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Medical spas see an increase in beauty procedures after the Covid pandemic


Goddess Barrow, 22, decided to get her lips treated at Upkeep Medical Spa in Manhattan during the pandemic.

Source: Wheelbarrow Goddess

Goddess Wheelbarrow didn’t want to wait any longer. It was time to fill her lips.

After months of research, she decided last year to get a treatment at Upkeep on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that would make her lips look fuller.

“I wanted my lips to show up more on my face and in photos,” said Brouette, who vlogged her experience on her YouTube channel. “[Lips are] something you can’t ignore. So that always bothered me.”

Barrow, a 22-year-old pharmaceutical marketer who also writes contemporary adult fiction, credits Covid-19 with helping her earn money to pay for Juvederm lip fillers she was considering.

“The pandemic has definitely given me the ability to afford it,” she said. “So why not spend some money on something I’ve wanted for years?” »

As Covid protocols ease and Americans emerge after two years at home, medical spas — or medspas — like Upkeep are looking to keep a beauty procedure trend going.

Medspas are operated by licensed medical professionals, but often resemble a boutique personal service. They serve both men and women and specialize in aesthetic services, such as laser hair removal and medical-grade skin therapies.

Medspas are seeing more clients showing up for more robust treatment plans, industry experts say, doubling down on face and body treatments instead of individual procedures or consultations.

Americans of all income levels saved more money during the pandemic, according to Moody’s Analytics estimates and government data, allowing some to invest in their beauty.

In 2021, the US medical spa market was estimated at $4.8 billion, according to a report by market research firm ReportLinker. The United States currently accounts for 37.7% of the global medical spa market, which is expected to reach $25.9 billion by 2026, according to the report.

The three most popular procedures at medspas all involve injections, according to the American Medical Spa Association. These include:

  • Neuromodulators, used to soften facial muscle activity and reduce wrinkles, such as Botox,
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers, temporary skin fillers, such as Juvederm,
  • and microneedling, used to help firm skin and remove acne scars.

Alicia Bernal, director of the Z-Center for Cosmetic Health in Sherman Oaks, Calif., said while many clients are looking for immediate rejuvenation as the pandemic winds down, others are looking for lasting impact.

“People kind of want to look their best now that they’re coming out of Covid. So they want to treat their skin, and they’re investing more in procedures that give them long-term effects rather than just doing injectables to give somehow you only get short-term results,” Bernal said.

The personal services industry as a whole was hit hard at the start of the pandemic when establishments like salons, hair salons and spas closed for weeks or months. The industry has since made a comeback, with growth in overall employment, new sites and production expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, according to the International Franchising Association’s 2022 Economic Outlook Report. .

“I think we look at this as a year where everything is going to get better and we’re going to move on to another side that’s even more exciting,” said Christina Russell, CEO of wellness franchise Radiance Holdings.

Flawless Medspa in East Syracuse, NY specializes in aesthetic procedures like body sculpting.

Courtesy of Medspa

A 2021 study by skincare brand StriVectin of 2,000 Americans found that Zoom calls had a significant impact on consumers’ attention to beauty and skincare. According to the study, 44% of consumers sought to improve their appearance during video calls and 33% were frustrated enough to consider cosmetic procedures.

And the increase in face time has had ripple effects, with a shift towards more full-body beauty treatments.

Body shaping and contouring accounts for an 18.8% share of the global medical spa market, according to industry report ReportLinker. One particular service, called Qwo, has seen a noticeable resurgence in interest.

Qwo, the first FDA-approved cellulite injectable – produced by pharmaceutical company Endo International and cleared for use in the United States in July 2020 – is considered by the company to be a basic treatment for cellulite.

Maneeha Mahmood, co-owner of Aesthetica Medspa in Paramus, New Jersey, says the spa is generating a lot of interest in Qwo ahead of the summer months.

“Cellulite used to be really hard to manage because cellulite isn’t caused by how hard you exercise or what you eat,” Mahmood said. “And a lot of people inject putty around their buttocks, but it never really tackles cellulite.”

Mahmood explained that cellulite is caused by fiber bands in the buttocks that give a rippling effect as they tighten against the skin. After weight gain, fat cells can push against the skin to give the appearance of dimpled skin.

Liposuction, a popular surgical body sculpting service, is also in high demand at medical centers like Flawless Image Medical Aesthetics in East Syracuse, New York.

According to owner Katie Din, the demand for liposuction, as well as prescription weight loss treatments, among clients has increased over the past year and hasn’t slowed since.

“Our weight loss section has been busier since the pandemic because a lot of people have gained weight working from home, without having to go out in public,” Din said.


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