It is really interesting how cosmetic and fashion trends, which are intricately linked, can swing wildly over time. Right now, in the cosmetic procedures and aesthetics alterations field, we are moving from a taste for purposeful exaggeration to subtle enhancement. Some refer to this as a trend toward a natural look, and that is not altogether inaccurate, though there are gender and generational differences that define how this works.
Millennials Driving the Selfie-Glam Look
As Forbes.com has pointed out, it is not only acceptable to get work done, but seen as a wise preventive decision to combat the effects of aging:
In the last decade, the cosmetic procedures industry has undergone a makeover itself. What was once perceived as radical and risky has now become commonplace. The notion of “getting work done” has gained social acceptance. This shift is due to the expanding arsenal of noninvasive treatments that yield effective results with little to no downtime. As health tech advances power safe and accessible treatments, preventative care has skyrocketed in popularity, especially among Millennials who are thinking ahead about the negative effects of aging. Procedures from light-based therapies and radio frequency treatments to microneedling and chemical peels offer long-term value.
Increasingly popular with this generation are botulinum toxin, stem cell treatment, and ultrasound stimulation designed to keep the young looking young.
At the younger end of the generation, people are making choices to invest in treatments that help them look like ultra-enhanced versions of themselves. Snapchat Dysmorphia has consumers seeking out treatments and procedures to give them the cartoon-like exaggerations they see in the social media filters. The smoother skin, larger eyes, and slimmer noses are some of what these clients are after. Much of this can be accomplished through less invasive procedures that allow for these young clients to again alter their looks when their tastes change.
Men Seek Maintaining or Recovering an Enhanced Version of Themselves
According to the American Academy for Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, a society that includes many ABCS members, 31% of men were “extremely likely” to consider having a cosmetic procedure. (Source).
Allure Magazine, and other glamour publications, have covered this topic a lot. This is because it feels like news. Most people don’t think of men as clients of cosmetic clinics or medical spas. We in the the field, however, do not find this a surprise – but we do have a very keen interest in the trend. Some of the more popular choices among men have been liposuction and the less invasive body sculpting. Botulinum toxin, which helps with excessive sweating, has become a popular procedure, as well.
Currently, Botox has only been approved for the treatment of underarm sweating. In studies, Botox was extremely effective. Doctors use it “off-label” to treat other areas of the body.
Studies have found that Botox successfully treats sweaty palms in 80 to 90 percent of cases. However, the treatments don’t last quite as long as the underarm treatments. Studies also show that Botox works to treat forehead sweat. It can reduce sweating by 75 percent for about five months.
Researchers believe that Botox could help with sweating on the soles of the feet, however few studies have been done. Of particular concern is that injections in the feet are considerably more painful than other areas. (Source).
Men are also getting chemical peels and laser treatments, as well as injectable filler.
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery:
Injectable filler science has advanced dramatically, and cosmetic surgeons now have a wide range of products at their disposal to restore volume, smooth wrinkles and furrows, fill indented acne scars, and contour the nose, jawline and other facial features in minutes with little to no downtime. Quick, instant-gratification procedures like this suit men especially well… [Because] the effects of aging are not isolated to the face, skin or any other area of the body, and more physicians and patients are realizing the benefits of taking a multidisciplinary approach to anti-aging care. Therapies such as testosterone replacement and PRP (platelet rich plasma) have seen a spike in demand that parallels that for male cosmetic treatments… Incorporating both types of treatments into one’s anti-aging plan can accelerate the results of skin care treatments, fat reduction, and skin tightening for optimal total-body rejuvenation.
These are not men trying to change their appearance dramatically, just achieve a younger, more fit and attractive version of themselves.
Women Over 40 Seeking A Younger Self
Women seeking to age gracefully, and look a decade younger, are more frequently choosing not to go under the knife, but rather to have non-surgical cosmetic procedures that gently alter their looks to remove signs of age. These subtle enhancements are generally meant to bring out and renew women’s natural beauty. Some of the most popular are laser facial treatments, which renew and enhance the skin; chemical peels, which do much of the same using a different technology; and oxygen facials which are a growing trend. The celebrity Madonna has been touting the benefits of oxygen facials which include a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and an improvement of skin tone with a plumper texture. (Source). Women are also looking to injectables, body sculpting, and other non-invasives to help renew and maintain their look – with the overall goal to age gracefully.