A Snapshot of Current Facial Cosmetic Trends

Each year, just before spring arrives, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons releases the results of a national survey into cosmetic trends. The exploration of doctors’ self reporting and information taken from medical databases paints a picture of the fluctuating popularity of surgical procedures, such as blepharoplasty, and nonsurgical treatments, such as botulinum toxin type A, including BOTOX®. San Francisco-based facial plastic surgeons Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh see this yearly report as a glimpse into the needs and wants of men and women looking to make a change—and that glimpse shows such decisions to be increasing in popularity.

In terms of surgery, a pair of face-based options held onto their respective places in the top five most commonly performed procedures when compared to the year prior.

Nose reshaping, also known as rhinoplasty, stayed in the Number 3 spot, despite declining slightly from 2016. A dip of 2 percent took the total number of cosmetic nose surgeries to 218,924. This put it ahead of eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, which came in fourth place at 209,571. The eyelid procedure, which can be performed on the upper lid, the lower lid, or both on either eye, remained essentially unchanged in terms of popularity.

The second-most popular surgical procedure of 2017, liposuction, is performed all over the body, making it a versatile option for patients—including those who want to alter their facial contours. With their facial focus, Drs. Lieberman and Parikh are among the top plastic surgeons throughout the country who use it on the neck and lower face, particularly for patients who want to address their facial contours, but who are not yet old enough to seriously consider a facelift or neck lift. Liposuction is commonly used to provide more definition for the jawline and reduce a double chin.

In certain cases, fat cells removed from the neck area can be purified and used to add volume to other areas of the face where it may be needed, such as the apple of the cheeks, which can flatten over time. This fat transfer procedure is a popular choice for patients who want to use material from their own body, as opposed to a dermal filler, for facial contouring.

The other two surgical procedures in the top five are breast augmentation in first place with 300,378 and tummy tuck with 129,753. Also known as abdominoplasty, this belly-toning surgery edged out facelift in the top five in 2017. Facelifts sat at Number 6 with 125,697.

On the nonsurgical front, the undisputed champion of cosmetic procedures in the United States remained firmly in first place: botulinum toxin type A injections. These wrinkle-smoothing treatments include such brands as BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®, and totaled more than 7 million applications. A full 7,230,967 people chose this treatment in 2017, bringing it up 2 percent from the year before.

BOTOX® and similar injectables work by preventing muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles on the forehead, next to the eyes, and elsewhere from contracting. No activity in specifically targeted muscles means related wrinkles are less pronounced and noticeable.

In second place is soft tissue fillers with 2,691,265, up three percent from the year before. Also known as dermal fillers, these come in a range of brands and formulas, all intended to add volume. Some are designed to fill in hollows and produce a subtle lift on the face, while others are made to “fill in” wrinkles and folds for smoother, younger-looking skin. Fillers can also be used to augment the lips and reduce the appearance of acne scars, making them a versatile treatment.

The third, fourth, and fifth slots in the nonsurgical top five for 2017 are filled with chemical peels (1,376,703), laser hair removal (1,086,830), and microdermabrasion (740,287). These involve, respectively, applying chemicals to remove the old outermost layers of skin, using specific wavelengths of light to damage hair follicles, and triggering natural healing processes by polishing off dead skin with a special device.

Women and men who want to make a change to their facial appearance, but who do not know which treatment or procedure may best fit their needs, are encouraged to contact a licensed and certified plastic surgeon who can conduct a consultation and determine which options are best suited for meeting each unique patient’s goals. Since every person is different, every person’s path to a younger, more rejuvenated look will be their own.

Find out more about many of the facial options mentioned here by contacting For the Face – Lieberman and Parikh Facial Plastic Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area by calling (650) 327-3232 or visiting fortheface.com.

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