According to ASPS, the number of cosmetic procedures has risen steadily in the past 5 years; in 2015 15.9 million cosmetic procedures were performed and in 2019 18.1 million procedures were performed which constitutes a 2.2 million increase. Cosmetic procedures are divided into two sub-categories: cosmetic surgical procedures and minimally-invasive procedures. Minimally invasive procedures account for 95% of this increase. Minimally invasive procedures include, but are not limited to, Botox, chemical peels, soft tissue filler, and laser hair removal. The increase in this category is significant and according to ASPS, 2019 holds the record for the number of Botox injections with almost 7.7 million injections performed. Clearly plastic surgery is on the rise, but why?
Social media is an almost unavoidable part of society today and has contributed to the increase of plastic surgery procedures to social media. With social media comes a greater focus on one’s image and also facilitates comparison of one’s looks with their social media community. According to a report by the American Association of Facial Plastic Surgeons (AAFPS), 84% of surgeons agree that celebrities (in particular Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian) are impacting patients’ choice to get cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Although the phenomenon of social media has led to an increase in plastic surgery, it in turn has decreased the average age of patients seeking plastic surgery. As social media is utilized more often by a younger crowd, the decrease in the average age of plastic surgery makes sense. According to an article by CBS, trends indicate that instead of restorative procedures that “turn back the clock” or reverse the signs of aging, millennials are choosing procedures that are preventative in nature, trying to maintain their youth as long as possible. This aligns with the data from ASPS that the increase in plastic surgery is mostly in minimally-invasive procedures. As social media’s influence continues to grow, many surgeons expect the trends of early, preventative procedures to increase and the age of their patients to continue to decrease.