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Cutera Survey Conducted by Harris Interactive Charts Emotions and Behaviors of Women Approaching a Milestone Birthday

May 14, 2010 |

Women approaching a milestone birthday(1) feel optimistic and excited at what the future holds whether they’re approaching 30 or 60, according to an online survey commissioned by Cutera, Inc., a global manufacturer of aesthetic lasers.  The national survey, conducted in March by Harris Interactive® with nearly 1,000 women, offers insights into the emotions and behaviors of women as they approach a new decade.

Among key findings:

•Women approaching 30 are twice as likely to say they feel anxious about their milestone birthday than those approaching 60 (30% and 14%, respectively).
•More than 4 in 5 women (81%) approaching a big birthday say they want to improve something about their skin’s appearance.
•More women are willing to give up sex for 5 years (12%) than give up the Internet for 5 years (8%) to stop the aging process.

Insights into the “Big Birthday”

“Physicians who use our lasers for treatment of photodamage and other skincare concerns say that many of their patients are women approaching a new decade in their lives,” said Ken Witte, Vice President of Marketing and Clinical Development for Cutera. “We commissioned the survey to help doctors better understand the mindset of these patients – and to target their needs more effectively.”

The survey polled women who are within 5 years of turning a milestone birthday, from 30 to 60.  The term “milestone birthday,” a phrase commonly heard in physician offices, is an indication that turning a new decade often represents an important event in a woman’s life. For many, it’s a time to reflect on changes in their lifestyle and appearance.

“Typically, women approaching 30, 40 or 50 will visit our office to celebrate an upcoming ‘big’ birthday and treat themselves to a series of laser treatments or a dermal filler,” said Debra Jaliman, MD,  Assistant Professor Mount Sinai Medical Center.  “These milestones can be traumatic for some women but certainly not for all. The survey validates what we’ve seen – that women are opting for aesthetic solutions because they want to invest in their appearance as a gift to themselves.”

Better with Age

Over one third of women approaching a milestone birthday say turning older makes them feel optimistic because they are wiser and smarter (35%), and excited because they are looking forward to what the future holds (34%).  In fact, “a fabulous vacation” was the top selection for a birthday gift (31%), winning out over “losing weight” (25%) or “looking 10 years younger” (9%).  Not surprisingly, women approaching 60 were most likely to want the gift of “looking 10 years younger” (18%). 

“The results of this study show that women today, regardless of age, place greatest value on a ‘break’ from their daily grind and relatively less emphasis on physical goals, such as weight loss or shaving a decade off their age,” said Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD,  PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor Yale University School of Medicine. “The high ranking of a vacation as the birthday gift of choice may be a reflection of the increased presence of women in the workforce and a greater need for time to relax and rejuvenate.”

Relatively few women surveyed say they feel anxious because they are getting older (23%) or conflicted because they don’t feel as old as they look (21%).  Interestingly, women approaching their 30th birthday are actually more likely than those approaching their 60th to say they are anxious about getting older (30% vs. 14% respectively).

“Women turning 30 are approaching the first big birthday of their adult lives and often come to our office feeling anxious.  It is typically a time of growth and transition in their lives.  They may not feel settled – such as with an established career, partner or family,” said Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. “As the survey shows, they tend to feel less anxious as they get older.”

The Skin I’m In…

Over 4 in 5 women approaching a milestone birthday (81%) say they want to improve something about their skin’s appearance. Those approaching 30 or 40 would most like to improve their uneven skin tone and texture (23% and 15% respectively), while those approaching 50 and 60 want to improve wrinkles and/or fine lines (33% and 30% respectively). Also, women approaching 40 are more likely to want to improve facial redness (12%) than those approaching 60 (3%).

According to Dr. Jaliman the survey findings support the popularity of non-invasive procedures to enhance the skin’s appearance versus past trends of more invasive surgery for dramatic changes.  “Women realize that no surgery will improve the quality and feel of their facial skin or eliminate common concerns like coarse texture, fine lines, splotchy redness and, as they get older, wrinkles,” said Dr. Jaliman.  “These patients seek solutions to appear more rested and relaxed – not to look different.”

Supporting this trend, Cutera has seen a surge of interest in three laser treatments.  Laser Genesis, a popular treatment among women of all ages, enhances the complexion by reducing redness, fine lines, and pore size.  Cutera also offers Pearl and Pearl Fractional.  Pearl improves overall surface issues such as uneven skin tone, fine lines and brown spots; Pearl Fractional addresses the skin’s deeper layers to minimize more severe photodamage.  Combination therapy with Pearl and Pearl Fractional, known as Pearl Fusion is often preferred by physicians. With Pearl Fusion, patients receive a complete resurfacing solution, in a single treatment session – including deep resistant wrinkles.

Looking and Feeling Younger

The majority of women approaching a milestone birthday (64%) say they do take steps to look younger, including nearly half of women approaching their 30th birthday (45%) and over 3 in 4 approaching their 60th birthday (76%).  Popular strategies include coloring their hair (43%), wearing make-up (36%) or purchasing expensive skincare products (16%).

Other approaches used to look and feel younger:  shopped in the juniors department (7%), lied about their age (5%), dated someone younger (4%) and simply stopped celebrating birthdays (2%). 

When presented with a list of popular activities and asked what they would be willing to do to stop the aging process – 36% say they would give up alcohol for 5 years, the number one choice for all age groups.  Other answers included giving up watching TV and going on vacation for 5 years (19% each), and giving up a favorite food for 5 years (16%).  More women are willing to give up sex for 5 years (12%) than give up the Internet for the same time period (8%) if that would stop the aging process.

“Ultimately, nearly 4 in 10 (36%) were not willing to do anything to stop the aging process,” said Dr. Jaliman.  “I think we can project that these women accept aging as a natural progression and would not view birthday milestones with anxiety.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Cutera by Harris Interactive from March 19 – 24, 2010, via the QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service. The demographic questions in the survey (including the age determining question) was shown in two waves of the survey to a total of 4,598 adults ages 18+ of whom 2,424 were women ages 18+.  Based on the answers to this question, 934 women were interviewed for the Milestone Birthday survey, of whom 183 are ages 25-29, 223 are ages 35-39, 277 are ages 45-49 and 251 are ages 55-59.

Results were weighted as needed to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population using targets for region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Liz Mefford.

About Cutera, Inc.

Brisbane, California-based Cutera is a leading provider of laser and other light-based aesthetic systems for practitioners worldwide. Since 1998, Cutera has been developing innovative, easy-to-use products that enable physicians and other qualified practitioners to offer safe and effective aesthetic treatments to their patients. For more information, call 1-888-4CUTERA or visit

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Specifically, statements concerning Cutera’s ability to successfully develop, manufacture, market, sell and service new products worldwide to both its installed base and new customers are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current, preliminary expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which may cause Cutera’s actual results to differ materially from the statements contained herein.  Potential risks and uncertainties that could affect Cutera’s business and cause its financial results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements include its ability to increase revenue, manage expenses and  improve sales productivity and  performance worldwide; its ability to successfully develop and acquire new products and applications and market them to both its installed base and new customers; unforeseen events and circumstances relating to its operations; government regulatory actions; general economic conditions; and those other factors described in the section entitled, “Risk Factors,” in its most recent Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 4, 2008. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Cutera undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date they were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

(1) For the purposes of this survey women approaching a milestone birthday were defined as U.S. adult women ages 25-29, 35-39, 45-49 and 55-59.

SOURCE Cutera, Inc.



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