Men are just as concerned as women about their appearance; they’re just more quiet and discreet about it. While women are still more likely to choose facial plastic surgery, men are also continuing to embrace it, according to the newest stats. Many men are choosing BOTOX, volumising fillers or skin resurfacing to help them look younger and fresher as they find themselves competing for jobs against younger colleagues.

Notably, the number of men having BOTOX was up 27% from 2011, with hyaluronic acid fillers and microdermabrasion also among the most popular maintenance treatments, according to a recent American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) survey. Rhinoplasty remains the most requested surgical procedure overall among men. The survey also shows that many are coming at their significant others’ request: 20% of men say their decision to have plastic surgery was influenced by their partner.

‘Not a day goes by when we don’t see a few men coming in for BOTOX for furrows and forehead lines, or fillers for nasolabial folds and jawline, which wasn’t necessarily the case a decade ago,’ said Lisa Donofrio, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in New Haven, CT, who estimates that 20% of her patients are male executives, bankers, designers and performers.

Men of all ages, professions, backgrounds and lifestyles are viewing clinical treatments as part of an overall wellness and grooming plan. Emerging markets, such as the Middle East and Asia, show serious growth of men adopting cosmetic procedures. It is becoming well accepted for men to undergo cosmetic surgery and rejuvenation treatments, and the stigma of men looking after themselves has been lifted. So why aren’t more clinics and medispas catering to this growing and untapped customer base?

What are men having done?

While men are seeking the same treatments women have bought into, the distinct differences between the skin biology of men and women, facial anatomy, and the way the ageing process manifests, all play a role in what men are seeking.  Men have historically spent less time caring for their skin than women, but an increased awareness of non-surgical options has resulted in more men looking into skin rejuvenation treatments.

Hormones play a role too. Men have thicker skin with larger pores, and they sweat more sebum than women’s skin. The presence of facial hair provides structural support and contributes to less wrinkle formation in hair-bearing facial areas, such as the cheeks, chin and jawline. Men’s facial bone structure also tends to be stronger and more prominent.

Common complaints

From overall concerns about looking tired to specific complaints about deep expression lines, uneven complexion, excessive hair, hair-loss, shaving rashes, sweating, and age spots, men are more interested in achieving more visible results than a simple skincare regimen can offer. But they also want to get it over with in one go; they don’t easily embrace maintenance therapies that keep them coming back every 1–4 months for a top-up.

Male clients need a simple skincare routine based on their individual skin type and their goals for slowing the ageing process. For example, they are much less inclined to apply a daily SPF, even though skin cancer rates are higher for men, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation1. Shorter hair and more exposed areas of the face, neck and scalp, coupled with a tendency to spend more time outdoors, leave men more vulnerable to the effects of UV radiation. In fact, men have a higher incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Down time is a definite barrier for male patients. Skin resurfacing with chemical peels, microdermabrasion or laser and light-based systems to improve uneven skin tones, dark spots, texture, and acne scarring are popular. Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly requested procedures by men, especially on areas prone to pseudofolliculitis barbae, such as the neck, as well as the back and chest. It is often the wives and girlfriends who drive them to have back hair removal.

Acne and rosacea are also prevalent in men, and are among the common concerns that drive them into clinics for treatment. Laser systems used to treat facial blood vessels and reduce acne and acne scarring are fast becoming bread and butter procedures for clinics to offer to men.