New Survey: The Aging Face Takes on New Meaning


Face of Plastic Surgery Goes Younger Due to Growing Social Media and Reality TV Influence on Millennials

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) recently announced their annual statistics and revealed a new trend that points to more and more young adults and teens opting for aesthetic procedures. In 2015, a whopping 64 percent of member facial plastic surgeons saw an ncrease in cosmetic surgery or injectable treatments in patients under age 30.

Whether you call it the “Kardashian Effect” or “Selfie Mania,” the influence of celebrities and social media on Millennials’ decisions to have facial cosmetic procedures is real and powerful. The year 2015 saw the phenomenon reaching beyond Kim-inspired butt injections with Kylie and Kendall eclipsing their older siblings in the spotlight. Between their staggering Instagram following, high profile friends and endless stream of up-close-and-personal selfies, the next generation of the Kardashian clan spurred a flurry of interest in facial feature enhancements from their peers.

“The teen and young adult years are a highly impressionable time and the more consumers are inundated with celebrity images via social media, the more they want to replicate the enhanced, re-touched images that are passed off as reality,” says Edwin Williams III, President of the AAFPRS and facial plastic surgeon based in Albany, NY. “We are seeing a younger demographic than ever before seeking consultations and treatments with facial plastic surgeons all over the country.”

He continues, “The prevalence of non-invasive procedures like lasers, peels and injections are making it even more appealing for young people to dip their toe into aesthetic enhancements before aging is even a concern. However, younger patients should be advised to be careful not to go overboard too soon with injections. In fact, some procedures like overly plumped lips and a frozen forehead can actually age you beyond your years.”

The influence of celebrities and selfies on plastic surgery is not just a Gen X movement. Patients of all ages are becoming desensitized to plastic surgery as more celebrities come clean about their cosmetic tweaks. Having a little “work done” has become less taboo. In fact, 82 percent of surveyed surgeons reported that celebrities where a major influence in their patients’ decision to have plastic surgery last year.

“The commoditization of cosmetic procedures, both surgical and especially non-invasive, is increasing due to Groupon® and other daily deal aggregators as well as the prevalence of plastic surgery on TV,” says Dr. Williams. “When we see things like BOTOX® offered in gyms and salons, or on-demand injectables through new apps, this runs the risk of demedicalizing what truly are medical procedures that should be administered in a controlled environment by a highly trained healthcare professional.”

“Due to the improving economy and increased consumer awareness, coupled with a growing comfort level with the safety and predictability of cosmetic treatments, we expect the demand for facial cosmetic procedures to continue to expand,” says Dr. Williams.

AAFPRS members agree that the biggest trend for the future of facial plastic surgery is more emphasis on early maintenance starting in the twenties and thirties to avoid larger procedures and delay the need for cosmetic surgery down the road.

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world.


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