How boundaries are blurring between tweakments and cosmetics

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

The beauty aesthetics space is becoming much more holistic in its approach (Image: Getty)
The beauty aesthetics space is becoming much more holistic in its approach (Image: Getty)

Related tags Cosmetics Aesthetics aesthetic treatments Npd

As the beauty industry continues to grow, where can it go next? One potential avenue is more crossover with the ‘professional beauty’ salon/spa industry and aesthetics treatments space. We explore what this means for the cosmetics industry as we know it…

The crossover between 'tweakments' and beauty products can include regimes designed for use before and after these kinds of treatments, to prep and repair the skin, or colour cosmetics that are designed to enhance the look of an aesthetics treatment or to be used post-treatment to enhance the results.  

In recent years, there has been a noticeable boom for derma skincare brands in mass-market beauty on a global scale. For example, in L’Oréal’s most recent sales results for the first quarter of 2024, sales of derma beauty products were up by 22%​ on the same period in 2023, led by its La Roche Posay and CeraVe brands. It’s been a similar story for Beiersdorf’s Eucerin and Aquaphor​, and Galderma saw a “record-breaking year”​ in 2023 with Cetaphil and Alastin.

This shows a general trust in doctor-backed brands, and as the younger generations – namely generation Z and generation Alpha – have a laser focus on science and technology​, they are demanding formulations with clinical results. ​ 

Higher demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures

It also appears that more people are having ‘tweakments’ than ever before, and a growing number of skin care and makeup brands are looking to spas, med spas and doctors’ offices to broaden their businesses.

As an example, in recent years in the UK market, non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers have become much more popular.

In a 2022 audit, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPs) found that demand for Botox treatments rose by 124%​ compared to the previous year.

Although the same figure for non-surgical procedures dropped down for the audit in 2023​, it was comparatively still much higher than it had been in previous years.

Social media, accessibility to treatments, and popularity among celebrities are just some of the reasons behind why the market is ballooning.

Meanwhile, professional skin care product sales – those sold in salons, many of which are marketed as pre- or post-procedure solutions – have enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% from 2018 to 2023, according to a Kline + Company report​ – as beauty studios and medical spas gain market share and beauty spend.

Changing preferences, tech advancements and innovation

So, what have aesthetic doctors and experts been witnessing in their own businesses in recent years?

“The crossover between traditional beauty products and the aesthetics space reflects a growing convergence of consumer preferences, technological advancements and scientific innovation,” said Djamel Kemiche, who founded aesthetic laser and RF tech company Lutronic PBS 12 years ago.

Kemiche said that integrating skin care regimes with laser treatments is one example of this crossover – as the skin needs to be treated with topical products before the treatment, as well as “potent cosmeceuticals” post-treatment.

He shared that his company has developed a “30-day augmented treatment protocol”, which is designed to complement each the treatments.

Kemiche also said we have entered a ‘new era of aesthetics’ that is defined by augmented treatment results using technology that enhances the aesthetic result.

“As such, we are seeing a seismic shift toward combination therapy,” he said. “The use of highly concentrated cosmeceuticals in combination with laser technology significantly maximises patient outcomes and has synergistic effects on targeted skin concerns.”

Tailored cosmeceutical regimes & hair restoration treatments

Kemiche noted that by tailoring cosmeceutical regimens to individual skin types and concerns, you can optimise the efficacy and safety of laser treatments for each individual patient to meet “the growing consumer demand for personalised aesthetic treatments.” And added that many pharmaceutical companies are "now investing in capital equipment to meet this growing demand."

He also flagged a specific area that has recently been dominating the aesthetics space: hair restoration. A sector that has also been gaining more attention in topical products too. 

“We are now seeing a revolutionary advancement in this field, combining laser treatment to boost scalp microvasculature and the topical application of highly potent growth serums like KeraFactor, dramatically amplifying absorption of the serum’s growth factors and proteins,” he explained.

“We are also starting to see a migration from HA dermal fillers as consumers are demanding more natural volumisation, which we can achieve through RF micro-needling and advanced laser technology,” he continued. 

“There is also an increased focus on preventative treatments to delay the skin ageing process as well as regenerative aesthetics.”

A movement towards a more holistic approach

Aesthetic doctor, skincare expert and co-founder of The Ardour Clinic, in London Dr Paris Acharya said that the aesthetics industry is now seeing a movement towards a more holistic approach, much like the wider cosmetics industry.

“With self-care and inner wellness rising to the top of everyone's priorities over the past couple of years, people now spend a lot more of their time focusing on their happiness levels and wellbeing, moving away from solely aesthetic treatments and towards a combined approach,” she explained.

As such, she has launched a clinic in Marylebone Village with Anna Miller, a registered nurse and life coach, to blend her facial aesthetics experience with Miller’ holistic approach to wellbeing – offering life coaching and mentoring for transformation and empowerment.

“It's no surprise that a major trend within the aesthetics industry currently is the intertwining of the principles of longevity and life-enhancing treatments with scientifically backed cosmetic procedures,” she continued.

Dr Acharya also noted that: "Holistic wellness doesn't just stand as an inside-out approach” and that every visitor to her clinic will leave with personalised skin and supplement recommendations to invest in and use at home.

“While people used to potentially just focus on one or the other (treatments/tweakments vs at-home cosmetics), they're now coming to the realisation that both need to be used in harmony to receive the most effective results,” she said.

“Using these products at home will help enhance your treatment results, maintain your skin health and increase the longevity of the in-clinic treatments you invest in."

Celebrity facialist and founder of the Crystal Clear professional brand, Sharon Hilditch MBE FCGI agreed.

"It is pointless going into a clinic for treatment and then not keeping up with at-home skincare and rituals to get the best out of the results. I learnt this early on in my career after seeing people go into surgery for facelifts but pay no attention to the texture, pigmentation or acne on their skin and be unhappy with the end results,” she said.

Hilditch continued: “When I first started developing in-clinic devices (nearly 30 years ago), I knew that the patients needed to be able to continue taking care of their skin at home to feel the full benefits, so I leaned into the development of products that could be included in day-to-day routines and at-home gadgets to maintain results.”

Energy-based devices and ‘treatment layering’

Aesthetics doctor at NOVA Clinic, Dr Luke Simmonds, noted that over the past few years he has seen a huge increase in the use of energy-based devices as an alternative to injectables and surgery and said he believed this will continue.

“These devices have been able to give results that were otherwise unachievable without invasive treatment, and now we're super-charging these results by combining them,” he explained.

“Treatment layering gives us the ability to target different skin concerns in one session for the best results, meaning what would have required numerous visits to a clinic can be done in one session, and even better, a lot of the results will last up to a year,” he continued.

“Only requiring an annual top-up, it's a no-brainer to address all of your skin concerns in one appointment, with minimal downtime and discomfort, and go about your life for the next year or so. I'm confident that these types of treatments will become the go-to for people looking to maintain looking and feeling their best," he explained.

Aesthetic & regenerative medicine specialist and founder of CellDerma, Dr Dev Patel said that when patients come into the clinic for a Morpheus8 or EndoliftX treatment, for example, he always sends them home with a CellDerma GF5 serum and strict instructions to apply it 2-3 times a day.

“With patients using this topical home growth factor treatment, we have been able to clearly demonstrate significantly faster healing, a lower complication rate and better end results,” explained Dr Patel.

“It's unrealistic to think that energy-based devices can solve all of your skincare concerns without the daily consideration of taking care of your skin,“ he continued

“I also love the idea of home LEDs but many devices are either too weak or not delivering the desired wavelengths accurately. Diligent research is advised prior to investing in a device.”

He concluded: “Of course, we must think holistically; the healthiest skin is always one that encompasses aesthetic treatments, skincare, a healthy diet and exercise."

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