Beauty treatments used to be the domain of women, but not any more.
A growing number of men, possibly spurred on by some high-profile celebrity converts, are refusing to grow old gracefully. Instead they are joining their wives and girlfriends in having Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels and other beauty procedures.
And it is not just the non-invasive treatments which are on the increase in men. A growing number are going under the knife in a bid to look better. A dramatic increase in the number of men seeking tummy tucks and breast-reduction operations is fuelling a boom in the plastic surgery industry.
Plastic surgery statistics in the UK show a record number of male “tummy tuck” operations as the rise in demand outstrips that for all other procedures – including women’s breast enlargement.
Figures published by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons showed abdominoplasty operations grew by 15 per cent, while overall male cosmetic surgery grew by 5.6 per cent. So what is fuelling the increase at a time when the cosmetic treatment industry has never been under greater scrutiny and the economy is suffering? Many believe that as the jobs market becomes ever tougher the need for men to look their best and make a good impression has never been more important.
“Where women view having a cosmetic procedure as a beauty treatment, men see it as more a matter of good health. They see it almost as an extension of the gym. If they work hard to make their body look good they want their face too as well,” says Martin Scattergood who set up Sheffield-based Peach Practise in 2010 after deciding to leave his job as an NHS nurse after 23 years.
“I underwent special training and started to do cosmetic procedures alongside my day job. I gave myself five years to build up the business enough to leave my job – it took less than a year. My clients come from all different walks of life and are all different ages.”
Men make up around 20 per cent of Martin’s clientele
“Often wives and girlfriends will buy treatments for their other halves for a birthday or Christmas. The perception of cosmetic treatment is changing.”
Faulty breast implants, botched dermal fillers and unrealistic adverts offering two-for-one deals have led to increased calls for the industry to be regulated.
“I agree with a lot of what is being said. The industry does need to be better regulated. Many of the problem you read about dermal fillers are the way they are being administered. There needs to be a lot more transparency. People need to be able to find out easily what qualification and insurance you have so that they can make an informed decision,” says Martin who refuses to give Botox to anyone under 26.
“Why would I ? They don’t need it at that age. But as you get older it is a matter of personal choice. It is also a matter of self-confidence. If you are self confident enough to grow old gracefully then great, but not everyone is.”
Peter Thornton, 44, a train conductor from Sheffield, spent £1,000 in the last year
I’ve been having treatments for three years now. I always have taken care of myself; I go to the gym and look after my body so I decided to start taking care of my face.
I didn’t like the frown lines on my forehead so decided to try botox. It is partly vanity but it also really does make me feel better about myself, I feel much happier when I look my best. I do however draw the line on surgical procedures, I wouldn’t go under the knife, I much prefer these non- invasive treatments, they achieve a more natural look. I do embrace getting older, it’s something none of us can avoid and I don’t want to look younger, I just want to look my best. I’ve also had cheek fillers as I was beginning to look gaunt; I was so pleased with the results. I don’t look artificial and to tell you the truth nobody at work even noticed. All my family knows, my Dad even laughs at me for having these things done but he’s of a different generation. I don’t feel men are pressured into looking good I just feel they are more conscious of it. Looking your best has sometimes been seen to be a female trait but today’s society is different. Even men in the sporting world are having cosmetic procedures, Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant for example.
I’ve probably spent over £1,000 on treatments in the past year, it is a luxury and I wouldn’t choose this over paying the bills. Lots of people spend money on expensive clothes I like to spend my money on treatments and I’ll continue until they stop working!
Steve Walker, 44, a railway engineer from North Anston South Yorkshire, spent £1,000 in the last year.
I was a personal trainer for 10 years so I have always taken care of my physical appearance and have always taken pride in looking my best. I’ve always moisturised and looked after my skin but when I reached 40 I felt like I was looking a little tired. As I work outdoors with the railway, I was constantly subjected to the elements, rain and sun was taking its toll on my skin. I decided to have some treatments for my birthday and started to have microdermabrasion and chemical peels for my skin.
I didn’t tell anyone but I noticed a number of people mentioned how fresh and rested I looked, I kind of got the bug from that and decided to try Botox. It isn’t dramatic, it is very subtle and my girlfriend loves the fact I have it done. She’s even started having treatments herself. I feel it does make me feel better within myself and does take years off my face. I never hide the fact I have it done, I see no shame in it. But nobody has asked if I have had Botox as it looks so natural. I do feel that there is more pressure on men to look better these days, with male celebrities such as David Beckham taking pride in their appearance. Also Simon Cowell has freely admitted having Botox, if he can have it then why can’t I?
Andy Hoggard, 30, runs a construction company in Sheffield and spent £500 on Botox last year.
I’m totally open with my family and friends about having treatments to keep me young looking. There is an element of competition in today’s market and when meeting potential clients I feel the pressure to look good and looking good is now more important than ever.
To look good shows a level of professionalism which counts in the boardroom right through to the building site. The treatments I have keep me looking refreshed; I feel that my looks are an important part of my business. People do judge on appearance, when I’m in meetings I want to look the best I can be. A suit is seen as professional attire therefore why can’t my looks be in keeping with a sharp suit? You wouldn’t go into a meeting without being dressed well or with your hair all over the place, I take great pride in my appearance and I think clients notice this. If you are well presented this shows that you mean business and I do think it reflects on how you work. People may have the idea that its celebrities having cosmetic surgery but it is the opposite – Mr and Mrs Average and businessmen and women are having treatments. People from all walks of life are now more body conscious than ever.
Men holding back the years
Male patients account for 10 per cent of all cosmetic surgery procedures carried out in the UK, according to The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the latest statistics show a further seven per cent rise in the number of men having work done. The top five surgical procedures for men are:
Top non-surgical procedures are Botox, dermal fillers, dermaroller and chemical peels.