Facial aesthetic minimally invasive procedure: More than just vanity, a social-psychological approach

Helga E. van den Elzen, Ard J. Barends, Mark van Vugt, Brian S. Biesman, Michael Alfertshofer, Sebastian Cotofana, Peter J. Velthuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Due to the great importance of the face in social interaction, minimally invasive treatments can—besides their ability to rejuvenate and enhance beauty—also change the way facial impressions of a person are perceived. In recent literature, three main character traits (attractiveness, trustworthiness, and competence) and subdomains essential for facial perception were described. Objective: To investigate whether minimally invasive procedures truly influence different character traits when evaluated by independent, objective observers. Methods: Photographs of n = 34 female faces before and after treatment with injectable fillers and botulinum toxin were rated by 393 individuals without aesthetic background with regards to different character traits on a 7-point Likert scale. Tests for dimensionality were performed, and composite scores of the impressions underlying each of the three dimensions were created and compared using within-subjects t tests. Results: Treatments statistically significantly improved the overarching character trait domains attractiveness, trustworthiness, and competence in posttreatment photographs compared with pretreatment. Posttreatment ratings of the respective subdomains also showed a statistically significant difference compared with pretreatment photographs, with the exception of the subdomain dominance which failed to reach statistical significance. Conclusion: Impressions of facial attractiveness, trustworthiness, and competence can be improved by injectables while the naturalness of the face is left intact. An implication is that the improvement of traits highly relevant to social interaction will accommodate the patient's desires for beautification and rejuvenation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2063-2070
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number7
Early online date28 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Prof. John Arlette (Calgary, Canada) for supporting this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


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