4 Big Beauty Trends for 2015

America is a nation that loves its trends, and beauty is no exception. When it comes to looking oneís best, certain procedures and products are proving more popular than ever. Whether youíre considering making a cosmetic change or are just curious about what others are doing, here are some of the procedures making headlines in the beauty arena this year:

1. Facial Fillers

Botox, Juvederm, Restylaner, Radiesseóthese brand names may be familiar to anyone who has sought a facial filler. The injectable substances, typically comprised of collagen, synthetic gels, or compounds resembling minerals, are used to plump up volume and minimize facial lines. Their effects can last anywhere from weeks to months, and they continue to surge in popularity. "[Fillers have] become mainstream," asserts Homayoun Sasson, MD, director of plastic surgery at Plainview Hospital in Plainview, and Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, both in New York. He adds that fillers often can indefinitely postpone more invasive therapies such as facelifts. Facial fillers are so in demand, he adds, that some doctors can make a living doing only these procedures.

Why are facial fillers so popular? "As we get older, our skin sags because of gravity and becomes thinner in quality," Sasson points out. But itís not just the middle-aged crowd looking for fillers: As early as the late teens and early twenties, patients ask for lip and cheekbone augmentation. From their late thirties on, patients tend to focus on eliminating wrinkles. And itís not just women who want to change what they see in the mirror. While they have traditionally been the ones who go for fillers, Sasson says men are catching up.

Fillers also are appealing because they take just a few minutes to administer; the patient is in and out of the office quickly. As far as risks, there may be some bruising and swelling, but this usually resolves within two weeks.

2. Liposuction

Although itís been around for decades, this procedure, which involves sucking fat out of certain stubborn pockets with a cannula (tube) remains popular, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)ómore than 342,000 procedures performed last year in this country. But whether itís the hips, thighs, or belly causing anguish, Sasson stresses that itís important to be conservative and leave some fat under the skin to maintain a more natural shape, and also to minimize post-procedure deformities or irregularities. Liposuction may take a few hours to perform and is generally performed in an outpatient setting.

3. Non-Surgical Body Contouring

Does liposuction sound a little too extreme? A minimally invasive technique for fat reduction might be a good alternative. Procedures include cryolipolysis (better known by the brand name CoolSculpting), in which areas of fat are frozen and then absorbed by surrounding tissue; laser therapy, which uses lasers to break up pockets of fat; radiofrequency, which uses radio waves to accomplish the same goal; suction massage, which employs a vacuum-like device to break up fat so it can be naturally flushed out of the body; and ultrasound, which relies on high-intensity ultrasound waves to "melt" fat. While some patients swear by these techniques, ďThe juryís still out on how effective they are,Ē according to Sasson. These procedures may take a few hoursóslightly longer if combined with liposuction. These procedures usually take a few hours, and up to six hours if combined with liposuction or abdominoplasty (a.k.a. tummy tuck), in which case a short post-op hospital stay may be required.

4. Breast Augmentation

Enhancing the natural bust line is a procedure sought by more than just porn stars; according to ASAPS, more than 286,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2014. Saline and silicone implants are the most commonly used materials in breast enlargement. "It really makes an important difference in personal self-confidence," Sasson reports, noting that heís seeing a lot of younger women come in looking for larger breasts. Itís rare for a surgeon to use body fat transferred from another location, as the fat can "lump up" and mimic breast cancer as well as cause issues in diagnosing potential tumors, according to Sasson.

Breast augmentation generally takes an hour or two to complete and is an outpatient procedure. Recovery time generally is four to six weeks. Like all surgical procedures, it carries risks including anesthesia, bleeding, and infection. Breast augmentation also may result in asymmetry and implant rupture.

Other hot beauty trends include rhinoplasty (nose job), otoplasty (ear pinning), chin augmentation, and buttocks lift/augmentation.

Homayoun Sasson, MD, reviewed this article.

Sources

Homayoun Sasson, MD. Interview and e-mail exchange with subject on January 23, 2015 and March 12, 2015.

"Dermal Fillers." American Society of Plastic Surgeons, accessed March 11, 2015.

"Statistics, Surveys & Trends." American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, accessed March 12, 2015.