Because the number of younger patients requesting fillers is increasing every year, aesthetic practitioners need to brush up on their knowledge on how best to treat the booming millennial market. By Dr Sly Nedic…
According to a 2018 survey of 110 facilities that offer non-invasive cosmetic procedures in the USA, 72% of facial plastic surgeons reported an increase in cosmetic interventions using fillers in patients younger than 30. And we see the same trend in South Africa.
Why do we see this increase?
Compared to the more mature individuals that perceive cosmetic procedures as a sign of vanity, perhaps even shameful (maybe even something to be strictly secretive about), younger people are just the opposite. First, millennials (aged 25 to 38) have been labelled as the ‘wellness generation’.
This age group highly values mental and physical health, eating more healthily, exercising regularly and smoking less, while being unafraid to try just about any scientifically proven way to improve personal wellness. And an increasing number of younger people are seeing cosmetic procedures using fillers as part of a holistic approach to their well-being – with ‘looking good, feeling good’ being their mantra.
Millennials are also aware of signs of premature skin ageing, which is somehow happening more quickly than before due to a combination of environmental toxicity, and the food industry using more GMOs, pesticides and growing vegetables in depleted soil. Young adults understand that maintaining a good look is easier and less expensive than big procedures later on (and, perhaps are even a necessity in the modern day), so they’re unafraid to be proactive with cosmetic procedures.
The requests are specific
While the older generation doesn’t often understand the difference between fillers and immunomodulators (e.g. botulinum toxin), younger patients come to our practices pretty clued up. Initially, the ‘Kardashian effect’ – the presence of social media in our daily lives – has led to society’s acceptance of cosmetic procedures at a much younger age than what we have seen in the past.
But we are also seeing a dramatic change in younger patients’ requests related to fillers. The trends are moving away from ‘overly enhanced looks’ seen previously, and are now shifting towards a more natural appearance. Millennials are first to recognise that! The strident requests for ‘Kylie’s lips’ in 2016 have changed in 2020 to requests for a more proportional, overall beautifying look, often involving chin, nose, cheek and jawline correction.
Seeing through the tricks… sort of
That said, celebrities still have considerable influence on cosmetic procedure trends across the world. The difference is that millennials, who have been bombarded with endless advert campaigns their whole lives, are becoming more aware of marketing ploys.
They often recognise that using a celebrity in marketing may simply mean that a doctor is more talented than others in promoting their work – rather than necessarily being more credible. Not to mention that celebrities are often given free procedures or products – or are even paid to promote. It’s with this in mind that most millennials do their homework before booking.
The results they see among influencers on social media drive them, and their requests are quite particular: a thinner looking face, beautification, ‘fox eyes’, better proportions, and so on. Having done a lot of research and seen tonnes of before and after pictures, they come in decently prepared, asking for a specific look using fillers – which is not always attainable. Needless to say, they do still need guidance and a thorough consultation.
Filler recommendations for millennials
Fundamentally, before undergoing any non-surgical cosmetic intervention, we need to find out the motivation behind the request. It is even more critical in younger patients, as understanding their motivation for filler intervention will ensure a successful outcome.
During the assessment, pointing out ‘imperfections’ on their faces and the limitations in achieving a desired look could be an extremely sensitive subject – one that needs to be done using educational before and after pictures. Assessing and planning cosmetic procedures in millennials has to be done in a way that helps them to clearly understand that harmonising the face, enhancing one’s own natural beauty and altering proportions usually requires a substantial amount of work.
Nevertheless, the expectations for results are so high that a doctor needs to be a near magician to deliver immediate results with the limited number of syringes that millennials can typically afford! This is why using the appropriate tools and fillers to provide adequate results is crucial.
Differences in younger skin
The skin and subcutaneous tissue of a younger patient are usually firmer and thicker, as the collagen is intact and there are limited signs of ageing. So if we are looking to achieve a better projection of the chin, a well-defined jawline or even a cheek enhancement, we need to use a filler that not only has a very high lifting capacity but can also be used for thicker tissue quality as well.
Moreover, the use of a filler that produces such a high lifting effect will help us deliver pleasing results with less product, while using it in more sites – a bonus for a usually tight budget. Lastly, contouring the more youthful face requires a filler with a firm gel texture while also ensuring precision (such as what’s needed in correcting the nose shape).
Using the right products
The high safety profile (more than 15 years) and local anaesthetic (3% lidocaine) found in the filler make the NASHATM technology fillers popular among doctors and patients. Creating a pleasing facial profile, better overall proportions, and beautifying the face of a younger patient sometimes requires lips, tear troughs, and nasolabial line corrections.
These areas are not aged but have a thinner tissue quality. They require fillers with both a soft gel texture and excellent product integration within the surrounding tissue. The end result is a beautifully natural expression, without any visible bumps or lumps – in fact, one is virtually unable to see that fillers have been injected. However, keep in mind that this tissue integration needs a few weeks. For doctors, a 1bespoke range of fillers allows for simple application in practically any part of the face with a thinner tissue quality.
Another important factor for millennials to take into account is that while tailored fillers will offer them high-quality outcomes, they still need to pay for the expertise, judgement and skill of the doctor (and not the ml of a syringe) – as well as the original versions of the filler (and not a similar, cheaper product).
Resources www.8thsense.co.za. References available on request.
Written by Dr Sly Nedic – MBChB (Bel)
- Founder of 8th Sense Medi-Spa, Sandton www.8thsense.co.za
- Board-certified doctor of WOSAAM (World Organisation of Society of Anti-Ageing Medicine)
- Member of IHS (International Hormone Society)
- Member of A4M (American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine)
- Faculty member of Preventive Genetics- Laboratories Reunis, Luxembourg
Please note 1In accordance with the Medical Device Regulations Act, any mention of a filler or botulinum toxin BRAND name in an advert or published article is a contravention of the above act, for which the offender is liable to a conviction, penalties and sentencing. A2 magazine strictly adheres to these laws, so, therefore, will not publish any injectable brand names whatsoever. However, we do strongly recommend our readers to thoroughly research your chosen procedure, and of course, ask your doctor which products are suitable for you.
A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice.
This article was written by Dr Sly Nedic and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine Spring Sep/Dec 2020 Edition (Issue34).
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