Men and Cosmetic Procedures

Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures like laser treatments and fillers are not just for women. More and more men are dipping their toes in the cosmetic pool these days. So why is this all-of-a-sudden being pointed out and what treatments are men trying? Elle Magazine did the story below answering these questions. Read on and find out for yourself!

Dr. Stafford Broumand, who is based in Manhattan, cites shifting expectations around aging as one of the main motivating factors. “Sixty is the new 40,” he says. “I’m in my fifties and feel like I’m in my thirties.” Like many women, “men don’t feel their age and don’t want to look their age, and now they know what they can do to improve their appearance.”

He said, ‘My wife has been on me for five years.’ So I asked, ‘What motivated you now?’ and he said, ‘My mistress started giving me a hard time.’

“I get men in their forties who have young kids and want to treat the wrinkles between their eyebrows,” says Dr. Doft. “They say, ‘I feel like I look angry when I speak to my children or my wife.” For them, she continues, it’s “not so much the prevention of wrinkles, like, ‘I can see how this will benefit me, and this is what I can get done.'”

Of course, plenty of men come in purely to improve their appearance. Dr. Doft had a French patient who came in for his sagging neck. “‘He said, ‘My wife has been on me for five years.’ So I asked, ‘What motivated you now?’ and he said, ‘My mistress started giving me a hard time.'”

“Look, I never thought I would be that guy,” says Rich, a New York City?based 33-year-old manager for a rental-car company and marathon runner who asked that we not use his last name. He went in for liposuction a year and a half ago for fat on his lower abdomen. “I told my wife and my sister, but I didn’t go broadcasting it to my friends. But I was more embarrassed about that little bulge in my stomach area than anyone finding out. I’m a super competitive person and I don’t want to look like someone who is out of shape.”

“I’ve never had a female patient pass out on me. I have had a handful of men [pass out].”

Though there are the obvious, non-gender-related reasons why men and women pursue these procedures?vanity, competition, some grasping at an ineffable edge in our perpetually measured world?several of the doctors I spoke with noted differences in the way that men and women approach the procedures. “A lot of my female patients almost want me to be a friend, a confidant. Sometimes they want to come in and talk about the decision two or three times,” says Dr. Doft. Men, she says, tend to be more businesslike about it. “I know the gender of a caller in one question: ‘How long do I have to be there?'” Dr. Stevens says.

Male patients, Doft says, “want to hear about the technology, like Vaser-assisted liposuction,” a technique that uses ultrasound energy to liquefy fat cells before they’re suctioned out. Doctors also say that male patients need more reassurance about pain. “Men in general have a lower pain threshold than women,” says Dr. Daniel Maman, who practices in New York City. (Science is on the fence about this, fwiw.) “I’ve never had a female patient pass out on me. I have had a handful of men [pass out] and they’re less than 10 percent of my practice.” Another difference: “Men do not bring in pictures,” says Dr. Broumand. Another crucial division: Women face more criticism for this kind of alteration, at least for now. “Men’s faces aren’t as scrutinized for imperfections or modifications,” says Alex, “and so our decision is maybe a little less embattled.”

But if the trend lines continue, will the scales equalize? Will men, too, find themselves subject to the kind of endless dissection of laugh lines and stretch marks that can torment women? Or will we all be just a bit happier to let the doctors do their job? Either way, nothing distracts from the sting of the needle like faux snakeskin walls and an endless loop of the Swimsuit Edition. Says Dr. Stevens: “It’s a palpable, smellable difference.”

Marisa Meltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City and a frequent contributor to ELLE.

*Some names have been changed.


The Rundown on Clay Products for Acne

We all know of facial masks and other skin products containing clay that are supposed to reach the depths of your pores and pull out unwanted dirt and oil. However, Elle Magazine recently explored the question of whether or not products containing clay are helpful in treating acne. Read about the products that were tried and the final verdicts below.

I have cranky skin (sensitive, prone to tantrums), and over the years, I’ve tried all manner of soaps and tonics and leave-ons aimed at calming it down and clearing it up, always favoring the more extreme formulas strong enough, so I thought, to snuff out all the oil and dirt clogging it up. Until two months ago, when I spoke to Manhattan-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, and my skin-care worldview was shattered. “Acne doesn’t mean you’re dirty,” Zeichner told me. “People who wash their skin regularly may break out, and people who don’t may have clear skin.” And then the kicker: “Overwashing may disrupt the skin barrier.” In other words, not only had I not been solving the problem, I may have been causing it.

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And dirt, long considered my foe, might actually be my greatest ally. Specifically, dirt’s electrically charged component?clay?which, as Zeichner explained, combats excess oil and draws out impurities (e.g., inflammation-causing excess sebum) without stripping the skin of moisture completely. Clay as cleanser isn’t anything new?Cleopatra is said to have maintained her poreless complexion with the help of white-clay masks?but it’s new to me: The first standouts in my experiment are Fresh’s Umbrian Clay, a no-nonsense gunk-extractor mask, and Borghese Fango Delicato Active Mud for Delicate Skin, a silky, seafoam-colored concoction fit for a mermaid. While slathering the former on my oily T-zone and the latter on my more delicate décolletage, I’m struck by how natural?and almost spiritual?it feels to cover myself in mud. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that ancient civilizations, from the Incans to the Greeks, theorized that a creator deity fashioned human beings out of glorified dirt. (It’s a claim that a group of scientists at Cornell all but backed up in 2013, when they found that clay can act as an incubator for DNA and the other building blocks of life.) Better yet, the stuff actually worked: My windburned skin was less ruddy and softer to the touch.

Now hooked, I consult Yael Alkalay, founder of skin-care brand Red Flower. A decade ago, Alkalay launched her hammam set, a clay-centric line partially inspired by visits to Turkish and Moroccan bathhouses that left her with a “feeling of lightness and renewal.” I have a similar reaction the first time I sluice myself down with her Moroccan Mint Tea Silt Purifier body wash; paint myself from hairline to pinkie toe in a thin layer of Jasmine Rose Rhassoul Clay combined with a capful of apple cider vinegar (to balance out the clay’s alkaline base); dollop L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask on my scalp; and then soak in the bath for an hour. The next morning, the Rhassoul Clay has significantly reduced a painful cystic breakout on my jawline (brought on, I think, from forgetting to heed Zeichner’s warning about overcleansing), and by the next evening, my oil-prone roots still look as if they’ve been freshly shampooed. As my new favorite saying goes, a little dirt don’t hurt.

1. The Dirt Natural Toothpaste.

2. Borghese Fango Delicato Active Mud for Delicate Skin.

3. Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask.

4. Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque.

5. L’Oréal Paris Red Algae Exfoliate and Refine Mask.

6. Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin DIY Powder-to-Clay Mask.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of ELLE.