Male patient receiving a skin laser treatment

The search for ever-lasting youth is nothing new. However, with science and technological innovation, experts are now able to diminish the signs of aging with a number of cosmetic medical procedures. For example, the approval and introduction of Botox to the market in 2002 saw an immediate boom in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, and the aesthetics market has only continued to grow since.

The market for non-surgical cosmetic procedures continues to rise, with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reporting that over 3 million non-surgical procedures were performed in 2017. Injectables such as Botox and hyaluronic acid dermal fillers accounted for over 2 million of those procedures. Crucially, these numbers are only expected to rise.

Not only do market trends predict that non-surgical procedures will continue to grow in popularity, they also indicate that there will be an uptick in younger patients. This is a trend that has been visible for some time, with the ASAPS reporting a 41 percent increase in Botox treatments between 19- and 34-year-old patients between 2011 and 2015. Overall, in 2017, this age group accounted for 15.3 percent of all non-surgical cosmetic procedures. This article will explore the reasons why these types of procedures are becoming more popular among the younger market segment and which facial treatments will see a rise in demand in 2019.

Why Are More Young People Getting Botox?

There are a number of factors that account for people receiving Botox or dermal filler injections, even at a young age. Traditional media has always been a source of influence when it comes to what is aesthetically ideal, and the pervasiveness of social media has only made media-derived standards of beauty more unavoidable. Young people feel more pressure to appear young, healthy, and beautiful, and non-surgical cosmetic procedures are a quick fix to achieve the optimal look. The popularity of social media filters and photo editing apps also allows the younger generation to picture themselves with slightly altered features, as if they’re able to take certain cosmetic procedures for a test drive before committing to dermal fillers or Botox.

There are also more people talking without shame about the cosmetic work they have had done, which decreases the stigma against such procedures. Many patients who have undergone plastic surgery report that the procedure had a positive effect not only on their body image and self-esteem, but also on their social relationships. It is not surprising that patients see or hear of such cases and feel confident in receiving minimally invasive non-surgical procedures such as Botox injections, dermal filler injections, or thread lifts.

Another reason that may account for why more young people are getting Botox is that more people are talking about how Botox’s benefits can function as a form of preventative treatment. Indeed, media messaging surrounding Botox has shifted toward encouraging young people to receive injections as a proactive measure against the signs of aging.

Increased innovation and access to such procedures will only cause the number of young patients seeking non-invasive aesthetic treatments to rise, and market trends reflect this. That is why professionals in the aesthetics market should be aware of three non-surgical treatment modalities focused on facial rejuvenation: microcurrent facelifts, skin lasers, and “vampire facials.”

Microcurrent Facelift

A microcurrent facelift is like exercise for the face. During the procedure, short electric shocks are given to the skin. These shocks are similar to the natural signals the brain sends to the muscles under the skin to tell them to move. As a result of the microcurrent, the muscles flex briefly. Like any other muscle in the body, this movement helps the muscles under the skin get stronger, thereby preventing the skin from weakening and wrinkles from forming. The microcurrent facelift, also referred to as a “natural” facelift, also helps repair damage on a cellular level, as the electrical currents help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Studies show that this non-surgical procedure can increase collagen up to 14 percent, increase blood circulation by up to 38 percent, and raise elastin production by 48 percent. This results in a smoother, healthier, and younger-looking appearance for the patient.

Skin Lasers

A skin laser is a form of radiofrequency treatment that uses electromagnetic energy to tighten and contour the skin. The low-energy radiation emitted from the skin laser heats the cells to help create new elastin and collagen within the dermis and stimulates the production of fibroblasts. Radiofrequency treatment platforms such as Thermage can also help increase blood circulation, which leads to healthier skin. Not only is this non-invasive treatment modality becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Scarlett Johansson receiving treatment, but it is also rising in popularity on a global scale. In South Korea, the number of radiofrequency treatments carried out rose by 134.9 percent in just five years. Though some patients may be skeptical of the thought of lasers being able to help rather than damage the skin, radiofrequency treatment is perfectly safe. The energy level of the radio waves is so low and comes in contact with the skin so briefly that there is very low risk of heat damage or biological cell damage.

“Vampire Facials”

Another non-surgical facial procedure that has soared to popularity thanks in part to the Kardashian family, so-called “vampire facials” use blood taken from the patient to help rejuvenate the skin. After blood is taken from the host, platelet-rich plasma is isolated from the sample using a centrifuge, such as the ones Plasmolifting offers. Using tiny microneedles, the plasma is reintroduced to the pores to help activate stem cells and encourage collagen and elastin stimulation. This treatment modality uses a combination of microdermabrasion and the natural growth factors in platelets to give the skin a boost of energy. The procedure is ideal for patients with sun damage or premature wrinkles, and it will result in a more even tone and an overall refreshed appearance.

There are many reasons why patients who seek non-surgical cosmetic procedures are becoming younger and younger, and so long as beauty standards continue to change with trends and quick fixes, this market trend will continue.