Powerful Men are Getting Cosmetic Procedures for One Very Specific Reason

It's about more than just vanity.

Whether we're talking nip-tuck trends with plastic surgeons or injectable news with dermatologists, lately, it seems, all our conversations meander to men—how they're bumping up cosmetic procedure tallies and changing treatment demographics; the tweaks they're devoted to, and how they handle the downtime.

One dermatologist, so intrigued by the uptick in guys visiting her New York City practice, initiated a study on Botox use in men versus women. (More on that ahead.) Another, Leslie Baumann in Miami, estimates treating 30 percent more male patients last year compared with years past. "I think it's the Kybella advertising bringing them in," she says, referring to the newish fat-melting shot for double-chins.

Current data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery backs the boom, showing that men had more than 1.2 million cosmetic procedures done in 2015—that's a 325 percent jump from 1997 when the organization first began surveying surgeons.

What's up with the surge? A collective yearning to work later into life—and to still be desired professionally once age starts to show—is fueling a newfound reliance on lasers and syringes among men. "It's all about looking and feeling young and vital in their careers," says Anne Chapas, a Manhattan-based dermatologic surgeon. With a shot here and a zap there, "they're hoping to improve their LinkedIn profiles, not their pages."

Here, the pros share what irks men most about their looks, plus their treatments of choice.


"Men want their skin to look healthier, not so much younger, especially the avid sailors, golfers, and travelers who've accrued years of sun damage," says Chapas. "It really is about the quality of their skin tone," adds New York City dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank. "What makes a man look youthful is clear skin—not the dull, gray, tired pallor that comes from sun damage."


Years of sun damage can lead to a dull, gray complexion

A series of fractional laser treatments, like the Fraxel Dual, delivers the most surefire fix, transforming tone and texture while vaporizing abnormal skin cells that could eventually turn cancerous. "A lot of guys view Fraxel as a form of skin-cancer prevention," notes New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe. "They consider it more medical than cosmetic, which, to them, makes it socially acceptable." Since male skin is thicker than women's—"they have 30 to 40 percent more collagen at age 50," Frank says—they heal faster following laser work, suffering only about a weekend's worth of noticeable redness.


Botulinum toxin injections (Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin), which ease muscle movement to thwart wrinkles, are the top nonsurgical cosmetic procedure for men and women alike. But according to a study Chapas is finalizing on Botox and gender, "men typically start treating lines a decade or so later than women—around age 45," she says.

Forehead furrows, fine lines, and crow feet are the most common problem areas for male patients.

They also endure fewer side effects. "It's almost impossible to make them look frozen because they have such a large muscle mass," Chapas explains. "And they have a straighter brow that doesn't drop with too much Botox like a woman's does." While Chapas treats mainly forehead furrows and frown lines on men, New York City dermatologist Robert Anolik says crow's feet are the biggest target for his male patients, as they've "finally come to realize it won't feminize their faces." 


Men feel bad about their necks, too, it turns out—especially the shirt-and-tie set. New York City facial plastic surgeon Dara Liotta notes that button-down collars and Windsor knots tend to spotlight, rather than conceal, heaviness, and laxity in the area. While Liotta and her fellow surgeons are seeing a spike in the number of guys seeking neck lifts, derms are reporting a major male-led run on Kybella, the injectable drug that destroys fat cells under the chin. Hardly unreasonable, considering "there are studies showing a correlation between a man's perceived attractiveness and the angularity of his jaw," says Baumann.


Button-down collars and Windsor knots often highlight a double chin.

To restore that youthful crispness, Baumann first injects Kybella under the chin to streamline and define. It takes four to six sessions, and then several weeks to show improvement. (Most aim for wintertime appointments, so they can hide residual swelling beneath a scarf.) "Guys are generally so pleased with the results, they ask, 'What else can I do to get an even stronger angle?'" That's when Baumann injects a thick hyaluronic acid (HA) filler to enhance the chiseled effect. While Kybella gives a permanent fat reduction, the HA metabolizes and disappears within a year.

*This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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