Hollywood to High Street: Why Natural-Looking Cosmetic Procedures Are So Popular

These days, it’s not just the rich and famous that get to enjoy the benefits of looking and feeling younger and healthier. Although a whole galaxy of stars, from Angelina Jolie to Catherine Zeta-Jones, are widely rumoured to have had cosmetic procedures, the average British woman (or man) is now more likely than ever to have undergone one of the many basic beauty treatments available.

So why the sudden rise?

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reports a 6.7% rise in plastic surgery for men, and a 5% rise among women. This reflects the fact that we are becoming more accepting of cosmetic procedures that promote beauty and wellbeing, while still preserving a natural look that some celebrities we could name have definitely lost!

What procedures are available?

The spectrum of cosmetic surgery ranges from liposuction (surgical fat removal) and breast augmentation to the most popular anti-ageing tool of all, the humble Botox injection. Since its introduction in 2002, Botox has steadily gained in popularity with both the celebrity and the public. Quick and simple to perform, this anti-wrinkle treatment consists of small injections that allow the muscles of the face to relax, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Recently, alternatives to Botox, such as hyaluronic acid and poly-L-lactic acid (PLA) have broadened the market and made more choice available for people looking for a hassle-free way to combat those tell-tale signs of ageing. Both of these treatments use products that fill out the skin, producing an instant and recognisable reduction in bags and wrinkles.

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Another treatment that seems to be on the rise is laser hair removal. Tired of the costs and inconveniences of regular shaving, rushing to waxing appointments and painful plucking, many women are now choosing to have hair more permanently removed with laser treatment. This almost painless procedure is a fast and efficient way to eliminate unwanted hair growth in almost any area. The chin, underarms and bikini line are some of the more requested treatment spots.

Is it all too good to be true?

Cosmetic procedures, like all medical treatments, are not without some small risks and side effects. Generally, these are limited to discomfort and slight bruising at the site of administration. Although mildly unpleasant, the effects usually disappear within a short period of days or weeks. The good news is that the staff at cosmetic surgery clinics are qualified experts, and should be more than happy to discuss any concerns with you before your procedure. Equally importantly, support and follow-up afterwards is a normal part of practice.

The Beauty Revolution

As we stride into the new decade, it seems we are fast leaving our hang-ups and misgivings about cosmetic procedures behind us. Today, both men and women are increasingly relaxed about accepting a little help in maintaining their youthful looks. This is partly because it has never been easier or cheaper to access, and partly because we no longer accept that beauty is the sole preserve of a privileged few. Vive la r?�volution!