AAFPRS 2018 Statistics: More Millennials Interested in Facial Cosmetic Procedures

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFRS), which is the largest medical association in the world for surgeons who perform facial plastic and reconstructive procedures, currently has more than 2,500 members. Earlier this year, it released the results from its most recent member survey for 2018.

Although there are a number of interesting trends seen in this survey, perhaps the most interesting is the increasing popularity of facial cosmetic procedures among younger patients, notably millennials (those born between 1982 and 1997).

What are the actual numbers to support this trend toward younger patients, and what are the potential implications? Read further to find out why more millennial patients are interested in what are known as prejuvenation procedures.

What Are the Numbers?

According to the AAFPRS survey, the average number of surgical procedures performed by its member surgeons has almost doubled since 2013, marking an increase of 47 percent. In addition, there was an average increase of 22 percent for BOTOX injections; this indicates continued interest in non-surgical facial improvement.

If we look at age breakdowns, there has been a definite upward trend among patients in their 20s undergoing cosmetic facial surgical and non-surgical procedures. The AAFPRS survey showed a clear increase among this age group, with 72 percent of member surgeons reporting an increase in procedures among their patients under the age of 30 in 2018 (up from 58 percent in 2013).

Furthermore, AAFPRS survey respondents noted that 41 percent of their patients over the past year expressed a preference for natural looking results. In many cases, this was accomplished by combining non-invasive procedures such as dermal fillers and BOTOX injections.

Social Media and Appearance

Why is there this sudden upswing among younger people in facial cosmetic procedures? For many years, these procedures were considered to be ways to reverse the signs of aging, so they  usually were requested by patients in their 40s or 50s. So why are younger patients, who may not yet be showing signs of aging, suddenly seeking out chemical peels or laser treatments for the face?

The answer is actually quite simple: Social media. Millennials represent the single largest age group with a presence on social media, particularly on sites where they can upload pictures of themselves. When you further consider the popularity of dating sites, such as Tinder, in which a user determines the attractiveness of potential matches by swiping left or right on their profile photos, it’s easy to see why younger people want to improve their facial features.

This is also reflecting in trending social media hash tags, such as #glowup and #10yearchallenge. These hash tags prompt users to post “before” and “after” photos to show how they have changed over the years.

It is clear from looking at the statistics in the most recent AAFPRS survey that interest in non-invasive facial procedures shows no sign of slowing down anytime in the near future. However, the increased interest in such procedures among younger people shows a definite trend toward getting ahead of the aging game.


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