Beauty Travels: Which Countries Offer the Best Cosmetic Procedures?

If you’re subscribed to Refinery29’s YouTube channel, you’d know the latest trends in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. From unique facials to thread lifts, you’ve seen how the procedures were done and why they’re so popular. They give us a more painless and budget-friendly alternative if we’d rather not go under the knife.

But despite the growing popularity of non-surgical procedures, surgical ones continue to have a high demand. Some people even go as far as to travel abroad to have them done. Most of them go to South Korea, dubbed the “Plastic Surgery Capital” of the world. 20% of women aged 29 to 49 from Seoul alone have undergone at least one procedure.

When the pandemic is over, and you also want to travel for beauty, consider these countries for either a non-surgical or surgical procedure:

1. South Korea

Of course, we’d begin with the most popular destination for cosmetic procedures. The reason South Korea became known for plastic surgery is their society’s regard for beauty. Their country’s media have set high standards for physical attributes, as you’d see from Korean pop stars. The most commonly done surgical procedure among Koreans is double-eyelid surgery.

When the Hallyu Wave, or the global popularity of South Korean pop culture, grew, the country’s plastic surgery clinics reached the international market. As such, South Korea is now the go-to country for plastic surgery. Its locals believe that beauty can be made afterward if you’re not born with it.

2. United States

Before South Korea became famous for plastic surgery, the U.S. reigned as the country with the biggest plastic surgery culture. But despite being overtaken by South Korea, the U.S. still holds a large market share in surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Thanks to the Kardashians, the Brazilian Butt lift surgery grew popular, as it doesn’t just increase the volume in your buttocks but also removes your fat from unwanted areas. That’s because the fat that will be transferred to your buttocks comes from other parts of your body, such as your waist.

Lip injections are also incredibly popular in the U.S. Almost all influencers, and pop stars have had them done. And if you want to combat the signs of aging, non-surgical and surgical procedures are available for you, too, though nonsurgical ones are more popular. Among them are dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and injectable fillers. For the scalp (if your hair is already thinning), you can check out the costs of the scalp micropigmentation procedure. It’s a more painless and affordable alternative to hair transplant surgery.

skin procedure

3. Brazil

Brazil is a close competitor to South Korea and the U.S. when it comes to plastic surgery. But instead of the face, they’re more known for altering the body. Why else would it be called Brazilian butt lift if that procedure didn’t originate in Brazil?

Brazil’s most popular cosmetic procedures are liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty (nose job), and ab procedures. Butt-lifting and fat transferring procedures are big in the country too, and so are Botox injections. So if you want to travel and go back home with a curvier body, Brazil should be your destination.

4. China

As Western influence continues to increase in Asia, China also hopped into the cosmetic procedure trend. The procedures with the highest demand, particularly among Chinese women, are eyelid surgery, cheekbone enhancement, nose jobs, and leg-slimming surgery. This stemmed from China’s beauty standards inspired by South Korea’s K-pop idols, Japan’s manga characters, and Western culture.

If you want to achieve a doll-like appearance, in which you’d have bigger eyes, a narrower nose, and a V-shaped face, Chinese plastic surgeons can give you just that. But if you’re not sure which features of yours should you alter, China offers an app where you can “buy a face.” It uses augmented reality to analyze your face and give it a score out of 100 based on criteria such as liveliness, attractiveness, and symmetry. Then it will offer you suggestions for cosmetic enhancements.

5. Italy

For non-surgical procedures, Italy is one of the best places to go. Many of their cosmetic enhancements are non-invasive, such as chemical peels, lasers, and injections.

One popular injectable procedure is a nonsurgical nose job. It uses a filler, usually hyaluronic acid, to lift your nose and make it appear sharper. The results aren’t permanent, though, but it’s definitely worth it if you don’t want to commit to a new nose.

Some people may dissuade you from getting a procedure done, but there’s really no harm in changing your looks a bit, as long as it isn’t going to be an addiction. Besides, you can love yourself while also improving what you don’t like and enhancing what you already like. So if traveling the world for beauty will make you love yourself more, nothing should stop you.

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