Along with feeling good, goes looking good. Men are now spending as much or more than women on grooming products and services. In 2014, this industry was estimated to be greater than $20 billion a year2. As American’s live longer and feel healthier, they want to look as young as they feel. Consequently, in 2016, the cosmetic surgery market in the United States exceeded $60 billion according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons3. The cosmetic procedures range from minimally invasive techniques for wrinkle removable to surgeries for breast augmentation and liposuction (see Charts 1 and 2).
Today, people are more active and strive for healthier lives and lifestyles. The 2017 Participation Report by the Physical Activity Council1 reveals that there is an overall increase in participation in team and individual fitness activities by all generations. Increases in spending were found in gym memberships, travel to participate in sports and recreation activities and outdoor recreation activities. As income rises the level of participation in fitness activities also increases. Fitness is not the only component of this trend towards healthier lifestyles. Americans spend over $60 billion a year on weight-loss programs and solutions. An estimated 50 million people go on a diet each year, while only about five percent (5%) manage to keep the weight off.
If you are thinking about facial and skin rejuvenation, clearly you are in good company. However, television and internet advertising should not be the primary reason that you choose to have a cosmetic or medical aesthetics procedure. The fact that a close friend had wonderful results from Botox treatments, does not mean that it is the solution for you. Similarly, your family doctor isn’t typically the best person to undertake these procedures as they aren’t trained in aesthetics or practiced in the art and science needed to achieve the results you desire.
Outlined below is a suggestion for the process to consider in making a choice about the facial and skin rejuvenation program that is best for your individual needs.
- Realistically set your goals. This whole journey is about YOU. Therefore, it is most important that you set short and long-term goals for the journey. Start with thinking about how you feel. Does the way that you look match the way that you feel about yourself? Are you full of energy but look tired? Would you like to have less of a dimple when you smile? Look in the mirror and think about what you believe would be the best version of YOU. It’s different for everyone. Consider your eyes, nose, mouth, neck and the symmetry of your face in making your assessment as well as your body and hair. Be realistic and honest with yourself and what you really want to see changed.
- Write them down! After thinking about your goals, document, in detail, your assessment. Take a selfie, print it out and make notes on it about the areas that you consider important in achieving your goals. If you look back at pictures of yourself when you were younger and long for certain looks to be there again, include those pictures (with notations) in your documentation. Being able to clearly describe the best version of you to a medical specialist will help you make a more informed decision about both the solutions and the provider that you choose.
- Do your research. Don’t let advertisements and your friend’s recommendations limit your understanding of the solutions that are available. Learn enough about the different procedures available that you will be confident in asking questions to potential medical specialists. The internet is a tremendous source of information. Find the website of a top ranked cosmetic surgeon and look at their descriptions of the full range of solutions from skin care to fillers to paralytics and to cosmetic surgery procedures. Understand the basic uses for solutions like Botox, chemical peels, micro-needling, liposuction and cool lifts. One, none, or a combination of solutions may be right for you. But it is your job to become informed first.
- Find an expert. Your source of a medical specialist should not be Groupon or the doctor that your friend went to for his or her procedure. It shouldn’t be the cheapest provider of the services. Identify ten or more of the top providers in your area. Review their websites. Identify the process that they suggest their patients follow. Do they simply list a series of services that they provide or do they focus on you and your needs in the way that they present themselves? Do they seem to suggest that it is a one-solution-fits-all or do they outline a combination of therapies that are best to meet YOUR goals? Does your consultation involve that specialist, a nurse or an advanced practice registered nurse? Is there more than one set of eyes involved in building a long-term care plan to meet your goals? Will a doctor review and sign off on each procedure per medical regulations? Answering each of these questions about the ten specialists will give you a higher probability of selecting the best provider for you.
- LISTEN to that expert. Once you narrow down your search, set up an initial consultation with a few of the top medical aesthetics specialists. You don’t have to select the first provider that you visit. Often the initial consultation is free. This will further help you answer some of the questions above that were not addressed in the online research. Is the expert interested in YOU and your vision for the best version of you or primarily selling their skills and experience? Does he or she outline a full course of treatment and explain how the combination of different therapies may increase their effectiveness and longevity? For example, Botox injections combined with IV hydration therapy can increase the effectiveness of the injection by as much as 30%.
- Build a long-term plan. In most cases, facial and skin rejuvenation involves a long-term plan. This plan ranges from simple changes in your daily routine of skin care and protection to the cosmetic procedures outlined by your medical specialist. This continues with an after care and follow up plan. Make sure that you have a clear written plan to produce and maintain the best version of YOU that completes your vision.
Make sure that you select the right provider. You can see the potential consequences if you don’t have a clear vision, each week on Botched! on E – Entertainment TV.