Saving face: The biggest plastic surgery trends this year

January 21, 2019

If you are having a bad hair day, or a bad skin day, or you didn’t sleep well last night, maybe you should read this another time. Not to intimidate you, if you happen to be preparing for a job interview or a blind date—or are even if you are considering posting a new profile picture on social media—but research shows that you may need to make a strong first impression in, literally, the blink of an eye.

A series of experiments performed in 2006 by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, and published by the Association for Psychological Science, found that it only takes one-tenth of a second for a stranger for form an impression of you, based solely on your facial features— and that longer exposure won’t significantly alter those reactions.

Some say it takes at least seven seconds, but that still represents just a fraction of the time you would think a stranger needs to assess you: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident? Are you attractive?

And maybe that can explain why, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures has grown nearly 200% since 2000, with no indication of slowing down.

Advancements in technology and research are pacing with consumer demand, and the Food and Drug Administration is set to approve at least three new, cutting-edge cosmetic procedures in 2019, according to Allure magazine.

The beauty publication asked renowned plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists to weigh in on the trends and procedures they think will be the most popular in 2019:

  • Injectables are more accessible than ever: “It’s really the era of minimally invasive medical aesthetic procedures,” Lara Devgan, a New York City-based board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon told Allure. Injectables, lasers, and skin resurfacing can be quick, lunchtime procedures, often with immediately visible effects, and limited downtime—qualities that contribute to their inclusivity as well as confidentiality.
  • More men are taking the leap: Devgan estimates that 15% of her current patients are men, and the numbers are increasing. She attributes the rise to resurgence of classically masculine features and the decline of the social stigma attached to elected cosmetic procedures. “A lot of the procedures that I’m doing enhance features to look more masculine,” says Devgan. “Men have historically been interested in the lower third of the face, meaning the chin, neck, and jawline.” Her colleague, New York City-based board certified plastic surgeon Adam Kolker, anticipates that the use of radio-frequency technology (such as FaceTite) to address sagging necks and jawlines will skyrocket in 2019, especially among men.
  • “Tweaking” is taking off: Disproportionate breast enhancements, overfilled lips, and other exaggerated cosmetic procedures all are on their way out, Allure reports. Now, a successful plastic surgery or cosmetic procedure shouldn’t be obvious. Devan told the magazine, “”We are definitely seeing the rise of ‘tweak-ment.’ Now, people want to look more like their own filtered photos, or a Photoshop version of themselves, and recently, people are super into the like tiny little micro-optimizations that make them feel a little bit more confident but are not completely obvious.” Board-certified plastic surgeon David Shafer agreed, saying that he has noticed that his patients are in favor of a more “natural” look. “I think breast augmentation will continue to be popular, but with smaller, more naturally shaped, or positioned implants. Fat-grafting will continue to be popular into next year, but more for contouring and fine-tuning, rather than just plumping.”
  • Niche treatments are on the rise: Small, hyper-specific procedures to resolve minor, but annoying, facial and body quirks are increasing in popularity. These “micro-optimizations,” as categorized by Devgan, include the unorthodox use of filler in locations other than the traditional cheekbone, such as the earlobe, to tighten a stretched piercing from heavy earrings; or the bridge of the nose during a noninvasive rhinoplasty. “Another procedure I’ve been seeing a lot recently addresses the space between your nose and your lip, that little Cupid’s bow,” says Shafer. “It elongates over time and can age the lip, so we do a small incision right under the nose and lift up the lip. It makes a nice difference without having to plump the lips with filler.”
  • Body contouring is expected to surge: EmSculpt has just become available in the United States, and it is the first and only noninvasive muscle and body fat-shaping procedure,” Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist practicing in New York City, told Allure. The handheld tool uses magnetic fields to activate muscle contractions in the body to break down fat and build muscle.
  • The end of medical tourism: What was perhaps once attractive as a low-cost alternative to pricey elective procedures now has patients reconsidering its dangers versus its value, monetarily, and otherwise. “A good amount of patients I see are consult patients with people who went down to South America or other places for plastic surgery- and then end up having complications, or needing a complete revision, that I have to treat for them here in New York,” says Shafer. “
  • Preventative treatments will be big: According to the experts who spoke to the magazine, a larger number of patients will be undergoing treatments earlier, at a younger age as a means of preventative treatment. “Patients are … getting regular treatments starting at a younger age that are preventing invasive procedures in the long run,” says Engelman. “I think of it as maintenance or upkeep for skin, instead of ignoring skin concerns until drastic measures are needed.”

Research contact: @Allure_magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *