People are always looking for a way to look good and will pay a premium for it. That means the aesthetic industry is big business. It’s also why the aesthetic market is such a hub for innovation.
In this article, I’ve taken a look at 5 small players that I think are genuinely disrupting the aesthetics market. I’ve tried to focus on more unconventional treatments, meaning no lasers, Botox or liposuction.
Such is the pace of change in this area, it’s likely that by the time I’ve posted this there’ll be a whole host of other businesses doing even more new things, but here are my picks for now!
Liposuction had long been the standard when it comes to fat removal and improving body image, but whilst lipo does remove fat it also has drawbacks. Firstly, it’s an invasive procedure which is conducted under anaesthesia with extensive downtime required. Then came ZELTIQ and the ensuing wave of non-invasive body contouring devices that are currently available in the market. Whilst they effectively contour the body with no downtime, they do not help patients to build muscle.
That’s where BTL’s Emsculpt comes in. They use a highly focused electromagnetic field which both dissolves fat and builds muscle. It’s a non-surgical option which has stood the test of MRI, CT, Ultrasound and tape measure tests with proven results.
They’ve just launched in the US and had a soft launch in the UK, so it’s exciting times for Emsculpt & BTL.
Hair Transplants are nothing new, but up until now the ‘strip surgery’ method has meant long, painful recovery times and can also leave permanent linear scarring in the area from which the scalp is removed.
This is because strip surgery involves removing a portion of the scalp from the back of the head (which is genetically resistant to balding) and transplanting it to the target area, usually on the top of the head.
Neograft are one company looking to change all that. They too take hair from the area that is genetically resistant to balding, albeit by taking individual hair follicles pneumatically. This means no scar, a much less painful and invasive procedure and being back to normal within a week. A huge improvement on previous methods.
Restoration Robotics take this a step further – their ARTAS technology harvests follicles from the same area but using a robotic solution – thereby eliminating the chance of human error as robots don’t get tired. The ARTAS technology allows the patient to design their treatment in advance on the system using 3d modelling before undergoing the minimally invasive procedure.
Both these companies and treatments are getting a lot of attention too. Neograft were acquired earlier in 2018 and Restoration Robotics have recently raised more than $35M in their latest round of fundraising. One reason that investors are so interested in these businesses could be that they target the male market, which traditionally only makes up around 10% of the aesthetics market.
2016 aesthetic industry award winner Viveve and their Geneveve product are tackling vaginal laxity which can be experienced after childbirth.
To try and alleviate some of the issues childbirth can cause, women have traditionally resorted to either minimally effective creams which offer a short-term but expensive fix or gone down the surgical route with a vaginoplasty procedure which brings with it significant recovery times and the risk of nerve damage.
Viveve’s tool isn’t painful, takes less than 30 minutes and uses gentle heating and cooling techniques to reach the deeper layers of tissue and alleviate the symptoms of vaginal laxity. Results become evident after a period of 3-6 months and usually last a minimum of 12 months.
With no downtime (women could have the procedure done on their lunch break) the Geneveve offers women a much more accessible and effective solution than those currently on the market.
For many people, sweating is an involuntary reaction to an environment which can cause both discomfort and embarrassment. One company have developed a treatment which gives back control to the patient when it comes to perspiration.
Mira Dry use microwave energy which permeates deep into the skin and fat where sweat glands reside. Their aim? To eliminate underarm perspiration by destroying sweat glands that can’t regenerate.
The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic and takes around 90 minutes to complete. After one treatment, sweat is reduced by approximately 82%, with 100% results achievable after 2 treatments. To put this into perspective, traditional anti perspirants achieve their results by clogging up the pores, which in turn reduces sweat by around 20%.
Mira Dry’s microwave technology can also be used for semi-permanent hair removal from the underarms, tapping into the most-requested aesthetic market.
They’re my picks for 5 disruptive businesses – all of which I think are doing some really interesting and innovative things in aesthetics. What do you think? Are there any companies I should have included?
Let me know in the comments!