Dude, where’s my brotox?

The quest for eternal youth is on the rise as male aesthetic treatments and age prevention routines become common

19 May 2024 - 00:00
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More men want to improve their appearance and are searching for the elusive fountain of youth.
More men want to improve their appearance and are searching for the elusive fountain of youth.
Image: Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

The world of aesthetics has seen a rise in treatments among men as more males seek to improve their appearance and search for the elusive fountain of youth.

Once thought to be a women-only area, men are jumping on the bandwagon as the world not only becomes more accepting of men wanting to look their best, and participating in aesthetic treatments and self-care, but increased pressure on appearance from social media and virtual work meetings has also become a contributing factor.

We chatted to Dr Alek Nikolic, aesthetic medicine specialist and owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, who shared his insights on the rise in male-focused aesthetic treatments.

Why are more and more men turning to aesthetic treatments? There are several reasons. It is becoming more socially acceptable for men to have treatments, and males are also starting to realise they can look the same on the outside as they feel on the inside. They are also being urged by their female counterparts who are having treatments done. 

Tell us more about the “brotox” trend and why is it a popular choice for men? The term “brotox” is a fun play on words to reference the rise in popularity of botulinum toxin injections and other cosmetic treatments among men to enhance and elevate their appearance. It has become more acceptable for men to seek and undergo cosmetic treatments, with Gen Z and Millennials more likely to focus on self-care and self-improvement than previous generations. Men are realising that looking after one’s health includes looking younger. Additionally, the advent of male celebrities being more open about certain treatments has allowed men to explore cosmetic treatment possibilities.

What are some of the most requested aesthetic treatments among men, and what are some of the most common concerns men are treating? Botulinum toxin to treat frowns, crow's feet and hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating. Soft tissue fillers to help with jawline definition, enhancing chins and under-eye bags. Dermapen to assist with skin regeneration and chemical peels ideal for exfoliation, brightening and hydrating the skin. At my practice I have seen a slow increase in men requesting lip filler, mostly due to the thinning of the lips and genetic differences between the upper and lower lip. For example, someone may have been born with a very thin lower or upper lip.

What key do's and don'ts should one consider before getting any aesthetic treatment done? I believe the most important thing to consider is to do research before embarking on cosmetic treatments. It is important to find a medical practitioner who will deliver natural results, will not feminise male patients, and has experience in treating male patients. When you have made a consultation, be clear about what your final results should look like and discuss all your skin and face concerns with the doctor. Ask for before and after photos. These are not always available as most patients, and specially men, are private and do not want their treatment photos to be displayed. Before a treatment, avoid all blood thinners as these can increase the chance of bruising. This includes pain killers, anti-inflammatories, vitamin C and omegas. Never have cosmetic treatments if in the four weeks leading up to the treatment you have had any dental work, had seen the oral hygienist, had a new medical condition diagnosed, had any type of vaccine, or had an illness such as flu, sore throat, sinusitis and so on.

What advice would you give men considering aesthetic treatments for the first time? I would advise anyone considering aesthetic treatments to do their research, consult with qualified medical doctors, and consider all aspects of the procedure, including their desired results, before proceeding. I also recommend consulting with a practitioner who understands the male face and regularly treats men.

What are some of the newest treatments/innovations in male aesthetics we should know about? I believe the current popular treatments will lead the trend for the future, including jawline definition, eyelid rejuvenation, neck lift, nasal rejuvenation, chin augmentation, liposuction and male breast reduction.

Dr Alek Nikolic, aesthetic medicine specialist and owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement.
Dr Alek Nikolic, aesthetic medicine specialist and owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement.
Image: Supplied


Keep them guessing with our guide to building a grooming routine that will keep your skin looking youthful and fresh at every age. 

  1. Invest in a regular cleansing routine and make sure you’re washing your face twice a day to remove dirt, sweat and pollutants from the skin. Go for gentle foaming, cream or oil textures if you have dry or combination skin or try gel cleansers for an oilier skin type.
  2. Add more frequent exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells and help with better product absorption. Avoid over-exfoliation by exfoliating once a week and opt for chemical exfoliators with ingredients such as salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid as opposed to rougher, granular facial scrubs.
  3. Prevent skin dehydration with hyaluronic acid-rich serums and moisturisers that will help draw water into the skin cells, stimulate the production of collagen and keep the skin plump and hydrated.
  4. Never underestimate the power of sunscreen. When it comes to ageing gracefully, this needs to be your best mate. Whether the sun is fully out or hiding behind cloud cover, UV rays are able to do damage, so make sure to religiously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
  5. Bring out the retinol big guns. Retinol serums, applied at night and used complementarily with vitamin C serums in the day, are a great tool for helping the skin regenerate, increase cell turnover and stimulate the production of collagen for more youthful skin. Some skins can be very sensitive to retinol so make sure to start with a low percentage, only applying at night, and gradually introduce the skin to retinol once a week or every second evening until skin builds a tolerance.
  6. Keep skin hydrated with a good moisturiser. As we age, the skin produces less sebum, making it more prone to dehydration, dryness and visible fine lines. Keep skin nourished with a moisturiser that contains water-binding humectants such as glycerine and hyaluronic acid and add a hydrating facial mist for additional hydration on-the-go. 
The kit to nourish and care for your skin.
The kit to nourish and care for your skin.
Image: Supplied


  1. Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream, 15ml - R895
  2. The Body Shop Edelweiss Cleansing Concentrate, 100ml - R200 
  3. Hello Sunday The Take-Out One Invisible Sun Stick SPF30, 30g - R348
  4. Faebey Skin Drink Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum, 30ml - R149
  5. The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, 100ml - R300
  6. Origins Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturiser, 30ml - R1050

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