Leading Medical Professionals Share Insights on Effects of Social Media Engagement and Cosmetic Trends in 2020

October 15 20:03 2020

The cosmetic surgery industry has seen a surge in clients this year. The conditions put in place by the pandemic such as working from home, savings from not traveling abroad, and social distancing have actually made conditions more favorable for individuals to get cosmetic surgery. It is already recognized that social media plays a pervasive role in beauty standards and popular trends, but this year has been the embodiment of the digital age, with online communication dominating as the standard. So how has this intensified online communication affected the cosmetic trends of 2020? We reached out to some of the most respected cosmetic medical professionals in New York to see what they had to say. 

Dr. David Shafer – New York, NY – is a double board-certified plastic surgeon and medical director of Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue.  Shafer Clinic is a state-of-the-art multispeciality cosmetic center in midtown Manhattan.  Divided into 4 main divisions of Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Skin+Laser Lab, and Metabolic Aesthetics, the four penthouse levels of Shafer Clinic provide the highest level of care for patients in New York City and from around the world.   

Dr. Shafer weighs in on the effects of current events on the cosmetic surgery industry saying “2020 has been a crazy year for plastic surgery. While most practices were shut down during COVID, the boom of patients seeking treatments post-COVID lockdown has been unprecedented.” He calls attention to the “Zoom phenomenon” in which people are critiquing their faces and necks all day. When asked about the effects of social media on cosmetic trends he says “patients are constantly posting pictures of themselves and swiping through pictures of their friends and celebrities looking for the latest trends.” Dr. Shafer continues to make an insightful point, illustrating that social media is consumed with a sense of immediacy, in comparison to “a standard google search”, making it more influential.  

Dr. Aaron Rollins – New York, NY – is the founder and CEO of Elite Body Sculpture and the AirSculpt®.

procedure. They specialize in body contouring. AirSculpt® is a patented procedure that’s minimally invasive and uses no needle, no scalpel, and no stitches. According to Dr. Rollins, it’s the next generation of body contouring, as it’s not liposuction, but they do extract fat with extremely high-tech, robotic technology that plucks the fat one cell at a time. Elite Body Sculpture has 35 surgeons all over America with 13 centers, all specializing in removing people’s unwanted fat.

Dr. Rollins and his team are the creators of the HipFlip™ procedure and say that there has been a “surging demand” for it. They take the waist down while filling in the dip, delivering an “hourglass look”. Dr. Rollins shares that they have been utilizing social media to bridge communication to the public, providing education and tips. Additionally, they have started to “broadcast procedures live on our Instagram account for followers to get an idea of just how seamless an experience AirSculpt® treatments are.”   

Dr. Lesley Rabach & Dr. Morgan Rabach – New York, NY – are a sister team, internationally renowned, Dr. Lesley Rabach, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, and Dr. Morgan Rabach a board-certified dermatologist with their established practice, LM Medical NYC, in Manhattan. 

They confirm that there has been a significant rise in patients this year, stating that “surgeries have increased by 30%”. According to the Rabach sisters, there has been a high demand for cosmetic procedures associated with the eye area. They elaborate saying that this is associated with the wearing of masks. People “are focused on eyes since masks cover the lower face. Patients that were scheduled for lip lifts later on in the year are doing them now and new patients as well due to the mask” concealing the bruising. They mention that many of their clients have actually discovered them on Instagram, and travel specifically for their services.  

Dr. Nicole Nemeth – Westchester, NY – is a board-certified plastic surgeon and co-owner of Plastic Surgery of Westchester, a well-equipped private operating facility, Medispa, and full-service plastic surgery practice. Her practice is focused on cosmetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as complex revision and reconstructive procedures. She teaches plastic surgery residents and medical students from the NYC area and is on the in-service exam committee for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Nemeth explains that “people who may have hesitated to seek cosmetic improvements are more motivated and willing to undergo surgery since they have the time to recover at home and behind a mask.” She refers to the unprecedented times that we live in and states that “patients are also looking to take care of themselves and want to have surgery now because they feel the future is so precarious”. As for her take on the effects of social media and cosmetic procedures she believes that it will persist to influence beauty trends and perceptions, and is a “force that is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.”

Dr. Alexander Blinski – New York, NY – is co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Plump. He has a background in aesthetic medicine. Plump was founded by an internal executive team with the goal of making the world of injectables more approachable, accessible, and de-stigmatized. Dr. Blinski trained in Primary Care and Surgery prior to starting his aesthetic journey in 2011.

Dr. Blinski claims that “In America, laser hair removal is still the number one requested beauty treatment.” As for other common procedures, he notes that they have seen “a steady demand for lip augmentation, facial contouring, and botox.” Social media has allowed the Plump team to “create more injectable awareness and facilitate consumer education.” Additionally, he infers that “filtering technology” on social media has also influenced trends in the market.

With the amplification of online engagement this year, in conjunction with the changes in day to day life, the cosmetic procedure industry is thriving. Not only has it pushed current cosmetic trends, but it has also been a tool for practices to educate and connect with possible clients. What is clear is that this industry is on a roll, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.  

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