2021 Aesthetic Medicine Trends According to the IAPAM
Demand for Non-Invasive Aesthetic Procedures Will Continue to Rise
The world of aesthetic treatments has seen massive changes in the last decade. In the 1990s, invasive cosmetic surgery was introduced, and it slowly gained popularity. Now non-invasive procedures are all the rage when it comes to aesthetic medicine trends. Thanks to lower costs and quickly visible results, people are opting more towards the non-invasive route. Procedures such as Botox®, laser hair removal, fillers, etc. were already known to people but in the years 2019 and 2020, there was an increase in other non to minimal-invasive procedures like PRP, skin tightening, medical facials, body contouring, microneedling, and so on. Demand for both the new and the old aesthetic medicine trends are forecasted to continuously rise in 2021.
There were more than 80 million aesthetic treatments in 2019.
In 2019, there were more than 80 million aesthetic treatments and procedures were performed worldwide. People believe that aesthetic medicine is similar to regular health treatments since it helps them maintain a healthy and natural-looking appearance. In addition to staying healthy and fit, people also want to minimize the effects of aging.
Additionally, women nowadays are going for a more natural look when it comes to these enhancements, rather than looking dramatically different. The new trend is to make small changes in their trouble areas instead of making major changes. Some of these procedures use the body fat of the patient themselves to be used as an implant in the face or as other enhancements. Furthermore, one of the major reasons that aesthetic medicine trends have gained popularity among people is because of the rise of social media. Whether it is selfies on Instagram or Facebook, people have started focusing more on minimal procedures to update their appearance. Plus, a vast majority of the younger generation and males have also hopped on the non-invasive procedures bandwagon due to their increased obsession with social media.
When talking about aesthetic medicine trends, 2019 was the ultimate year of facial rejuvenation procedures and these aesthetic medicine trends continued on to 2020 and aren’t slowing down anytime soon. When it comes to other non-invasive procedures, the top five, in the last two years, were:
- Botulinum Toxin.
- Hyaluronic Acid.
- Hair Removal.
- Nonsurgical Fat Reduction.
Covid-19 Has Contributed to Increased Demand. But How?
Due to the sudden appearance of a worldwide pandemic, the demand for non-invasive cosmetic treatments has increased. According to plastic surgeons and dermatologists, this sudden increase is due to the fact that people have to work from home and show their faces on video calls for personal and work meetings. There has also been a rise in telemedicine in the past year. It is safer for people to consult with their dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other professionals through video calls rather than meeting in person, unless for the procedures themselves.
Another reason for an increase in non-invasive facial procedures is due to constantly wearing masks. An ideal environment is created for the bacteria to grow due to increased humidity and warmth under the mask. This results in clogged pores and ‘maskne.’ Not to mention, people who already suffer from a certain skin condition, like rosacea, will have a more difficult time with their skin.
Projected Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends to Look Out For in 2021
1) Botox® and Fillers
Since the last decade, Botox® and fillers have gained quite the popularity as some of the most requested non-invasive plastic surgery procedures. It has been predicted that the demand of these procedures will continue on in 2021.
When talking about neurotoxins (Botox®), they are used in order to relax certain muscles underneath the skin, which results in less production of frown lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and other facial lines. On the other hand, fillers are used in order to treat wrinkles and fine lines as well. Plus, they restore volume in different areas of the face where it’s needed, like eyes, jaws, and cheeks. Fillers are more commonly known to plump the lips as a raging trend. Fillers come in different types, depending on firmness, viscosity, texture, and other properties.
With fillers a patient can see immediate results with no downtime. The patient leaves the clinic looking refreshed in just a short amount of time, which makes getting fillers an easy procedure. There can be minor swelling or redness of the skin at the injection site, but all of that will disappear in just a few hours.
Botox® and Fillers are no longer taboo.
Nowadays, cosmetic procedures, like Botox® and fillers, aren’t considered taboo. There was a time when getting Botox® was seen as a massive physical change in someone’s life and no one would openly talk about it. Times have changed and these procedures are becoming more common. Plus, the younger generation, like the millennials, started paying more attention to their appearance, in part due to social media culture. This has resulted in them opting for Botox® and fillers and this sudden increase has removed the stigma that was once associated with these types of procedures.
2) Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma treatments, also called PRP treatments, are used for various purposes, such as facial rejuvenation, hair loss, and acne scarring. Both women and men have taken advantage of this aesthetic treatment when it comes to fighting the signs of aging or the appearance of an aging face, like fine lines, sagging skin, wrinkles, uneven skin tones, and scarring.
This nonsurgical procedure uses the blood of the patient in order to create the cocktail that will be injected into their skin. This will promote the production of collagen and provide that younger-looking plump look to the patient. The blood is placed inside a centrifuge, where the platelets that contain the growth factors get isolated. This is an allergy-free all-natural process that is performed by trained healthcare providers. When it comes to using PRP for hair loss, the body creates an inflammatory response due to the treatment, which releases growth factors that stop the hair loss process.
The results of this procedure show up after a couple of days and will build over time. However, the end result varies from patient to patient. Usually, it takes three weeks to notice an overall improvement in the skin’s texture, hydration, and tone. It is between the third to sixth week when new collagen is produced and formation of new blood vessels takes place. The process of improving the skin’s elasticity and reduction of any fine lines continues on for a couple more months.
Cosmetic PRP results can last up to 1-2 years
According to research, cosmetic PRP’s results usually last for one to two years. However, this also depends on several factors, like the condition of the patient’s skin before the procedure and how well the patient followed the protocols both before the procedure and after it. Once the new cells and collagen start forming underneath the skin, that is when the facial rejuvenation can truly be seen. This process might require some time. Some people see improvement in their skin by the third week, while others don’t see any visible change until the sixth week.
These treatments have been a major hit among celebrities as well. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Molly Sims have openly talked about the many benefits they have achieved with PRP treatments. No one can forget the uproar that Kim Kardashian created with her ‘Vampire Facial®, (trademarked by designer-physician Charles Runels, MD Inventor of the O-Shot®, P-Shot®, & Vampire Facelift® & Vampire Breast Lift® Procedures),’ which is just another version of a PRP treatment. Also, the famous actress Angelina Jolie tried a PRP procedure called ‘Dracula Facelift,’ which helped in making her skin younger and added more elasticity to it for a youthful appearance. Another actress, Jay Anstey gave the famous Kim Kardashian ‘Vampire Facial®’ a try and it has become one of her most favorite beauty treatments. In addition to plumping up the skin, reducing the fine lines, and providing a natural glow, this procedure has also helped her with her chronic dryness issue.
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4) Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is known as one of the highly-popular laser cosmetic procedures in America due to its effectiveness, safety, and long-lasting results. In fact, both women and men are having these procedures done on their bodies. Since the grooming industry of men is continuously growing, the need to remove unwanted hair has increased in areas like the back or the chest.
People go for laser hair removal for different reasons, whether it is for cosmetic purposes or an underlying condition, like hirsutism. This procedure works by gently damaging the hair follicle’s root that contains melanin, which is a component that gives the hair its dark or light color. The end result of this procedure is smoother skin that stays hair-free for a long period of time. Aesthetic clinics offer laser hair removal for different areas of the body like face, back, abdomen, bikini area, chest, knuckles, legs, breasts, underarms, buttocks, and feet.
According to Mayo Clinic, laser hair removal reduces the number of hairs by 40% – 80%. A person only needs to go for three to six sessions in order to see results and these sessions take place after every six to ten weeks. When it comes to the costs, it depends on the area that is being treated. Usually, laser hair removal price in the United States ranges from $200 – $800.
What Are The Top Laser Machines Currently Used?
- Ruby Laser: This machine is perfect for hair that is thin and light. Plus, it is suitable to be used on smaller treatment areas. However, this laser system isn’t recommended for people that have darker skin tones. Some popular Ruby Laser systems are EpiPulse Ruby, RubyStar, and Palomar E2000.
- Alexandrite Laser: This laser system is highly popular due to how quick it is. It is used to cover larger treatment areas. It is suitable to use on patients with skin tones that range from light to olive. Some popular Alexandrite Laser systems are Cynosure Apogee, Candela, EpiTouch Plus, GentleLase, Motus AX & AY (Cartessa), Thunder (Quanta).
- Diode Laser: This laser system penetrates deep inside the hair follicle, which makes it ideal for getting rid of hair that’s coarse or thick. It is safe to use on individuals that have a darker skin tone. Some popular Diode Laser systems are LightSheer, SLP, F1 Diode, SopranoXL, Apex, LaserLite, MeDioStar, and Epistar.
- ND:YAG Laser: This laser system is a major advancement when it comes to cosmetic laser technology. In addition to hair removal, this system can also be used for sun damage correction and tattoo removal. It is safe to use on all skin types, including tan skin tones as well. Some popular ND:YAG Laser systems are Candela, GentleYAG, Cynosure, Sciton, Lyra, Medlite IV, and Cutera.
- EVO & Discovery Pico Laser Series: The EVO & Discovery Pico Series lasers by Quanta System Aesthetic Division can perform hair reduction on a wide range of skin types and hair colors. The laser hair removal treatments with the EVO are quicker, due to the ultra-fast start-up times and wide laser-beam sizes. Plus, the handpieces are specifically designed to deliver even and highly precise energy emission.
5) Nonsurgical Fat Reduction
Since the demand of aesthetic treatments have increased and become more accessible, fat-reduction procedures have also experienced an increase. Nonsurgical fat reduction and nonsurgical body contouring are two of the procedures that have been a major part of the aesthetic medicine trends. In these procedures, the fat cells get destroyed from stubborn areas of the body without any surgery, for example, the thighs, abdomen, upper arms, and bottom.
What makes nonsurgical body contouring different from surgical liposuction is the fact that laser fat removal techniques do not need anesthesia, incisions, stitches, or a longer recovery period. These procedures are handled in different ways. Some procedures require freezing the fat cells, while other procedures make use of heat that penetrates through radiofrequency or other means. Different types of methods are used when it comes to nonsurgical fat removal, here are a sample of some methods available:
Low-Level Laser Therapy (Zerona®)
Laser Lipolysis (SculpSure® and Zeltiq®)
Radiofrequency (Exilis™, truSculpt™, Velashape™)
Ultrasound (Liposonix® and Ultrashape®)
Red Light Therapy
This latest technology is FDA-approved. It works by reducing the volume of fat cells by making use of concentrated red wavelengths of the natural light onto the skin and the fat cells. It is because of this light that the fat cells end up creating tiny openings and they start shrinking in size. The red light therapy is perfect for individuals who have issues with stubborn fat that’s stored in the thighs, hips, or abdomen area.
Additionally, when it comes to these aesthetic treatments, there are certain areas that are more popular among people, such as neck fat or fat in the chin area that they want to appear more youthful. This also includes the use of KYBELLA®, which is an injectable treatment that’s FDA-approved. It works by destroying the fat cells in the area that’s being treated, like below the chin, in order to improve a person’s profile.
Photorejuvenation, also known as a photo facial or intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, is a procedure that helps a person in achieving blemish-free skin. This procedure uses IPL technology in order to get rid of some of the common skin issues, such as sun damage, brown spots, broken capillaries, stretch marks, and other skin texture-related issues. This is a minimally invasive skin procedure that also reduces any signs of aging, like age spots and wrinkles. Due to its quick recovery time, these aesthetic treatments have become one of the quite popular aesthetic medicine trends.
This procedure is ideal for individuals with pale to medium complexions or olive-toned complexions. This procedure will refine the texture of the skin and also even out any skin discoloration that was caused by aging, sun damage, acne, and so on. However, individuals with a darker skin tone should not go for this procedure since the primary target of this procedure is melanin. Therefore, a darker skin tone will have a higher risk of developing adverse pigmentation issues. Darker-skin individuals will benefit more from other aesthetic treatments like microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels in order to improve the tone and texture of their skin.
Furthermore, the IPL therapy in this procedure works by shining a bright and intense light on the affected areas of the skin. The patient is required to wear a protective eye mask for the light, while the healthcare professional is using an IPL device. This device is then pressed onto the affected areas of the skin and it emits light, which heats up the collagen underneath the skin. This causes the body to accelerate its production of collagen, which ends up filling in the wrinkles and the fine lines of the face, including a couple of shallow acne scars. Also, the healthcare professional might suggest additional treatments in order to enhance the benefits of this procedure, for example, combining photorejuvenation with a chemical peel.
In two to three weeks after the first photorejuvenation procedure, the skin will start to feel and appear a lot smoother with even coloration. Once three or more treatments have been done, a patient can see a gradual change in their skin’s texture and tone, including a visible reduction of dark spots, redness, pores, and fine lines. Age spots and freckles might remain a bit darker for about a week, but then they will start to gradually fade as well. Also, the final result of this procedure greatly depends on the pre-treatment and post-treatment care, which also includes less sun exposure.
When it comes to the cost of photorejuvenation, this usually depends on the healthcare professional and the area that is being treated. Generally, the average cost of this procedure is around $350 to $1,000.
Aesthetic Medicine Trends Final Words
Aesthetic medicine trends have greatly evolved over the years. While the late ‘90s and early 2000s were all about invasive plastic surgeries, the times have truly changed as new non-invasive procedures have taken over the world of aesthetic treatments. People can get their desired look without worrying about going under the knife, all thanks to the use of different procedures.
In order to prepare for what 2021 might bring, aesthetic practices need to make a plan on how they can manage everything during a pandemic. This includes safety precautions that are important not only for their clients, but also for their employees. When it comes to aesthetic medicine trends, something new is always around the corner. As people are becoming more aware of their appearance, so the need for non-invasive aesthetic treatments grows. Consumer demand will continue to drive non-invasive procedures to the top of all aesthetic procedures in 2021.
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