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Home arrow News arrow Beauty Bars: A Critical Examination of Quick Beauty Treatments and Injections

Beauty Bars: A Critical Examination of Quick Beauty Treatments and Injections

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 20, 2023
6 min read 1086 Views 0 Comments
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An intriguing trend is rising in the US: beauty bars and studios offering quick and convenient treatments, such as facial injections, are gaining huge investments. Health Reporter probed the underlying reasons for the interest and examined such beauty bars’ concept and health impact.

A Critical Examination of Quick Beauty Treatments and Injections

Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures have become a part of daily life for many Americans, as they are now universally accessible.

A telling example was seen on the TV show Selling Sunset, in which realtor Christine Quinn hosted an event called Burgers and Botox. Many attended the event simply because free Botox injections were offered alongside In-N-Out burgers.

Selling-Sunset - Confidence Is Key (TV-Episode-2020)
Health Reporter edit

Yet, human creativity doesn’t stop there. A trend that emerged a few years ago but has gained new attention is the so-called beauty bars, where you can get cosmetic procedures, including Botox and filler injections, as quickly as hair styling at Drybar.

Recently, Business of Fashion published an article about beauty bars attracting huge investments.1 Botox and filler providers such as Ever/Body and Peachy and facial spots like Glowbar and Heyday are opening dozens of new eye-catching storefronts throughout the US.

As this emerging trend garners attention from consumers and investors alike, it begs the question: what exactly is driving its popularity? Examining the potential risks associated with this trend is crucial to make informed decisions.

The Beauty Bar Phenomenon: Understanding the Trend

Beauty bars are a type of venue where you can receive cosmetological and dermatological services in a fast, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing manner.

They aim to make aesthetic procedures more accessible outside of traditional dermatologist offices. You can do lip injections or facial peels even during the lunch break: for instance, Glowbar provides facials that take only 30 minutes to complete.

Owners of such bars claim that you no longer have to book an appointment with a doctor and sit in a sterile medical room. Instead, you can stroll across the street and receive peels and injections while lounging in a comfortable chair with a cappuccino.2

“Beauty bars usually offer their customers different perks, enhancing their satisfaction. It includes memberships and special discounts, decor, free snacks, and drinks. Even though a customer receives semi-medical treatment that may not be necessary, he is getting a pleasant experience for which he is paying,” – says Health Reporter’s expert Edna Skopljak.

Once in 2019, The New York Times covered bars of this kind.3 For instance, there was a story about Ject in the West Village. It is an injectable beauty bar with a photo booth, a hand-painted 23-karat gold name, and treatment spaces separated by curtains only.

Ject was not the only one and already had several competitors, including Plump in Chelsea. This beauty space has a bistro-like design with bar stools and a tea bar. At Plump, clients can select between the Beestung Lip or Instaready Cheeks.

Back in 2019, Ject had only one location, but it has since expanded to 6 locations from Soho to Miami, with the seventh one set to open soon.

Attitudes toward cosmetic procedures have significantly changed since TikTok’s rise. The platform’s emphasis on being beautiful 24/7 through its “get ready with me” and “day-in-my-life” videos has made people more conscious of their appearance.

Beauty bars have made accessing facial treatments easier, with many offering quick and affordable options like Botox and fillers. As a result, consumers may indulge in these treatments more often, creating a content flywheel that further fuels the trend.

Crunching the Numbers: Causes and Effects of Investments

Heyday closed a $12 million funding round in December, followed by Glowbar, which raised $10 million in January. 4, 5

Meanwhile, Ever/Body has already secured a staggering $55.5 million in funding this year, catapulting its total budget to an impressive $110.5 million.6

Investors see an opportunity to consolidate the beauty industry, while landlords view beauty services as a way to attract customers.7 Placing a beauty bar near a café will likely draw people to both establishments.

They also believe many young girls will visit these studios for the first time. Yet, it shows that young women may feel pressured to conform to specific beauty standards as never before.

Previously, beauty bars were mainly found in New York and Los Angeles. Now brands are expanding their locations across the United States and worldwide.

To meet customer demand, Heyday is set to open 30 new outlets across America this year, while Alchemy is opening 26.8, 9 Glowbar plans to double its studio count by the end of 2023, while Facegym is expanding to Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.10

These significant investments reflect the growing interest in the beauty bar industry, which is seen as a stable investment opportunity amidst economic uncertainty.

Why the Beauty Bar Trend Is Booming During Tough Economic Times

It may seem strange that investors are putting so much money into beauty bars during the upcoming global recession.11

However, a theory called the Lipstick Index suggests that sales of affordable luxuries tend to increase during economic downfalls. Many people avoid making significant purchases such as apartments, cars, or vacations when a recession occurs. Instead, they indulge in small, pleasurable items such as lipstick.

Consumer psychologist Dr. Cathrine Jansson-Boyd agreed that people tend to boost their mood with small treats during tough times.12 However, she also noted that our subconscious desire for how others perceive us plays a more significant role in purchasing decisions.

Many people think that healthy skin and defined facial features are social indicators that they are doing well. It signals success to others – like a luxury lipstick that catches everyone’s attention.

In 2023, the skincare market segment generated revenue of $155.70 billion.13 So, we see a clear tendency that people are prioritizing maintaining their appearance and self-care even during economic uncertainty or personal stress.

And beauty bars offer a convenient way to indulge in these activities.

Challenges and Criticisms

Expanding to new locations presents several challenges for beauty bars and studios, such as:

  • Finding and retaining talented employees
  • Competing with other providers
  • Attracting new customers loyal to their existing providers

Moreover, scaling a service-based business is a challenging feat. Unlike product-based companies, service businesses typically require manual management, making expansion a complex and resource-intensive process.

They need direct customer interaction, making automating processes and scaling operations more difficult.

Challenges for beauty bars
Health Reporter edit

Expert opinion

Health Reporter consulted the panel of experts, including experienced doctors and cosmetologists, to gather their thoughts on the widespread distribution of beauty bars and salons.

“As a skin specialist, I believe this trend has a negative impact on the industry, and it is likely to persist unless new legislation is introduced to regulate the area.

Without the supervision of a qualified health professional, such as a dermatologist or an aesthetic medicine specialist, there are many potential risks associated with beauty bars. In this type of setting, there is often catering to the customers’ wants rather than their skin’s needs, which can lead to long-term issues.

Additionally, there is a risk of skin damage from undergoing specific treatments too frequently. Procedures like microneedling, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing can cause hyperpigmentation, skin hypersensitivity, scarring, and other serious complications.

Beauty bars divert patients away from actual dermatologists and doctors. People choose these cheaper and more convenient options. And they may not understand the risks or the importance of seeking qualified professionals for their skin health,” – says Health Reporter’s medical expert Rosmy Barrios.

Experts advise being skeptical about such services and remembering the responsibility on both sides.

“I am concerned about the aggressive advertising of beauty bars, which can normalize and encourage excessive facial procedures and injections. These treatments should not be considered as common as drinking smoothies.

This business model is not new, and there have been instances in the past where similar services were launched on a large scale in our country. After a few years, some were shut down entirely due to numerous lawsuits.

To ensure a successful and sustainable business model, owners must consider the long-term implications of their actions. Also, it is equally important for potential clients to exercise discretion and not be swayed by deceptive marketing tactics,” – adds Health Reporter’s medical expert Edna Skopljak.

Conclusion

It is difficult to say how long this trend will last, but investors strongly believe in its success. Despite economic and other challenges, people increasingly prioritize self-care. And beauty bars definitely fit this trend.

While there is nothing wrong with getting a quick peel during lunchtime, it is crucial to remember that these establishments can only partially replace a traditional appointment with a dermatologist or cosmetologist.

The issue is not just about the “medical coldness” or long wait times. The main concern is that beauty bars may prioritize convenience and affordability over safe and effective treatments tailored to customers’ needs.

Sources

  1. Why a Downturn Could Give Beauty Services a Boost:
    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/beauty/why-a-downturn-could-give-beauty-services-a-boost/
  2. Botox Beauty Bars Are Seeing a Zoom Boom:
    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/beauty/botox-beauty-bars-are-seeing-a-zoom-boom/
  3. Are You Ready for Drive-Thru Botox?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/style/botox-beauty-bars.html
  4. Heyday lands $12 million series B extension to support expansion:
    https://beautymatter.com/articles/heyday-lands-12-million-series-b-extension-to-support-expansion
  5. Glowbar closes on $10 million of growth capital:
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/glowbar-closes-on-10-million-of-growth-capital-301713333.html
  6. Ever/Body Raises $55.5M to Modernize the Cosmetic Dermatology Experience with Technology:
    https://www.alleywatch.com/2022/06/ever-body-cosmetic-dermatology-spa-medical-spa-skincare-amy-shecter/
  7. Why a Downturn Could Give Beauty Services a Boost:
    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/beauty/why-a-downturn-could-give-beauty-services-a-boost/
  8. Inside Heyday’s marketing playbook for franchisees:
    https://www.modernretail.co/marketing/inside-heydays-marketing-playbook-for-franchisees/
  9. Noninvasive Spa Alchemy 43 Expanding Retail Fleet:
    https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/alchemy-43-spa-new-stores-1235254974/
  10. FaceGym Launches at Sephora, Plots Further Expansions:
    https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/facegym-launches-at-sephora-plots-further-expansions-1235302611/
  11. Why a global recession is inevitable in 2023 — The Economist:
    https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2022/11/18/why-a-global-recession-is-inevitable-in-2023
  12. Lipstick index: Do shoppers turn to low-cost luxuries in a recession?
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-63047913
  13. Skin Care – Worldwide:
    https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/beauty-personal-care/skin-care/worldwide
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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