New year, new resolutions – not just for us as individuals but for the aesthetics industry, locally and worldwide. While there are probably as many emerging trends as there are months in this year, we’ve rounded up the four trends on the radars of those really in the skincare and anti-ageing know…
THE SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECT
The aesthetics industry has its work cut out for it on two fronts. The first is combatting the (mis)information on social media with information. The second is, keeping up with the ever-changing aesthetics standards driven by our clients’ primary influence – their favourite Insta-famous content creators.
- Did you know that social media is behind the current preferred ratio for lips? And the notable uptake in patients’ interest in injectable filler treatments? Well, you do now. Not so long ago, the preferred lip ratio was 1:1.6, now – thanks, in no small part, to the socials – the overall preferred lip ratio is now 1:1. With all of the beauty and skincare content flooding our feeds, the significant impact that social media, particularly filters, has on aesthetics standards is undeniable.
- Aesthetic standards filter from the virtual world into the very real one. The result? A perception drifts in patients; their understanding of what is normal – and medically safe – becomes skewed. The fact is, many are choosing the (often paid) for views and reviews of celebrities and social media influencers, without any formal education in medical aesthetics, over the experienced advice recommendations of extensively trained physicians and aestheticians.
So, our mission, should we choose to accept it (and we at Skin Renewal most definitely do) is to consciously and consistently address the impact of social media aesthetic standards with patients – educating them on what is aesthetically normal for their facial structure and features, and managing their expectations when it comes to their aesthetic goals.
NEXT STOP? REGENERATIVE AESTHETICS
Is it possible to turn back your skin’s clock? The short answer is… yes. The long answer? Well, regeneration of tissue lost through trauma, ageing and other factors, can be achieved if the whole tissue, not just one component, is repaired. Genuine regeneration happens when tissue and cells regenerate in both structure and function, creating tissue that’s not just a version of its younger self, it is younger than the candles on your most recent birthday cake.
- Regenerative aesthetics isn’t a new idea. It’s been brewing in the grey matter of the aesthetics industry’s brightest minds for a while), the emergence of exosomes has made it not just plausible in theory but possible in practice. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles within cells that enable cells to communicate with other cells, prompting them to get to work in a specific way.
- They may be small in size, but exosomes pack a powerful punch. As an industry, our collective understanding (and mastery) of exosomes has enabled us to push innovation in treatments and products, and, in doing so, push the area of regenerative aesthetics even further.
PATIENT SAFETY, FIRST
Given the recent FDA updates on dermal filler recommendations, new IV therapy safety measures, and the alarming number of fatalities and complications from BBL procedures, patient safety isn’t just a trend to hop on or off of. It’s a non-negotiable within the context of what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for.
When it comes to truly committing to patient safety, communication is key. Increasingly gaining traction within our industry’s conversations is the language used to ask patients about their aesthetic goals. For example, asking a patient to explain how they feel (tired, angry, sad) when looking in the mirror is often a clearer indicator of how they want to be treated than what they may say when asked.
Sometimes the best treatment is no treatment. Emphasis on the word “no”. A good filter can make you look dreamy but bad filler is a nightmare. Also, deleting a post? Easy. Deleting injectables from your face? Not so easy. Social media #beautytok trends change, so best for aesthetics doctors to say “no” to the latest Kardashian/Jenner ‘natural’ look and enhance/maintain a patient’s truly natural beauty instead.
DIVERSIFYING THE AESTHETICS PORTFOLIO
To truly celebrate individual beauty across the spectrum – and the globe – we need to continue showing our appreciation and honing our understanding of ethnic and cultural diversity through the aesthetics lens.
Because, while this area of aesthetics is being hailed as one of 2024’s biggest trends, it’s not a trend, it’s a necessary, ongoing expansion of our skill set and our craft as we consider how to Improve medical aesthetic treatment outcomes for people of different ethnicities and phenotypes; better understand the fundamental differences in how skin and facial structure ages in patients of colour; and learn how to address these differences while providing optimal care and getting sustainable, age-defying results.
To give context to this trend, let’s look at two common signs that a patient may be closer to 50 than 20 – fine lines and wrinkles vs. sagging. While Caucasian phenotypes with thinner skin tend to develop wrinkles and fine lines, the heavier face and thicker skin typical of Middle Eastern ethnicities, don’t wrinkle nearly as much but sagging occurs in the face, particularly the eyelids which grow heavier and succumb to gravity. This is just one example of the differences in facial ageing that require different approaches to facial prejuvenation and rejuvenation treatments.
AND THAT’S JUST THE TIP OF THE AESTHETIC ICEBERG
Each of these trends could easily have taken up an entire article of its own, given the width and breadth of each one, but we hope, that in reading this, you have one clear takeaway: Skin Renewal is committed this year – as we are every year – to delivering world-class aesthetics innovations and insights to our patients. And, to setting the trend for the South African aesthetics industry by consistently raising the bar.