Botox and Cosmetic Surgeries Are Becoming The Norm In a Digital AI Picture-Perfect World - The Average Joe


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    Botox and Cosmetic Surgeries Are Becoming The Norm In a Digital AI Picture-Perfect World

    Rhea Lobo

    May 14, 2024

    Growing older is part of life, but looking older? Well, that’s quickly becoming a thing of the past. In the early days of social media, nose-shrinking and lip-enlarging filters were more fun than deception. But now, according to the founder of IT Cosmetics, a whopping 91% of women and girls don’t like their bodies — and this societal pressure to attain an idealized standard of beauty has driven many towards real-life cosmetic enhancements in an attempt to make those flawless, filter-like faces the new norm.

    The era of “Tweakments”: Thanks to social media and remote work, anti-aging cosmetic procedures like Botox and lip fillers have seen a huge surge in popularity, especially among the younger crowd. Even “buy now, pay later” company Affirm ($AFRM) recently started offering loans for cosmetic procedures. With weight loss drugs on the rise, artificial intelligence (AI) making image manipulation easier than ever, and a growing acceptance of these procedures, it appears that cosmetic enhancements are set for even more growth ahead.

    • From 2019 to 2022, the number of US cosmetic procedures shot up by 18%, with Botox injections seeing a 73% increase.
    • In 2022, 75% of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing more clients under 30 seeking forehead Botox and lip fillers.

    Botox boom has “Ozempic face” to thank

    When people undergo rapid weight loss  with drugs like Ozempic, they often experience sagging skin that prematurely ages their appearance, colloquially referred to as “Ozempic face.” To counteract this effect, more and more folks are turning to Botox and fillers to restore that youthful fullness to their faces — helping AbbVie ($ABBV) turn its massive facelift business into a real money-maker.

    • Although this trend hasn’t significantly impacted AbbVie’s revenue yet, Carrie Strom, a representative from the biopharmaceutical company, views the expanding use of aesthetic treatments by individuals using weight-loss drugs as a “long-term tailwind” for the company.
    • But AbbVie isn’t the only player in the game: While they hold a hefty 68% market share, newer competitors like Revance Therapeutics ($RVNC) and Evolus ($EOLS) are quickly catching up with their own anti-wrinkle injections.

    Botox battle: In a lawsuit filed back in 2021, AbbVie accused Revance of swiping their confidential data — claiming that “it would be very challenging (if not impossible) to produce a biosimilar imitating Botox.” This legal battle has been looming over Revance’s stock, which has taken a nosedive of nearly 90% since 2021. But despite the legal drama, Revance’s Daxxify market share grew to 3.7% in the first quarter from 3% in the previous quarter, and their aesthetic units sold shot up by 105% year-over-year. It’s no wonder AbbVie is pulling out all the stops.

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