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Non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and lip fillers have been around for years, but as of recently, interest has reached an all-time high. Reports show that the number of facial cosmetic procedures increased by 18% between 2019 and 2022, and the number of Botox injections shot up by 73% during the same time period. The driving force behind the industry’s growth? Gen Z. This generation grew up during the age of social media when editing and face filters became the norm. And, they’re increasingly interested in skincare and at-home treatments.

CivicScience data also show that Gen Z has the most experience with non-surgical cosmetic treatments, like Botox injections and dermal fillers. Thirty percent of U.S. adults 18-24 have had a treatment like this before, more than doubling the same figure among the Gen Pop 14% — with adoption up from 2023 among the Gen Pop (8%). Another 16% of Gen Z haven’t tried non-surgical cosmetic treatments, but intend to (compared to 9% of the Gen Pop). That said, though, Gen Z is far more likely to say they disliked it (23%) than liked it (7%).

Second to Gen Z are Millennials, with 17% of Americans 25-44 having tried these procedures, and another 13% intending to try them. Conversely, adults 55+ are the least interested in non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

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Not only is Gen Z more likely to have tried treatments like Botox and fillers, but they also perceive them as something most people will get in the future. Over half of Gen Z adults (60%) believe non-surgical treatments will become either prevalent or common in the next few years. Whereas, the Gen Pop skews more toward these treatments being niche (54%). 

Among those who’ve had a non-surgical cosmetic treatment, both the Gen Pop and Gen Z cite smoothing wrinkles and fine lines as their main motive for getting these types of treatments. Even though Gen Z is less likely to have wrinkles than older generations, they’ve grown more attuned to facial changes that occur with age. They experience stress about getting older, are flooded with influencer content promoting anti-aging skincare products, and recently, were introduced to TikTok AI filters that show aged versions of themselves – all of which influence one’s facial perception. In addition to smoothing wrinkles, over a quarter of Gen Z adults (26%) who’ve had non-surgical procedures say they do so for their self-image, slightly higher than the Gen Pop average (24%).

Additionally, the rise of non-surgical cosmetic procedures raises arguments about whether they’re a health risk or not. Reports show that short-term effects, such as flu-like symptoms, and long-term effects, such as muscle paralysis, can occur. CivicScience data show that just over half (51%*) of Americans 18-24 at least ‘somewhat’ agree that Botox injections could be a risky health choice, lower than the Gen Pop average (59%**). Given Gen Z’s interest in these treatments, anxieties about aging and appearance could have a heavier pull than health concerns. 

Join the Conversation: Do you think getting Botox injections is potentially a risky health choice?

Overall, the rise in non-surgical cosmetic procedures among Gen Z is likely influenced by social media and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Gen Z’s usage and interest in treatments like Botox and lip fillers, coupled with their expectation that these procedures will become mainstream, are ultimately redefining beauty standards today. 

This article is only a tiny glimpse of the insights available to CivicScience clients thanks to our database of over 500K polling questions. Want to see how your customers feel about non-surgical cosmetic procedures?

*259 responses from 6/13-6/17

**2,805 responses from 6/13-6/17