For just over 70% of patients across the world, hitting their fifth decade is often the time they start to seek facial aesthetic treatment, say clinicians in a new survey.

Galderma, committed to delivering innovative medical solutions, and whose acclaimed products include Restylane® and Restylane Skinboosters™, asked over 300 Galderma customers about the factors that influence their patients’ decisions on when — and why — they seek filler, skin hydration and rejuvenation treatments.

Does age really matter?

According to the findings, clinicians see only tiny numbers of patients (1% of those aged 25 years and younger, and 3.6% of those aged 25-34 years) seeking treatment, together with 12.1% of those aged between 35 and 39 years.

However, that number almost tripled to just over one third (35.2%) of patients aged 40-45 years, reported clinicians, with a similar proportion aged 45-49 years (36.5%). Above this age, numbers dropped sharply, with 8.8% aged 50-54 and a tiny proportion (2.9%) aged 55 years or over.

While more people seek treatments aged 40 plus than at any other time in their lives, they are also overwhelmingly likely to be women. Three quarters of clinicians say that eight out of 10 patients who consult them are female.

Treatments: the perfect Friday treat

When it comes to timings for treatment, patients show a marked preference for end of the week appointments, with over half (55.8%) of clinicians reporting Friday as their most popular day, thus ensuring weekend recuperation time. Thursday is the top choice for patients of a further 17.5%.

Seasonality also matters. Almost 50% of clinicians report being busiest in November (24.7%) and December (23.3%) — increasingly the time when people decide to treat themselves to an aesthetic treatment; a life-enhancing affirmation of self-worth that really counts.

Spring, however, is the most bustling time of year for over one quarter of clinicians. March (7.6%), April (8.7%) and May (10.2%) are months of renewal and rebirth — as well as the time when people start to plan ahead for their holidays and think about ways of looking their best.

Friends and the Internet are top advice sources

The survey also found that patients are well informed. Almost one quarter of clinicians (24.6%) said half had carried out some form of research (such as Internet searches, talking with friends, and reading brochures and magazines) before their visit. A further fifth (21.4%) thought the figure was even higher (70%). A slightly smaller proportion (18.9%) reported that 80% of patients came prepared in advance.

Friends (for 33.9% of patients) and the Internet (34.8%) were almost equally popular sources of information, showing that the first-person recommendation is still hugely influential when it comes to making this very personal decision.

Feel-good factor heads reasons to seek treatment

Even more clear-cut is the main reason for seeking treatment. For almost nine out of every 10 patients (87.1%) what counts most is the need to feel better about themselves as they enter middle age and start to be more concerned about how they look.

Close to 16% of patients are motivated by looking their best on social media or Facebook, think clinicians, which is understandable given their growing prominence in daily life — and the emphasis on posed, high quality online images.

For slightly more than 13% of respondents, competing with other men or women of similar or younger ages was the biggest factor in spurring on their patients to seek treatment.

Just over 4%, meanwhile, saw aesthetic treatments as a way of helping to improve their image at work, a need which could have been influenced by additional pressures of the global recession, with more pressure both to secure a job and keep it.