Statistics show that more women over 50 are getting cosmetic procedures than ever before. But what is the reason for this rise?

According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more American women aged 55 are seeking out cosmetic procedures than in previous years. Nearly 50,000 more cosmetic procedures were performed on Americans aged 55 and older in 2018 compared to 2017.

It has been suggested that one of the contributing factors for the increase in procedures in this age group is that they are hoping to have prolonged success in the dating world. The figures show that the divorce rate for the over 50s in the US has increased by 109% since the early 1990s. Similar research from Pew also found that by 2016, one in 10 dating app users was a baby boomer, and this rate continues to rise.

Whatever the exact reasons, the rise in procedures is being linked with an aging population as well as with changes in the cultural and societal norm. For example, Dr Kyle Leipziger, chief of plastic reconstructive surgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhattan, New York said: “People are taking better care of themselves. They’re exercising. They’re seeing the doctor for any medical indications…these people are looking in the mirror and they really want to look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside. They want to look as young as they feel.”

He also suggested that online dating apps and the rise of social media has meant that older women in the baby boom generation have even more impetus to want to look younger. He said: “I have many patients that come to me that have either divorced or lost a spouse. They want to slowly get back into the dating scene…they’d like to enhance themselves just to feel better about going out into the dating scene once again.”

So what procedures are popular to stay looking younger?

In the US, more than 4.2 million cosmetic procedures took place in 2018, including nearly 381,000 surgical procedures and 3.8 million minimally invasive ones. Among these treatments the number of hair transplants were up by 18%, lip augmentation increased by 5%, liposuction and breast augmentation increased by 4% and Botox and fillers increased by 3%. The stats show that two thirds of all face-lifts are performed on people aged 55 and older, along with over half of eyelid surgeries.

The 2018 statistics for the UK appears to tell a similar story as amongst the most popular procedures for women were blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), liposuction and facelifts.

Whether it is down to cultural or societal changes meaning cosmetic procedures carry less of a taboo as they once did, or that older generations are keen to stay looking younger and living vibrant love lives for longer, the figures speak for themselves. The trend of cosmetic surgery amongst older females shows no sign of slowing across the UK and the US.

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