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Cosmetic Dermatology Trends in 2020

2020 was a year full of unpredictable twists and turns, including spring months in 2020 where all NYC based dermatologists had to close their offices due to Covid-19 protocols, but in some ways, despite all the change, skincare trends were not affected too much.  Consumers actually used the isolation period as a time to plan and change their looks.  For example, in the 2nd half of 2020, news sources noted that “Clinics in the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia have all seen a rise in patients coming in for treatment including lip fillers, Botulinum Toxin (Botox®), along with face lifts and nose jobs.”  This is due to patients actually having more downtime to recover in the comfort of their own home.

woman wearing facemask

Instead of getting ready for big events such as weddings or reunions, nights out on the town or business interviews and meetings though, this time it was for the endless cycle of seeing yourself on video conference calls on Zoom, Teams, Skype, Hangouts, Blue Jeans, or mobile video calls where those fine lines and wrinkles might be easier to spot up close (and often in HD).

So despite all the chaos in 2020, due to virtual meetings, more time for recovering at home, and with less people seeing each other in person this year, cosmetic treatments were back in full swing in New York City this fall and winter once places were allowed to open back up. Here we look at some of the top trends in 2020 and some thoughts about potential dermatology trends in 2021 as well.

Top trends in 2020 included:

  • Botox (especially for non-surgical jaw reduction to refine one’s jawline)
  • Sculptra® (mainly for hips and butt)
  • Post Laser Hyperpigmentation
  • Kybella® Injections
  • African American Skin / Asian Skin Treatments
  • CoolSculpting®
  • PRP Hair Loss
  • Acne Scar Treatment
  • Skin Lightening / Cosmelan
  • Thermage®

Most of those are the same as last years list, though tear trough fillers dropped out of the list and Sculptra took the place of Juvederm thanks to the wave of traffic in the 2nd half of the year looking for hip dips and butt lifts. Fraxel also increased in popularity in late 2020, just missing the top 10 list here.

Google Trends noted that some cosmetic procedures such as Juvederm®, Kybella, Restylane®, Thermage all were relatively even in queries across the United States (though slightly lower in the NYC area as some patients moved to other parts of the country).

google trends 2020

Across the US, there was a big decrease in queries across all categories in Q2 2020, but these numbers have recovered to what they used to be in 2019 in some sectors, except CoolSculpting, which has lost ground YOY as more and more other options become available.

For the NYC area though, Sculptra® gained a lot of ground, and in late 2020 was 2nd to CoolSculpting in main treatments.  Note, Botox still is the most popular injectable and would be a step ahead of these other cosmetic treatments if added to the chart.  As a very popular and well known entry treatment for cosmetic patients, Botox is often combined with many of the other treatment options.

Top queries within our site were about PRP and hair loss, as well as Cosmelan, Thermage, Acne treatments (likely caused by the wave of “maskne” that occured in 2020 due to us all wearing face masks), laser treatments such as Fraxel and Hydrafacials.  Body contouring, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening and eye rejuvenation treatments were also popular, as social media sites, news publications and TV shows talked about collagen growth and treatments for anti-aging amongst the top beauty trends overall.  The hope for many is to be prepared for that time where we can socially gather again later this year when the pandemic regresses.

So how did we fare on our predictions for dermatology trends this year (and what might be in store for 2021)?

We were right about PRP and hair loss queries continuing to trend, but that was expected by many.  We also did note that Sculptra was to make a come back, “partially due to its association with butt lifts.” This indeed happened in 2020, so we were right about some parts of an otherwise unpredictable 2020 when doing our recap the previous year.

For 2021, non-surgical and non-invasive procedures will continue to come through as people look for ways to avoid surgery even if they have more downtime in current months, but we’re also looking out for the lips, whether lip lifts, lip fillers or lip injections (particularly hyaluronic acid lip injections such as Juvederm), as we kiss 2020 goodbye and because the face area is what gets seen on all these conference calls and virtual meetings.  PRP will continue to be popular amongst men and women, along with “preventative injectables” such as Preventative Botox, plus there is also an ever increasing market for topical skincare products such as our MGSKINLABs range.

thermage jawline 372743518

And while the first half of the year had many doctors worried, traffic in the latter part of the year has recovered for various sectors including plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists.  However, one concerning trend is that more and more people are searching for “free” or “cost” based discounts to these procedures and while most people avoided flights, cosmetic tourism was still somewhat popular, while Medspas managed to open earlier post-lockdown and often have underqualified/unqualified staff doing the injections. Remember, it is always important to see a board certified dermatologist such as Dr. Michele Green for these procedures and getting the best price or a package deal should not be the only thing to consider when it is your own body and face.

As for new treatments, new product launches and FDA approvals, these were often delayed or rescheduled in 2020, but there could be a backlog ready for launch in 2021, which will also change the dermatology landscape a bit. Overall, who knows what the new year will bring, but if you’re ready to bring out the best in your skin, contact us online today or call our New York office at 212-535-3088 to learn more about how Dr. Michele Green can find the right skin treatment combination for you.

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