Prejuvenation, as a term and a trend, has been a growing movement within aesthetic medicine over the last few years, with millennials leading the charge. Unlike prior generations, millennial patients seek to prevent signs of aging proactively, and they know what they want before they even walk in the door.
The Instagram effect
Lori Robertson, M.S.N., F.N.P.-C., an aesthetic practitioner in Brea, Calif., said she is seeing a younger crowd coming in from Instagram. “It has been eye-opening that millennials look at Instagram as a more trusted referral source than friends.”
Over the past year, the proportion of patients between ages 22 and 30 in Ms. Robertson’s practice has grown at least 30%. Furthermore, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, its members have seen a 24% increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables in patients under 30 since 2013.1
“When these younger patients come in, they have already researched me,” Ms. Robertson noted. “They have seen me teach and explain things. And they tell me what they want.”
Unlike older generations, who sought neurotoxins as their first treatment, dermal fillers are millennials’ “gateway” treatment. These patients typically seek lip and/or cheek augmentation and overall facial balance/symmetry.
“It is very different than it was years ago. They come in already trusting me. They know the pitfalls. I don’t even have a chance to educate them. It is almost like my Instagram is the consult. And they say, ‘I’m going to go to her.’”
However, to be clear, millennials are picky, smart and educated, she said. “I love patients to be aware and have knowledge of what they are doing, because then they know the positives and negatives.”
When to say ‘No’
Sometimes, millennials may request excessive augmentation or unnecessary treatments, she shared. “At times I have to pump the brakes on them, and explain that they are already beautiful, and they should do nothing because the more fillers they have, the older and more ‘done’ they will look.”
“When I see girls that have the ‘Cabbage Patch doll look’ walking around with a ton of filler in their face, I know two things: the patient has asked for it because they don’t understand balance. And the practitioner didn’t say ‘no,’” Ms. Robertson stated. “As providers, we need to make sure that we stay honest and ethical and say no when we need to.”
In Ms. Robertson’s experience some millennials request neurotoxins. “If it looks like they might have (future) issues with muscles, sometimes I will treat them – but conservatively.” For these patients she sees them twice yearly – not to freeze their faces, but to forestall wrinkles.
If you’re looking to capture more of the millennial patient population, Ms. Robertson’s advice is: “Get on social media, because that is where millennials are.”
Specifically, her patients gravitate to Instagram, not Facebook. “Teach. Share. Let your future patients know who you are and how you think. Treat that like a consult and let patients know about you and how you treat patients. This is how they are making their decisions. "
According to Ms. Robertson, the payoff comes in dollars and patient satisfaction. “Patients who find her through Instagram spend more. It is way more profitable for you to let the public know who you are on social media. People will come in and purchase much more quickly and easily because they already trust you and know what you are about.”
If you are interested in learning more about Ms. Robertson’s personal experiences with millennial patients and concepts in prejuvenation she will be discussing these topics at The Aesthetic Show 2019. Click here to learn more.
1. American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. AAFPRS 2018 annual survey reveals key trends in facial plastic surgery. Available at: https://www.aafprs.org/media/stats_polls/m_stats.html. Published January 23, 2019. Accessed March 8, 2019.