What’s the Price of Beauty?

Beauty is relative. It changes standards over time. Beauty can’t be defined, however, today there are standards that the modern world has set.

Modern Day Beauty Definition and Enhancement

Modern day norms have taken beauty to a new level. It even took beauty standards to a level where everything can be enhanced, altered, reproduced or repaired.

So came cosmetic procedure and surgery. But there is a price to pay.

Costs of Vanity

beuatyphoto: Mark Sebastian

It would be hypocrisy for anyone to say that spending money on beauty is outrageous, unnecessary, wrong (but of course there will always be critiques for excessive cosmetic procedures). Women in particular have spent money on beauty since time immemorial. The everyday beauty products, make ups, etc. were part of this everyday spending.

This leads to the thought that the “beauty is priceless” mantra now contradicts a modern day trend of “price tag for beauty”. The aforementioned spending is a small scale manifestation of the way we address vanity. We spend for it, some give in a penny and others, a paycheck.

In a moderation, cosmetic surgery and procedure can be beneficial in many aspects of our lives. It can correct self-esteem defeating conditions, it can improve appearance, help career goals and may heal past worries and hurts.

The price and acceptance though varies from country to country, continent to continent, culture to culture. And for that, we will be comparing cosmetic surgery prices from four (4) different countries from different regions around the world.

The Pricelist

We will take the average cosmetic surgery prices from four countries: Australia, UK, US, Korea and the Philippines. Why?

Australia, since this website is Australia based and we’ve seen the current trend of cosmetic surgery in the country (Australia outspent the US on cosmetic surgery spending per capita). We are looking at the UK since there are different procedures discovered there everyday and it’s the seat of the cosmetic procedure trend in its region. Then we have US since it has the most gathered and exhaustive data in its population about who has undergone procedures. Then, Korea, the country who has the highest number of people who underwent cosmetic surgery per capita compared to countries from around the world. And the Philippines, to take a look at the price range difference between developed countries and developing countries.

Although each country’s price range doesn’t exactly represent actual price range of the region they are in, it can suffice to provide us a bird’s eye view on the topic. Each will be broken down into the price of the top 8 popular invasive and non-invasive procedures. So here we go.

The prices seemed to conform to the salary grade of the country’s population. We will do a simple analysis of the price difference and the connotations of each piece of data. The Australian data is based on our client’s sites rough estimate (the estimate is inclusive of miscellaneous fees like anesthesia and other incurred fees). The UK data is based on NHS data. The US is based on the price list of the ASAPS. The Korean fees are based on the price list of NeoPlasticSurgery. Philippine data is based on CosmeticSurgeryPhil.

Note: This comparison is to serve as an informative tool for us to check how much each country can afford or would freely give for beauty. We DO NOT have the goal of promoting particular procedures for each country.

Rhinoplasty or Nose Lift

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common procedure present in the countries mentioned. This surgical procedure aims to reshape the nose. The procedure performed includes changing the nose size, width and bridge. It can also alter the nostril position and the nose tip. It is common and usually called a “Nose Job”.


Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty is most common in Asia and has been the most requested procedure in South Korea. The procedure is a surgery that removes fat and excess skin in the upper and lower eyelids of the eyes. Another version of it includes the creation of double lids from the single eyelid common to those with Asian origin.

Note: This time, we only took the US national average.


Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation includes the increasing of breast size through various surgical techniques. Breast augmentation clients age range starts from 25 to 80. Augmentation options include various breast implants to choose from.

breast aug


Liposuction has had many versions since it was first introduced to the public. The procedure includes the process of fat removal from a layer below the skin. It is mostly performed in the tummy, thighs and arms but can be done on almost any part of the body. It is the second most popular procedure in Australia, after breast augmentation.



Facelift is one of the procedures that gained public attention years back. The procedure helps rejuvenate the face through various techniques. It removes visible signs of aging and helps the face achieve a more youthful look. The different kind of facelift includes fat removal from the face, facial muscle tightening and skin re-draping.


Otoplasty or Ear Surgery

In the past, stick-out ears were obviously just put aside no matter how much it affected someone’s overall appearance. However, when Otoplasty became massively know, ears that stick out are here no more. Otoplasty may also address the problem of congenital external ear deformities.

Well, as we see, this one procedure is a bit peculiar. Usually, Australia will lead in the price list but this time, UK seems to get the higher cost. And South Korea is decidedly not keen on ear surgery since most clinics do not offer it.



Botox is a non invasive procedure that involves the injection of toxin botulin. It relaxes and paralyzes muscles. This paralysis prevents and removes wrinkles. It is the most popular cosmetic treatments since it doesn’t require patient’s so much time.


Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck, as its name suggests, removes the excess fat of the tummy. Then the excess skin is also trimmed and the muscles in the abdomen are tightened. Tummy tuck helps minimize love handles and reduces stretch marks on the stomach.

tummy tuck

A Pricey Conclusion

Beauty indeed cannot be measured but it can be enhanced, with an accompanying price. As we can infer above, there is a difference between countries in terms of cosmetics surgery prices. Let’s examine them.

Australia has always come up with a slightly higher cost, but as we said, the prices we provided were already inclusive of other expenses while we can’t be sure of other countries. When opting for these kinds of surgeries, it was always advised to prepare for the maximum limit of the procedure cost.

The US prices are the average of the national cost. There are thousands of clinics all over the US. This average includes the elite clinics and those that serve the masses. Since there is a big demand on cosmetic procedure in the US, it is understandable that its price is slightly lower than other countries.

South Korea, the mecca of modern cosmetic surgery procedures have their prices at mid-level. UK on the other hand sometimes exchanges places with Australia. Philippines on the other hand have the lowest cosmetic surgery cost (when converted to dollars).

When examining the data, we see that although there are significant differences among the countries when converted to US dollars, it CAN’T be said that it is costly to have these procedures done in Australia and cheaper in the Philippines. There are still some economic considerations to take into account from each country before the “costly” and “cheap” words can be considered to describe each price label. The usual thousand dollars in the US and in UK is a very large amount in the Philippines. So while Australia has a higher number in terms of price compared to Korea or US, it might still be a normal spending amount among people from the huge country.

But all in all, be it a developed country or a developing country, there are still prices that one has to pay. And it doesn’t end with money. Investments have to be strong from the emotional, psychological and physical reserve of the client.

So, what’s the price of beauty for you?

featured image:

Natural Beauty” by Jonathan Kos-Read, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / Cropped to fit width


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