Surgery is back, baby, says the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the largest association of facial plastic surgeons in the world.
In the same way Costhetics is known for its up-to-the-minute news and information about facial cosmetic surgery and the world of aesthetics, the AAFPRS is known for its annual member surveys. This year, the organisation took a deep dive into how the COVID pandemic changed the way we see ourselves.
An Unexpected Downturn in Fillers and Treatments
Like you, Costhetics has been following the steady growth of non-surgical, anti-ageing treatments. We were gobsmacked to learn demand for minimally invasive procedures declined by 9% from the previous year. The biggest changes were in:
- Skin treatments (down 29%)
- Filler injections (down 8%)
There was no change in the demand for anti-wrinkle injections, which continue to be popular.
An Unexpected Uptick in Facial Plastic Surgery
The surprises just keep on coming from the AAFPRS. The organisation reported the demand for non-essential surgery related to aesthetic enhancement has never been greater:
- 70% of AAFPRS surgeons experienced an increase in bookings in 2020
- 9 out of 10 surgeons reported an increase of more than 10% in their practices
What’s hot and what’s not? There have been notable increases, says the AAFPRS, in:
- Rhinoplasty (78%)
- Facelifts (69%)
- Eye lifts (65%)
- Neck lifts and treatments (58%)
The most notable change is the move of facelifts into the #2 spot. Previously, this effective, but complex area of facial plastic surgery clocked in at #7.
Zoom-ing from Aware to Hyper-Aware
There is nothing like staring at your own reflection for hour after hour to give you a case of the I’m-not-good-enoughs. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time in front of the mirror each day. With the advent of COVID, however, we have ample opportunity to become aware of wrinkles, bumps, skin discolouration, and other facial imperfections.
The need to feel confident for on-screen professional encounters became vital in 2020. It was dubbed the Zoom Effect:
- 83% of the surgeons surveyed point to online meetings as driving the popularity of facelifts.
- The desire to look less tired was noted by 56% of surgeons
Teens were not exempt from the trend of course, with rhinoplasty as the most desired facial plastic surgery. Forty-one percent of surgeons report video conferencing as the main reason teens give for wanting a nose job. This is a new trend, reported by 16% of AAFPRS surgeons.
The problem with real-time video, says AAFPRS president Dr Carnio, is that it cannot be photoshopped. Stripped of the editing tools offered on apps such as Instagram and TikTok, Zoom puts people face-to-face with who they are.
When You Have More, You Want More
COVID has provided other factors that make facial plastic surgery more attractive than ever for people who want to be more attractive than ever:
- Entertainment, travel, and other spending are down, giving people more disposable income to devote to aesthetic enhancement. (64% of surgeons mark this as an important reason.)
- People who are working from home can afford the lengthier down time required post-surgery.
Self-Care Means Safe-Care during COVID
For the first time in 2020, older patients (56-plus) represented the lowest percentage of patients seeking aesthetic treatments. Millennials and under-30s are taking over the industry, says AAFPRS, and they have unique priorities. The generation extremely concerned with self-empowerment, self-love, and self-care, is willing to accept nothing less than the best that the aesthetic industry has to offer.