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Social Media Drives Plastic Surgery Procedures Among Millennials

Many of us are still very much under the impression that plastic is fantastic. We use plastic products on a near-constant basis — some of which were created through reaction injection molding — and those components can be found in everything from cars to our homes. We use plastic to make purchases and to carry around our personal items. In some cases, we might even use plastic-themed methods in the pursuit of eternal youth and beauty.

Cosmetic surgery, of course, doesn’t always involve the use of synthetic materials. But even at a time when many Americans want to embrace a more natural beauty, cosmetic procedures are on the rise. And there’s one demographic, in particular, that’s driving the trend: millennials.

Although they’ve been accused of killing off many an industry, these 20- and 30-somethings are allowing the cosmetic surgery industry to thrive. These tech-savvy consumers might use their smartphones to find plastic surgeons in the area, like the 46% of Google users who seek local information and may very well be swayed by social media influencer deals and Instagram model aesthetics.

That’s partially what makes cosmetic treatments so appealing to this younger generation. The sheer reliance on photo filters and retouching apps has made many a millennial completely allergic to any perceived physical flaws. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, one in four cosmetic surgery patients in 2018 were under the age of 35. Furthermore, this age group is now having more cosmetic surgery procedures than patients in the 51-to-64 age group. And according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55% of patients in 2018 showed their surgeons retouched selfies when discussing the goals of their procedures. In other words, they want a perfectly retouched face that allows them to genuinely use the hashtag #nofilter.

That said, millennials aren’t necessarily eager to go under the knife. The vast majority of cosmetic treatments performed in 2018 were non-surgical, which hints at the fact that millennials want an airbrushed look without the prolonged recovery period. Dermal fillers remain one of the top five minimally invasive cosmetic procedures people undergo each year, but many younger patients are also fighting off the signs of aging early on. Botox is often used to prevent, rather than smooth out, wrinkles. Microneedling and non-surgical rhinoplasty are also popular options for patients who want to up their selfie game. Chemical peels and other facial treatments are becoming more pervasive among younger people, as well, and the stigma surrounding plastic surgery and associated procedures isn’t what it once was. While it used to be rather taboo, it’s now as normalized as a manicure.

That doesn’t mean every millennial is eager to drastically change their appearance, of course. But it does mean that more 20- and 30-year-olds are open to the possibility. And if you’re not so keen to have something injected into your face, thank goodness there are a plethora of Instagram filters to choose from so you can fake it.


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