2020 is a year that will go down in history. It has undoubtedly tested all of us emotionally, physically, and financially. The Aesthetics industry, like nearly every other industry, took a huge financial blow. Starting in March, most medical practices in California shuttered their doors or only saw emergency cases to help quell the spread of COVID-19. Since we only offer elective procedures, and because we have always tried to uphold the highest level of care for our community, we closed temporarily. We also made the decision to reopen a bit later than others once the closure orders were lifted. This was mostly so we could source PPE responsibly and not be taking anything away from front-line workers all over the nation. We also made it a priority to keep our staff employed and applied for the government-sponsored Paycheck Protection Program loan.
Once we reopened in June, we had a huge back-log of patients whose appointments were canceled over the shutdown. We implemented stringent safety protocols and drastically reduced the number patients we would see in a day. The safety of our patients and staff has always been our number one priority, so we made the necessary adjustments required by this pandemic. We have bounced back, in many ways stronger than before, and with a new appreciation for Aesthetics and what it means to the world. Allergan Aesthetics, the makers of Botox, led the way in the road to recovery for our industry by creating several stimulus programs and offering the public a number of incentives. Many of our patients have already benefited from these measures by purchasing amazing gift card deals for Botox, Juvederm, and CoolSculpting through the new Allé rewards program. The shutdown and following months have certainly been a trying time, but the aesthetics industry is rebounding well and here to stay.
Why do we feel Aesthetics has remained a priority for patients?
Self-care is a term that’s been around for quite some time, however, 2020 put a spotlight on just how important it is for everyone to practice. Quarantine basically turned off a lot of extraneous noise and distraction, leaving us an abundance of time to reflect and take stock of ourselves. All the extra time we had or still have for self-improvement should be looked at as blessing and an opportunity. Another big underlying theme we saw, especially when we first opened, was that people needed a sense of normalcy. Coming in for their routine Botox or laser treatment gave patients that feeling and perhaps even hope that as a society we are resilient.
People have had to turn to the virtual world for many things. Zoom meetings and FaceTime are at an all-time high which causes many people to see themselves in ways they never had. Eliminating a pesky wrinkle or filling in a hollow can certainly make an impactful difference for a person who doesn’t want to turn on their computer camera during a meeting. Not to mention the dopamine rush you feel when you see yourself looking refreshed and receive compliments. Never underestimate the power of a confidence boost. A lovely patient wrote us a note after treatment that sums up what I’m trying to say, “We are all beautiful in our own special way. But it never hurts to embellish what you do have and accentuate the positive with the help from trusted providers.”
What have we seen in our Aesthetics practice since reopening?
Patients are now more willing to try new procedures, try new areas for Botox and filler, and the amount of chemical peels being done is through the roof! We’ve taken an initiative at b|A to really drill down on educating our patients through blogs, social media, virtual consultations, and even more so in the treatment room. While we’ve always prided ourselves on providing the “why” to our patients, we feel it is important to try to get that information out beyond our patient base.
An interesting thing I have noticed is that patients who participated in our “Botox for a Year” program last year did not seem to have as many notable issues with wrinkles as people who have always been more sporadic with getting Botox treatment. Anecdotally, it seems that people who stay on a 3-4 month regimen don’t have complete return of muscle strength even after a somewhat prolonged period of time. We have always known that keeping the muscles relaxed regularly leads to fewer lines and wrinkles, but it’s exciting to see the benefit longer term.
Why are we excited about the future of Aesthetics?
This year, clinical training that used to only be offered in-person, which can often be difficult to attend, adapted and began to be presented online. At the time of shutdown, many of our product vendors turned their focus on providing excellent continuing education for practitioners as well as direct patient education. I can’t think of another time in my professional life when I was able to attend so many high-quality educational programs. Our team has learned a variety of advanced techniques and approaches to treatment. This is all to say that a new normal has been set that I believe will only benefit the industry going forward.
As for 2021, there are many indications that through industry-wide efforts, patients everywhere will see better results, get greater value, and overall have better experiences with aesthetic procedures. What hot trends are being predicted? In a recent New Beauty article, plastic surgeons listed laser resurfacing, and specifically HALO, as a top trend in 2021. Injectables will likely remain the top treatments as we see uptake continue to rise and more patients beginning to understand the importance of properly dosing Botox and Dermal Filler. Manufacturers and other Medical Aesthetics companies are also still infusing the market with stimulus incentives that ultimately benefit the patient.
beyond|AESTHETICS is committed to leading our market in safety, efficacy, and patient satisfaction. We are extremely grateful for our wonderful patients and hope that we have been able to support you as you have supported us during this crazy time. We will continue to expand our offerings, giving our patients the highest quality, vetted treatment options to have you looking great in 2021! We look forward to serving you.