More than four in five US adults want to improve their personal well-being or appearance in 2019, and 36 percent are considering cosmetic treatments, according to new RealSelf survey.

Eighty-two percent of US adults plan to make changes related to their personal well-being and/or appearance in 2019, most notably exercise more (58 percent), eat healthier foods (55 percent), invest more in mental health (33 percent), and make greater efforts to lose weight (32 percent).

Thirty six percent of US adults are considering one or more cosmetic treatments in the next 12 months. This is more than 60 percent higher than those who report they have had a cosmetic procedure in the past (22 percent).

Women and Millennials Lead the Way

Consideration is highest among women, millennials ages 18 to 34, and parents with children under the age of 18. Women (42 percent) are significantly more likely than men (30 percent) to be considering cosmetic treatments in the next 12 months. Millennials are nearly twice as likely as adults 35 and older to be considering a surgical or nonsurgical treatment in the next 12 months (57 percent vs. 28 percent), and half (50 percent) of parents with children under 18 are currently considering cosmetic treatments, compared to only 28 percent of US adults without children under 18.

“People want to make positive changes in their lives and take steps to look as good as they feel,” says Dr. Lara Devgan, RealSelf Chief Medical Officer and board-certified plastic surgeon. “This survey reinforces the trends we're observing on RealSelf and what I'm seeing in my own practice—adults in their 20s and 30s are prioritizing self-care and many view cosmetic treatments as one part of their holistic health and beauty routine. With new technologies and minimally invasive treatment options entering the market every year, procedures are becoming more accessible and a growing number of Americans are exploring their elective treatment options.”

Non-Surgical Treatments Outpace Surgical

One-third of US adults are considering nonsurgical treatments in the next 12 months while 22 percent are considering surgical treatments. Cosmetic dentistry (32 percent) and laser hair removal (30 percent) are the top choices among those interested in nonsurgical options, while tummy tuck (30 percent) and chin or neck lift (25 percent) top the list for surgical procedures.

Top Motivators

Among those who have previously had cosmetic treatments or are considering them in the next 12 months, the top motivation was/is to improve self-esteem and confidence (40 percent) followed closely by looking as good as one feels (36 percent).

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of RealSelf from December 13-17, 2018 among 2,021 US adults ages 18 and older, among whom 777 have had cosmetic treatments and/or are considering cosmetic treatments in the next 12 months. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


RealSelf, Inc. has formed a Strategic Medical Advisory Council with three operating boards. The RealSelf Strategic Advisory Council is made up of the Business Advisory Board, the Medical Review Advisory Board and the Industry Advisory Board.

Inaugural members of the RealSelf Business Advisory Board are:

Dr. Bradley Bengtson, Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Gregory A. Buford, Denver Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Andrew Campbell, Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Cameron Chesnut, Spokane Dermatological Surgeon
Dr. Lara Devgan, New York Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Johnny Franco, Austin Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Dana Goldberg, Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Melinda Haws, Nashville Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Lorrie Klein, Laguna Niguel Dermatological Surgeon
Dr. Jason Pozner, Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Richard G. Reish, New York Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Steven H. Williams, San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler, Bay Area Plastic Surgeon

These inaugural members were selected to represent diversity of specialties and geography as well as their commitment to transparency in aesthetics and their engagement in digital and social platforms.

Inaugural members of the Medical Review Advisory Board and Industry Advisory Board will be announced in the coming months.

“As a fast-moving technology company in the rapidly-changing aesthetics industry, it is imperative we keep our ear to the ground to stay ahead of trends to best serve the needs of consumers and doctors. Doctor feedback has always been a valuable part of our evolution and I am incredibly excited to formalize the Council as part of our operations to ensure we are best serving the needs of our consumers and medical practitioners for decades to come,” says Tom Seery, co-founder and CEO of RealSelf. “These doctors are forward-looking leaders in their fields and will help RealSelf better understand historical industry challenges, evaluate what we plan to bring to market, and envision the aesthetics landscape of the future. We're honored to welcome them to the RealSelf team.”