Whether it’s in pursuit of creating a flawless selfie without the filter or perhaps managing an area of the face you’re not happy with, treatments such as dermal fillers continue to grow in popularity. While initially, these aesthetic injectables were seen as a way to treat perceived flaws or to control the signs ageing, now injectables have carved out their own niche and sector. Now, these tweakments are firmly placed in the wellness sector. Many see aesthetic treatments as just another aspect of self-care. But, is it healthy to perceive fillers as simply a self-care and wellness treatment?
While self-care was traditionally seen as covering the basic needs such as food and sleep. Self-care is now a dominant force. Wellness, a term which encompasses all aspects of physical, social and mental wellbeing, is now a vast industry. In fact, the wellness industry, having grown 12.8% in the last two years, is now worth $4.2 trillion.
Of the $4.2 trillion, $574.8 billion falls under preventative and personalised medicine, and $1.082 trillion focuses on personal care and beauty. What is becoming more apparent is the significant fusion between sectors to be defined as wellness as a whole. For example, hotels are partnering with gym equipment such as Peloton bikes and Westin hotels. Furthermore, there are non-surgical treatments and makeup specifically targeted at the athleisure market.
While dermal fillers and wrinkle injections were once broadly categorised under injectables. Now, these tweakments are another way to feel good and are largely adopted into the self-care routine.
A cultural shift, particularly with Millennials (those born between 1982-2000) is that there is a bigger market for brands that offer experiences over objects. Injectables can fall into the experience sector. To begin with, treatments start with a detailed analysis and consultation; this provides a uniquely personalised experience. Secondly, the process of injectables offers results that last for several months, which can help the client feel good for longer.
In fact, with the rise of self-care treatment and wrinkle injections being more attractive to a younger audience as part of a preventative treatment, a new form of treatment dubbed ‘baby B’ is growing in popularity. Baby B involves just the smallest amounts of injections being injected into key areas of the face to enhance features and prevent the onset of deep wrinkles. Essentially, baby B is trying to prevent wrinkles from even forming in the first place.
In most cases of baby B, it is injected a long time before it is strictly needed. However, for many clients, it is about the way it makes them feel, more than the need to see significant changes. The trend is clearly growing in popularity as the number of treatments in the aged 19-34 sector has risen by 41% since 2011. Similarly, preventative injection treatments have grown by 28% since 2010 for people between 20-29 years old.
As wellness is seen anything that we can do to feel better about ourselves, fillers and other injectables have been studied for its impact on wellbeing. In fact, studies have shown that injectables can have a positive effect on the mind. Even going as far as wrinkle injections being a potential treatment for depression.
The reason why fillers may be a potential treatment to improve mental wellness is that it limits the ability to scowl or frown or to appear unhappy. When we look happier, it sends positive signals to our brains that make us feel happier.
Other studies have found that these treatments can also help to improve the quality of life as well as enhancing self-esteem levels. A double-blind study using wrinkle injections and a placebo saline solution was injected. Individuals who received the wrinkle injections reported increased satisfaction with their appearance as well as claiming to be happier and with an elevated mood.
After three months, participants who received wrinkle injections reported high levels of self-esteem and improved quality of life. What’s more, these improvements were sustained for a long period of time.
Steven H. Dayan, Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Illinois at Chicago; says; “We have long known the physically enhancing benefits of such treatments, but to now have data that indicates these injections also improves one psyche, self-esteem and quality of life is very significant. This probably contributes to the widespread popularity of the product. The question now has to be asked is if getting these injections makes people feel better about themselves, could this translate into them being more productive in their professional lives and happier in their personal lives?”
With this in mind, the future of injectables may go beyond the aesthetics market and be a treatment that can integrate into all aspects of life.