The 10 most popular cosmetic procedures in the US reveal our obsession with breast implants and Botox

BSIP/UIG via Getty ImagesThe American Society of Plastic Surgeons dubbed 2018 the ‘Year of the Body.’
  • In 2018, there were more than 17.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, nearly a quarter million more than in 2017, according to a new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
  • Procedures included surgical operations like tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast augmentation, plus minimally invasive procedures like laser hair removal and soft tissue fillers.
  • These are the most popular cosmetic procedures of 2018, including the top five surgical procedures and top five minimally invasive procedures.

Plastic surgery has become increasingly popular over the years, and a new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) revealed just how much body modification procedures have surged. In 2018, there were over 17.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, including invasive and non-invasive procedures, according to the ASPS report.

That’s an increase of almost a quarter million from 2017, when the total number of cosmetic procedures was 17.4 million. According to ASPS, their findings demonstrate “a rise in new trends in body-shaping procedures, with a spike in non-invasive fat reduction, as well as surgeries such as breast augmentations and liposuction.” The organisation even dubbed 2018 the “Year of the Body.”

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Here are the top cosmetic procedures of 2018, including the five most popular surgical procedures and the five most popular minimally invasive non-surgical procedures.

Breast augmentation was the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure performed in 2018.

In 2018, there were a total of 313,735 breast augmentations performed, making the procedure the number one surgical cosmetic procedure of the year. Breast augmentation procedures increased by 4% year over year, according to ASPS.

Commonly referred to as a “boob job,” a breast augmentation is performed by transferring fat from one part of the body to the breast, or with artificial implants. Most artificial breast implants are filled with either silicone or saline solution, according to ASPS.

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Liposuction was the second most popular surgery, with 258,558 procedures in 2018.

Liposuction, which involves removing excess fat from areas of the body to make it look more contoured, was the second most popular surgical procedure on the list in 2018, with 258,558 procedures performed.

The surgical procedure can be done on various areas of the body including the hips, thighs, butt, abdomen, cheeks, chin, back, and ankles, according to ASPS. The procedure cannot remove cellulite or act as a solution for obesity, but people seek it out to achieve a slimmer and more contoured body appearance.

Nose reshaping, commonly called a “nose job,” was the third most popular surgical procedure for 2018, but its popularity actually decreased 2% year over year.

Nose reshaping, also called a rhinoplasty or nose job, was the third most popular cosmetic surgery of 2018.

Someone who gets nose reshaping can change the size and proportions of their nose. In some cases, it can also help people with breathing problems by fixing “structural defects” in the nose, according to ASPS.

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Eyelid surgery was also popular, with 206,529 procedures in 2018.

Blepharoplasty (or eyelid surgery) was the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery of 2018, with 206,529 procedures occurring. The procedure can be done on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, according to ASPS, and can treat loose or saggy skin, puffiness, or drooping in the area.

Tummy tucks were the fifth most popular cosmetic surgery of 2018.

Tummy tucks were just as popular in 2018 as they were in 2017, with 130,081 procedures this past year.

Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck involves removing loose skin from the abdomen area to create a firmer and slimmer look. Like liposuction, a tummy tuck is not a weight loss or obesity treatment but is best suited for people with excess midsection fat due genetics, weight fluctuations, or from pregnancy, according to ASPS.

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Minimally invasive procedures that don’t require surgery were also popular in 2018. Botox was the most popular of all.

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesThere were 15.9 million minimally invasive procedures like botox performed in 2018.

Unlike cosmetic surgeries, minimally invasive or non-invasive procedures can also modify skin, hair, lips, or other body parts without the pain or downtime surgeries might involve, according to New York Group for Plastic Surgery.

Botulinum toxin type A was the most common non-invasive cosmetic procedure of 2018, with 7.4 million procedures taking place – a 3% increase from 2017. Botox is the most popular brand, but other brands like Dysport and Xeomin are also used.

Botox and similar products are injected into the body with a syringe, usually around wrinkles in the face or neck. The substance blocks nerve signals in the area it is injected, freezing the muscle in place to prevent movement that could cause wrinkles.

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Soft tissue fillers were also popular in 2018, with 2.68 million procedures reported.

Soft tissue or dermal fillers, like Botox, can change the appearance of the face and neck area. Unlike Botox, dermal fillers do not “freeze” the face, but rather restore volume to the area in which they are injected.

Fillers typically contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs in the body and is thought to mke the skin look plump and youthful, biochemist Alison Telfer, PhD, told Marie Claire. As the body ages, though, it loses its hyaluronic acid supply and the skin can get looser and thinner.

Dermal fillers allow people to artificially inject the substance into their bodies to create the look of fuller cheeks and lips and to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to ASPS.

Chemical peels can help with acne, sun-damaged skin, and scarring. Some 1.38 million procedures were done in 2018.

frank60/ShutterstockPeels help to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells in order to reduce scarring, acne, and discoloration.

Chemical peels are another popular non-invasive procedure, with 1.38 million of them completed in 2018. That’s a 1% increase from 2017.

Chemical peels are usually done on the face and require applying the peel, which contain different acids like glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and salicylic acid, to the area. According to ASPS, chemical peels can also be done on the neck and hands.

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Peels help to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells in order to reduce scarring, acne, and discoloration of the skin. There are different strengths available depending on a patient’s needs.

1.1 million laser hair removals were performed in 2018.

Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThe treatment typically takes multiple sessions in order to be effective.

Laser hair removal uses laser lights in a person’s hair follicles to damage the follicles and prevent future hair growth, according to ASPS. In 2018 alone, 1.1 million laser hair removal procedures were completed.

The treatment typically takes multiple sessions in order to be effective, since it can only work on existing hair follicles.

709,413 microdermabrasion procedures were done in 2018.

BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The fifth most popular minimally invasive procedure of 2018 was microdermabrasion, with 709,413 procedures completed. The procedure uses what ASPS calls a “very fine sand blaster” tool with a diamond tip to exfoliate the top layer of the skin, usually on the face.

The wand suctions to the skin to remove dead skin cells and can feel like mild scratching, according to ASPS. The procedure takes only about 30 minutes and can help treat light scarring, discoloration, and sun damage.

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