Big social events may have halted but the quest for eternal youth and beauty has only intensified during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sydney cosmetic professionals report an increase in botox and filler requests from patients since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on the beauty industry in June. The phenomenon is being referred to as the “Zoom Boom”.

Specialists report that patients who were forced to rely on at-home skincare during the lockdown are now turning up at clinics to fix their “Zoom face” – the imperfections they have identified during hours spent staring at their filter-free reflection on Zoom meetings.

Their concerns are compounded by the fact that with Zoom calls, not only are you looking at your face at a particular angle, you are also looking at other people’s faces and comparing yours side-by-side in real time.

Dr Joseph Hkeik, who runs All Saints skin clinics in Double Bay, Darlinghurst and Parramatta, said there had been a surge in demand for injectables from patients hoping to achieve a more camera-friendly appearance. “People are spending more time in front of the camera for meetings than ever before, they’re seeing themselves day in, day out and want to work on areas that are causing them concern,” Dr Hkeik said.

“People aren’t travelling at the moment, so they are investing in themselves in lieu of their overseas holiday.”

Cosmetic injector and nurse Matty Samaei said facial procedures have been in hot demand at her clinic Medispa By Matty since the business was allowed to reopen. “Botox and facial fillers have definitely increased,” she said. “I’m also seeing a lot of new patients we’ve not treated prior to COVID-19.”

Dr Hkeik said non-invasive liquid facelifts and liquid nose jobs have also become popular at his clinics. “There is little to no downtime for the treatments.” Fellow injector Dr Nik Davies from ND Skin Clinic on the Central Coast says his patients have complained about their complexion since spending countless hours on video camera meetings, staring at their Zoom face.

“I’ve had numerous patients come to the clinic pleading for me to fix their Zoom face,” he said. “It’s extraordinary it has had such an impact on the way people see themselves.”

Zoom-face doesn’t just affect women, according to Dr Davies; men are also finding faults in their features on video calls. “Male patients are also getting treatments stemming from Zoom,” he said. Dr Hkeik said 40 per cent of his clients were men.

Lucy Manly

Read the article in the Sydney Morning Herald here

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