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Aging Boomers in the Age of Anti-Aging

Aging Boomers in the Age of Anti-Aging


Woodstock, Vietnam War protests, feminism, environmentalism, the civil rights movement - the 78 million people that comprise the baby boomer generation were going to change the world. And in many ways, they did. 2006 was the year that the first of the baby boomers turned 60. What does that mean for a generation that has always largely identified itself with youth culture?

It means spending money.

While boomers have aged in years, many of them feel that they haven't aged in spirit. They're not retiring in any traditional sense of the word, if they’re retiring at all. Instead, they're taking up mountain climbing, buying motorcycles, and dating. Even as they enter their sixties, they want bodies and faces that reflect their inner youth.

Because baby boomers control 40 percent of the nation's disposable income, they comprise the wealthiest group of elderly people in history. The anti-aging and cosmetic industries have taken notice, and they're beginning to tap into the aging but affluent boomer market.

L’Oreal recently signed 68-year-old Jane Fonda and boomer Diane Keaton to be the faces for its new anti-aging product line. Cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dentistry practices are targeting boomers with ads that feature more mature models. A cosmetic and restorative dentist on Long Island, Dr. Eugene Antenucci has developed a marketing strategy to both educate and entice boomers.

"I specifically target baby boomers with direct mail pieces that focus on implant and comprehensive cosmetic and restorative care,” claims Antenucci, “and I conduct public health seminars directed at this age group."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 10 million elective cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in 2006, an increase of 39 percent since 2000. Eyelid surgery, face lift, liposuction, dermabrasion, and brow lift surgery were the five most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures last year among patients over the age of 55. In that same age group, just over 990,000 people received BOTOX® treatments, accounting for one-quarter of all BOTOX® treatments in 2006.

Dr. Steven Evelhoch, a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon in the upper Midwest, says his practice has started drawing older patients, though he doesn't market to boomers specifically.

"I have seen an upward trend in patients over 50," he said, "especially with men."

As boomers age, the shift could potentially have a tsunami effect, making anti-aging more popular than ever.

"I expect boomers will continue to impact the industry," Dr. Evelhoch said.

From the Beatles to BOTOX® , baby boomers have always been trend setters. Now entering their sixties, they continue to shape the cultural climate, making it not only acceptable but hip to have cosmetic surgery or get wrinkle-free with BOTOX® injections.

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