Women aren’t the only ones flocking to their plastic surgeon’s office to undergo treatment for whatever bothers them. Men are equally as concerned with how they’re aging. In the early 30s, testosterone levels start to decline by about one percent per year, giving way to skin and body changes that progress with natural aging. So rather than letting time get the best of today’s modern man, these are the most popular treatments and procedures that males are doing.
Men Seeking Surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in 2020, 92% of cosmetic procedures were performed on women, compared to 8% on men. Data speaks volumes but so does what doctors see in their practices. For example, Dr. Jon Ver Halen shares that approximately 25% of his current surgical patients are male, and 1/3 of non-surgical treatments are performed on men. Although most of his patients are in the 40- to 54-year-old range, he says the number of younger male patients seeking treatments is increasing.
Hands down, the most critical element of male cosmetic procedures is retaining a natural look and not appearing ‘done.’ As with any procedure, selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon whose aesthetic style matches yours and has a solid track record is crucial. “Subtlety is key yet looking ‘worked on’ shows up much more in men,” Dr. Russell Babbitt says. “Hiding incisions, minimizing deformities, and erring on the side of under correction rather than overcorrection are key to natural results.”
The treatments and procedures that rank high amongst men aren’t necessarily the same for women. But that also doesn’t mean that male aesthetics is limited to Botox, hair restoration, and penile enhancement—it’s not.
One treatment gaining popularity amongst men is soft tissue threads. Most men who opt for a thread lift want jowl and jawline improvement. Dr. Ver Halen calls them a new tool for facial and soft tissue laxity and augmentation. The minimally-invasive, collagen-stimulating, scarless treatment targets the initial signs of aging and volume loss to give an aging face a youthful curvature and definition. Today’s threads are made with absorbable PDO, polycaprolactone, or poly-L-lactic acid. They have small barbs that lift the tissue into place when inserted under the skin, lasting about six months.
Liposuction has always been and probably always will be the gold standard for permanently removing fat. However, today’s male liposuction procedures go beyond just eliminating fat and incorporate specialized techniques to create enhanced muscle contour. Liposculpting uses sculpting techniques to create a more enhanced appearance of the muscles while removing fat. Dr. Ver Halen says men want a youthful, lean, athletic appearance, so surgeries like liposuction, abdominal and chest etching, and gynecomastia are popular.
In some men, weight and hormonal fluctuations and the use of certain drugs and medications can cause the breast region to increase in size, medically known as gynecomastia. When this issue persists and is bothersome, removing the excess fat, redundant tissue and skin can create a smoother-looking chest with less protrusion.
Liposuction can create definition for men who have lost a tremendous amount of weight yet need sculpting. In addition, combining the procedure with a tummy tuck eliminates loose skin.
Besides liposuction, non-invasive fat-reducing and muscle-building treatments, like EmSculpt NEO, are popular options, too, but don’t provide the same longevity in terms of results.
Blepharoplasty and Facelifts
When it comes to facial rejuvenation, two of the most common procedures males request are blepharoplasty (to correct tired-looking eyes) and facelifts (often combined with a neck lift since a loss of elasticity leads to saggy skin on the neck). In the past, poorly performed procedures resulted in men who looked ‘done,’ tight, and pulled, which was especially evident in the male celebrity patient. “Every man who considers getting something done has those bad results in mind and doesn’t want to look like that,” Dr. Babbitt says. “Of course, there are double standards, but men usually don’t want to look drastically younger or tighter since certain signs of aging make men look ‘distinguished.’ At the same time, a loose, saggy neck, jowls, or droopy eyelids convey a less healthy appearance,” he adds. However, when done well, Dr. Babbitt says these procedures can make a man look younger and healthier without overly feminizing the face.
Hair restoration procedures are the mainstay treatments amongst males. “Hair restoration is frequent in men as male pattern hair loss is hormone-driven,” Dr. Ver Halen shares. And while follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair restoration is a more invasive procedure, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections continue to be popular for men looking to jumpstart hair growth.
Injectables and Fillers
Some male patients consider fillers and injectables entry-level procedures for managing age-related changes. And for those who aren’t ready to go under the knife, these quick fixes have a much-needed place in the male rejuvenating arsenal. However, they need to be performed in a way to restore volume without creating an overdone and obvious look while addressing the appropriate features. For example, Dr. Babbitt says creating a more masculine angular jawline with filler can do wonders for the face. With age, the once-strong definition in the lower third of the male face begins to lose shape and become saggy with jowls.
To treat fine lines and wrinkles caused by expression and muscle movement, neuromodulators like Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are the go-tos. “Botulinum toxin can help men have a more relaxed appearance and diminish certain expressions that might convey negativity or anger,” he adds. Common injection sites for men include the forehead, between the eyebrows, and the crow’s feet area. Most men don’t want a frozen look or to completely erase every last line or wrinkle, allowing them to retain some natural subtleness to their appearance.