Selfies continue to drive cosmetic surgery demand


‘Selfie-awareness’ is one of the leading drivers in the growing demand for cosmetic surgery, according to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The latest survey by the academy, which is the world’s largest association of facial plastic surgeons, reports that “for better or worse, selfie-awareness is more than a fad” as 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who want to look better in selfies in their practices last year –13 percent more than in 2016.

AAFPRS president William Truswell says AAFPRS members have been at the forefront of the trend  since it was first identified in the academy’s 2014 surve.

“More and more of our patients are using social media as a forum to gain a sense of solidarity when under-going a major, potentially life-changing procedure,” he says.

“Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger.”

And according to the academy, it’s not just enhanced selfies that are trending.

“From public healing diaries to A-list and Insta-celebs baring all on their social media accounts, nothing is off limits when it comes to sharing one’s enhancements and aesthetic edits.

“From lip injections to chin implants to ear lobe reduction, 2017 showed us that there is no shame in sharing your road to self-confidence.”

However, the academy stresses that while surgery is no longer a hush-hush topic, 2017 made the phrases ‘anti-ageing’ and ‘you look good for your age’ taboo.

“The tables are turning on what it means to look and feel great, with a focus on health, vitality and empowerment rather than a number.

“This ‘pre-juvenation’ shift defies being defined by one’s age and is breeding a generation of uber-educated consumers who are taking control of the ageing process.”

Dr Truswell adds that this emerging consumer is knowledgeable about high tech skincare and sun prevention and starts with facial injectables before they turn 30.

“As more millennials come of age and gain disposable income for aesthetic treatments, our members have seen steady growth in the demand for cosmetic procedures.”

In fact, the average number of procedures performed by AAFPRS members has increased 25 percent since 2012.

Other survey findings include:

  • More than half (56 percent)  of members saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables with patients under age 30 last year.
  • More than four-fifths of treatments in 2017 were non-surgical procedures.
  • A natural-looking outcome is paramount for patients, with 33 percent stating a fear of looking unnatural as their top concern.
  • 57 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported patients’ desire to stay relevant and competitive at work as a major driver in the decision to have a cosmetic treatment.
  • Eyelid procedures to look less tired were reported as a rising trend by 73 percent of members along with combined non-surgical procedures by 72 percent of members.Botox (Allergan), along with Dysport (Galderma) and Xeomin (Merz) remain the most popular minimally invasive procedures followed by fillers and skin treatments.
  • For surgical trends, rhinoplasty leads the way year after year (performed by 97 percent of surgeons in 2017) followed by blepharoplasty (95 percent) and facelifts (88 percent).
  • The most popular procedure overall, Botox was ranked first for women followed by rhinoplasty. However, for men rhinoplasty was the top procedure followed by Botox.
  • Botox and hair transplants both notably increased in the past five years, with the number of Botox procedures in the survey increasing by 33 percent from 2012 to 2017 while the number of hair transplants jumped by more than 538 percent in the same period.

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