Russian women do not hesitate to undergo plastic surgery or certain cosmetic techniques to improve their appearance, but the availability of materials for these procedures faces challenges as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow due to the Ukrainian war.
For example, cosmetic products including Botox and breast implants, which are imported in large quantities from the US and Germany, will become harder to obtain.
According to the International Society of Plastic Surgery, Russia ranks ninth in the world in the number of plastic surgeries performed annually, as women underwent 621,600 surgeries in 2020.
The Russian cosmetics industry is expected to be worth $969 million in 2021, up 2% from the previous year, according to Russian consulting firm AMECO.
After the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, US pharmaceutical company ABV, which supplies the wrinkle-treating Botox, pulled out of the growing Russian market, citing what it described as “incidents” in Ukraine.
Yulia Vrangulova, co-founder of the National Aesthetic Medicine Clinics, told AFP that as a result of the ABV move, the availability of Botox is “shrinking”.
He explains that the decline in Botox stock is “a concern for clinic managers who are accustomed to using this reference product.”
“In March, we saw panic among patients, doctors and suppliers,” says Oksana Vlasova, who is in charge of the development department at the “Grand Med” cosmetic clinic in St. Petersburg. As the demand for Botox increased, the availability of this product ended.