The Younger Face of Plastic Surgery
The Aging Face Takes On New Meaning As More Young Adults And Teens Opt For Aesthetic Procedures
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has announced the outcomes of its annual survey, which explores the top trends in facial plastic surgery over the past year and predictions for where the field is headed. The AAFPRS represents more than 2,500 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons around the world.
The 2015 member survey reveals a new trend that points to more and more young adults and teens opting for aesthetic procedures. In 2015, a whopping 64 percent of member facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectable treatments in patients under age 30.
Whether you call it the “Kardashian Effect” or “Selfie Mania,” the influence of celebrities and social media on Millennials’ decisions to have facial cosmetic procedures is real and powerful. The year 2015 saw the phenomenon reaching beyond Kim-inspired butt injections with Kylie and Kendall eclipsing their older siblings in the spotlight. Between their staggering Instagram following, high profile friends and endless stream of up-close-and-personal selfies, the next generation of the Kardashian clan spurred a flurry of interest in facial feature enhancements from their peers.
“The teen and young adult years are a highly impressionable time and the more consumers are inundated with celebrity images via social media, the more they want to replicate the enhanced, re-touched images that are passed off as reality,” says Edwin Williams III, president of the AAFPRS. “We are seeing a younger demographic than ever before seeking consultations and treatments with facial plastic surgeons all over the country.”
He continues, “The prevalence of non-invasive procedures like lasers, peels and injections are making it even more appealing for young people to dip their toe into aesthetic enhancements before aging is even a concern. However, younger patients should be advised to be careful not to go overboard too soon with injections. In fact, some procedures like overly plumped lips and a frozen forehead can actually age you beyond your years.”
CELEBRITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA
The influence of celebrities and selfies on plastic surgery is not just a Gen X movement. Patients of all ages are becoming desensitized to plastic surgery as more celebrities come clean about their cosmetic tweaks. Having a little “work done” has become less taboo. In fact, 82 percent of surveyed surgeons reported that celebrities were a major influence in their patients’ decision to have plastic surgery last year.
“The commoditization of cosmetic procedures, both surgical and especially non-invasive, is increasing due to the prevalence of plastic surgery on TV,” says Williams. “When we see things like BOTOX® offered in gyms and salons, or on-demand injectables through new apps, this runs the risk of demedicalizing what truly are medical procedures that should be administered in a controlled environment by a highly trained healthcare professional.”
RESULTS TRUMP COST
“We are very happy to report that each year we see a more highly educated consumer,” says Williams. “Thanks to the wealth of information available to patients on the Internet from validated sources and knowledgeable media, consumers are now far more savvy about choosing a qualified surgeon.” Not surprisingly, the survey found that the top concern of patients is finding the right practitioner whom they can trust, followed at quite a distance by concerns for the costs and visible results. Pain and discomfort was of the least concern, perhaps due to improved methods of topical anesthesia and more less painful treatment options.
According to the survey, the top three trends in 2015 were people requesting natural-looking rhinoplasty results (74 percent), combined surgical and non-surgical procedures (72 percent), and eyelid procedures to look less tired (71 percent). More than half of surgeons also saw a rise in patients asking to get their cheekbones back (56 percent) and people turning to cosmetic procedures to remain competitive in the workforce (51 percent).