wrinkles and other age-originating lines, invisible fat deposits and most importantly, a healthy glow.

In order to reach these media-inspired standards, people go to spas and clinics to have certain things done to them. This could be anything from having the fat sucked out of you (liposuction) to subjecting yourself to a magic wand (microdermabrasion).

There are a hundred things you could want done to make yourself beautiful, and these spas and clinics are all prepared to make them happen for the right price. Many clinics and manufacturers are busy trying to get their fair share of profit in the beauty supply industry as well as the beauty salon industry.

This industry is massive and really has infinite possibilities. You can start your own homemade beauty products brand, made from local materials and substances. You can start giving manicures and pedicures to your neighbors.

How Big is the Cosmetic Industry?

How does 10 million sound? Those aren’t dollars. That’s the number of procedures. In 2014, the combined total of all non-surgical and surgical spa procedures broke the ten million barrier.

And it wasn't just a fluke either.

Just the year before that (2013) those figures hit eleven million. According to the Cosmetic Surgery Data Bank (yes, they have a data bank), the total sales generated by these spas reached $11,419,610. That’s how much people spent just to become beautiful. Still think it’s in the eye of the beholder? It’s in the eye of those with the deepest pockets.

According to the same study, surgical methods are more popular as they have more immediate effects.
Guess what procedure tops the list?


Just in 2014, there were more than 300,000 procedures done in the United States. Unfortunately, no study was done to find out the total amount of fat removed from all those procedures. Here are the rest of the procedures and their contributions to the pie.

Other procedures are making it into the big leagues such as breast reduction (more than 100,000 procedures), tummy tucks (over 150,000 done) and nose jobs (above 110,000 completed). Those are just for surgical procedures.

On the other hand, you’ve got non-surgical procedures that are just as hot and as effective. Heard of Ultra Plus and Voluma? Procedures that involve hyaluronic acid have gone beyond the 1 million procedures mark just last 2014, and that’s just one procedure.

You also have laser hair removals and tattoo removals that have a combined number of procedures going above 500,000.


According to WebMD, this naturally-occurring substance is found in our bodies and is considered the best buffer for our joints, meaning it’s an effective softener and cushion. Still, there hasn’t been any definitive evidence that it is a fountain of youth and can reverse the effects of aging.


The earlier figures were just the number of procedures. It gets really interesting when you start talking about actual money. Although liposuction stands at 300,000 mark, the costs involved are no laughing matter.

How do you feel about a trillion dollars in total earned just in 2014? If you break that down, that would average to about $3,000 just for one procedure.

Botox doesn’t fall behind either. It keeps a tie with Liposuction at the trillion dollar mark. One session could cost you around $300. It’s a lot cheaper, which is why there are more people who take advantage of this compared to other surgical methods that require anesthesia and some maintenance time.

If you haven’t caught on the trend, you aren’t late. You can still dive and get a hefty share of the mad cash that’s rolling around.

In a study done by the Entrepreneur several years ago, they projected that the beauty spa industry would grow to 3.4 billion last 2005. Take note that this was done a few years after the great recession where the private sector got a taste of bad luck.

Surprisingly, the study wasn’t wrong. As expected, the beauty spa industry showed an 11% increase in revenue during those times, according to the industry analysis report provided by Medispa, Inc.

One interesting thing to note was that the majority of this growth was attributed to the female side of the population. 2005 and 2006 saw insane jumps in the number of procedures done on women compared to men.

According to the same study, there were more than 3 million non-surgical procedures done for women in 2015 compared to the measly 300,000 done on men. It seems it may be a while before beauty treatments become a major purchase for men. For now, women are the main target market of the industry.

What’s most striking is to see how this industry managed to remain popular despite the aftermath of the recession. It seems like people have started to invest in themselves after seeing how unstable their jobs can be.

Perhaps being able to look good despite all the collapses and market downturns is actually important for the industry?

As a Business

Interested in getting into the beauty salon industry? Based on studies done by the Houston Chronicle, you would need to set your sights beyond the $100,000 mark because there are several things to consider.

Most aestheticians and beauty experts often work freelance before they set up their own salon. The greatest risk a salon has is if no one comes in for services. Building up your client base before you set up a salon or spa is one of the best ways to get a head start.

But even before you start taking on freelance work, you also have to decide what kind of services you want to have. Are you just a salon or do you want to offer a full beauty regimen?

Do you want to host surgical and non-surgical procedures at the same time or just one of them? There’s also the training involved. Although the government isn’t very tight on licenses in the beauty industry, having licensed experts working for you (or getting yourself licensed) is a definite advantage.

How are your potential customers supposed to trust you with their bodies if you don’t have the paperwork?

On top of these things, you would also need to take care of your business permits and location. These will greatly affect the profitability of your investment. Position could either make or break your investment.

Set up in a middle-class area and all you’re going to get are middle-class jobs. Break into the celebrity barrier and you could end up making some serious dough from regular consultations and jobs from the highest profiles in the market.

The Target Market

Another interesting point to see is that the statistics show that people who are older are now seeing the value of these spas. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 40% of all procedures done were initiated by people within the 35-50 age bracket all over the spa industry.

Naturally, this is around the time that age lines, wrinkles and other age-related blemishes start to appear. That’s almost half of all the procedures done in total! Here’s how the ages break down.

The next larger share goes to the next age bracket, those bordering near their golden years. People aged in between 51 to 65 take up 31% of the total number of procedures. That includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures done. Here you have a pie chart that will show how the ages are broken down.

Similar to the results in 2005, women have taken the larger share of the market when it comes to beauty spas.

According to the same study referenced earlier, women owned over 90% of the total number of cosmetic procedures done in 2014. That left the guys with only 9% of the market share. This could be because of the fact that men didn’t want breast augmentations or breast lifts done on them.

Even when it comes to non-surgical procedures that can be done on anyone, women still take the bigger share. They took up 89% of the whole market, the most popular weapon of choice being botox injections.

In just one year, there were 3 million botox procedures done on women and only 400,000 procedures done on men. What’s surprising about this is the fact that for both men and women, botox has become the most popular choice of method for 2014 and 2013 combined.

Emerging Trends

According to the same study, there is still much to gain from the skin care industry. Although it has been alive and kicking for the past several years, more growth is still expected. The numbers are shady but the proof is there.

With new technologies and materials becoming more and more available, the race is on to see who can provide the most effective method at the right price. For now the less invasive the treatment, the more appeal it has to the general public.

Microdermabrasion, laser peeling and chemical peeling are starting to make a name for themselves. According to the same study, Both procedures have gone above the 300,000 procedure mark just in 2014.

Chemical peels involve an intense set of substances that can slough off all the dead and old cells, revealing new skin. the patient’s skin gets very red, irritated and quite taut as the surface works for renewal.

Perhaps this is because of how effective the treatment is after just one session. Still, the pain involved along with the expense of the treatment keep it from being the top procedure for the year.

For those who are in the dark, these are new-age methods that don’t involve needles or surgery. By using non-invasive methods to permeate the outer layers of the skin, clinics are now finding new ways to help make people beautiful with as little pain and trouble as possible.

The unique nature of the beauty industry has made it quite a lucrative area for those who are looking to make some serious cash.

But one thing that’s curiously absent from statistics is how much celebrities influence beauty trends.

Today, more and more people are now seeing the value of investing in their skin and appearance to add to their confidence. Because these clinics rely on technology to deliver their services, it grows at the same pace as technology.

As soon as there is something better, faster and cheaper, it’s definitely going to catch on.


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Let's be honest... it's just easier to understand all these facts and figures with a little visual aid to provide some clarity! So here you go... a custom Beauty Business infographic your beloved Sage put together just for you:​

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