Men spruce up with more embracing cosmetic treatments
IT SEEMS we are bombarded with stories of movie stars' attempts to hold on to their youthful good looks.
But the truth is that rejuvenation is no longer the sole domain of the rich and famous, says Dr May Marr, a member of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
"Equally, it is no longer the sole domain of women in general," she says.
"Male rejuvenation - for all types of men - is finally here, and from current statistics is here to stay."
If you're a rough, tough bloke you may find this difficult to believe.
But, according to the American Plastic Surgery Association, there has been a 10% rise in the number of males seeking injectable rejuvenation with botulinum toxin (commonly known as botox) and dermal fillers in the last year alone.
While it's much more difficult to get accurate figures on male use of cosmetic procedures in Australia, anecdotal evidence from clinics suggests that they are featuring much more heavily among the Australians who now spend around $1 billion a year collectively on procedures.
So what's with this drive for physical self-improvement?
May believes: "As the average lifespan of human beings increases with each generation, the need to look after ourselves through middle age and beyond is now a common goal.
If you thought 50 was the new 40, soon it will be 60 - and with the increasing affordability of rejuvenation procedures, it might well be your neighbour getting help from the local cosmetic doctor!"
It seems that, for many boomers, looking after the inside is no longer enough.
They want to spruce the exterior as well.
So what kind of things do men get cosmetic help for?
For men who work outdoors, the effects of accumulated sun exposure can be devastating, says May.
But brown spots, broken capillaries and wrinkles can all be dramatically reduced with modern day lasers, she says.
The key to male facial rejuvenation, however, is to be conservative.
Yes, men do have anti-wrinkle injections.
But while many women want wrinkles "frozen", men prefer heavy lines just to be softened, not completely erased.
May also uses dermal fillers on her male patients to subtly replace the mid-face volume that is lost with age, without any false exaggeration of the cheeks.
Because while a little more filling in the cheek area may be attractive on a woman, it's not the rugged look the boys are aiming for.
As with female facial rejuvenation, to obtain the best results men need to see a practitioner who will give them an overall assessment.
And don't forget: Timely referral to a skin cancer specialist to manage suspicious-looking lesions can be life-saving.
In case you think it's only botox and fillers that men are dipping into, think again.
Chemical peels and liposculpture are also now being favoured by men, say those in the cosmetic industry.
And, of course, common sense daily skin care.
Check out the proliferation of men's products, beyond aftershave, on the shelves of pharmacies and department stores and you'll be in no doubt that there's a whole generation of men taking looking good much more seriously.
Filling out the figures
- It is estimated that Australians now spend in excess of $1bn a year on cosmetic procedures.
- We spend almost 40% more per capita than our American counterparts at $454,500 per 10,000 people, compared to $328,000 per 10,000 for the United States, according to the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery.
- Procedures most in demand, regardless of age or sex, include eyelid surgery, nose surgery, breast augmentation, breast lifts and liposuction. These account for about 67% of Australia's total cosmetic surgical procedures.
- Other popular procedures include anti-wrinkle injections, fillers for lines and wrinkles and laser treatments. According to the ACCS, Australians spend around $300 million a year on botox.