Wellness Marketing: Talking Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Treatments

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words plastic surgery or aesthetic treatments? For some, the first things that come to mind are injections, breast augmentations, lifts, tucks, and superficial outer beauty. For others, improved self-esteem, better health and well-being, a higher sense of satisfaction with life, and radiant inner beauty. How do wellness marketing teams make sense of these different perspectives ?

The Common Denominator

Everyone views plastic surgery and aesthetic treatments differently, but the one thing that remains the same is the fact that these procedures change something about us. What’s the goal of that change? One plastic surgeon, Charles Glania, MD, FACS, explained that

“the real goal of plastic surgery is not the creation of beauty. The real goal of plastic surgery is the enhancement of confidence. That is the thing that makes these transformations so impactful to witness.”

This notion has also been backed up by science, as more studies reveal that those who opt in for plastic surgery report being happier with their bodies as a whole — not just the area on which they had work done.

Watch List For Wellness Marketers

Everything we know about plastic surgery is changing. It’s no longer just about physical beauty, as the industry’s focus has shifted to be centered on celebrating the beauty within. RealSelf, a leading and trusted resource for anyone considering any elective cosmetic treatment, captured how everything we know about plastic surgery is changing — and will only continue to — in their 2019 Aesthetics Watch List (which also has implications for wellness marketing):

1. The Year of the Toxins
As conversations around preventative treatments and buzzwords like “baby Botox” gained popularity this year, so did millennial interest in Botox. According to RealSelf, interest in Botox is increasing the fastest among 18- to 24-year-old RealSelf users. While Botox is the frontrunner today, up-and-coming entrants from companies like Revance and Evolus could bring increased competition to the neuromodulator market.

2. Less Invasive Alternatives to Traditional Procedures
This year we saw sizable spikes in interest for nonsurgical treatments that offer a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery. The body contouring treatment Emsculpt, which ranked among the top emerging treatments of 2018, is one example. The treatment stimulates forced muscle contractions to cause muscle growth and claims to be the first nonsurgical buttock toning procedure.

Another example of this trend is the off-label use of fillers. Sculptra Aesthetic, which saw 31 percent interest growth on RealSelf last year, is FDA-approved to treat facial wrinkles, but a growing number of doctors are using the injectable for buttock augmentation.

3. Expanded Conversations About Modern Beauty
Celebrities and other influencers have helped elevate the conversation and reduce the stigma around cosmetic procedures by sharing their treatment experiences on social media. As advancements in technology help make aesthetics accessible to a wider audience, more people have the ability to choose procedures that support their individuality and personal definition of beauty.

“Most Worth It” Procedures

Besides this Watch List, RealSelf also recently released their annual Most Worth It Procedures. As the ultimate patient testimonial (and therefore high-value marketing asset for wellness marketing), the ‘Most Worth It’ report fosters an environment of education and honest communication around almost any surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic or aesthetic treatment you can think of.

These rankings help potential patients make decisions confidently by connecting them with patients who’ve had the same treatments. Now, nobody has to make any kind of commitment — even if it’s just going in and learning about a procedure or treatment — before hearing about it first-hand from a resource whom they can trust and understand, like a best friend or a family member.

Wellness Marketing Takeaway

Beauty is being redefined. Progressive wellness marketing teams need to look anew (as consumers have) about what it means to be beautiful, which is beyond the conventional benefits of looking good by way of plastic surgery or aesthetic treatments. Given this more expansive definition among wellness-focused consumers, winning brands will move beyond their products and procedures to find new ways — through services and experiences — to meaningfully engage and grow with consumers.

Does your health + wellness brand align with the new definition of beauty? Give us a shout for some added inspiration and momentum.


Erin Schroeter

Erin Schroeter is a Content Strategist/Copywriter at Trajectory. With a passion for all things social/digital, Erin puts big ideas into little sentences and uses her words to connect people to one another. As a Boston University alumni who has worked in Advertising all around the world (most recently London), she's written for various music publications, managed social media programs and collaborated on creative strategies. When she isn't totally engulfed in creative brainstorms, Erin practices yoga and paints.