Demand for injectable cosmetic procedures for men, such as Botox, has increased massively as the pressure to look presentable on video calls has grown.
Amid news that comic Jimmy Carr has had a hair transplant and his teeth “fixed”, British plastic surgeons have reported a 70% rise in requests for video consultations over 2020. According to a report in Esquire magazine, the need to look “Zoom ready” has led to a surge in demand for procedures. It’s not helped by the fact that 11% of men feel as if they look five years older as a result of the stress brought about by lockdown, according to a report from the Unvence clinic from September last year.
“As people are on Zoom calls a lot they have seen themselves in detail from the screen and find some concerns that need correction, for example wrinkles, dark eye circles and face sagging,” says Dr Salinda Johnson, the medical director at the London Cosmetic Clinic. “Therefore Botox and dermal filler have become more in demand.”
The UK is the world’s fastest growing market for fillers, an industry which is valued at £1bn a year. A 2019 report from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons found that men now want to look “tweaked” rather than “tucked”. Dr Johnson says that the most popular treatments for men include Botox for wrinkles, “dermal filler for jawline definition”, chin enhancement and a procedure called “facetite” which reduces double chins.
There is increasing corporate pressure to look younger too. An investment banker, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Guardian that he gets various anti-ageing treatments such as “Botox, profhilo (a procedure that involves injecting hyaluronic acid into skin) and dermal filler” for his chin and jawline. The total cost is £1,800. He denies that he gets the treatments due to pressure from his City job, saying “it gives me confidence from within”.
In the US, there is growing demand in Silicon Valley to appear younger than 40, which Wired nicknamed the “Brotox boom”. In 2019, Google settled a lawsuit which alleged age discrimination during its hiring process. “Age discrimination is an issue that needs to be addressed in the tech industry,” the lawyer of the lead plaintiff in the case said at the time. While an anonymous tech worker who regularly gets cosmetic procedures told the Washington Post last year: “If people in the workplace know you’re older than everyone else, it can hurt you in terms of what roles you’re getting.” A plastic surgeon quoted in the article added: “In Silicon Valley, it’s commonly believed that if you’re over the age of 35, you’re seen as over the hill.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there has been a 99% increase in men getting injectables over the last 20 years. “The majority of our patients are working in the City,” says Johnson, whose clinic is London-based.
She says that since lockdown began, people are finding they are able to recover behind closed doors, which adds to the appeal. “More invasive procedures are demanded as people can stay at home to hide the swelling and bruising,” says Johnson.
As for the popularity of injectables she adds: “The treatment itself has minimal down time and results can be natural looking depending on the dosage and technique of the injection.”