A Look at the Most Popular Nonsurgical Cosmetic Procedures

Nonsurgical cosmetic procedures continue to rise in popularity among both women and men. According to the 2015 Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, nonsurgical procedures accounted for 42 percent of the total number of all cosmetic procedures performed in 2015. Here is an overview of some of the most popular non-surgical procedures and how they work.

Botulinum Toxin

In 2015 alone, more than 4 million Americans received Botox, Dysport or Xeomin injections. Considered a “lunchtime procedure,” Botox and other botulinum toxin injectables typically take less than 20 minutes to perform and require little to no downtime afterwards. This means that you can schedule your session during your lunch break and return to work and your normal daily activities directly after.

Botulinum toxin works by temporarily relaxing the muscle contractions in your face that cause dynamic wrinkles and which can eventually form permanent wrinkles. Additionally, some studies suggest that Botox could help to prevent development of future lines and wrinkles while also smoothing away the appearance of current signs of aging (Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery).

HA Injectable Fillers

Another common injectable wrinkle treatment is hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is naturally abundant in the dermis of the skin, although it begins to diminish with age (Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients). Its primary function is to bind to and retain water molecules, which helps the skin to stay hydrated. This is also what gives the skin its full, plumped look.

When used in a dermal filler, HA can fill in lines and wrinkles for a smoother, younger-looking complexion. This ingredient is also used in injectable lip fillers to subtly enhance the size, shape or symmetry of the lips.

Nonsurgical Skin Tightening

As nonsurgical skin tightening technologies continue to advance, these procedures become more and more appealing. From 2014 to 2015, the number of nonsurgical skin tightening procedures rose by an astounding 58 percent. This is partly due to the much wider range of options that are now available. Just some of the most popular nonsurgical skin tightening devices include:

  • Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound technology to safely lift, tone and tighten skin
  • Thermage, which uses comfort pulse technology (CPT) and radiofrequency energy to stimulate new collagen production
  • Laser skin tightening, which uses pulses of laser energy to stimulate collagen growth to smooth away lines, wrinkles and other imperfections in the skin

Tattoo Removal

If you have a tattoo or two that you’re unhappy with, you now have an effective option to remove them. Laser tattoo removal works by sending pulses of light toward the skin via Q-switched lasers, which break up the ink particles that make up your tattoo. Your body’s immune system will naturally eliminate those particles over time, leaving you with clear skin again (Seminars in Plastic Surgery).

Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

While liposuction and surgical body contouring are still some of the most common surgical cosmetic procedures, there are now several nonsurgical fat reduction options as well. These include:

  • CoolSculpting, which uses cryotherapy to target and freeze fat cells without harming the surrounding cells. The cold temperature disables the fat cells and they are permanently eliminated by your body’s immune system.
  • Liposonix uses ultrasound energy to safely target and destroy fat cells, leaving you with a smoother, leaner physique.

These nonsurgical fat reduction methods are best used once you’ve achieved your weight loss goal. They can give you that extra finishing touch when diet and exercise aren’t quite enough to get rid of stubborn fat.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been considering a cosmetic procedure but aren’t sure that surgery is for you, know that there are now a number of excellent nonsurgical options that can help you look and feel your absolute best.


Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through

February 27, 2017 Botox, Dermal Fillers, Procedures