Australia’s Harsh Climate Responsible For Botox Use?

According to the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, Australians are continuing to spend big when it comes to cosmetic procedures. Unsurprisingly, botulinum toxin antiwrinkle injections appears to be the most popular, followed closely by dermal fillers for the face.

According to the CPCA, Australia’s per capita spend on cosmetic treatments is amongst the highest globally, which they say can largely be a result of Australia’s harsh climate.

“While we are ‘the lucky country’ with our amazing weather, the increased exposure to the sun’s UV rays also means accelerated photo-ageing,” says Dr Mary Dingley, Board Member of the CPCA. “This is one of the reasons we are seeing such an increase in cosmetic procedures among Australians.”

There have indeed been a number of studies conducted over the years to demonstrate that our Aussie skin ages significantly faster than that of other countries, even as much as two decades faster than those living in Europe and America.

A recent study from Monash University explains this to be a result of Australia’s proximity to the equator, the high sun elevation and generally clear skies – meaning higher levels of UV radiation than our European and American counterparts.

“These high UV levels put Australians at particular risk of photoageing, especially when combined with Australians’ traditionally outdoor, sun-seeking lifestyle and a predominantly fair-skinned population,” Monash Dermatologists added.

Associate Professor Greg Goodman, Monash University Professor and Chief of Surgery at the Skin and Cancer Foundation, released a study during 2017 that, together with four expert Dermatologist authors, demonstrated findings on how Caucasian women living in Australia aged in comparison to those living in the northern hemisphere. “What we discovered was that Australian women reported significantly more severe signs of ageing, at a younger age, than woman from other countries, particularly those from the USA. ”

“What we found particularly interesting was the fact that Australian women are reporting some signs of advanced ageing up to 20 years earlier than those from the USA. When you first think about the Australian climate compared to the American you may think that it’s not that drastically different, parts of America do get very hot but our lifestyles are actually very different. The majority of the Australian population lives near the coast (around 85%) while most Americans live centrally (over 60%). This means that in general where Australians are living, our climate stays consistently temperate so we live very outdoor lifestyles all year round.”

“The most significant part of this study for me was that, compared to the US, we seem to be losing weight in our face volume – which is a surrogate for ageing … much quicker than they are,” says Goodman. “It was scary that the average Australian was at least 10 years and, in some cases, 20 years worse off volumetrically.”

So what’s the takeaway here? Sun protection is everything, particularly for those clients looking for preventative measures to delay the need for injectables. Perhaps these findings will aid you in your quest to convince your clients, especially your younger ones, to wear sunscreen –  every day, even if they work inside, even in winter.