SÃO PAULO – With face masks that are mandatory in many Brazilian cities, the rich are increasingly relying on Botox for perfect, wrinkle-free foreheads. Beauty clinics say the demand for cosmetic treatments has doubled here since the pandemic started.
“People are looking at their eyes, eyes and forehead more often – right where their wrinkles are,” said Aline Medici, who owns a franchise of 21 beauty clinics across Brazil, Ad Clinic, with her husband. Over the past few months, they reached an agreement to open nine more clinics, even as the country plunged into recession.
While face masks have brought scrutiny to the forehead and around the eyes, the traditional areas for Botox injections, dermatologists have also linked the blasts to video conferencing. After months of staring at themselves during Zoom’s call, Brazilians – many only in their early 30s – have come out of lockdown believing they need cosmetic help.
“I can’t stand to see my face any longer,” said Deliza Costa, a 32-year-old sales executive, who had Botox injections in June. “Looks like I was frowning the whole time. I ended up paying more attention to my face than his calling. “
Brazil was the world leader in cosmetic care even before the pandemic. With a fraction of the per capita income of rich countries, Brazil performed more plastic surgery than any other country in the world in 2019, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. For nonsurgical procedures like Botox, it ranks third, behind the US and Japan.
Although data on this year’s Botox injections in Brazil are not yet available, dermatologists and aesthetic clinics in big cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro say they do about 20% to 100% more treatments a month than they did before. pandemic. Partly because of pent-up demand, they say, after many companies closed in March and April. However, they also saw the entry of Botox’s first timers. Many of them are male.
“I never did as much Botox as I did during the pandemic, and I’ve never seen so many men come,” said Eliandre Palermo, head of the São Paulo branch of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, which has its own clinic. in the city. The number of new clients increased by 60% during the pandemic, he said.
Many men are lured into getting Botox by their wives after spending months cooped up together during lockdowns, dermatologists say.
“I was afraid my friends would make fun of me,” said Luis Ferreira, a 32-year-old pharmacy representative, who received Botox treatment in July. She said she had never spent so much time with her boyfriend before the pandemic and had learned a lot about cosmetic treatments during their lockdown. She now recommended it to her male friends. “I tell them: ‘Do it, man! It’s important to look good! ” ‘
Men now account for about 20% of Botox Ad Clinic patients, compared to 5% before the pandemic, said Ms. Medici.
“When you take a photo, you pose to look your best,” said Ligia Kogos, a dermatologist in São Paulo who has been injecting Botox in the faces of Brazilians since the 1990s. But in video conferencing, “you see your face at the bottom of the screen, you see yourself talking, working, your facial muscles contracting.”
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With many beauty clinics closed during the height of the pandemic, Brazilians are turning to dentists. In Brazil, dentists are allowed to give Botox because it can be used to treat conditions such as tightening the jaw. In fact, many use it to treat their patients’ wrinkles – the subject of a long-running legal dispute with dermatologists who say dentists are unqualified.
“I was closed for three months and my patients would harass me every day, asking me to find a way to inject them or go to their house,” said Márcia Rosita Garcia, who owns a beauty clinic in São Paulo. Many of them ended up turning to orthodontists. She says many of her patients experience breakups during the lockdown and see Botox as a way to feel good about themselves again.
Pandemic stress itself also exacerbates patient wrinkles because high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol can affect skin collagen, said Kaliandra Cainelli, who has seen demand for Botox increase 20% at two of her clinics in Rio de Janeiro.
Dermatologists elsewhere in cities such as Los Angeles and London have also reported increasing interest in Botox, but this trend is particularly evident in Brazil. Demand for beauty treatments and products has grown even as the economy shrank by a record nearly 10% in the second quarter and the country became a global hot spot for the disease, recording more than 150,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Manufacturers of eye creams, which are used to reduce wrinkles and dark circles, sold 30% more in the first six months of this year compared to 2019, according to data compiled for the Journal by the Brazilian Association of Cosmetics, Bath and Fragrance Industries. Google searches for “skin care” jumped 66% between February and April, while online sales of beauty products between January and August doubled from the same period a year earlier, according to the Brazilian E-Commerce Association.
For some Brazilians who are obsessed with images, face masks and video conferencing have also provided the perfect way to hide bruises and bandages from more serious treatments. Google searches for nose jobs, or nose jobs, have skyrocketed in Brazil since March. Plastic surgeons say other patients have made the most of Zoom to perform liposuction and other jobs from the neck down.
“I did lipo on my stomach and legs and had breast implants,” said Zoe Gardini, a 45-year-old architect, adding that the lockdown meant she didn’t have to take time off to recover. “I’ve been wanting to get implants for a long time, but when else can I go three weeks without driving?”
Write to Samantha Pearson at [email protected]
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