Is Aesthetics the Future of Cosmetic Medicine?

There’s no doubt that aesthetic medicine is one of the biggest cosmetic trends of the decade. Everyone from celebrities to influencers are taking to social media to showcase their results, eliminating the historic taboo associated with admitting to having had work done. The combination of these factors has meant that the demand within clinics is higher than ever.

While most people are familiar with cosmetic surgery and what it entails, fewer are able to define the practice of aesthetic medicine. With such a demand for treatments, it’s natural that many medical professionals are looking to explore these cosmetic trends and expand their skill set—with many considering the option of completing aesthetics training courses or cosmetic courses.

So, have cosmetic trends changed for good, and should we prepare for a society that favours filler treatments over implants?

What’s the difference?

While both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery exist to improve a patient’s body, cosmetic surgery is undertaken when a person chooses to have an invasive medical procedure to change their physical appearance for cosmetic rather than medical reasons. Surgical procedures are performed by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including plastic surgeons.

Contrastingly, non-surgical aesthetics refers to non-invasive treatments that do not involve the skin being cut or instruments inserted into the body. They usually require the use of injectables to achieve the desired result.

Both require additional training beyond medical school. Because of the lack of UK regulations surrounding aesthetic medicine, people are often confused about the level of training needed to become an aesthetic practitioner. However, the industry-standard requirement is a Level 7 qualification, which is equivalent to a postgraduate degree.

Cosmetic surgery vs. aesthetic medicine

For both options, the obvious motivation for patients is the enhanced appearance they’ll benefit from. If they’re unhappy with certain aspects of their face or body, the procedures will result in increased confidence and an aesthetically improved version of themselves. Of course, with cosmetic surgery, these results are permanent, while non-surgical treatments tend to last for several months before fading.

Beyond this, there are a number of significant differences between the two. Surgery, the far more intense and life-altering of the cosmetic trends, has its share of pros and cons, as listed below:


Permanent results– With cosmetic surgery, patients can rest assured that their appearance has been altered indefinitely; therefore, they no longer have to worry about the issues that bothered them previously. For people who are very unhappy with a particular feature, this can seem like the best option.

Improved physical health- Certain surgical procedures can positively impact a patient’s physical health. Examples of this include rhinoplasty surgery, which may help with respiratory issues, and liposuction, which reduces the chances of patients developing heart disease and diabetes.


Expense- With the cost of many procedures running into four figures, cosmetic surgeries are notoriously expensive, making them inaccessible to a considerable number of people. The cost is one of the biggest reasons people elect to explore the possibility of aesthetic medicine.

Risk- Although preventative measures are always in place, the risk is still there with any invasive procedure that involves a general anaesthetic. There is always the possibility of reaction to anesthesia or complications during surgery. 
Recovery time– For many patients, the lengthy recovery time is also a negative factor. It can last up to 2 or 3 weeks and have a reasonably significant impact on daily life. Many people don’t have the time or resources to be away from work for so long.

Non-surgical procedures also hold their own list of pros and cons:


No recovery time- One of the most significant advantages of injectable treatments is that there is little to no downtime after the treatment. It’s so convenient that it can be performed during a lunch hour, and the patient can return to work for the rest of the day. Discomfort is also short-lived, if evident at all, and can usually be managed with over-the-counter medicine. 

Less expensive- For those on a budget, aesthetic medicine offers excellent value for money. Desired results can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of surgery. Of course, future treatments will be needed to maintain results, but this may work better for many as the payments are spread out, and they don’t need to continue with treatments if the budget tightens.

Fewer risks involved- Non-surgical treatments eliminate many of the fears that prevent people from partaking in surgery.


Need for repeat treatments– The injectables administered are absorbed by the body over a period of months, meaning that semi-regular appointments are necessary to maintain results.

Less dramatic results- For those seeking a very dramatic, permanent change, it’s possible that non-surgical treatments may not provide the desired outcome.

Aesthetics is a good starting point

As cosmetic trends shift, aesthetics can be seen as an excellent precursor to surgery so that patients can see results before committing to a permanent change to their face. Because of the convenient nature of aesthetics, many people opt to choose the less-dramatic route to an enhanced appearance. 

Of course, with this surge in demand for aesthetic treatments, it’s natural that many medical professionals are keen to expand their knowledge and create a new stream of income from the aesthetics industry. At Acquisition Aesthetics, our gold-standard training academy offers a variety of courses.

If you’d like to book one of our courses or find out more about Acquisition Aesthetics, call our friendly team on 020 3514 8757 or email

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