11 August 2009

Older women are increasingly turning to rejuvenation treatments amid fears that they face being replaced by younger colleagues, a report suggested yesterday. Soaring numbers of women over 55 plan to invest in non-surgical facial procedures such as chemical peels and Botox in what researchers call the Arlene Effect.Thats a reference to Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Philips, 66, who is being replaced on the BBC show by 30-year-old singer Alesha Dixon. The Harley Medical Group said that the number of inquiries from women in the 55-plus age group is up 9 per cent on last year and puts the boom in silver surgery down to a fear among older women that they will be replaced in their jobs by a younger generation. Liz Dale, director of The Harley Medical Group, said: Pressure in the workplace is a key driver for women of more advanced years, given the current high level of competition for jobs. Women over 55 have really boosted our non-surgical market, which now accounts for 29 per cent of our total revenue. Increased competition in the workplace was cited as the second most common reason for treatment, after wanting to look as young as they feel. Across all age groups, the demand for non-surgical rejuvenation procedures at The Harley Medical Group, which is Britains biggest cosmetic surgery provider, is up 14 per cent on the previous year. The group reports growing demand for injectibles, to treat under-eye tear troughs and facial lines and wrinkles.One patient, a 57-year-old worker at one of the countrys leading advertising agencies, told why she had opted for treatment. She said: Advertising is a young persons industry and I became aware I was missing out on key promotions to younger colleagues because of my age. I felt my competency was partly measured by my looks and I was being judged as over the hill by both male and female associates. I opted for Botox and fillers to lift, plump and smooth the skin on my face. I did feel cosmetic treatments were a necessary step and it hasnt gone unnoticed how much fresher and younger I look. Another client, 63-year-old Brenda Scot, took the more radical step of have her eye-bags removed. She said: I dont think surgery is the right solution for everyone but there is certainly more pressure on women to stay looking their best. You just have to look on television to see there are two rules one for men and another for women.