MARLOW, England, September 12 /PRNewswire/ --

- 83% of Women Across the Globe Reveal That it is Important to Look Natural According to One of the Largest International Studies Conducted Into the Beauty Perceptions of Women and Men

Women across the globe are ditching the quest for wrinkle-free perfection in favour of looking as natural as possible - according to the largest international study conducted into the beauty perceptions of women and men.

Despite the obvious diversity between national cultures, the Aesthetic Anthropology: Beauty Across Cultures study reveals a worldwide consensus among women to want to look as natural as possible to reflect their personality, expressions and to protect their emotional wellbeing.

The study(i), commissioned by Allergan, makers of BOTOX(R) (now known as VISTABEL(R) when used cosmetically) is the first time beauty attitudes and perceptions have been assessed in this way. The aim was to assess the cross cultural attitudes to beauty - similarities and differences - to capture the socio-cultural moment in time.

New Notion of Beauty

The international study confirms that the new notion of beauty is contrary to the last decade's obsession with being wrinkle free. While 80% of women across Europe (82%) and the US (80%) recognise they have wrinkles or fine lines, 6 out of 10 of them admit they only want to reduce some of them, if any at all.

The most popular wrinkles women want to reduce are the frown lines between the eyebrows and the forehead wrinkles (25%). UK women reveal that their top three reasons for considering to use wrinkle relaxing injections are to look more refreshed (55%), to look good for their age (52%) and to look less stressed and tired (48%).

Beauty and Self Esteem

UK women feel the most pressure to look good, with 59% acknowledging that there is increasingly more pressure on them to look more attractive compared to 49% of US women, and just 30% of Italian women. One third of all women (35%) also reveal that their beauty regime has a more significant impact on their self esteem than it did five years ago, and only 4% of women surveyed would use the word attractive to best describe their face.

Dr Isabella Lepri, anthropological expert from the London School of Economics, says:

"People everywhere have always endeavoured to look attractive for many reasons. However, what is beautiful varies tremendously, and in the western world we are currently seeing a shift. There is an ever-growing pressure on people, especially women, to be successful as well as look good, which constantly challenges their self-esteem. This is compounded by ultra-thin models and super mum expectations. However, the results of this survey seem to suggest a change in attitude ... today the ultimate challenge is to meet all the expectations while looking effortlessly, naturally beautiful, but feeling good about yourself, taking pride in your accomplishments or liking what you see in the mirror may no longer be defined by the need look perfect".

The Value of Beauty

Women across Europe spend an average of GBP30.00 on beauty treatments per month. Nearly 1 in 5 women (18%) are spending 50% or more than they did 5 years ago! Despite this revelation, only 54% of women - compared to 65% of men - are satisfied with their current beauty regimes, which may reflect the fact that the 'natural look' can be difficult to achieve.

Although the use of anti-ageing creams has doubled over the last five years, increasingly, women are turning to the latest modern beauty treatments. Over a third (35%) of UK women stated that they may consider using wrinkle relaxing injections in the future and men are following suit! One quarter (25%) of men in Europe and the US revealed that they may consider using cosmetic treatments such as wrinkle relaxing injections in future as part of their regular grooming routine.

Mr Rajiv Grover, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, states: "Wrinkle relaxing injections have a significant role to play in shaping the face of 21st century beauty. Never before has 'natural' been so obtainable and desirable. I was surprised to see the biggest change across Europe has been from British women, with 35% now admitting they would, or that they might, consider using wrinkle relaxing injections in the future. In some countries, total facial rejuvenation with non-invasive wrinkle relaxing injections and cosmetic fillers are fast becoming an everyday beauty routine."

Metrosexual Men

It's not just women (48%) who are feeling the pressure to look good. One third (30%) of men admit to feeling the pressure to improve the way they look compared to five years ago. Anti ageing creams are now something men in the UK would consider as part of their grooming routine (13%), with 17% of European men considering facials! Feeling refreshed was the key driver behind grooming for men, although one in five (20%) admit that it helps them look more professional in the workplace - this is clearly more important to US men vs European men (31% compared to 10% respectively)!

Men are also growing increasingly comfortable discussing their grooming and appearance with their partners (58%) and friends (26%).

Men and women agree ... on stars that look natural!

And when it comes to the celebrities, many women aspire to have the natural beauty of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow (71%) and Nicole Kidman (56%), who topped the 'natural look' list for both men and women - beating off stiff competition from Renee Zellweger and Halle Berry (both 51%). Among men, Hollywood hunks George Clooney (78%) and Sean Connery (75%) came out on top for looking good for their age - for once Brad Pitt (70%) only made it in at third place! One thing is for sure, the Pamela Anderson era and all it embodies, is definitely over.

Wendy Lewis, international beauty consultant and author comments: "Just like we are striving harder to protect our environment and return to nature, we are also seeing women and men who want to look healthy and real - it's not a coincidence. People are finally realising that 'natural' is sustainable, perfection is not, and we are experiencing a backlash to the 'extreme' look. As a beauty expert, I welcome this new era in aesthetics."

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by Research International via an online omnibus panel of adult women and men aged between 25-60 years. A nationally representative sample of 1000 women and 500 men were surveyed in each European country (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) with a further nationally representative sample of 2000 women and 1000 men surveyed in the United States. Each sample was managed to be nationally representative by age, region and socioeconomic class / income. Data gathered was then weighted by age ranges to be representative of the national population.

About Allergan

Allergan, with UK offices in Marlow, Bucks and worldwide headquarters in Irvine, California, US, is a technology-driven, global health care company providing specialty pharmaceutical products worldwide. Allergan develops and commercialises products in the ophthalmology, neurosciences, medical dermatology, medical aesthetics and other specialty markets that deliver value to its customers, satisfy unmet medical needs, and improve patients' lives.

Allergan has developed the patient education website, The Natural Look (TM) (http://www.thenaturallook.co.uk) to raise awareness about non-invasive cosmetic procedures and surgical options. The Natural Look (TM) (http://www.thenaturallook.co.uk) is based on the results of extensive market research, and aims to support women with the right level of information and education to increase their options and facilitate discussions with their healthcare professional.

(i) Aesthetic Anthropology: Beauty Across Cultures, conducted on behalf of Allergan by Research International, July 2006

For further information and interviews with spokespeople please contact: Julia Cross, j.cross@cca-uk.com, +44-(0)207-632-1811 Lucy Hawkins, l.hawkins@cca-uk.com, +44-(0)207-632-1981

MARLOW, England, September 12 /PRNewswire/ --

For further information and interviews with spokespeople please contact: Julia Cross, j.cross@cca-uk.com, +44-(0)207-632-1811, Lucy Hawkins, l.hawkins@cca-uk.com, +44-(0)207-632-1981