Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine


Into the future

“We’ll see the introduction to market of new neuromodulating botulinum toxins for greater treatment refinement” 

Our expert editorial board of aesthetic doctors, nurses and aestheticians are at the forefront of the specialism. Here, they give you the inside track on the treatments, ingredients and trends that will be big this year so you can get ahead of the curve.


“The anxiety that the social demographic has about advanced treatments like chemical peels and lasers will reduce even further and we will see an uptake in these treatments,” says Ayodele. “For many people lockdown meant learning; and boy, did we do a lot of it. I think people now know more about the relevance of these treatments, so the fear factor is much reduced.”

In terms of ingredients, she predicts: “Something tells me that skin-barrier protection ingredients will take on a bigger role; so glycerin, essential fatty acids, peptides, hyaluronic acid – people understand more now that good skincare isn’t only about stripping the skin with acids to exfoliate, the skin also needs to be fortified.”

Knowledge gained from her extensive work with skin of colour awareness leads Ayodele to expect “more skincare brands formulated specifically and marketed for ‘melanin-rich’ skin, and these brands will focus on key indications like hyperpigmentation and scarring which are among the top concerns for black skin.”


Dr Shotter tips Candela Medical’s Profound Radiofrequency to emerge as one of the standout treatments of 2021. She says: “This amazing fractional RF microneedling carries a little bit of downtime, but I’ve definitely noticed more people willing to get great results in exchange, even more so in this era of mask wearing. The Profound is a one-off treatment which stimulates elastin by five times, collagen by two times and increases hyaluronic acid.”

Dr Shotter has also noticed a Korean skincare trend sweeping the internet that fellow practitioners may want to look out for. “’Slugging’ is a term for slathering the face in petroleum jelly at night and then waking up with super soft and hydrated skin. While occlusive products can be good for certain skin types, this isn’t something I would widely recommend,” she says.


“I think there will be more emphasis on tailormade treatments for specific skin types, age and skin concerns,” says Dr Harris. “With so many anti-ageing ingredients and a growing number of serums, exfoliants and treatments on the market, there will also be a return to the basics of sunscreens, antioxidants and cleansers.”

When it comes to non-surgical treatments, he predicts we’ll see “botulinum toxin type A and hyaluronic acid dermal fillers continue to lead the way, but with a move towards combination treatments involving radiofrequency, medical needling, lasers and light therapies.”


“Maskne” will continue well into 2021, expects Dr Gout, “as we all embrace the everyday routine of wearing masks, which unfortunately has caused a significant global rise in congestion and spots.” She adds: “My take on it is simple – salicylic cleansers and peels at least every six weeks in clinic to achieve a deep clean and exfoliation.”

She also believes that practitioners will take on a greater role in advising and consulting patients on healthy living in quarantine if periods of lockdown and isolation continue. “Quarantine15 is now a well-recognised phenomenon – hence the rise in patients calling to enquire about body contouring and weight management,” she says. “We have all become aware of limitations to exercise, healthy diet and the rise of stress; all factors which compound to that 15 extra pounds of weight so many patients are reporting. No doubt the rise of bodycontouring treatments and devices which we are all seeing will also be further amplified in 2021.”

Lastly, Dr Gout thinks advising patients on protecting the skin’s barrier function will also be essential next year thanks to reported increases in dry skin conditions.

“Something tells me that skin-barrier protection ingredients will take on a bigger role” 


“We’ll see the introduction to market of new neuromodulating botulinum toxins for greater treatment refinement,” says Dr Nick Lowe. “In the dermatological world, trends for 2021 will include completely novel anti-acne treatments recently approved in the US hopefully being introduced to the UK.”


“I believe 2021 will be the year of skin,” says Dr Raj Thethi. “The outdated fads of overfilled lips and ‘pillow face’ are now thankfully dying out and our patients are looking to a more natural, aesthetic ideal, hence why I believe skin will come into its own. Whether this is utilising topical agents, chemical peeling, injectable skin boosters or even energy-based devices, the focus will shift to rejuvenation and maintenance of good skin health.” Specifically, Dr Thethi predicts a stronger focus on hero ingredient retinol and its different indications: “The power of this topical agent has been harnessed for a long time but we can actually now personalise retinol to suit the skin’s needs. The question will change from ‘are you using retinol?’ to “which retinol are you using, and is that appropriate for your skin?’,” he says.

He also thinks we may well see patient requests for skin boosters become almost as common as that for filler. “Skin boosters are already an important part of our artistic palette, but as the desire for glowing, natural skin grows I believe they will be high on the agenda of the informed aesthetic patient. Since I have been using Teoxane’s Redensity 1 in my treatment packages my aesthetic results have elevated no end,” he says.


“I predict 2021 will deliver a fresh approach to qualifications in medical aesthetics, with the industry moving towards a standardised curriculum based on a competency framework and trainers inspired to rethink training with reference to an essential curriculum, and approved to deliver the curriculum via a respected and longestablished regulating body,” says Emma Davies. “For the public, this would mean a qualification which is easy to recognise and will stand apart from the confusing multitude of certificates and awards which have no value.”

She also thinks we will soon see “accessible and affordable exams that can be taken independently of training providers at any stage in your career, to tie in with revalidation. Let 2021 be the year to see a sea change in training and qualification,” she says.


Shifting to cosmetic dentistry, Dr Yasmin Shakarchy says, “In an age where less is more, composite bonding has gained significant popularity within dentistry.Composite is a white filling material which can be placed on the edges of visibly worn or jagged teeth, or on the front surface to reshape teeth and create a proportional, whiter smile.” She credits social media for increasing demand for the treatment, adding: “Social media has created a platform for a swell of patients who now specifically ask for this treatment.” Dr Shakarchy thinks it’ll become as popular as porcelain veneers in 2021, “with patients trending towards composite bonding prior to potential veneer treatment later on.”

“Women are being influenced by wellness and improving the quality of their lives, rather than aesthetic concerns” 



The effects of 2020’s “Zoom boom” will be seen well into 2021 when it comes to the renewed popularity of blepharoplasty, with more time spent examining our faces on screen and covering the lower half of the face with a mask. Eyelid surgery was the fourth most popular procedure in the BAAPS 2019 audit, and the procedure is expected to move up the list when 2020’s audit is released.

BAAPS surgeon and public relations committee member Caroline Payne says she believes upper eyelid lifts in particular will be most popular. “Upper eyelid surgery can produce very good, long-lasting results with low downtime and is one of the more affordable surgical procedures”, she says. BAAPS vice president Marc Pacifico agrees: “We have certainly seen an increase in interest at my practice for upper eyelid lifts and frequently get comments from patients saying that their eyes are on show all the time now because of face masks and Zoom,” he says.

Smaller breasts

Marking a significant departure from the past aesthetic, BAAPS has also seen a rise in demand for breast reductions and smaller implants for augmentations, inspired by recent wellness, fitness and fashion trends shaping how women now live. “Women are being influenced by wellness and improving the quality of their lives, rather than aesthetic concerns,” says BAAPS member surgeon Nora Nugent.

With new ways to be active at home and outdoors that fit in with busy and Instagram-friendly lifestyles, some women have found larger breasts a hindrance and are now opting either to have implants removed or replaced with smaller ones, or to have their natural breasts reduced. Caroline Payne says that while she has not seen a drop in demand for implants, there has definitely been a swing towards smaller sizes. “Many women now tell me they don’t want to wear a double bra when exercising,” she says. Plus, “athleisure” or workout clothes in tight fabrics and close fits are now a more central part of everyday wardrobes, also influencing the change in taste towards smaller breasts. 

This article appears in the January 2021 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine

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This article appears in the January 2021 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine