Australia’s Most Searched Procedures Aren’t What You’d Expect

Pokertox, tongue splitting and rib removal searches are soaring. 

New data from Semrush has revealed the top cosmetic procedures that Australians have been searching for in 2021. Over the past 12 months there have been more than 1.1 million searches in Australia for cosmetic procedures, a massive increase of 240,000 searches compared to last year. 

“From the online search trend data, we are able to see how cosmetic surgery has changed over time. Interestingly, over the past two years we can see that there has been a decline in searches for breast implants and tummy tucks,” said Semrush Vice President of Marketing Olga Andrienko. 

“One of the biggest growths in online searches has been for umbilicoplasty (belly button surgery). Semrush’s data has revealed that online searches for this cosmetic surgery skyrocketed in September 2020, an increase of 250 per cent over the past two years,” said Ms Andreinko. 

Lip filler popularity remains strong

Topping the list of searches by volume is, unsurprisingly, lip filler with a total of 158,200 searches throughout the year proving it still leads aesthetic trends. Those stats put searches up 34.2% on the previous year. 

Following in a close second is gynecomastia with 142,900 searches, up 49.79% on last year. Also making the list of most searched treatments by volume is eyebrow tattooing, CoolSculpting, labiaplasty and cheek filler, among others.

According to the data, breast implants have seen a steady decline over the past two years, with Aussies asking Google “how much does a breast reduction cost”, up 136% increase year on year. 

The most commonly asked questions were about a popular botulinum toxin brand and lip fillers, with more than 16,500 searches over the past year for Aussies wanting to know how long anti-wrinkle injections last with a similar number of searches for “how long does lip filler last”. 

There has also been a 3,100% increase over the last 2 years of Aussies wanting to know whether they can exercise after anti-wrinkle injections. 

“Overall, the most searched cosmetic procedures with Aussies have continued to be non-invasive surgeries such as lip filler and [tox] over the past two years. However, the data does show clear spikes for more niche procedures during this period,” said Ms Andrienko. 

“Interestingly, searches for toe shortening procedures experienced a significant spike in January 2021, up 600% month on month.” 

Things get really interesting when you look at the statistics around the most searched cosmetic procedures by growth rate. Buccal fat removal tops the list with an increase in searches of 309.1% year on year suggesting Australian’s are looking for that ‘less is more’ beauty look. And it seems we aren’t happy with our belly buttons with umbilicoplasty searches up 250%. 

See the full statistics supplied by Semrush in the tables below. 

Top Cosmetic Procedures by Growth Rate 

Note: Search data has been analysed over a two year period from 2019 to 2021 

  1. Buccal fat removal (+309.1%): the removal of cheek fat to give the appearance of a thinner, more contoured face. 
  2. Umbilicoplasty (+250.0%): changes the appearance or shape of the belly button. From an ‘outie’ to an ‘innie’ or vice versa. 
  3. Rib Removal (+182.4%): commonly performed on people who want to achieve an hourglass look to their figure. 
  4. Gynecomastia (+174.1%): the removal of male breast tissues or ‘man boobs’. 
  5. Pokertox (+133.3%): a combination of tox and facial fillers specifically designed to enhance a gambling player’s ‘poker face’. 
  6. Coolsculpting (+125.0%): a non-surgical method of destroying adipose tissue aka fat freezing. 
  7. Dimpleplasty (+120.0%): creates dimples on the cheeks or chin. 
  8. Tongue splitting (+90.0%): a type of oral body modification that involves splitting your tongue in half often performed to create a ‘forked tongue’ look. 
  9. Ear pinning (+84.6%): also called otoplasty, this is performed to pin back or reduce the size of protruding ears.
  10. Fat grafting (+84.6%): moving a person’s own fat cells from one part of the body to another area. Fat grafting restores youthful contours, making the area fuller and more lifted. 

Top Cosmetic Procedures by Search Volume

KeywordVolume 2019-2020Volume 2020-20212-year growth1-year growth
lip filler117,800158,20049.4%34.30%
botulinum toxin*127,600138,60022.2%8.62%
eyebrow tattoo96,600127,50050.0%31.99%
tummy tuck68,00087,30050.0%28.38%
breast implants55,90055,90022.2%0.00%
cheek filler43,30050,20050.0%15.94%
buccal fat removal16,16042,300309.1%161.76%

*actual keyword refers to a popular botulinum toxin brand name


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