These Are the Cosmetic Treatments Popular With Men Now

The shift to video calls and at-home life has caused an unexpected acceleration in an already-emerging trend for men: cosmetic treatments of all kinds are more popular than ever.

Male cosmetic procedures rose 29% between 2000 and 2018 and the pandemic simply spurred more men to seek out ways to address signs of aging, sagging skin, and other self aesthetics they simply weren’t happy with.

“A growing number of men are turning to cosmetic procedures to not only improve their appearance, but also boost their self-esteem and confidence,” says Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Samuel Lin .

The growing interest has even inspired dermatologists and skin-related services to adjust their marketing and promotions to make everything from Botox and fillers to rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery feel more open and accessible to male patients.

“Personally, I love treating men because they know exactly what they want and exactly what they can spend,” says Lynn Bartels, a nurse practitioner at SkinSpirit ‘s Palo Alto, Calif. location.

How the Pandemic Let Men Embrace Cosmetic Treatments

As life shifted to inner bubbles and more time at home, it gave men the opportunity to research many of these treatments they may have only heard of in passing. A number of the experts we spoke with cited considerable upticks from men across the age and demographic spectrum.

“I think the pandemic gave our male clients the privacy and time to reach out and ask questions about these services,” says Dr. Jessica Wright, owner, operator, and medical director of skincare practice Rejuvenate Austin .

Plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer of New York’s Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue notes that an increased awareness of appearance led men to ask for more neck contouring and chin enhancement. While much of this comes in the form of Botox and dermal fillers (more on that below), non-invasive muscle toning and fat reduction procedures “are as popular as ever”.

Why Men Are Looking to Botox

Likely the most well-known, minimally-invasive cosmetic treatment, Botox has a 19-year history as a wrinkle solution for those looking to slow the facial aging process. As the world turned to video calls during months at home amid the pandemic, men jumped at the chance for a little improvement themselves.

“With the increased use of social media, and online video meetings, more and more men are taking a cold hard look at their faces,” says Los Angeles-based cosmetic injector Kristina Kitsos .

She says that the eroding stigmas of cosmetic work have encouraged many men to embrace Botox and other botulinum toxin injections to relax lines and wrinkles as a potential solution to improve the version of what they’re staring at in the daily grind.

“For example, most men want to look masculine so they want specifically placed Botox in the brows (so as to not appear “feminized”). This technique maintains the horizontal masculine shaped eyebrow as opposed to an arched, feminine brow,” she notes.

Men are also using Botox to decrease fine lines and aging around the eyes (think crow’s feet ). Instead of a full Botox injection to really roll back the years on eye skin, she’ll strategically use it to take a few years off a male mug.

According to Kitsos, men are also surprisingly using Botox in their armpits to help curb excessive sweating, which in turn lessens anxiety and improves confidence in those who were dealing with hyperhidrosis as an ongoing problem.

Other Injectables and Fillers

Many of the experts we spoke with also noticed a big uptick in men using injectable filler to roll back some of the soft, sagging look that occurs with aging.

“Injectable skin care has boomed the last couple years,” Lin says.

Alongside more traditional gel dermal fillers, he notes an increase in the use of stabilized hyaluronic acid injectables to treat sagging. Since hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in our bodies, its biocompatibility minimizes the risks for adverse reactions while promoting natural skin hydration.

“I love (recommending) filler for men,” Bartels says. “It checks all the boxes and is done so restorative changes can be made specific to men’s faces. Men like the immediate result which subtly refreshes their face, only takes 30-60 minutes and can last up to a year.”

“A sharp angled jawline is a sign of youth and strength,” Kitsos says. “Men are realizing that with a sharp strong jawline, they just look better.”

What To Look for and Ask About Cosmetic Treatments

The range and breadth of destinations – and providers applying said treatments – are dizzying. Not all cosmetic improvement locations and processes are the same and different options will work for different people.

“Results don’t necessarily depend on what treatment is performed but who is performing the treatment,” says Dr. Kristin M. Baird, founder and medical director of Dermatology Center of the Rockies .

She explains that the path to the best experience is to start by researching the credentials of a potential physician or provider beforehand. Then, be ready to have an honest conversation about which areas are bothering you, which you want to focus on and how much downtime you can accept (the recovery time is much different for Botox as compared to a more involved surgical procedure).

An obvious, but often overlooked question is asking if the provider has experience operating on men. Florida plastic surgeon Jacob D. Steiger, M.D. notes the nuances in performing cosmetic surgery on men that are important in maintaining a masculine and natural look. Any confident surgeon should be able to share plenty of before and after photographs of men showing successful outcomes.

For all of the quality, reputable cosmetic procedure providers out there, there are hundreds more looking to upsell and try to get unsuspecting customers into treatments they don’t need. Finding treatment centers with board-certified practitioners and full transparency about pricing, procedures, etc. is a good way to avoid getting scammed.

As the return to any sort of normalcy remains unclear through the first half of 2021, men will continue looking to their appearance as something they can control in the interim.

“I think 2021 will continue to show an increase for men in cosmetic surgical procedures,” says hair loss doctor and hair transplant and replacement surgeon Dr. William Yates , MD, FACS. “Botox, dermal fillers, regular skin care and facial treatments are soaring for men where this used to only be a female market.”

Whether it’s fat reduction, muscle toning, skin tightening, or something more significant such as a tummy tuck, neck lift, or even liposuction, it’s clear that stigmas around cosmetic enhancements and male plastic surgery are fading fast.

Men are embracing aesthetic improvements at a record pace and it’s a trend that’s sure not to slow down any time soon.

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