Over the past six months, the reported number of Americans seeking non-invasive enhancements and quick cosmetic procedures has risen exponentially, with a specific post-quarantine boom in services like Botox injections and chemical peels. And this makes sense to some degree. Not only have increased pandemic-related stress levels left many Americans furrowing their brows, but the widespread adoption of video-conferencing software — coupled with a greater personal awareness of how faces appear while wearing masks — could be just a few of the reasons behind this noticeable change. Furthermore, the ‘Zoom Botox Boom’ may be fueling a new desire to visit convenient quick-stop Botox spas and drive-thru beauty bars that are popping up in suburban retail districts and urban centers around the country. 

But are people really facing this measure to address the fine lines they’ve recently zoomed in on during the pandemic? And do concerns about the possible health risks associated with cosmetic procedures wrinkle favorability? 

On the Surface 

Whether to address recent increases in acute tension and stress, or just to freshen up their overall appearances, more than one-tenth of U.S. adults report having some type of elective surgery for cosmetic or weight-loss purposes in the last quarter, a rise of 2 percentage points since August.

Virtual Reflections 

Given the major shift to predominantly virtual lifestyles, it’s no surprise that more adults are thinking about how they appear on camera. When asked about their experiences with non-invasive cosmetic procedures like having Botox injections and dermal fillers, 46% of users responded favorably. And in a group of more than 1,100 U.S. adults, another 42% indicated interest in trying these procedures soon.

The story becomes more interesting when looking at the rise in general likelihood to try some type of professional skin care treatment during the last several months. Even amid an economic downturn, lower-income Americans (18%) are almost just as likely as the highest earners (19%) to have become more interested in elective cosmetic treatments than they had been previously. 

Laser Focus  

To be sure, Americans have a lot more stress in their lives – which can certainly lead to new worry lines and signs of aging – but this isn’t the only reason many have elected into the growing trend. According to the data, 24% of Americans (18+) would choose a cosmetic procedure in order to correct dark spots and hyperpigmentation, too.

This becomes even more pronounced when focusing on remote workers, who report being the most likely to choose a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that reduces fine lines and wrinkles (40%) and counters overall signs of aging (32%). 

Pandemic Pampering 

When it comes to specific types of non-invasive cosmetic treatments, dermabrasion is the most popular with the highest positive rating and the second lowest negative rating. Respondents were most negative toward Botox injections but still intended to try them at the same rate as many other procedures (12%).

Zooming In 

While it may be obvious to assume pricey anti-aging and cosmetic treatments are popular among older Americans or those with higher incomes, young people are surprisingly keen on these services, adopting them at a higher rate than their expected counterparts. Twenty-eight percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 24 report becoming more likely to try services like Botox injections over the last six months, with another 30% having already undergone a procedure.

Drilling deeper, men (59%) are the most likely to take advantage of the convenience and brevity offered by quick Botox bar services among users and intenders. 

Because of its popularity with younger generations, CivicScience considered interest in cosmetic treatments among Instagram users. Instagram users are generally more likely adopters, and also report becoming more likely give it a try (21%) than those who don’t use the visual social-networking app (14%). 

Shifting Expressions 

Finally, Americans’ attitudes toward cosmetic treatments like Botox may be changing. Although the majority feel having it could present some degree of risk, this doesn’t keep the population from using these services. Especially when considering that, as seen above, men make up 59% of recent Botox bar visitors despite being 10% more likely than women to strongly agree that doing so could be a potentially risky health choice.

After peeling back the layers of this CivicScience study, it’s easy to see how the effects of additional stress and more time spent on camera have some Americans enhancing their focus on non-invasive skincare procedures. The new popularity of cosmetic tweaking will likely continue to grow. More to come on what’s hot in skincare and beauty right now. In the meantime, give us a bell if you’d like customized insights on your target audiences.