Almost 70% of consumers are considering a cosmetic treatment, and over half would prefer to pay more up front to lower their annual skin care costs.


2018 Consumer Survey InfographicROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 – Consumers turn to dermatologists to guide their cosmetic procedure and skin care choices, as revealed in the 2018 ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures.

For the sixth year in a row, dermatologists ranked as the first of 14 factors influencing consumers’ decision to have a cosmetic procedure. Consumers also rated dermatologists as the physician of choice in five of 10 treatment categories. These included injectable wrinkle-relaxers; vein treatments; laser / light therapy for skin redness, tone and scars; soft-tissue fillers; and laser hair removal. In addition, of those 14 factors, dermatologists were the top influencer for consumers’ skin care product purchases.

Of the 11 factors influencing the selection of a practitioner, choices aligning to physician expertise continue to receive top ratings. The specialty in which the physician is board-certified, referral from a physician and the level of the physician’s licensure ranked as leading influencing factors.

The dermatologist of choice for cosmetic procedures is an ASDS member dermatologist for three consecutive years. In two survey questions, ASDS members led all 10 cosmetic treatment categories. The majority of respondents to the first question – answered by patients whose cosmetic treatments were performed by dermatologists – indicated their dermatologist of choice is a member of ASDS. In the second question, the majority of prospective patients in all treatment categories said they would consider an ASDS member for their procedure.

“Patients continue to trust ASDS member dermatologists to offer advanced treatment options and top-tier quality care,” said ASDS President Lisa Donofrio, MD. “ASDS members are board-certified dermatologists that possess the training and artistic acumen to help patients look and feel their best.”

With almost 70 percent of consumers considering a cosmetic treatment, the survey uncovered what is driving consumers in undergoing cosmetic procedures. Consumers rated what bothers them about their appearance. Ranking first for the sixth year in a row is excess fat on any part of the body at 86 percent. Skin discoloration is an increasing concern and tied for the second spot this year reinforcing the need for ongoing sun protection education. Incorporating sun-safe behaviors and developing habits earlier in life can help limit sun damage concerns. In addition, more than 70 percent are bothered by excess fat under the chin / neck and skin, lines and wrinkles around the eyes and skin texture and / or discoloration. Other troublesome areas of concern receiving over 60 percent of consumers’ votes are wrinkles in the mid-face, in the forehead area, between the eyebrows, neck and check and overall sagging facial skin.

The survey also uncovered the reasons why people are turning to cosmetic procedures. Holding the top three spots for six consecutive years are the desires to:

  1. “Feel more confident.”
  2.  “Feel more attractive.”
  3. “Look as young as I feel or better for my age.”

“The popularity of cosmetic procedures grows as patients strive to be the best versions of themselves,” Dr. Donofrio shared. “Innovative technology, new minimally and non-invasive treatment options and advances in skin care products offer every patient the opportunity for beautiful and healthy skin.”

To achieve these desired results, consumers are turning to cosmetic procedures. The top five treatments and the percentage of consumers considering them include:

  • Ultrasound, laser, light and radiofrequency treatments for smoothing wrinkles or tightening skin, 57 percent
  • Body sculpting, 57 percent
  • Microdermabrasion, 51 percent
  • Laser hair removal, 48 percent
  • Injectable wrinkle-relaxing injections, 47 percent

Patients who have had treatments were asked to rate their satisfaction. Six treatment categories achieved satisfaction ratings of 90 percent or better, including injectable wrinkle-relaxers and fillers; laser and light treatments for tone and scars; body sculpting; vein treatments; laser tattoo removal; and chemical peels.

New to the survey this year were questions regarding consumers’ skin care product choices. The majority of consumers are spending up to $100 per month on skin care products including cleansers, serums, masks, sunscreens and creams. More than half of consumers would prefer to pay more up front to lower their skin care costs annually. This aligns to consumers’ desire to seek cosmetic procedures, which can traditionally have a higher upfront cost, but provide longer term results over a skin care product. ASDS board-certified dermatologists have the expertise to recommend the right combination of skin care products and cosmetic procedures to ensure healthy, beautiful skin for life.

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About the survey

Date were obtained through a blind online survey conducted from May 1 to June 20 through the web-based Survata service. The survey received 3,525 responses.

About the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and fill and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons also are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit


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