TIANJIN: Right after her college entrance exam, 18-year-old Deng Lin (pseudonym) underwent a “double eyelid” surgery, which creates an eyelid crease that makes them appear larger.
Like many Chinese high school graduates, Deng wants to start college with a better look. As demand surges for such procedures, the summer vacation becomes a peak season for aesthetic surgeries.
Yang Lu, head nurse at CRT aesthetic medicine hospital in north China’s Tianjin Municipality, said the hospital receives dozens of graduates per week at the busiest time, and the double eyelid surgery is the most in demand.
“These operations have been popular in China for many years with mature techniques and offer a significant boost to appearance,” said Yang, adding that one needs to wait for up to more than two weeks for these procedures in her hospital.
Their popularity is an indication of the changing attitudes toward cosmetic surgery in China. A 2020 report by the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics showed the scale of the Chinese plastic surgery market is expected to reach 300 billion yuan (46.25 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022.
Fueling this trend is the popularity of what some industry insiders call “light cosmetic procedures” — those that are minimally or non-invasive such as cosmetic injections or laser treatment.
According to Yang, these procedures offer a more convenient, relatively safer, and cheaper alternative compared to traditional surgeries, which are often riskier and involve a longer recovery time.
“Aesthetic procedures have become as common as skincare,” said Wang Yuan, 27, employed in the financial sector in Beijing. “I can have a botox injection in as little time as it takes to finish a meal, with little discomfort.”
Compared to facelift surgeries that may take two to three months for recovery, the injection is a much more convenient alternative for young white-collar workers like Wang.
The cost, which is around 3,000 yuan per injection, is also less than that for a full operation.