By Helene Ravlich
Like every other industry globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown appearance medicine into a whole new world, one revolving around ever-changing priorities, locked down borders and too much time spent in front of a screen. For many doctors it’s been a time of uncertainty followed closely by prosperity, if recent research is to be believed.
Have money, will spend
Worldwide trends are demonstrating that just like luxury cars and art, in the age of COVID -19 – cosmetic treatments are the new retail therapy. Prior to the pandemic, affluent types had money set aside that they were going to use to travel to Paris, Milan or New York, celebrating significant birthdays or well… just because. When the virus put travel on hold – if not off the table – for many years to come, high net worth individuals found themselves sitting at home with money sitting in the bank —the perfect storm for those on the fence about diving into cosmetic procedures.
WFH takes the edge off downtime
Working from home has been one of the biggest drivers of increased cosmetic and plastic surgery demand, as people are taking advantage of the natural downtime many of us still have. Globally, procedures growing in popularity are the ones where clients used to say, ‘Oh, well, there’s too much downtime’, or ‘I can’t take off for that number of days’. More intensive lasers or chemical-peel procedures that take a little bit more recovery time are now a very attractive option, and this trend is also mirrored with plastic surgery. Patients are now able to freely and discreetly wear compression garments at home and simply turn their video off for Zoom calls, and instead of needing to take two weeks off of work, they are back on board within days as they aren’t required to drive into the office and sit for hours at a desk.
The eyes have it
For many years, eyelid surgeries have been the third most popular procedure after liposuction and breast enhancements. And in a world where everyone is wearing face masks, there has been a renewed emphasis on blepharoplasty. After all, there is little point in plumping up your lips if no one sees them. There has been a rise in upper eyelid blepharoplasty to treat sagging eyelids and lower eyelid surgery to remove bags under the eyes. There has also been an increase in demand for under-eye filler and non-surgical brow-lifts, as we take our gaze front and centre at all times.
Life in front of a lens
Professionals have observed that our new 24/7, on-camera lifestyle, is making people much more self-conscious now than they were before, spurring a huge push towards facial procedures — addressing the chin, cheek and jaw to sharpen jawline angles and resolve a skyrocketing patient request: the “tech neck”.
As a result, three-quarters of the work done in 2020 by members of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) was facial plastic surgery, with rhinoplasty, facelifts, eye lifts and neck lifts the procedures increasing the most. AAFPRS’s 2020 statistics revealed increased bookings for 70 per cent of AAFPRS surgeons, with 90 per cent of those reporting a more than 10 per cent increase in business. Over the past few years, use of non- invasive procedures to forestall the signs of aging have been steadily on the rise. The pandemic flipped the switch, creating a surge in surgical demand not seen in recent years, according to an AAFPRS press release.
Wow your brows
Beauty trends are always changing, but a good set of brows never goes out of style. Throw in the fact that, when wearing a mask, our eyebrows are one of the main features, and you’ll see why stellar eyebrows are one of the biggest beauty must-haves of 2021. Rather than spend hours of precious time plucking, pencilling, and obsessing over your brows, many with extra discretionary income are deciding it’s time to consider something else. Overseas reports say that you want to make sure your eyebrows are always on point, a surgical brow lift might be in order — the incision-based procedure is fairly affordable, takes only a couple of hours, and boasts results which most often will last for over a decade.