The ‘Cosmetically Conscious’ Man Is Getting Work Done

Even as the occasional celebrity establishes a personal bulkhead against using injectable cosmetic treatments (think Tina Fey), the facts suggest that these nonsurgical wrinkle erasers are becoming increasingly popular.

This is particularly true of men, who despite making up only about 10% of cosmetic patients overall, are taking advantage of these relatively minor procedures, with no downtime and no whispered speculation.

“The number of men looking to flatten their crow’s feet with a little hyaluronic acid or tighten up their man-handles using radio frequencies rose at a rapid clip,” the Washington Post reported recently. “Procedures among men rose 43% between 2013 and 2014.”
A Washington, D.C.-based dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, told Bloomberg Business last year that men “are becoming what I call ‘cosmetically conscious’ because of social media and knowing women who’ve done similar procedures.” But he also says that men typically want noninvasive procedures that don’t require much, if any, downtime.

Cropped face of soldier against white background

But it’s not just the promise of scalpel-free procedures that is attracting more men to plastic surgery practices. There were 68,106 breast reduction surgeries in the United States in 2015, according to statistics from the American Society for Plastic Surgeons®, and for the first time men accounted for more than 40% of those procedures. A total of 27,456 breast reduction surgeries (primarily to treat a condition called gynecomastia) were performed on men, representing a 5% increase over the previous year and a 35% growth since 2000.

“As plastic surgery is becoming more common and accepted in men, we’re seeing more of them undergo procedures to tighten and tone problem areas, like the breasts,” ASPS President Dr. David H. Song says. “This procedure is often done in younger men who face genetic challenges with the size and shape of their breasts, and when appropriate, surgery can make a big difference in their lives.”

Shocked and terrified. Portrait of young man covering his face by hand and looking at camera while standing against grey background
Still, the vast majority of men — and women, for that matter — get minimally invasive or noninvasive cosmetic treatments. And as the stigma surrounding aesthetic improvements fades, expect to see even more men take the plunge.

“More men are getting injectable treatments than ever before,” Dr. Therese Jarmuz of Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery says on the practice’s website. “Social media and the desire to look younger in a competitive work environment are motivating men to seek non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as BOTOX®.”

The Atlanta-area practice even offers men what it calls a “Touchdown Face Lift,” which combines liposuction of the area below the chin with injections of Sculptra® Aesthetic, a long-lasting filler that smooths facial wrinkles and folds. The treatment involves minimal recovery time. BOTOX and similar treatments called Dysport® and XEOMIN® remain the most popular minimally invasive procedures for both women and men, followed by hyaluronic acid fillers.

But men are also driving the popularity of nonsurgical body contouring procedures such as CoolSculpting® that provide patients with flatter stomachs and slimmer waists. And treatments introduced last year to minimize the appearance of double chins are also poised to increase the number of men getting cosmetic procedures.