High demand for medical aesthetics as an act of self-care

by Emily Dobby

The last year has presented an opportunity to slow the otherwise harried pace of our lives; to reflect and evaluate our choices, and to scrutinize (perhaps over scrutinize) our reflections in the mirror and camera during Zoom calls. 

That downtime shaped how we view and value the concept of the oft-mentioned buzzword self-care. For some, we implemented small changes such as cleaning up our diets and committing to more exercise; for others, a touch of botox here and a touch of filler there. 

Plastic surgeons have seen a substantial increase in demand for procedures and treatments, which has presented an ideal time to slip away for a treatment and recover quietly and privately.

Demand for aesthetic plastic surgery has been especially high lately. The Canadian Dermatology Association thinks the appearance of tired complexions on Zoom calls is sparking a demand for Botox procedures, which is currently referred to as the “Zoom boom” phenomenon.

“I think we are seeing a lot of people who wouldn’t normally be here. My generation of people (Gen X), people who may have some guilt around spending money on themselves or doing aesthetic treatments, people who may wonder what their friends are going to think are making the decision to do something for themselves and being ok with it,” says Alex Russell, Clinic Director of Derma Spa.

Money that would typically be spent on travel and rest and relaxation is being spent on self-enhancement. More disposable income, more time to recover privately while working from home, and the ability to walk around in public with a mask are influencing factors.

“We have seen a positive shift to people focusing more on maintenance treatments and smaller, more frequent adjustments in an effort to look more like themselves — which I applaud and fully support,” says Dr. Helen Ross of Aestheva Medical Aesthetics.

It’s fair to say that the medical aesthetics industry seems to have weathered the impact of the pandemic and is continuing to grow. 

According to a market research report by Technavio, “The medical aesthetics market is poised to grow by USD 7.64 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of 7 percent during the forecast period.”

“We expect anti-aging concerns will continue to increase, since the awareness and general acceptance of proven treatments is on the rise. Looking good for your age is no longer just a cliché, but a reality, with medical aesthetics,” says Jerry Asner from The Rosenthal Clinic.

Medical aesthetics have become a key component of self-care. The malaise brought on by the pervasive uncertainty of the pandemic has seen people seeking ways to feel better about themselves.

People are seeking non-invasive injectable treatments, which are more affordable, with less downtime than surgical options. People are also more open about their treatments than ever.

“The aesthetics industry has changed dramatically in the past 5-10 years. It is much more mainstream and viewed as a routine part of people’s self-care and personal preference rather than taboo and hidden. Social media and the presence of influencers showcasing what they have done has also made this much more socially acceptable,” says Ross.

“The bright light of day is shining upon this sector and people are talking about it in a wholehearted way similar to how they talk about fitness, diet, hair or self-care in general,” says Russell.


Across the board, botox is one of the most in demand treatments. 

“Our two most popular treatments are Neuromodulators and body sculpting, and we have increased interest in almost all our treatments,” says Asner.

More and more, doctors are performing treatments with filler and botox that provide surgical-like outcomes.

“The last couple of years we have been focusing on providing surgical type outcomes (face lifts, rhinoplasties) with non-surgical treatments using  BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers. The market will determine where we head in the next couple years, however there is currently a strong push toward non-surgical body contouring. Treatments using temperature or injectables are effective in getting about 20-25% fat reduction per treatment and they will only improve — expanding the portfolio of non-surgical options,” says Russell.

Overall, medical aesthetics aims to enhance clients’ looks in subtle and natural ways to highlight the unique beauty of each person.

“My belief is that this industry shouldn’t be about trying to look a different way or achieve some unrealistic, self-deprecating goal, but more as enhancing and maintaining our unique selves in a natural, subtle way. Aging really is a privilege, and embracing it and the gifts that it gives us is important. What we need to make us feel happy and confident while staying true to who we are should be our priority,” says Ross.