Since 2017, the consumption of medical aesthetic treatments in China has been second only to that in the United States, with an annual growth of 26.4%. Then in 2019, it surpassed U.S. and became the top in the world. However, in the meantime, the medical aesthetic consumption per 1000 people in China is only 14.8 times, which is only 1 / 6 of that of South Korea. So the market potential is huge. By Dr. Li Kai
Although the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted many industries, China has done a very good job in the pandemic prevention and control and the domestic market has now been much recovered. After the outbreak, many people who sought medical aesthetic treatments either delayed or canceled their appointments, making the market demand being suppressed temporarily. But in the long term, the market size of medical aesthetic industry in China will continue to grow. It may slow down a little bit, but the growth tendency will not change.
According to the research report issued by Zero Power Intelligence Group Consulting Report on Panoramic Investigation and Development Strategy of China’s Medical Aesthetic Industry from 2020 to 2025, the penetration rate of China’s medical aesthetic market is still quite low. The penetration rate of medical aesthetic market in U.S., Brazil and South Korea is about 10% while that in China is only 2%-3%, meaning 5 times of development space. We believe that sooner or later, it will catch up with the global level, and the current gap between the robust domestic economic development and low medical aesthetic penetration will be changed.
Advantages and disadvantages of spas
In terms of the advantages of spa, first and foremost, it’s their service. Compared with the cold medical procedures, life beauty and spa services deliver more intimate and comprehensive experience and pampering, which shortens the distance between the spa and the customers. Secondly, it’s the level of meticulousness. During spa services, service deliverers can give guests more meticulous and personalized experience according to their individual requirements. Thirdly, there is a quite high level of comfort in spa treatments without weakening the results.
The weak point of life beauty and spa services is that the treatment results may not be revealed so immediately. Rather it’s a long-term and gradual improvement. Comparatively, medical aesthetic treatments give immediate and obvious results and the customers can sense the difference right away after the treatment. Also, as there is an increasingly strict management on the introduction of medical devices to spas and beauty salons, so they don’t have much freedom nowadays to use the highly effective devices as they want.
Medical beauty treatments that can be introduced to spas and beauty salons
Some quasi-medical beauty treatments can be introduced to beauty salons and spas to enhance the treatment effects, among them are facial cleansing products and daily skincare devices such as geneO+ which delivers multiple facial benefits including infusing oxygen, and immediate results through Bohr effect.
Then there are a range of body treatments of quasi-medical aesthetic nature which can be a big edge for the spas because they deliver not only amazing effects but also sense of comfort when conducted in the spas. On the contrary, medical centers, due to the labor cost, usually don’t care so much about guests’ sense of comfort during the treatment. Such body treatments include those using radio frequency and micro-current techniques, as well as some AHA and acid products which can also be used for facials.
Among the quasi-medical aesthetic body programs, devices for weight loss, body shaping, and contouring see the largest market demand. Skin firming also see big demand in the spa market since the medical centers fail to give them satisfactory solutions. Guests who seek medical aesthetic procedures may choose direct ways of body shaping such as liposuction. However, most ordinary people are not willing to try such invasive surgeries, so they would rather to seek safe, healthy and effective alternatives in spas.
Government has strict control on non-medical programs
This year, there are still many new interpretations to the medical device classification and relevant policies issued by the government. But in fact, the core principal remains the same. Dermis-breaking and invasive devices, NMPA registered quasi-Class 2 and Class 3 medical devices, and the devices for medical purpose and medical procedures which can only be used in medical institutions, cannot be introduced to beauty salons and spas.
Namely, any invasive devices that causes bleeding and skin breaking are not allowed to be used in non-medical sites including spas, neither can medical devices such as laser, picosecond and IPL programs.
Moreover, programs that aim for medical treatment such as joint re-location and pain alleviation must be carried out in medical institutions. Radiofrequency device, however, has not been included in the medical scope, so it can be applied in spas.
Lumenis has recently launched two devices with proven effects that can be used in spas. Spa people may not be very familiar with Lumenis, but this name is almost known by everyone in the medical industry. The world’s first ophthalmic laser, surgical laser, aesthetic laser and the first medical intense pulsed light device are all developed and manufactured by Lumenis. So far, Lumenis continues to provide the latest technology and devices in the fields of surgery, skin aesthetic and ophthalmology. For example, from the gold standard OPT technology to the current new gold standard AOPT technology of instant pulse light, vacuum hair removal technology, CO2 ultra pulse technology and non-ablative laser technology all bring revolutionary breakthroughs to the industry.
One of the devices mentioned above is called Legend Muscle Beauty. It features smart-sliding guidance technology based on how the muscle stretches in specific part of the body, and DMA+Tripollar patent technology to realize personalized body contouring and 3D sculpting of muscles and skin. Combined with fitness programs, it is able to perfect your body lines.
The other one is Geneo, the core technology of which is called oxygeneo. The device uses Lumenis NeoRevive kit to create “bohr effect” which keeps the oxygen stay on the epidermis and finally improve the skin texture and color. During the treatment, a large amount of CO2 bubbles produced by chemical action cover the epidermis, which, combined with the vibration of the capsugen, softens the cutin and smooth the skin. Bohr effect is then achieved to stimulate the skin red blood cells to release oxygen and make the oxygen stay on epidermis. The skin is therefore rejuvenated. Combined with Tripollar multiple radio frequency techniques, it stimulates collagen regeneration and firms the skin, leaving the skin smooth, bright, watery, tender and firm.
Personalization and safety
While doing the quasi medical aesthetic body treatments, it’s very important that the therapist carry out the treatment based on individual’s conditions and needs, instead of using a fixed set of manipulation. So it requires the therapist and personnel related to master some professional knowledge including basic anatomy, the distribution and functions of muscles, the accurate places of the internal organs and fat distribution. Every guest has their own goals for beauty improvement. While some want to reduce fat cell volume or firm the skin, some others prefer to enhance their core muscle group combined with other fat reduction approaches. Therefore, to possess expertise is important to target these different needs. Meanwhile, standard operation is essential because safety is the most important part in the spa industry. Too much heat accumulation or continual electrical stimulation may cause safety risks.
DMA and Tripollar
DMA is a micro-current stimulation mechanism. It precedes other electrical stimulation techniques with adjustable and controllable intensity, frequency and depth. So it proves to be safer. It gives 50-750 frequencies of stimulation per minute to the muscles and effectively activates the autonomous contraction of muscles. It can further target specific muscle group and active its autonomous contraction. As a result, the muscle lines are perfected. The treatment process is effective, comfortable and with obvious effects. It can be combined with other “cooling effect” or “thermal effect” programs.
DMA is different from EMS. EMS features magnetic field produced by electricity which targets large areas of the body for muscle enhancement and body shaping. It shows no advantage in fine adjustment. However, DMA features direct micro-current stimulation with adjusted intensity, pulse width and frequency. Personalized treatment based on how each muscle moves towards is made possible. Lumenis latest innovation Legend Muscle Beauty features a patent technology that combines DMA and Tripollar, realizing high-end personalized body shaping and 3D sculpting of muscles and skin.
Tripollar boasts very distinctive multiple radio frequency techniques. It has three electrode heads that can instantly change their polarity and become positive electrode and negative electrode in turn, forming an even and gentle heating zone to prevent a sudden increase of heat and thus protect the epidermis. Meanwhile, it pushes the subcutaneous heating to a deeper area and thus generate collagen regeneration and firm the skin. The whole treatment features more comfort and better effect.
Dr. Li Kai
Doctor of Medicine; Head of Dermatology & Cosmetology Center of Xijing Hospital,
The Fourth Military Medical University
Dr. Li Kai got his bachelor degree of Medicine from The Fourth Military Medical University in 2014, and then a master and doctoral degree of Dermatology and Venereology from the same university in 2007 and 2010, Dr. Li Kai once went to visit the Dermatology Department of the Henry Ford Hospital in the US and The Perugia Hospital in Italy for academic exchange. He has so far been responsible for two Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) projects and one hospital-wide fund project, and he has participated in various national research projects. He specializes in laser cosmetology, facial rejuvena-tion, chloasma therapy and scar repair. He has published over twenty essays on Dermatology with SCI.