Rise of the ‘Brotox’: Expert reveals top procedures SA men can’t get enough of

Aesthetic Medicine
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Cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic procedures among men have risen by 29% between 2000 and 2018.

Cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic procedures among men have risen by 29% between 2000 and 2018.

  • With social media and remote video call meetings being a large part of our day, people have started caring more about how they look.
  • How the media portrays people has increased the pressure to uphold certain physical standards.
  • This has also led to more men and women looking for short and long-term treatments in their quest for beauty.

Proverbial books are being judged by their covers, so men are focusing more on their appearance.

Dr Alek Nikolic, aesthetic medicine specialist and owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, says this is more than just a trend, and he does not expect it to go away any time soon. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there has been a 182% increase in botulinum toxin injections for men between 2000 to 2020. 

Cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic procedures among men have also risen by 29% between 2000 and 2018, and enhancements to the male appearance continue to gain momentum.

One of the latest social media trends men are developing a new appreciation for is “Brotox.” 

The term “Brotox” is a fun play on words to reference the rise in popularity of botulinum toxin injections and other cosmetic treatments among men to enhance and elevate their appearances. 

“It doesn’t surprise me that the trend of men trying out botulinum toxin and other treatments are becoming more popular among young men – Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to focus on self-care and self-improvement than previous generations,” said Dr Nikolic.

Mid adult man receiving a facial massage at a spa

“Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to focus on self-care and self-improvement than previous generations.”

Social media, remote video call meetings, and how the media portrays people have increased the pressure that people feel to look their best. This has also led to more men and women looking for short and long-term treatments in their quest for beauty.

Dr Nikolic shared his list of the most common cosmetic issues men are treating. 

Getting rid of forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet

Unfortunately, research has found that wrinkles such as crow’s feet tend to appear earlier and form deeper in men due to behavioural factors and genetics.

READ MORE | ‘Daddy-Do-Overs’: Men increasingly getting plastic surgery

Incorporating over-the-counter products like exfoliating products, peptide creams, and retinol into a skincare routine can help treat fine lines and wrinkles. But, to get rid of deep frowns and forehead wrinkles, a combination of products and in-practice “tweakments”, including botulinum toxin, are used to help relax the muscles that cause the wrinkles to appear.

Lip filler

The use of lip filler has become increasingly prevalent in men looking to achieve a more youthful appearance. However, men tend to lean towards a more conservative and natural look than women.

“However, at my practice, I have seen a slow increase in men requesting lip filler. But we have had some male patients requesting lip filler mostly due to the thinning of the lips and genetic differences between the upper and lower lip. For example, someone may have been born with a very thin lower or upper lip,” said Dr Nikolic.

Liquid rhinoplasty

Men have also adopted new aesthetic procedures like liquid rhinoplasty that, with the correct technique, can yield similar results as a surgical rhinoplasty.

“This procedure is recommended to those patients that don’t want to undergo plastic surgery, and instead are looking for a temporary change or correction.”

“Dermal fillers will temporarily change the shape of your nose, and you will typically need to visit your doctor every eighteen months or so to repeat the treatment.”

The doctor also explains that patients prefer liquid rhinoplasty because they often see immediate results with minimal recovery time needed instead of going under the knife. 

Dr Nikolic says it is important to note that soft tissue fillers can’t reduce the size of the nose or straighten a deviated septum. These fillers work best to improve bumps, indents, asymmetries and even lift the nasal tip.

Botulinum toxin to prevent ageing

The quest for prolonged youth is one shared by men and women, with many South African men incorporating Botulinum toxin into their skincare regime as a preventive measure to avoid ageing wrinkles and to remove negative expressions like a frown which can make one unapproachable and even look unfriendly to co-workers.

Men tend to need more Botulinum toxin as the effect of the treatment is dependent on the number of units used. 

“Generally speaking, men tend to have bigger and stronger facial muscles which require higher units to achieve similar results as women.”

READ MORE | Plastic surgery pays off for men

The doctor also advises maintaining a good skincare routine to help maintain a youthful and healthy appearance. 

“I would advise men to include good sunscreen and retinol serum in their daily routine,” said Dr Nikolic. 

He also acknowledges that undergoing any cosmetic procedure can be daunting for some, with the added pressure for men due to the relatively new demands on them regarding beauty, ageing, and appearances.

“I would advise anyone considering aesthetic treatments to do their research, consult with qualified medical doctors, and consider all aspects of the procedure, including their desired results, before proceeding.”

“I’d also recommend consulting with a practitioner that understands the male face and treats men regularly.”

Issued on behalf of Dr Alek Nikolic by The Friday Street Club 

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