So many of us want to put 2020 in our rear view mirrors, and here is another story of the potential end of an industry era.
In the past 10 years, cosmetic injections have been on a crazy run. From muscle paralyzers to cosmetic fillers, the needle has been all the rage. The invention of Botox began the frenzy, then fillers followed. The user numbers are in from 2020 and cosmetic injections have fallen out of grace. (Skip to Reason)
If you're not really clear on the difference between Botox, fillers and alternatives, we will break it down for you.
Botox is a muscle paralyzer. By paralyzing the muscle, it is incapable of creating a wrinkle. Since every wrinkle in our face is connected to one muscle or another, paralyzing essentially kills the wrinkle. However, if the muscle is needed for essential movement, like around the mouth, you cannot use a paralyzer. Due to this delima, half of the face, the lower face, cannot be injected by Botox and therefore created a market for a substitute.
Cosmetic fillers were invented to address the areas Botox cannot. Essentially, this is the area below the nose. All the wrinkles around the mouth and lips are controlled by one large muscle group. If you were to paralyze this muscle, it would affect your speech, eating and drinking. Not to say that many untrained medical professionals haven't tried injecting Botox around the mouth. However, the end result will not be favorable to the patient.
According to the National Association of Cosmetic Surgeons, Botox has been the top cosmetic procedure for many years, followed by cosmetic fillers. This demand has spread its availability to spas, cruise liners, gyms and even home parties in order to keep up with demand. However, the wide use of these drugs has stimulated competitors and diluted the value of the product.
Removable implants are small, flexible lifting strips that are used only a few minutes day to stimulate collagen and cell growth. These have grown in popularity so fast they currently hold the second most popular treatment, behind only Botox. An american surgeon (Dr. Brad Evans) developed these lifts while working on a facial nerve implant (published 2014). His team discovered that slight pressure inside the oral cavity, similar to braces, actually stimulated collagen and cell growth removing lines and wrinkles from around the lips. The device is sold under the AngelLift brand.
One of the biggest issues fillers and payalyzers have faced in recent years is proper training and administration. Regardless of the quality of the product or the extremely high level of safety associated with it, when administered incorrectly, bad things can happen. Depending on where you live, each state dictates what level of medical training is required to inject a patient. For example, some states require a licensed medical doctor to administer injections and some only require minimal certificate training. This lack of regulation and oversight in some areas have left patients far less than satisfied with their results.
Additional problems that broke headlines in 2020 were counterfeit injections. Many well intending physicians and spas were subject to products that were not FDA approved or labeled correctly. Also known as 'counterfeit' injections. Products began surfacing throughout the US that were sold illegally and posed serious health risks to patients.
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The straw that may have broken the camels back, is online beauty. As Covid began shutting spa doors, Amazon began selling pharmaceuticals. Now, keep in mind, you cannot buy Botox on Amazon. However, Amazon and many other online advertisers were quick to 'fill the wrinkle'. Long time injection customers were forced to find new products and techniques, for anti-aging treatments.
According to Google searches, Amazon searches and the National Association of Cosmetic Surgeon 2020 numbers, an over-the-counter lower face treatment called 'AngelLift' took top honors replacing injection filler numbers. Although Botox still hung on to the lead as the number one non-invasive treatment, it seems the reusable lifting strip invented by Dr. Brad Evans, first published in 2014 and aired on the Shark Tank in 2015 is right on their heels.
In March of 2020, Covid-19 began shutting down medical offices around the nation. Elective procedures, like cosmetic injections were one of the first to go. Many medical facilities were retooled for Covid patients or closed altogether.
The extreme drop in cosmetic injections for 2020 may be a sign of the future. It was a perfect storm as the injection industry scurried to recover from bad press regarding counterfeit injectables, Covid forced many skin spas closed, and consumers found over-the-counter alternatives through social media. .One such alternative/breakthrough (AngelLift) dominated Google and Amazon searches topping the US Cosmetic Procedure chart, just under Botox.
Is this a temporary fall or will injections return to the top? Only time will tell, but similar to the exercise industry, once people change their behavior, it is difficult and expensive to get them back.