In a world without silos that is increasingly connected by digital technology, beauty trends tend to spread seamlessly from country to country. Here's a look at what's hot around the world from Brazil, Seoul, and Dubai to Greece, New York, Los Angeles, and (almost) every place in between. There are more similarities than differences across the globe. Some macrotrends include combinations of minimally invasive procedures that offer synergistic effects and postpone the need for surgeries, natural-looking results, and novel, nuanced uses of fillers and debulkers.
In Toronto: Natural Beauty
I'm seeing conflicting trends in which 20-somethings who have grown up seeing and hearing about aesthetic medical procedures are coming in to “prejuvenate” so that they can age positively and mitigate age-related changes, while others are increasingly concerned about looking unnatural with treatments such as soft tissue fillers. Social media seems to be a strong driver of these trends as we see endless images of celebrities and non-celebrities parading exaggerated facial features that strongly polarize public opinion. The positive aging piece is tied to the self-care movement and is one which I believe speaks to the positive impact that aesthetic medical procedures can have.
I spend a lot of time educating my patients about the importance of harmony, balance, and proportion in achieving natural results. Thankfully, I think we are turning the corner and natural seems to be making a comeback with celebrities now “undoing” some of those exaggerated looks.
Vince Bertucci, MD, FRCPC | Dermatologist
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In New York: Combinations Rock
Patients have more understanding that a combination protocol is best to maximize results from noninvasive treatments. Some of my most popular combinations for the face and neck are Ultherapy or Thermage followed by Silhouette Instalift and deep filler for the patient trying to put off a facelift or botulinum toxin followed by combination Fraxel thulium plus Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and fine line filler to improve texture and color changes from photoaging. Adding hyperdilute calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) can resurface the neck.
For the body, I love CoolSculpting to debulk fat followed by Emsculpt for muscle tone and then Sculptra or calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) for texture or volume.
Heidi A. Waldorf, MD | Dermatologist | Nanuet, NY
In Austria: Less Equals More
The key term in our practice is “minimally invasive”! Less equals more. The aim is to dramatically reduce the downtime after surgery and to provide a maximum natural result. We combine different kinds of treatments to achieve a smooth and inconspicuous rejuvenation. This can be achieved through a treatment plan including multiple sessions using small aliquots of injectables in combination with a perfect skincare regimen. Energy-based devices like lasers and ultrasound may help to improve the outcome. With these small steps, we maximize the satisfaction of our patients, providing a fresh, elegant and natural look.
Thomas Rappl, MD | Plastic surgeon | Graz, Austria
In Mumbai: Microneedling Plus PRP is a “Big Hit”
Microneedling with Dermapen combined with PRP is the biggest trend in my practice today. It gains a lot of interest because people also consider it to be a “more natural” treatment, since we are using their own blood to enrich the skin and cause collagen stimulation. Whether it is for a party glow, the treatment of acne scars, or even for fine lines and open pores, this one is a big hit. It hardly has any downtime.
Jaishree Sharad, MD | Dermatologist | Mumbai, India
In Omaha: A Cautionary Tale About PRP
Platelet-rich plasma is incredibly popular, but there are serious concerns with the use of this modality in unregulated and potentially unsupervised locations. A recent situation in New Mexico where two individuals presumably contracted HIV from the inappropriate administration of serum that was contaminated only brings this point home more forcefully. Due to the potential mislabeling of specimens and poor training of individuals, this procedure should be regulated and restricted to MDs and/or under direct onsite supervision of MDs.
Joel Schlessinger MD, FAAD, FAACS
Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon | Omaha, NE
In London: Combinations are King
The concept of combining different minimal downtime treatments that I described over 20 years ago is now being widely adopted. The concept is that combining treatments gives greater improvements than single treatments—a synergistic benefit. They help each other. For example, Botox plus fillers plus lasers or pulsed lasers.
Nicholas J Lowe, MB, ChB, MD, FRCP | Dermatologist
In Greece: It's All About Speed and Accessibility
Non-invasive aesthetics is a fundamental trend that is here to stay. The treatments must be quick and easy to access. Clinics must adapt themselves to clients' lifestyles and not the other way around.
New consumer habits and lifestyles are the inspirations for beauty protocols. Innovations will always exist, but new daily routines that are developed with the consumer's habits in mind will make a great difference. We can no longer expect patients to drop everything in their everyday life to get treatments. We must become part of their normal life instead.
Nikolaos Metaxotos, MD, PhD | Plastic Surgeon
In Charleston: Nuanced Filler Treatments
The biggest trend I see is the use of fillers for novel uses, such as Sculptra for arms and knees. I am also using combination fillers with toxins, PRP, and blended fillers with different concentrations for different areas; nuanced treatments adjusting the rheology of fillers to suit the area and layer. Patients are very interested in treatments for the upper and lower eye area and are looking for effective, safe, and easy treatments for this challenging area.
We are continuing to see a trend toward the most effective body contouring technology. Combinations of energy-based (RF) devices and cryolipolysis seem to be the most effective at this time.
Todd E. Schlesinger, MD, FAAD, FASMS
Dermatologist | Chareston, SC
In Belgium: Prejuvenation Prevails
The biggest trend is what I call “preventive beautification” in young adults. They want to look natural and fresh, and minimallly invasive procedures like the new hyaluronic acid fillers, Intense pulsed light, YAG-lasers, and so on can help us.
Wouter Peeters, MD | Plastic Surgeon | Malle, Belgium
In San Diego: “Tweakments” for Maintenance
The use of biostimulators to thicken and tighten skin, like dilute Radiesse and Sculptra, are trending. The people who look the best are those who come in every three months doing “tweakments” like IPL, Botox, a little filler, and a skin tightening treatment. They are not trying to look radically different in a before and after, but just maintaining their results.
Sabrina G. Fabi, MD | Dermatologist and Dermatologic Cosmetic Surgeon | San Diego
In Virginia: What's Old is New
Almost all of the new things that come along really don't live up to their hype and, although popular, patients don't really feel it was the procedure of their dreams. I perform almost 100 facelifts a year so I do about 400 to 500 facelift consults per year. A respectable number of these patients are hesitant to have surgery and they seek alternative treatments. It is not uncommon that I see a patient two years after my original consult and they now want surgery. They chased the minimally invasive rainbow and had fat dissolved, melted, and frozen. They have had their skin heated, punctured, light lasered, and other variants of device treatments. They have spent twice what their facelift would have cost with virtually no result.
Joe Niamtu III, DMD | Cosmetic Facial Surgeon
In Vancouver, BC:
Micro is the New Macro
Over the last year hyaluronic acid injections with micro-droplet technique for skin quality has taken my practice by storm. It has increased hyaluronic acid volume by 40 percent and most importantly sent patient satisfaction through the roof. The treatment uses micro-droplets of hyaluronic acid in the immediate subdermal area for skin quality improvements including smoothness, hydration and elasticity. Where I practice in Vancouver, my patients have a West Coast aesthetic. They want to look healthy, fresh and natural, natural, natural. Hyaluronic acid micro-injections for skin quality fits the bill. The most popular have been Juvéderm Volite, Restylane Skinboosters, and Belotero Hydro. The other trend that continues to gain momentum is off-label use of deoxycholic acid (Kybella/Belkyra) for jowl contouring. For a localized jowl with good skin quality, this treatment is predictable and cost effective with a favorable side-effect profile. We're not seeing the same downtime as with treatment of submental fullness. Further studies are required.
Shannon Humphrey MD, FRCPC | Dermatologist
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In Dubai: Hyperdilute Radiesse for Aging Necks
Hyperdilute calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) has become one of the hottest trends out there, especially in the area of neck rejuvenation. In the past, neck sagginess has been a problem that has troubled many with few benefiting from any treatments. However with the use of hyperdilute calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) with some added high-frequency ultrasound, there is a potential answer to that missing link of a question.
Hassan Galadari, MD | Dermatologist | Dubai, UAE
In Brazil: “Ulthrad” Delivers
Treatments with microfocused ultrasound with visualization (MFU-V) and calcium hydroxylapatite are well known as good options for collagen and elastin stimulation, but sometimes we need to boost their effect to be able to treat the patients with only one session or even try to be more efficient in delivering results. Six years ago I published an article where I showed that it is not only safe but also more effective to combine both procedures. From that day on, I started protocols for body and face where I combine both procedures in same day (first Ultherapy than Radiesse) or “Ulthrad.”
This combination inspired me to publish four other papers where I used Ulthrad not only for skin tightening but also for striae cases and cellulite in buttocks and lateral thigh. We can use the combination anywhere and customize the number of lines of MFU-V and also the amount of CaHA we want and dilution of the product. It is done in one session for most of the cases. The results start to appear in one month and peak within three to six months.
Gabriela Casabona, MD | Dermatologist
Sao Paulo, Brazil
In Seoul: Minimally Invasive Skin Tighteners
These days, minimally invasive face lifting procedures are getting popular, i.e., thread lifting and use of energy-based devices, such as Ultherapy or Thermage. Many patients think that it will actually lift up their face by moving tissue, but this physical movement of skin can be maintained only with accompanying surgical skin excision. All the other procedures make skin tightening through collagen stimulation. Once our skin becomes tight by stimulated collagen, it causes a lifting effect.
Kyungkook Hong, MD | Dermatologist
Seoul, South Korea
In Kuwait: Liquid Rhinoplasty and the Return of Chemical Peels
One of the major trends are nose jobs, whether they are surgical or medical rhinoplasty with fillers. Microneedling with PRP, hyaluronic acid, or nutrients is booming. The goal, of course, is to improve skin quality and have a radiant appearance, but these are sometimes used for a variety of unindicated purposes. Chemical peels are regaining a major share now as we understood a lot about the procedure. They can help with a variety of indications, such as acne, oily skin, blotchy pigmentation, and melasma.The trend of over filling with injectables is almost gone. Most patients and doctors started appreciating the normal “not-done” faces.
Sahar Ghannam MD, PhD | Dermatologist | Kuwait
In Marina Del Rey: Subscription Services Pay Off
PRP is hot for everything, especially scalp injections for hair growth in men and women, and with microneedling both with and without energy. Hydrafacials with Alastin's TriHex-Pro Skin Booster Serum are very popular this year, and Alastin TransFORM body lotion is the rage for fat reduction and skin smoothing. Also crazy popular is Viveve for women's intimate health and recently Miradry for hyperhidrosis. Prejuvenation with the 20-year-olds is hot.
The biggest trend by far is subscription aesthetic services or monthly payments toward non-surgical treatments such as “beautiful lips all year long for $ 99 a month” or “Botox for $96 a month.” This is all powered by HintMD, and Allergan has invested $20 million. We have more than 600 members of our Marina Club and soon Allergan's Brilliant Distinctions will be a part of this. It's the hottest thing in medical aesthetics.
W. Grant Stevens, MD | Plastic Surgeon
Marina Del Rey, CA
In Boston: Laser-assisted Drug Delivery
The most interesting thing we are working on now is Optimized Mechanical Ablative Rejuvenation (OMAR) of photoaged skin. Specifically, we developed a technique based on work of Detroit dermatologist David Ozog, MD and Miami dermatologist Jill Waibel, MD to deliver poly L Lactic Acid (Sculptra) through ablative fractional laser-induced micro holes into the vertical lip lines of the upper lip. Our study, in press in Dermatologic Surgery, showed on average 48 percent improvement by digital photographic analysis of the lines of the upper lip after three treatments performed every eight weeks. Since the study, we have treated close to 100 patients and all patients have responded to some extent to the treatments.
We're now extending the treatment outside of the perioral area to the periocular area and more recently to the full face. Colleagues around the country have reproduced our results and are now doing these treatments on a regular basis in their practices. Dr. Waibel is using the same technique to enhance the results in treating scars.
We believe this is a nice way to use laser-assisted drug delivery (LADD) to enhance the effects of ablative fractional resurfacing in treating a variety of skin conditions especially photoaging, fine lines and wrinkles, and scars.
Jeffrey S. Dover, MD | Dermatologist | Chestnut Hill, MA
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