Forecast for the Development of the Global Cosmetic Surgery and Procedure in 2020

Driven by people’s pursuit for better looks, the global medical aesthetics market is expanding rapidly.

According to ISAPS statistics, the number of procedures of medical aesthetics totaled at around 23 million per year during 2016 to 2019, with a 50/50 ratio of surgical versus non-surgical. In 2018, there were 10,607,200 surgical and 12,659,100 non-surgical procedures around the globe and the trend continues in 2019, with 10,882,600 surgical cases and 12,288,900 non-surgical ones.

The medical aesthetics industry in Europe and the United States has become more and more mature, with the latter being the leader in the global market.  As a result of the continuous development of cosmetic surgery techniques over the years, the Korean fashion trends has swept across the world.  What’s more, recent years have seen a rising popularity of medical aesthetics in China.

  • United States is leading in terms of the size in the cosmetic surgery and procedure market.

The United States, reputed for its state-of-the-art scientific research capabilities in medical aesthetics, saw its cosmetic surgery and procedure market come into shape much earlier than many other countries. Botoxin, laser hair removal, hyaluronic acid and countless other well-known technologies were first developed and debuted in the United States.  It is known for having the biggest consumer of cosmetic surgeries and procedures in the world, with the highest rate of cosmetic procedures performed.

In 2018, the number of plastic procedures performed in the United States was 4,361,900, twice the number in Brazil, who ranked second place.

  • South Korea has the highest penetration rate of medical aesthetics in the world

South Korea stands out with the highest penetration rate of medical aesthetics in the world.

With the continuous improvement of cosmetic surgery techniques in South Korea and large number of successful
cases, it has become an all-sweeping trend in South Korea to seek better looks through medical aesthetics. As a result, the cosmetic surgery and procedure industry has risen to be a major contributor to the country’s economy, despite
the fact that it is still quite young.

Fueled by South Korea’s export of its culture, such as its entertainment shows, soap operas, and makeup looks, people
in different parts of the world are increasingly aware of the Korea’s cosmetic surgery and procedure industry, and large number of people worldwide are flocking to South Korea for plastic procedures. 

In2013, there were about 24,000 foreigners flying to South Korea for plastic surgeries. By 2018, the figure rose to roughly 140,000, with a compound annual growth rate of 34%.

  • China became the third largest market for medical cosmetology 

In China, with changes to consumer spending, medical aesthetics, micro plastic surgeries and procedures in particular, is catching on. In terms of the number of users, China became the third largest medical cosmetology market by the end of 2018, accounting for 10% of the global total. Women being the major consumers of medical aesthetics, representing 88.9%.

According to iResearch, there are currently more than 10,000 registered cosmetological institutions in China, and the industry as a whole is rapidly developing.

However, due to the late start comparing to its international counterparts, the cosmetic surgery and procedure industry in China is lagging behind in terms of technological capabilities, which is one of the major reasons why Chinese consumers prefer to seek cosmetic surgeries and procedures in other countries.  South Korea has been the No.1 choice for Chinese people looking for plastic surgeries.

According to data from Medical Korea, the number of Chinese people undergoing plastic surgeries in South Korea was about 16,300 in 2013, and rose to 100,000 in 2018, accounting for 71.43% of all Chinese travelling to South Korea.

In terms of different segments of the global medical aesthetics market, the number of facial plastic surgeries is rising year by year. Its percentage is the highest and is expected to go up to 36.3% in 2020. On the other hand, the proportion of dental beauty has been on the decline over the years, and forecasts indicate that the figure will drop to
30.8% in 2020.

Surgical procedures focusing on the face and neck, breast and body captures the most attention, with the numbers of
cases in 2018 at 3,574,400, 3,584,100 and 3,448,700 respectively. In particular, the number of procedures for the breast and body has been on the increase year by year. The year of 2018 alone saw the numbers of breast and body related procedures up by 9.70% and 6% respectively over the previous year.

Compared with the development of surgical procedures, non-surgical ones feature face rejuvenation and injection & filling. While the number of consumers opting for face rejuvenation procedures is decreasing, a growing number of people are seeking injection & filling procedures in recent years. In 2018, the number of injection & filling procedures added up to 10,029,100, representing a year-on-year increase of 14.50%.

CBE is committed to a healthy upgrade of the medical aesthetics industry

In the last few years, China Beauty Expo (CBE) has followed closely on the trends of the medical beauty market to accurately understand people’s mentality about pursuing and showcasing beauty. By introducing leading medical aesthetic equipment, technologies and concepts from different parts of the world, it is an advanced platform for high-end brands, channels, beauty salons, and cosmetological centers both domestically and abroad to develop partnerships and exchange resources.


In addition, in order to facilitate the healthy, safe and orderly development of the domestic medical aesthetics industry, and to assist the transformation and integration of upstream and downstream companies engaged in medical aesthetics, the CBE platform brings together eminent local and international doctors and business leaders to discuss with industrial professionals about obstacles and opportunities arising during the development of medical aesthetics to gain invaluable insights into the market.

Driven by the general trends of resource integration, policy improvement, and Internet-powered channels, the Chinese medical aesthetics industry is expected to improve in terms of centralization, eco-friendliness, transparency and standardization in 2020.


(Source: iResearch, FORWARD (, etc.)