Integrating wellness and a holistic approach into your aesthetic practice


One of the things that makes aesthetic medicine such an attractive sector to work in is its rapid growth and evolution, which presents clinics with new and exciting opportunities for their businesses. We are currently witnessing a big shift of this kind that is heralding a new frontier in aesthetics as wellness takes centre stage.

There used to be a clear divide between wellness and aesthetics. On one side, there were indulgent spa treatments, holistic treatments, and relaxation rituals, while on the other, there were more invasive procedures like cosmetic surgery and injectables. But now, the boundaries between the two are fading away.

Aesthetic clinics are increasingly recognising the importance of a holistic approach that integrates treatments with lifestyle and wellness advice, as reported in our Emerging aesthetic trends and technologies in 2024 article.

What is wellness?

Wellness, in its broadest sense, encompasses any product or service that benefits physical and mental health, including health, fitness, appearance, sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness.

What is driving the trend for wellness?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a shift in consumer demand that emphasises holistic well-being and self-care at all levels.  

According to recent research by the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness market has experienced remarkable annual growth since 2020, surging 27% to reach $5.6 trillion (£4.42 trillion). It is predicted to reach $7.4 trillion (£5,85 trillion) in 2025, on its march toward $8.5 trillion (£6.71 trillion) in 2027.

GWI projects that four wellness sectors (personal care and beauty; healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss; physical activity; and wellness tourism) will exceed $1 trillion in market size by 2024. Mental wellness is also predicted to grow by 12.8% annually.

Three sectors will exceed half a trillion dollars in 2024: wellness real estate, traditional and complementary medicine, and public health, prevention, and personalised medicine. Healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss will leapfrog beauty to become the largest wellness market by 2025.

This surge is driven by a shift towards preventative rather than illness-driven medicine, highlighting the growing importance of holistic health practices. This has led to the fusion of aesthetics and wellness, creating an exciting opportunity that holds immense potential for both practitioners and patients alike.

“I was at a longevity summit last week, and what was really obvious was that this space is exploding. Fundamentally, most aesthetic practitioners have a medical clinical background and a significant degree of training. And we come to this space with that hat on primarily. Aesthetics is just a brilliant space in which to engage with people. So, inevitably, you will end up hearing about their poor sleep, their stress levels or the fact they're having hot flushes. I think the beauty of what we do is we also have the privilege of the education to help someone to then take it to the next level. So we don't just listen as a friend; we're listening as a clinician.”
- Dr Mayoni Gooneratne, founder of Human Health

The benefits of incorporating wellness into aesthetic practices

Incorporating wellness into aesthetic practices has varied benefits. Beyond meeting consumer demand and increasing customer satisfaction, it opens up new revenue streams and has the potential to enhance treatment outcomes.

Advantages of adding wellness to your practice:

•       Meeting consumer demand and increasing customer satisfaction by providing an enhanced patient experience

•       New source of revenue – you may attract new patients to the clinic who are nervous about aesthetic treatments

•       Increase your own sense of well-being and that of your team

•       Enhance the outcome of your treatments by offering a 360-degree approach

Ways clinics are integrating wellness into their aesthetic practices

Beauty is now an inside-out experience, and consumers are increasingly craving experiences that transform not only their physical appearance but also their mental and emotional well-being. By embracing a 360-degree approach to aesthetics, practitioners can foster a sense of well-being within their clinics and communities, empowering patients to look and feel their best.

We are even seeing a shift in the industry vocabulary with terms such as “self-care”, “well-being”, “mindfulness”, “agelessness”, “longevity”, “functional medicine”, “skin health”, and “ageing well”, replacing “anti-ageing”.

Clinics can integrate wellness into their practices in a number of ways:

1.     Clinic environments

One way aesthetic practices are embracing this market shift is in the clinic environment itself. Modern clinics are reimagining the traditional clinical space, infusing elements of luxury and serenity typically associated with spas. From calming waiting areas to soothing music and aromatherapy, these environments aim to provide a holistic, relaxing experience that promotes a sense of peace and calm.

Moreover, the integration of wellness into aesthetic practices extends beyond the treatment room, encompassing the entire patient experience. Thoughtfully curated amenities such as aromatherapy, soothing music, and mindfulness spaces further enhance the overall experience.

2.     Mindful beauty

The Galderma NEXT report claimed mindfulness is being evidenced in the market in three ways:

  • The ‘no make-up’ look – patients are looking to aesthetics for a healthy and radiant appearance, seeking treatments which improve skin quality. There’s also been a shift away from obvious-looking results towards a more natural look
  • Naturally in sync – artificial products and treatments are out as consumers look to naturally occurring ingredients like hyaluronic acid and treatments like platelet-rich plasma facials. Biostimulators are also seeing increased search volumes
  • Free from – there are more plant-based ingredients in treatments as consumers seek to align their beauty choices with their ethical beliefs

You can read our blog on embracing veganism and sustainability in aesthetics for more on this subject.

3.     Wellness-focused treatments and services

To address the rising demand for holistic well-being, aesthetic clinics are diversifying their services to include wellness-focused treatments and services.

This approach considers the whole person—their health, lifestyle, and overall well-being—and seeks to provide treatments that enhance not just physical appearance but also the overall quality of life. This paradigm shift reflects a deeper understanding of beauty as a component of overall health and wellness.

This may include menopause services, nutrition and weight management, which aim to enhance not only physical appearance but also health and vitality. It is also very much aligned with the emergence of functional medicine as a growing field.

Dr Mayoni Gooneratne, founder of Human Health, was a recent guest on the Cosmetic Cast podcast. She spoke about the synergy between aesthetics and wellness. She says, “I was at a longevity summit last week, and what was really obvious was that this space is exploding. Fundamentally, most aesthetic practitioners have a medical clinical background and a significant degree of training. And we come to this space with that hat on primarily. Aesthetics is just a brilliant space in which to engage with people. So, inevitably, you will end up hearing about their poor sleep, their stress levels or the fact they're having hot flushes. I think the beauty of what we do is we also have the privilege of the education to help someone to then take it to the next level. So we don't just listen as a friend; we're listening as a clinician.”

Traditional aesthetic procedures are also being complemented by integrative approaches that prioritise holistic health. Procedures such as facial acupuncture, which not only targets signs of ageing but also stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms, exemplify this holistic approach. Similarly, non-invasive body contouring techniques are being paired with lifestyle interventions such as personalised fitness plans and dietary guidance to achieve optimal results. Stress management, breath work and meditation may be used as an adjunct to treatments for those with stressed skin.

“I suspect there’s going to be a move away from what we see now as individual, isolated treatments, and a move towards a holistic approach with wellness and a combination of devices and products and injectables, combining that with mental health and wellbeing.”
- Dr Priyanka Chadha, Director of Acquisition Aesthetics

Insurance considerations when adding new treatments to the menu

When it comes to insurance considerations for wellness, there are a few things to keep in mind.

“ From a claims perspective, we just need the practitioner to complete medical history and allergy information. This should be checked each time a treatment is done in case the patient is on any new medication that may interfere. “If the patient is on blood thinners, for example, and is thinking of having acupuncture, they should speak to their GP to see if it can be done. You should also check if a patient has a metal allergy to the needles/rods used. As well as pharmaceutical medication, you should check herbal ingestion as well, as some herbal remedies don’t mix together or with certain pharmaceutical prescribed drugs. We would always ask practitioners to refer to training course providers and manufacturer guidelines to make sure medications can be mixed. This should all be recorded on the consultation notes of course. "
- Emma Bracchi, Senior Client Services Technician

“From the insurance side, we don’t cover things like acupuncture as standard as it would need to be referred, but customers can call / email should they need it and on the basis they have completed relevant third party training consisting of theory and practical, it should be fine for medical professionals and beauticians with a Level 3 in General Beauty/equivalent Beauty Qualification. I would also highlight that from the insurance side, the cover is always subject to having completed both face-to-face practical training and theory with certification presented at the end. However, if a customer is unsure if they would be covered for a certain treatment, I would recommend they call / email to confirm prior to training.”
- Ella Vranjkovic, Cosmetic Lead

Patient mental health and wellbeing

Mental health also plays a central role in this paradigm shift, with practitioners increasingly attuned to their patients’ psychological well-being.

Statistics reveal a significant correlation between mental health and aesthetic procedures, suggesting that of adults who suffer from depression and anxiety, 42% would be more likely than the average adult to consider a procedure in the next year.

However, it's essential for practitioners to ethically assess and support patients, even if it means declining treatment in cases where mental health concerns are prevalent.

Our annual survey showed that the majority of practitioners had turned patients away, with only 13% saying they had never turned a patient away. Encouragingly, 91.5% said they were routinely looking out for patients displaying any mental health problems, in particular, body dysmorphia.

You can read our articles in collaboration with integrative psychologist Kimberley Cairns on safeguarding and supporting patient mental health for more on this.  

Your mental health matters too

Healthcare practitioners traditionally don’t make time for themselves. They are often more focused on others. Research carried out by Safety in Beauty in 2022 showed eight in 10 clinic owners have experienced ‘Beauty Business Burnout’, with seven out of 10 professionals running a business in beauty or aesthetics also admitting to being overwhelmed.

It's important, therefore, to make time for your own well-being practices. Dr Manav Bawa, Time Clinic, says, “Taking time for your own mental health is really important. We see patients, we run our clinics, we’ve got the business side of things, we may be teaching or talking at conferences, so there’s a lot of prep that goes into that. Plus, there’s family life and children and all of the other commitments that we may have. It’s really important to take 10-20 minutes a day if you can just meditate or do something that you enjoy doing. I’m trying to do that, and it’s always tricky trying to find the balance of life. But it’s something that I’m searching for.”

“I too burn out and have done so more in the last two years. The recovery of that is difficult. People generally stop what’s caused the burnout and reset. I find that if I stop, because I am not practised at stopping work, I get more agitated and more upset, so I tend to take half a day or a couple of hours and sleep. I am always a bit more burnt out when I am tired. So I try to sleep and get on top of it. I don’t work well under extreme pressure, so I tend to never get myself into that situation. Other than dealing with burnout, I try to avoid burnout, overwhelm, and anxiety by planning things in advance.”
-Dr Priyanka Chadha, Acquisition Aesthetics

To sum up

In conclusion, the integration of wellness into aesthetic medicine represents a new frontier in aesthetics. As consumers increasingly prioritise holistic well-being, aesthetic clinics have an opportunity for professional growth and differentiation. By diversifying your service offerings and adopting a more holistic approach, you can attract a broader clientele, enhance the overall patient experience and contribute to better treatment outcomes and overall satisfaction.

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