Prejuvenation before Rejuvenation

Dr Kim Prescott on the hottest trends in aesthetic medicine for 2020.

The field of aesthetic medicine is a rapidly evolving one, with a growing awareness of available treatments as influencers and celebrities promote the latest trends via social media. Millennials are now approaching their 40s and have no reservations about discussing their skin regimens and procedures online, so the stigma that might have been associated with aesthetic treatments in the past is rapidly disappearing. There is also an ever-increasing desire by the majority of people for treatments that are backed by scientific research – something we definitely see in our clinics – and a subsequent increase in the amount of clinical research being conducted
by companies competing in what is a highly competitive environment.

Prevent and Protect Before You Correct

The trending buzzword in aesthetic medicine at the start of this new decade is prejuvenation. Attitudes are changing and younger patients are seeking out high-performance procedures to maintain their youthfulness, rather than waiting until the signs of aging become apparent. The prevention-is-betterthan-cure approach is not limited to long-term skin health, but is widespread in current medical thinking. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel extensively over the past few years, and to work with incredible experts in various medical fields. It has been a fascinating journey of learning to be exposed to scientific advances that are rapidly changing our thinking around the concept of aging, and how we prevent onset of chronic ill-health. These advances are particularly exciting within the field of aesthetic and lifestyle medicine where new concepts are fairly rapidly integrated into medical practice.

So what new innovations are set to hit the media in due course, and what practices are set to transform aesthetic medicine globally over the next few years?

Focus on Wellness to Prevent Future Ill-Health

As science catches up with the impact of nutrition and hormones on overall health and performance, wellness driven treatments are increasingly becoming part of aesthetic medicine. Instead of simply offering a menu of isolated facial or body treatments, the integrative approach involves evaluating a patient as a whole, and your doctor may integrate nutritional advice, hormonal consultations, hair restoration treatments, medically controlled weight loss and perineal rejuvenation for both men and women as part of an optimal lifestyle management programme. The aim is to help patients not only to boost their self-esteem through looking good, but also to feel energised and healthy.

Less is More

It is not only the social media “It Girls” like billionaire influencer Hula Kattan who are promoting the practice of removing their facial fillers; this is increasingly a widespread trend. I’ve noticed a distinct preference in my own practice for natural-looking, more subtle outcomes, with few requests for disproportionate lips, and increasing interest in skin boosters rather than volumising fillers. With the selfie era fuelling the desire for dewy, flawless skin, another just-a-little-bit trend to hit the social media waves is the South Korean-inspired mesotox technique to create mirror-smooth skin. Micro-doses of a neuromodulator are delivered to the top layer of the skin to control oil production and redness, and to tighten the pores.

Rise of Regenerative Medicine

Across the globe, aesthetic clinics are experiencing an increase in demand for non-synthetic treatments that use the body’s own capacity to regenerate itself. Regenerative medicine encompasses a number of cell-based therapies including use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in popular skin rejuvenation and hair regrowth treatments, and fat-derived stem-cells in fat grafts used in place of dermal fillers. There is a significant growth in stem-cell research and genetic understanding (and therapies), and these are both areas to keep your eye on over the next few years.

Customised Skincare

A myriad choice of skincare ranges means that patients are searching for proven ingredients and innovative products that are supported by clinical studies. An exciting trend for me as a skin product enthusiast, is the rise of personalised skin care, with ingredients tailored to your particular skin requirements, and even a DNA test that is specific to skin. A beautifully packaged new arrival to the UK aesthetic arena is a take-home skin product formulated in front of you using your own PRP. There is also a huge rise in popularity of organic skin ranges, with celebrity and social media endorsement leading to some very successful brands.

Growth in the Male Aesthetic Sector

Numerous trend reports reflect the steep increase in aesthetic treatments for men, driven in part by the drive for optimal health and performance. The most popular treatments remain anti-wrinkle and sweat-reduction injections, but there is a growing interest in combination treatments like the “Masculift” and results-driven skin products. In my practice, abdominal fat reduction treatments and VoluDerm – microneedling combined with radiofrequency, used for skin improvement and management of acne scarring – remain the most popular treatments, but I am also frequently asked about the pros and cons of the non-surgical blepharoplasty.

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