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Filling tired?

Hopefully, if you’ve been following our tips on how to improve your sleep, you’ll be feeling well-rested and reaping the health and beauty rewards, so today we’re going to look at another kind of tiredness: “filler fatigue”.

Filler fatigue Moonchild silk pillowcases

Filler fatigue is the term used to describe a growing sentiment among those who have undergone regular cosmetic treatments involving dermal fillers and Botox injections. It refers to a weariness or dissatisfaction with the continuous use of these treatments and a desire for a more natural appearance.

Beauty in a post-pandemic world

As in every other area of modern life, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to combat it had a significant impact on the aesthetics industry, resulting in an overall decline in treatments. Elective procedures, including cosmetic treatments, were postponed or cancelled due to lockdowns, social distancing measures, and the prioritisation of essential medical services, resulting in a decline in overall cosmetic procedures.

The economic impact of the pandemic, including job losses and financial uncertainty also led many people to cut back on discretionary spending. The ‘big pause’ also led many of us to re-evaluate our lives and values and to embrace the concept of self-love – and with it, a more natural look, such as growing out grey hair.

Data from by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) showed a 14% global decline in nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in 2020 compared to 2019 (source: ISAPS website).* 

What you see is what you see?

The quick, non-invasive nature of injectable ‘tweakments’, where hyaluronic acid is injected to manipulate facial structure, has won a legion of fans over the years thanks to its (supposedly) natural results compared to going under the knife. But this is yet another case in which more isn’t necessarily better and getting too trigger-happy with the syringe can leave faces looking overdone, unnatural - and ultimately older. 

What’s more, in a world in which face filters have become the norm, the phenomenon of ‘perception drift’, where patients (and their doctors) have become accustomed to seeing over-filled faces can lead to dysmorphia and take them farther and farther away from their OG appearance in the constant quest to improve the status quo. Courtney Cox recently admitted to this very thing. In 2022 she told The Sunday Times “I didn't realize that, oh shit, I’m actually looking really strange with injections and doing stuff to my face that I would never do now. There was a period where I went, ‘I’ve got to stop. That’s just crazy.”

What’s more, although filler can be dissolved, MRI scans of patients treated more than 10 years ago found that many still had dermal filler present. This residual filler can trigger chronic puffiness and poor lymphatic drainage. This may help explain why filler reversals are trending right alongside hyaluronic acid injections.

At first glance this seems a little counterintuitive: Are people dissolving more filler than ever before? Yes. Are doctors still injecting a whole lot of filler? Also, yes. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s 2022 trend report found that filler was still one of the three most common minimally invasive procedures performed by the organisation’s facial plastic surgeon members, but that the overall popularity of filler had declined: survey respondents reported doing 14 percent fewer filler injections last year than they did in 2021. What’s more, the Aesthetic Society’s most recent trend report notes a 57 percent spike in filler reversals between 2020 and 2021. What goes up, must come down it seems.

Let us know in the comments which beauty trends you’re sick and tired of!

*It's important to note that these statistics capture the overall decline in cosmetic procedures and may not solely reflect the impact of “filler fatigue.”


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