Demand for cosmetic surgery such as facelifts and non-surgical treatments such as Botox rises in December and seems to be recession-proof.
Increasing numbers of Britons are taking advantage of seasonal discounts on cosmetic surgery in the December break and using the time off work to recover from operations before facing colleagues.
Plastic surgeons say the demand for procedures such as facial surgery and liposuction is 50% higher in December than in an average month. They also report a 30% higher demand for non-surgical treatments such as lip enhancement and Botox.
Cosmetic surgery also appears to be recession -proof, with demand rising 20-30% for non-surgical treatments in the month to 23 December compared with the same period last year, and up to 9% for invasive treatments. One consultant reported a rise in demand of 15-20% for surgical treatments from last year. Popular procedures are weight-loss related, such as facelift, chin lift, neck lift and tummy tucks and liposuction. The demand for Botox and dermal fillers was up 25-30% from last year.
Christmas is always a busy time, with demand fuelled by the long break. "People either want to get something done in time for Christmas or they want to use the break to hide away," he said.
"One of my ladies, a mother of five, is having something done while her husband takes the kids away skiing. Another lady doesn't want to bump into her friends after her facial surgery, so she will have it done now and emerge all fresh-faced. There is a mixture of clients this month, including teachers and "lots of bankers", whose work tends to stop or slow down at Christmas.
"People involved in education are off for three weeks, so I'm seeing them, I've had one or two wedding shop owners, lots of women in the banking sector, as most markets worldwide have a quieter time at Christmas. This is also the time when they get their bonus."
"From mid-November right through till mid-December is a very busy time for us. What has been surprising for me is that it is very busy during a time of supposed recession.
"Last year was the first Christmas to be hit by the recession, so we had lots of last minute cancellations. But this year, people are shoe-horning themselves into slots wherever they can. Certainly the high end of cosmetic surgery is still alive and kicking"