It’s no secret ― men are getting more Botox now than ever before.
According to a recently released study from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of men getting botulinum toxin injections (commonly known by their brand names as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin) totaled 453,281 in 2016 ― adding up to 9.9 percent of total procedures done on both men and women. In 2015, a study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons said that the number of men getting injections increased by 337 percent since 2000.
With this concrete evidence that men are getting more Botox than ever, we couldn’t help but wonder why. And do their reasons for choosing the treatment differ from those of women?
HuffPost reached out to five plastic surgeons based in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to learn more about the men who are getting Botox and the reasons they’re doing it.
Men who get Botox are generally 35 to 65 years old.
The five doctors we spoke with all agreed on a few things – the men visiting their practices for toxins are typically 35 to 65 years old; they’re most often white-collar professionals in the business, law, fashion or art world with higher incomes; and they’re primarily getting toxins injected into their brows and around their eyes around three to four times a year. But that’s about where their similarities stop.
“I have a huge Republican CEO getting Botox. He’s a Trumpite and he’s a toxin junkie.””
Dr. Seth Matarasso, a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon and clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, told HuffPost that it’s impossible to pinpoint a certain type of male who receives Botox.
“I have Asian men, I have African-American men, I have white men, I have everyone,” Matarasso said, adding that he sees everyone from politicians and venture capitalists to baseball and hockey players. “I have a huge Republican CEO getting Botox. He’s a Trumpite and he’s a toxin junkie.”
Matarasso added, “There is no demographic and to me that speaks volumes ― the fact that it’s crossing every racial, every sexual, every social demographic. There is no way to pigeon hole [a man] and say, ‘Oh, he’ll never get it.’”
Competition in the workplace is a major motivation for men who get injections.
While the plastic surgeons agreed that women mostly got Botox to appear younger, every doctor cited competitiveness as a major – if not the major – reason men are getting more Botox.
“They’re simply having more procedures done because they want to maintain the competitiveness in an increasingly ageist workplace,” Dr. Daniel C. Mills, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery told HuffPost.
Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Terry Dubrow, the stars of E!’s hit plastic surgery show “Botched,” both backed up Mills’ comments, saying men fear competition with a younger man.
“The younger and better you look, the better chance you have to stay in the market and compete,” Dubrow said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Plastic surgeons are getting better at targeting men.
Dr. Daniel Maman, a board-credited plastic surgeon with 740 Park Plastic Surgery, said that in the past, most plastic surgery websites only targeted women.
“A male would go onto your website and would only see pictures about [procedures for women]. Now we have a dedicated tab on our website for men and it has galleries showing pictures of men,” Dr. Maman said.
And according to a recent Elle magazine piece, men are now also going to “Brotox caves” to get their procedures done. These special offices that cater specifically to men are decorated with faux snakeskin, giant TVs and even artwork chosen for a male audience.
Spouses and significant others are encouraging these kinds of procedures.
“Men blame their spouses with the ‘I don’t care but my wife/girlfriend wants me to do it,’ excuse,” Dr. Dubrow said..
Most of the doctors agreed that after men see the results of their significant others’ Botox, they’re more likely to give the procedure a try.
“Men start with something they’re comfortable with – they’re going to start with toxins,” Dr. Matarasso told HuffPost. “Because [they’ll think to themselves], ‘My wife’s been doing it, my friend’s been doing it, I know it’s safe. I know it’s subtle.’ This isn’t your grandfather’s facelift.”
Social media and online dating have also had a major influence.
“I think with social media and men wanting to look good ― since honestly a lot of the older men are going out with younger women ― they do want to use Botox,” Dr. Nassif said.
Dr. Matarasso agreed, saying he’s seen people come in for a procedure because they were having their online profile pic updated.
“It’s a visual society, whether you want to blame or give credit to the internet,” he said.
Men are also becoming more open to these kinds of procedures.
“More and more men care about their appearances now than ever and have begun to understand that taking good care of their skin and even utilizing injectables like Botox can help them maintain a healthier, more vibrant look,” Dr. Mills said. “Plus, men having a little work done isn’t stigmatized the way that it once was. It isn’t just for women anymore – not by a long shot.”
“It’s no longer taboo for a guy to sit at a table with their guy friends from high school and say, ‘Oh you know, I had Botox,’ or, ‘Oh, I had liposuction.’ In general it’s becoming more accepted.””
And while it is becoming more accepted, all of the doctors agreed that men would never come in to appointments together ― something a lot of women do.
“[Men would] rather be caught bra shopping or buying condoms,” Dr. Dubrow said.
Part of that might be because of men’s low pain tolerance when it comes to toxin injections, which could explain why the procedure isn’t something they’d consider an enjoyable experience to share with friends.
“Men do not have the same pain threshold as women,” Dr. Matarasso said. “Women are much more stoic and say, ‘OK just put the needle in.’ Men tend to just be a little more needle-phobic.”
And yet despite men’s hesitance to share in the experience together, they’re less afraid to talk about it. Dr. Maman explained, “It’s no longer taboo for a guy to sit at a table with their guy friends from high school and say, ‘Oh you know, I had Botox,’ or, ‘Oh, I had liposuction.’ In general it’s becoming more accepted.”
Statistically speaking, men still have a long way to go to catch up with women when it comes to the number of toxin procedures performed each year. But as the number of men who get Botox continues to rise, the number of lines on their faces will magically plummet.
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