Traditionally the preserve of women, non-surgical treatments like Botulinum Toxin (sometimes known as Botox®) and fillers have now massively increased in popularity amongst men as well. In the last two decades, male demand for these treatments has reportedly risen by 310%. Whilst women are still more likely to undergo non-surgical facial enhancement than men overall, it is important that clinicians are aware of the differences in treating each gender as men begin to make up a growing proportion of patients.
As well as possessing different physiologies, men and women will generally have distinctly different aesthetic goals when seeking non-surgical treatment. Female patients will commonly seek to soften facial features and achieve a youthful appearance by erasing lines and wrinkles. In contrast, men will generally want to define sharp facial contours whilst subtly reducing signs of ageing to create a traditionally masculine appearance. A ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach is therefore not appropriate when treating male and female patients.
The chief concern for both men and women when opting for Botulinum Toxin treatment is usually to reduce the visible signs of ageing. Cosmetic Botulinum Toxin treatment has, until recently, been almost solely sought out by women. Some theorise that Botulinum Toxin is becoming more popular with men due to the desire to look young, confident and capable in an uncertain economic environment. Others point to the increasing scrutiny on male appearance in the media. Whatever the reason, Botulinum Toxin treatment for men must be approached in a slightly different way than for female patients.
From an anatomical perspective, men generally require more Botulinum Toxin product to be used in treatment than women do. This is due to the larger, denser musculature found in the male face as well as gender differences in product metabolism. Women, on average, require between 30-50 units of Botulinum Toxin for a standard upper face treatment whereas men will require an average of 50-80 units to achieve a similar effect.
One of the key aesthetic differences in treating men and women with Botulinum Toxin is how the brow area is handled. The ideal feminine brow shape is slightly arched and sits a touch above the brow bone. For men however, a straighter eyebrow which sits lower on the brow bone is considered to be the most attractive shape. A skilled clinician will understand where to inject in order to achieve these different effects.
Another anatomical concern, in respect of upper face Botulinum Toxin, is the difference between male and female hairlines. Men will often have a higher or receded hairline in comparison to women and so the pattern of injecting in a male face may need to be modified in order to achieve a natural result.
It is common for men to aim for a subtler outcome than women do when undergoing Botulinum Toxin treatment. There is also the risk of feminising and removing character from the male face if it is rendered entirely wrinkle-free and smooth.
As well as being used to fill lines and wrinkles, dermal fillers can also be used in more advanced procedures designed to alter and enhance the proportions of the face. Facial contouring using dermal fillers is becoming a popular choice with both women and men seeking to change their appearance without resorting to surgery. The differences in treating male and female patients with dermal fillers are more pronounced than with Botulinum Toxin treatments. This is because fillers have the ability to dramatically alter the proportions of the face and therefore masculinise or feminise it in the process.
One of the injection sites where different approaches are most needed is the cheek area. In women, a fuller and more rounded cheek can create a youthful feminine appearance. In men, however, overly enhanced cheeks can soften and feminise the face and so less filler will likely be needed if this area is to be injected. Attention should also be paid to the cheekbone area, as enhancing cheekbone prominence can result in feminisation of the face.
A tight, sharp jawline is often desired by both men and women and can be achieved via dermal filler contouring. In treating male patients, the aim should be to create a strong, square shaped jaw and chin area which will masculinise the face. For women, jawline contouring can be employed in a subtler way in order to enhance the side profile and achieve a more youthful appearance to the lower face.
Crucially, experienced injectors will appreciate the importance of respecting the balance of proportions between the facial thirds. A greater mid:lower third ratio that might be created through cheek augmentation can therefore result in facial feminisation. Conversely, a face may be masculinised through increasing the relative width of the lower third compared with the middle third through jawline contouring, for instance.
In reducing hollowing around the eyes, both men and women can benefit from similar dermal filler treatment methods. For men however, injecting the temporal hollows is not typically advised as it can create a softer curvature to the brow which is considered a feminine trait.
As an aesthetic practitioner, you can learn the different techniques required to expertly treat men and women by booking onto one of our training courses. Taught by facial aesthetics experts, our gold-standard courses will give you the opportunity to practice on both male and female model patients allowing you to gain the confidence to perform a variety of treatments. Click here to book your place now.
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