Millennials are buying facial aesthetics. Are you selling? By Jonathan Fine. April 19, 2017.
Botox and fillers are a booming source of revenue for dental practices because people trust dentists who communicate a USP of ethical and safe treatment in contrast to cheap and dodgy high street beauticians. The profitability is so good because it’s not a one-off transaction, or even once a year: many of your customers will come back quarterly for top ups. The fees they pay for facial aesthetics will therefore quickly dwarf their dental fees.
My advice to clients is usually to go after over-35s, at least to start with, in order to build this revenue stream up within their catchment. You would think that under-35s wouldn’t be too worried about ageing, and for the most part they aren’t, but it turns out that there is huge and growing demand for facial aesthetics from 18 to 34-year-olds who are a driven by a different motive: facial enhancement. They want to look like Michelle Keegan off Corrie and other girls like her, celebrities or “influencers” with large social media followings.
I know a lot of readers will wince at the thought of this market, but let me just sketch it out anyway and see what you think. I’m talking about the trend we’re seeing here and in the US where young people are so preoccupied with their looks that they regularly post selfies on apps like Instagram that they’ve edited using special filters. Essentially they are creating impossible versions of themselves online and then looking for ways to get closer to that ideal in real life through facial aesthetics. If that sounds unpalatable, in many ways it is, but what’s worse is that many of these kids are going to cheap clinics and coming back with scars and disfigured faces.
A recent survey found one in five British women under 20 has considered plastic surgery, compared with just one in nine in the over-50s group, but it’s hard to track how many are being injected because anyone can buy and administer fillers. In the US Botox treatments for people aged 19 to 34 rose 41 per cent between 2011 and 2015. Millennials — the under-35 generation — clearly want facial aesthetics.
Dr Tijion Esho, a celebrity cosmetic doctor on Harley Street, says lip fillers account for 70 per cent of his workload, and his clients are most definitely millennials. His clinic is inundated with young women wanting Botox and fillers just to get more likes on Instagram, and he has cornered this market with panache — and at very little cost — by building his profile on social media.
A full 90 per cent of Esho’s clients find him on social media. His before-and-after shots of plumped lips and straightened noses and videos of procedures have won his Instagram feed a following of 62,000, the largest of any British rival. He posts photos of himself looking dapper in designer suits and his Twitter feed is packed with retweets from young women praising his work.
Esho told The Times Magazine that he’s actually a bit squeamish about the extent to which his clients live vicariously through their Instagram and Snapchat feeds, but he feels that as long as they are coming to him at least they aren’t coming to harm. He said: “I see a lot of shocking stuff. Lip fillers are probably one of the most dangerous non-prescription items out there. So many things can go wrong, even in the correct hands, from severe bleeding after rupturing a blood vessel to anaphylaxis. I’ve seen abscesses, where there’s a pocket of pus that needs to be drained and treated. Patients have come to see me with what they thought was a bruise and it’s turned out to be impending necrosis, where the filler has entered a blood vessel and the tissue can die, so we’ve had to liaise with hospital plastic teams.”
He sees his role as a safe pair of hands who can repair botched cosmetic jobs on naïve millennials. I wonder if any of you, dear readers, would be interested in stepping into this space to harness the extraordinary confluence of social media and facial aesthetics as a route to the millennials market? I can help you make a lot of money if you do.
JJF | [email protected] | 07860 672727
“One in five British women under 20 has considered plastic surgery”
Jonathan Fine, MD