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Differences in treating a male vs female face

Non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments as a whole have become much more sought after and the demand continues to rise. Typically such treatments are more likely accessed by women, however, recent years have seen a rise in male clientele.  A common question asked is whether a facial injectable treatment is the same for a male as it is for a female. For the most part the answer to this is no, this is why it is important for a practitioner to understand the differences between men and women’s facial bone structure and muscle strength. Without this knowledge and understanding practitioners run the risk of either masculinising a female or feminizing a man. Of course if this is the ideal goal of said client then that will be different all together. Practitioners should understand their clients ideal aesthetic result. In addition to this, extensive research has highlighted what particular face shapes, ratios and features both genders find most attractive and why and ultimately the findings are often linked with fertility, sexualisation and youth.

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Firstly, when we consider an anti-wrinkle (botox) treatment to the upper third of the face, male clients will more often require more units of toxin to suppress the dynamic muscles for a desired anti-wrinkle effect. Deeper, denser musculature in a male requires an average of 50-80 units (product dependent) for full upper face treatment, whereas a female client would require an average of 30-50 units (Gordon and Gordon, 2019). For this reason you  may see a price difference in upper third toxin treatments for male and female clients. Moreover, a trained and qualified injector knows how the placement of their injections will achieve difference results, such as brow lifts and/or the suppression of brow. A low drooped brow is avoided for a female client whereas some males may wish to have a lower set brow as it is seen as more masculine. On the flip side, females often would opt for a brow lift to regain an arched brow as again brow suppression is a product of an ageing face.

Contouring and enhancing facial proportions of the face with dermal filler continues to be a popular treatment option among all age groups for either beautification or facial ageing restoration. For cheek filler treatment, a feminine female face desires full, rounded cheeks, with contoured lateral projection which in turn is also associated with youth. This same treatment on a male can over enhance and feminise their appearance. Both genders can achieve cheek contour and restore signs of ageing with mid-face filler, however less syringes may be used for a male client to ensure a more subtle result rather than pronounced feminine mid-face volume.Males are often wanting a flatter yet more angular cheek rather than the fullness, additionally, males actually experience more extensive age-related volume loss in the cheeks than a female. There are differences in subcutaneous facial fat between men and women and also the distribution of this fat is more uniform in men, whereas for a women the fat is held predominantly in the medial area of the cheek further highlighting loss of volume in the lateral part of the cheek.

When completing a lip augmentation, for a female the filler should be placed more centrally, whereas a male the filler placement can be spread laterally. A chin should also be the same width as the nose for both men and women. Sticking to these boundaries maintains ideal proportions and respects the feminine or masculine nature of our features. Social media has impacted heavily upon the desire for fuller lips since the Kylie Jenner craze. Fuller lips are deemed to be more sexually attractive from the opposite sex and is again another sign of youth as lip volume and structure depletes with age.

In the lower face, both genders ideolise a defined jaw line, as an undefined jaw for both men and women can be indicative of an ageing face due to the displacing fat pads, resorption of bone and loss of collagen and elastin. Also for a male a defined jawline is “manly”, research demonstrates that low set brows, a beard, sharp jaw line and a deep voice are all features which imply more testosterone is present, which in turn represents a higher sperm count. Women are naturally more attracted to this due to the desire to reproduce and have a fertile spouse. Additionally, for both sexes, a defined jawline can suggest good physical condition and health as this is often an area for fat to gather.

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Research findings from studies suggest what beauty ideals are and what shapes they come in, however, ultimately it is an individual choice as to what features clients want enhancing and to what extent. Social media drives various trends such as action hero razor-sharp enhanced jaws, full Kylie Jenner lips and high, full cheekbones. Practitioners such as myself will like to respect clients facial anatomy and I choose to enhance as opposed to change faces. I am also aware that aesthetics is not a one-size-fits-all and each client’s aesthetic journey in terms of product choice, volume and placement varies from person to person.

This is a brief insight with a few examples of the differences between treating a male or female client and how the treatment mapping can vary dependent on the aesthetic goal beautification vs restoration, masculinity vs femininity, male vs female.

Thank you for reading.

References: Gordon, H. and Gordon, H. (2019). The Differences Between Treating Men and Women with Botox® and Dermal Fillers – Acquisition Aesthetics. [online] Acquisition Aesthetics. Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2019].

Women’s Health. (2015). Why Are So Many Women Obsessed with Getting Plumper Lips?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2019].

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