How Aesthetic Treatment Trends Are Evolving in Los Angeles Versus New York

What happens in Los Angeles, eventually makes its way to New York — at least when it comes to cosmetic procedures.

Case in point: last year’s shoulder-slimming trapezius botox craze — dubbed “Barbie botox” — originated in Los Angeles before it steadily claimed New York. More recently, platelet-rich fibrin, or PRF, under-eye treatment, which has gained popularity as an alternative to under-eye filler following fears of filler migration, is following the same trajectory.

“Los Angeles is just much further ahead. It’s more experimental in general — it’s like the plastic surgery Mecca,” said Tiffany Demers, founder and chief executive officer of med spa booking app Upkeep, which has ranked the most popular services in the two cities.

Young people, Demers said, are the demographic leading the growth of cosmetic procedures in Los Angeles, while the trend skews older in New York: “We’re seeing the 18- to 20-year-olds getting their start with lip flips and a half-syringe of filler — then starting baby botox around 25.”

Men also are going bigger on cosmetic procedures in Los Angeles, with Demers reporting that 30 percent of Upkeep’s user base in the city are men, versus just 5 percent in New York.

“The male market is coming up on both scenes — there are just more options around hair restoration. With the use of lasers and exosomes, [men] don’t have to go the surgical route, they don’t have to go to Turkey,” she said.

Because of how much more saturated and agile the market is, pricing also is more accessible in Los Angeles. (PRF under-eye treatment costs roughly $600 in Los Angeles, where it is available at roughly 70 percent of providers via Upkeep, versus at 2 percent of providers in New York, where the treatment hovers around $900.)

“New York is more ‘classic’ — it’s a market that doesn’t want to be at the forefront of innovation for the sake of a trend,” Demers said. While Los Angeles clients have embraced aesthetic nurses and nurse practitioners for their work, dermatologist- and doctor-administrated procedures are still a preference in New York. “In Los Angeles, people want to go somewhere that’s not necessarily ‘low key,’ but less sterile than a doctor’s office, which is how some of the practices in New York tend to be.”

Across coasts, though, the way consumers think about aesthetic work is evolving away from achieving the Kardashian-driven signatures that all but defined the space in the late 2010s.

“It’s no longer a conversation of, ‘filler equals Kim Kardashian’ — it’s more about, who are you and how do you want to incorporate these things into your life,” Demers said, adding there are a growing number of niches among consumers in the treatment space. “Similar to how with makeup you can have goth versus natural looks — [in aesthetics] there’s the Brooklyn look versus the Upper East Side, or that Grimes kind of approach to body modification; it can be very personalized and people are learning how to use the market that way.”

Most Popular Treatments in Los Angeles

  1. Botox 
  2. Filler
  3. PRF (under-eye)
  4. Hydrafacial
  5. Emsculpt NEO

Fastest-growing Treatments in Los Angeles

  1. PRF (under-eye)
  2. XL Botox (i.e. shoulder slimming, and masseter jaw slimming)
  3. Microneedling
  4. Chemical peel
  5. Filler

Most Popular Treatments in New York

  1. Botox
  2. Filler
  3. Hydrafacial
  4. Chemical peel
  5. Microneedling

Fastest-growing Treatments in New York

  1. PRF (under-eye)
  2. Forma
  3. Hydrafacial
  4. Sculptra
  5. XL Botox (shoulder slimming/masseter jaw slimming)

Source: Treatments booked via Upkeep app

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