The coronavirus pandemic glow-up is real.
More and more women under the age of 45 are seeking cosmetic procedures — a trend that research has shown was fueled by the global health event.
Results of a new survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that business among 30% of its member clinics has doubled or more since March 2020, while overall three-quarters of respondents reported at least some boost at their practice.
“This is definitely true,” Dr. Anthony Youn, a Detroit-based plastic surgeon with over 8 million followers on TikTok, told The Post. “There is a huge boom in plastic surgery since our practices re-opened.”
The ASPS survey attributed the industry’s success during hard times — between 2021 and 20212 — to pandemic-related factors: More than a third of patients used their forced downtime to scrimp and save for their dream procedure, or re-allotted their former vacation funds to pay for cosmetic work. Other reasons given included a renewed sense of carpe diem, as well as their virtual work and social circumstances, with many now required to regularly appear on screen, forcing them to scrutinize their own faces.
But the ASPS survey itself overlooked one likely contributing factor — social media — which could help explain the upward trend of younger women appearing in doctors’ offices.
Dr. Bob Basu, vice president of finance of the ASPS and a private practice surgeon in Houston, addressed the elephant in the room.
“We’re seeing ourselves on a computer screen a lot more regularly and are much more aware of our appearance. And for a lot of people, that makes them recognize that they may want to look a little younger or to appear less tired, which has led to an increase in facial and neck procedures as well,” Basu said in a statement. “I think there’s something that’s happened in terms of the cultural values on aesthetics and wellness in this country that we haven’t seen before. And I think people are recognizing that it’s OK to do something for themselves.”
Meanwhile, young women are better equipped than ever to make such decisions.
“Millennials are very sophisticated in terms of getting the information they want. They share their experiences with other people through social media platforms or other methods. And so, these procedures are no longer taboo — they’re actually relatable and accessible,” Basu added.
Some of the most popular procedures — liposuction, facelift, breast augmentation, tummy tuck and breast lift — have remained on top over the years, while the patients they draw have changed. Women aged 31 to 45 make up a vast majority of patients seeking these procedures — with the exception of the facelift, which continues to dominate among the group aged 45 and up. Meanwhile, lip fillers have become most popular among women aged 30 and under.
“We are seeing a greater portion of younger female patients — possibly powered by social media,” Youn speculated. He told The Post that these women are regularly seeing him for age prevention and reversal through minimally- and non-invasive procedures such Kybella (Deoxycholic acid) to “melt” chin fat, or the skin-tightening micro-needling treatment Morpheus 8.
Meanwhile, post-pandemic uncertainty has not deterred clientele. Youn said the business “doesn’t seem to show any signs of fading” — perhaps thanks, in part, to the industry’s immunity to economic swings.
“Cosmetic treatment prices haven’t kept up with inflation,” he revealed. “Practices are usually fairly slow in raising prices.”
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