An increasing number of men over 35 are moving from basic grooming, such as eyebrow shaping and skincare, to aesthetic treatments for men like wrinkle-smoothing, commonly known as ‘Brotox’, laser skin rejuvenation (like pico laser) and dermal fillers and even cosmetic surgeries.
From skincare for men, to pico laser that improves texture and skin health, cosmetic injectables for fine lines and volume loss, and skin tightening such as Ultherapy to counter signs of loose skin, any stigma around men going for medical aesthetics treatment is disappearing.
It’s also more common to see them want to remove unwanted body fat, shape their body with liposuction, or tackle those hard-to-deal-with man boobs that don’t respond to dieting or exercising. Sometimes, it’s just to look better – or “looksmaxxing” as it’s been coined. But, there’s also a real sense of them wanting to feel more confident in a competitive work arena.
Here, Dr Ivan Puah of Amaris B. Clinic looks at why men want to make changes and answers some questions on the popular cosmetic and aesthetic treatments for men.
Key reasons for cosmetic surgeries and aesthetic treatments for men
#1 Ageing in the workplace
Men in their 40s and 50s have usually gained plenty of working experience to be at the top of their career game. But many in this age group also fear being phased out and ousted by younger colleagues.
“Most of our female patients opt for aesthetic treatments to look younger or to define their facial features. The most common request I get from my male patients, however, is to look well-rested. They want to look like they have the energy to go the distance and the confidence to ‘ace’ their work and career. Men, in general, would like to maintain their manly and rugged looks but revitalise their skin and soften ageing signs. These concerns will require a tailored approach combining procedures like anti-wrinkle injection (BoNTA), dermal fillers and Pico Laser,” says Dr Puah.
As for those bothered with a double chin or sagging jowls, Dr Puah suggests facial liposuction. “It’s an effective way to trim away excess facial fat, reducing one’s perceived age rather significantly.”
There’s been over a 30% increase in cosmetic surgeries from 2000. In youth-oriented industries such as tech, executives want to appear relatable and relevant to their younger subordinates. ‘Culture fit’ is often used as an excuse when managers don’t want to hire older people. So getting some aesthetic ‘help’ is not vanity, but rather a way to avoid ageism and boost career opportunities. Or, in some cases in the current market, to help keep a job.
Interesting stats about recruitment emerged after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, when unemployment rose from 2.61% to 6.8%. One study stated that 80% of job recruiters in South Korea said physical appearance was an important factor in screening candidates.
#2 The celebrity factor
Another report highlights the role of reality television programs in encouraging the destigmatisation and normalisation of aesthetic treatments amongst men. Male cast members have openly spoken on-air about undergoing cosmetic surgeries. Also, celebs like Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay have admitted to having botulinum toxin treatments.
#3 Personal reasons
On a personal level, these enhancements can improve your self-image and confidence. This is especially true if you find yourself back in the dating pool later in life. Yet, even within existing relationships, men can worry about their physical attractiveness to their partner as much as women. A 2012 study showed that people unsatisfied with their bodies were more likely to worry about it during sex. No one wants extra worries in that department!
Aesthetic treatments and cosmetic surgeries are not just to improve the exterior but also to enhance self-confidence and social attractiveness. Research has shown that when facial plastic surgery is done (done well, that is) on men, it can significantly increase perceptions of virility, likeability, social skills and even trustworthiness!
Types of aesthetic treatments for men
Regardless of what you have to work with, looksmaxxing is the practice of making the most of what you’ve got. The goal isn’t to reach perfection, just to make a consistent effort to improve and enhance one’s looks. This can be done by the following:
#1 Pico laser for acne scars
Acne can be a huge confidence buster, especially when left with post-inflammatory scars and marks. Pico Fractional laser is a popular solution for acne scars. This FDA-approved 450-picosecond laser penetrates deep into the skin without causing damage to surrounding tissue. Energy is delivered in shorter bursts to improve the skin texture, which means each session is more comfortable and downtime is reduced.
#2 Sun protection and skincare for men
Many guys believe that skincare isn’t important – unless they’re dealing with issues like acne, wrinkles and saggy skin. However, your skin is the largest organ in your body. Regular maintenance and protection are as important as brushing your teeth and regular exercise.
For a start, cleanse twice daily, use a moisturiser and apply a sunscreen that offers at least SPF50 protection.
#3 Facial liposuction
Typically, the male clients I see want to eliminate the excess fat on their jowls or double-chins, and improve weak chins. Fat can be effectively removed and a well-defined and tightened jawline achieved with facial liposuction. At the same time, a weak or short chin can be enhanced with dermal fillers; these make the face more angular and the overall appearance more manly and strong.
#4 Enlarged male breast reduction (gynecomastia)
Often mistaken as only an aesthetic issue, gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, is actually a common male breast disorder. It is a medical condition that involves the proliferation of glandular tissues and excess fat tissue deposition, often due to hormonal imbalance. If you are suffering from man boobs, you’re not alone; 60% to 70% of men worldwide are bothered by it. Gynecomastia causes physical discomfort such as pain, soreness and discomfort. Most importantly, it affects many men psychologically and emotionally.
#5 Better body definition
Men are mainly bothered by fat tissue accumulations on the chest, abdomen and waist. These areas are hard to remove and require surgical intervention as stubborn fat often doesn’t respond to exercise, diet, creams or non-surgical fat reduction. This is where liposuction can help. Liposuction is more than fat removal, according to Dr Puah. It is an art form involving 30% science and 70% art. “I don’t just remove fat,” he says. “During the process, I’ll improve the body shape and sculpt the area, creating more definition for the patient.”
Looksmaxxing as a tailored approach
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk through your concerns with Amaris B Clinic, and they’ll come up with a tailored plan for you.
Dr Ivan Puah is the medical director at Amaris B. Clinic, and has over 25 years of clinical practice in medicine, including 19 years in surgical body sculpting treatments, laser skin treatments and injectables. On top of being accredited by the Ministry of Health Singapore to perform liposuction, he has also received dedicated training in gynecomastia surgery and various liposuction techniques in the United States.
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