Cosmetic procedures have the potential to be very expensive. The average woman spends over $300 each month on her appearance, totaling over $3,600 per year— and this is just the average. Of course, some women spend much less on their appearance, but other women spend much more.
The term “cosmetic procedure” can refer to cosmetic plastic surgery (which is the most expensive) or other procedures that enhance the appearance, but don’t require surgery. Here are five of the least expensive cosmetic procedures that aren’t surgery, but are still widely used by women.
Contrary to popular belief, Botox is a relatively inexpensive cosmetic procedure— possibly because there are many more alternatives to reducing wrinkles than there once were. Botox is derived from a toxin (botulism) that causes a dangerous form of food poisoning. Fortunately, doctors qualified to give botox injections only inject a small amount into the problem areas, causing the nerves and muscles in that area to weaken.
The average cost of Botox in the U.S. is around $408, and it’s recommended that you get Botox injections every three to four months, depending on the problem area. Some of the most common problem areas include:
- Eyes (crow’s feet)
- Forehead (lines)
- Mouth (from lines)
- Neck (wrinkles)
2. Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers are similar to Botox in that it’s a substance that is injected into the face, but dermal fillers aren’t usually a toxin or some other worrisome chemical. In fact, dermal fillers are often composed of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen can be sourced from bovine (i.e., cows), marine animals, chickens, or even pigs, and pig collagen is typically the most affordable form.
On average, collagen dermal fillers cost anywhere from $650 and $875 depending on where you go and what kind of collagen filler you get. Another popular filler is hyaluronic acid, but this can cost twice as much as collagen.
3. Hair Removal
Hair removal is probably the most affordable cosmetic procedure that can be done, depending on the method used. Waxing for hair removal is still pretty popular, and it’s the most affordable hair removal option. Average prices typically look like this:
- Armpits: $15 to $25
- Arms: $25 to $40
- Back: $40 to $55
- Bikini: $30 to $35
- Eyebrows: $8 to $20
- Legs: $35 to $70
Laser hair removal is a little more expensive (around $1800 for full-body), but this type of hair removal typically lasts longer than waxing and shaving for most people. If hair does grow back, it’s usually thinner.
Microdermabrasion is a much gentler method that isn’t as invasive as dermabrasion. Both procedures remove acne scars, dark spots, dull skin, fine lines, and wrinkles, but microdermabrasion only removes some skin cells from the outermost layer of skin (epidermis), while dermabrasion removes skin cells from both the epidermis and the dermis (the next layer of skin).
In 2020, the average cost of dermabrasion was nearly $1800, while the average cost of microdermabrasion was much less expensive at $167. Microdermabrasion is clearly the much more affordable option, and it’s also the better option if you’ve never had a treatment like this before.
5. Temporary Teeth Covers
Another category of cosmetic procedures includes certain dental procedures that are cosmetic in nature. This means that whatever procedure is done is not done for a medical reason, but strictly for aesthetics. Some cosmetic dental procedures can include:
Cosmetic dental procedures are not often covered by health or dental insurance, so they can be quite expensive depending on which procedure you get and how many teeth need to be corrected. A more affordable option would be a temporary tooth covering that can mask common tooth problems, such as gaps, missing, and cracked/chipped/broken teeth. Not only is this option more affordable, but they’re removable and allow you to do the same things you’d do with a permanent fix.
Even these inexpensive cosmetic procedures can add up because the majority of them require routine maintenance to keep up with the results. This may be why so many women prefer actual cosmetic surgery because the results from this method are more permanent. Still, the five nonsurgical procedures listed above are going to be much less expensive than plastic surgery. Whichever procedure and whichever method you decide to choose, always make sure that you go to a professional to get the best and safest result.