UK residents are increasingly coming round to the idea of plastic surgery, with a new report predicting that people will spend more money on surgical and non-surgical enhancements than they will on tea over the next 12 months.
Research by analysts from Mintel forecasts that Britons will collectively spend £659 million on having a nip and tuck in 2007, compared to £610 million that will be spent on the common cup of tea.
The research firm believes that almost 700,000 cosmetic surgery procedures will be undertaken this year, 40 per cent more than 2005's value and 240 per cent higher than data taken five years ago.
In addition, 338 per cent more will be spent on non-surgical cosmetic enhancements over the next 12 months compared to 2001's amount, with Britons shelling out £539 million on treatments such as Botox.
The paralysing serum, used to minimise wrinkles or frown lines, dominates the UK's cosmetic market, with 415,000 people using the toxin last year.
Jenny Catlin, senior market analyst at Mintel, said: "Acceptance of cosmetic surgery is growing within the British psyche, which is reflected in the increasing number of cosmetic surgery procedures being carried out in this country."
Although only two per cent of Britons have had plastic surgery performed, but one-fifth of people would consider having it undertaken, including one in ten UK men.
The principal reason for people turning their backs on cosmetic surgery is cost (35 per cent), while 28 per cent disagree with its ethical implications and one-fifth of people simply think they do not need it.
Mintel predicts that by 2009 UK residents will be making one million visits to the plastic surgeon, spending £1 billion in the process.
"With further medical developments offering easier access to cosmetic treatments and as the mystique factor lessens, the market will invariably attract new customers. Factor in our obsession with celebrity and our endless pursuit of the perfect look, future prospects are sound," Ms Catlin added.