According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, from 2000 to 2020, there has been an 182% increase in botulinum toxin injections for men. Additionally, cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic procedures among men have risen by 29% between 2000 and 2018, and enhancements to the male appearance continue to gain momentum. “Brotox” is the latest social media trend, with men across the globe adopting a new appreciation of aesthetic treatments. The term “Brotox” is a fun play on words to reference the popularity of botulinum toxin injections and other cosmetic treatments – among men to enhance and elevate their appearances. Dr Alek Nikolic explains why this boom has become increasingly popular among young men and why this is much more than a craze.
It’s safe to say men focusing on their appearance is more than just a trend
It doesn’t surprise me that the trend of men trying out botulinum toxin and other treatments is becoming more popular among young men – Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to focus on self-care and self-improvement than previous generations.
As the world continues to become more accepting of aesthetic enhancements, self-care, and men’s beauty standards, it’s evident that men also want to look and feel their best. Social media, endless Zoom meetings, and how the media portrays individuals have increased pressure across the board to look one’s best, with more men and women looking for short and long-term treatments in their quest for beauty.
These are the most common cosmetic issues men are treating:
Reducing forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet
Unfortunately, research has found wrinkles such as crow’s feet tend to appear earlier and form deeper in men due to behavioural factors and genetics.
Incorporating over-the-counter products like exfoliating products, peptide creams, and retinol into a skincare routine can help treat fine lines and wrinkles, but to get rid of deep frowns and forehead wrinkles, a combination of products and in-practice “tweakments”, including botulinum toxin, is used to help relax the muscles that cause the wrinkles to appear.
The use of lip filler has become increasingly more prevalent in men looking to achieve a more youthful appearance. However, men tend to lean towards a more conservative and natural look than women.
However, I have seen a slow increase in men requesting lip filler at my practice. However, some male patients have requested lip filler, primarily due to the thinning of the lips and genetic differences between the upper and lower lip. For example, someone may have been born with a very thin lower or upper lip.
Men have also adopted new aesthetic procedures like liquid rhinoplasty that, with the correct technique, can yield similar results as a surgical rhinoplasty.
This procedure is recommended for patients who don’t want to undergo plastic surgery and are looking for a temporary change or correction. Dermal fillers will temporarily change the shape of your nose, and you will typically need to visit your doctor every eighteen months or so to repeat the treatment.
The benefit of liquid rhinoplasty is that patients will see immediate results with minimal recovery time needed instead of going under the knife. It is important to state that soft tissue fillers can’t reduce the size of the nose or straighten a deviated septum. Their forte is in improving bumps, indents, asymmetries, and even lifting the nasal tip.
Botulinum toxin for ageing prevention
The quest for prolonged youth is one shared by men and women, with many South African men incorporating Botulinum toxin into their skincare regime as a preventive measure to avoid ageing wrinkles and to remove negative expressions like a frown, which can make one unapproachable and even look unfriendly to co-workers.
Men need more Botulinum toxin as the effect of the treatment is dependent on the number of units used. Generally speaking, men tend to have bigger and stronger facial muscles, which require higher units to achieve similar results as women.
Maintaining a good skincare regime is also essential, which will help maintain a youthful and healthy appearance; I advise men to include good sunscreen and retinol serum in their daily routine.
Undergoing any cosmetic procedure can be daunting for some, with the added pressure for men due to the relatively new demands on them regarding beauty, ageing, and appearance.
I advise anyone considering aesthetic treatments to do their research, consult with qualified medical doctors, and consider all aspects of the procedure, including their desired results, before proceeding. I’d also recommend consulting with a practitioner who understands the male face and treats men regularly.
MBBCh (WITS) ATLS (ACS) MBA (UCT)
Dr Alek Nikolic is a doctor with a special interest in aesthetic medicine and is at the forefront of the latest developments in his field. With a focus on skin care, skin ingredients, and cosmetic dermatology treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, Botulinum toxin, and Dermal Fillers, he has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and is responsible for training many medical practitioners both locally and internationally. After receiving his MBBCh from the University of the Witwatersrand (1992) he went on to do an MBA at the University of Cape Town (2000). With over 24 years in private practice, he has lectured and performed live demonstrations across the globe, including Bangkok, Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo, Prague, and Warsaw. Some of his accolades include: Owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, Owner of online skincare store SkinMiles.com, Owner and formulator of Skin Ingredients (sk.in): www.skiningredients.com, Founding member of the South African Allergan Medical Aesthetic Academy, Advisor to Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics, EXCO Member of the Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine Society of South Africa (AAMSSA), and is an Associate Member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).