5 Non-Surgical Aesthetics Trends To Watch For In 2022

We tapped a tap dermatologist to learn which minimally invasive treatments and procedures will shape the new year.
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Written by Témi Adebowale
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5 Non-Surgical Aesthetics Trends To Watch For In 2022YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

Much like the fashion and beauty industries, each year brings a new wave of trends in the aesthetics space. In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic saw patients and providers focus on more invasive procedures for the eyes, nose, and the body due to face coverings and more discreet downtime at home to recover. With that said, non-surgical treatments never go out of style. We’re collectively hoping that 2022 will usher in a return to in-person gatherings, travel, and (pretty please!) a little less Zoom, which means non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments that boast little to no downtime are just what the doctor ordered. And, fortunately, there is plenty of innovation for both face and body in the category.

As we get settled into the new year, you may be wondering what to expect in the space. Recently, we hosted an Instagram Live with Ava Shamban, MD, a board certified cosmetic dermatologist in Beverly Hills, creator of The Box by Dr. Ava, and principal investigator on many clinical and FDA trials (read: she knows a thing or two about what’s new and next), to discuss the most promising non-surgical trends you’ll no doubt be hearing about this year. Watch the entire conversation below or read on for a quick breakdown.

Embedded content: https://youtu.be/KZlwvZ6lY7M

1. New Categories of Injectables

When it comes to cosmetic injectables, neurotoxins (hi, Botox®, Dysport®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®) and hyaluronic acid-based fillers (think: Juvéderm® and Restylane®) have been household names for a while now. The former can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, slim the jaw, and even treat medical conditions like migraines or excessive sweating, while the latter can plump and contour the lips, cheeks, under eyes, and more. Together, they account for the most popular cosmetic procedures of any kind with nearly eight million injections performed in 2020 alone.

So, what’s coming next in the category? HA fillers already made a splash with the FDA approval of Juvéderm® Volbella XC for improvement of infraorbital hollows (a.k.a under eyes) in adults over the age of 21. On the neuromodulator front, it’s expected that new longer and shorter acting products will continue to make their way through the approval process.

And then there are the biostimulatory injectables to consider. Dr. Shamban is intrigued by updated uses for calcium hydroxylapatite (CAHA) fillers like Radiesse®. By hyper-diluting the product with lidocaine and saline, you can treat areas that previously required other modalities to address. “You inject it in areas where there's crepiness or deep lines or wrinkles that you would typically retreat with laser,” she explains. “You could do it in the neck, the decolletage, the arms, and it’s also a way to treat cellulite.” For best results, she recommends one treatment every three weeks for a total of three.

2. Next-Generation Threads

A thread lift involves subcutaneous placement of dissolvable ‘threads’ (i.e. sutures) along a planned trajectory in the face or body. They are pulled to achieve a subtle skin lift, while also encouraging collagen production for more volume in the treated areas. It’s performed in-office under local anesthesia, and there is no scarring and little downtime.

Thread lifts have had a major upgrade. While they’ve been in use for more than 20 years, the threads of today are lighter, more durable, and more comfortable. “The old threads were non-absorbable and made of nylon,” Dr. Shamban explains. “The newer generation threads are biostimulators, so they stimulate your own production of collagen and, over time, you get a nice lift from the thread.” Increasingly, men are turning to thread lifts to correct sagging along the neck area and jowls.

In the future, Dr. Shamban says to keep an eye out for even more advanced threads that introduce hyaluronic acid (yes, the same ingredient that’s used in your favorite filler and skincare products) to the equation for additional benefits.

3. A Multi-Modal Approach

Combination therapy — also referred to as a multi-modal approach — has gained steam in the aesthetics space due to the fact that many procedures complement each other nicely and, let’s face it, the last couple years have forced us to maximize our in-office time. Just as you might consider combining a neck lift with a facelift or a breast lift and augmentation, you can think about pairing non-surgical treatments.

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” Dr. Shamban shares. “So, that's why we like to design a treatment plan for people where we figure out what we're doing when.” No two patients are the same, and there are endless options as far as combos are concerned. “For people who have more laxity – for the older patient population – we often will combine radiofrequency microneedling with an ultrasound tightening,” she explains. That might mean alternating Morpheus8 and Sofwave™ sessions. “Depending on where you are in your life, we may just do one and then we may do the other later on,” Dr. Shamban notes. “And then, if you're a little bit more mature, we may do both.”

4. Lip Architecture

It would seem as though the hype around the oversized and over-plumped lip filler of years past is fianlly fading in favor of a more customizable focus on lip shape (this is a trend you can also see in the beauty sphere). “You can't really change the shape of your lip, but you can enhance it,” Dr. Shamban explains.

She says the so-called ‘Russian lip’ technique is intriguing because it involves “injecting in a different way that can really emphasize the shape” while honoring the natural anatomy. “We all have a unique shape,” Dr. Shamban reiterates. “So, you started emphasizing the shape by injecting different patterns going across [the lip].” It’s a more complicated and involved injection than just adding volume, but, in the hands of a skilled injector, the results are a plush and proportional pout.

5. Topical Carboxy Treatments

Are you familiar with carboxy therapy? If you’re not, you’re not alone. But you heard it here first: Topical versions of the carbon dioxide-based treatment are about to have a moment thanks to their ability to stimulate blood flow, boost elasticity, and improve the overall appearance of the skin. While carboxy treatments historically involved injections and downtime, new topical iterations are proving to be just as effective at eliminating toxins, improving nutrient delivery, and boosting wound healing. This makes carboxy masks a good option for patients healing from certain laser or resurfacing treatments. Dr. Shamban says to expect both professional and at-home options to continue to enter the market.

The Takeaway

Here’s the spark notes: In 2022, you can expect to see injectables being used in new ways, as well as a combination approach to maximize your results. Thread lifts will be more high tech than ever, lip shape begins to take precedence over lip size, and topical carboxy masks will become a popular post-procedure add-on to boost results or a stand-alone option to improve your complexion. Cheers to the new year and plenty of non-surgical innovation!

All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.

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TÉMI ADEBOWALEis an editor at AEDIT.

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