Minimally Invasive Facial Cosmetic Procedures for the Millennial Aesthetic Patient

January 2020 | Volume 19 | Issue 1 | Features | 100 | Copyright © January 2020

Published online December 13, 2019

Nisreen Mobayed BS,a Julie K. Nguyen MD,a,b Jared Jagdeo MD MSa,b

aDepartment of Dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY bDermatology Service, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System – Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY

Abstract
Millennials, defined as the generation of individuals born between 1981 and 1996, have emerged as one of the leading patient demographics seeking minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. Worldwide, millennials are more likely to consider preventative treatments compared to any other age-group. The three most popular minimally invasive facial procedures in this demographic include botulinum toxin, dermal fillers (eg, hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, facial fat-fillers), and microdermabrasion. Given their impact on the expanding aesthetic medicine market and their favorable disposition towards cosmetic procedures, it is necessary for dermatologists and cosmetic providers to understand their motivations and perspectives. While some research studies have elicited the opinions of millennials on social issues, education, and technology, there is a paucity of literature on millennials’ impressions, opinions, and perceptions of aesthetic procedures. As a generation that has been reshaping the culture of healthcare delivery and encouraging the innovation of products and procedures with their unique values and perspectives, accounting for their beliefs and fostering a better understanding of their experiences will promote an elevation in the quality of their care.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(1):100-103. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.4641

INTRODUCTION

In aesthetic medicine, millennials have emerged as one of the leading patient demographics seeking minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.1-3 Millennials, defined as the generation of individuals born between 1981 and 1996, have surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in the United States.4,5 Extending between the ages of 23 and 39, this group is comprised of individuals with varying experiences and priorities; millennials have also been reported to be the most diverse adult generation in American history.6 With their transition into adulthood, millennials have become crucial, informed decision-makers of their health, shaping the culture of medicine with their unique perspectives and priorities.7 Given their impact on the expanding aesthetic medicine market and their favorable disposition towards cosmetic procedures, it is necessary for dermatologists and cosmetic providers to understand their motivations and perspectives.

We have conducted a review of the literature pertaining to minimally invasive facial aesthetic procedures in the millennial demographic. While popular media has accumulated abundant information on millennials and the aesthetics industry, scholarly research on millennials and minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures remains lacking. A PubMed.gov search on August 6, 2019 of the keyword “millennial” produced 878 results. Review of these titles and abstracts revealed zero publications exploring millennials and facial aesthetics preferences; this demonstrates the lack of scholarly literature in this domain. This review serves as an exploratory effort to begin to fill this gap.

Understanding Millennials
In order to understand the surge of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in this population, it is necessary to contextualize the socioeconomic background of this demographic.

A generation raised amidst a technological revolution, millennials stand apart as true digital natives.8 In particular, social media has emerged as a leading platform for this generation’s social and commercial experiences.9 Millennials reportedly spend over six hours a week on social media, demonstrating it to be an integral component of the millennial lifestyle.10 Their affinity for the digital world has become a target of advertising efforts; digital marketing and personalized advertising have been utilized as prominent commercial strategies to target millennial consumers.11,12 Rising to the forefront of the advertising platform is social media, with the emergence of plastic surgeons and other medical doctors as “social media influencers” as well as the use of plastic surgery-related hashtags.13-15 An example of the utilization of social media in aesthetic medicine is RealSelf, an online marketplace whereby consumers of cosmetic procedures can connect on a social platform to review and rate their experiences, supported by photographs and personal testimonies.16,17