Why Zoom users are turning to Botox for the first time

Why Zoom users are turning to Botox for the first time

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Working from home has some New Yorkers Zooming in — on their wrinkles. 

“Since the pandemic, I’ve been in video calls 24/7, staring at my own face and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, it’s time,’ ” said Liz Aiello, a 29-year-old talent agent who lives and works in Hudson Yards. She got her first Botox injections this past summer at Ject, a boutique doctor’s office-cum-spa. 

“If my career relies on me being on Zoom, and I’m looking at myself, then I thought I might as well do it,” said Aiello, who had a few forehead lines smoothed. 

At-home beauty experiments — from haircuts and dyes to TikTok-inspired acne cures — have been on the rise since lockdown has left us stuck, and bored, at home. Others have gone to more extreme lengths to alter their appearances, taking advantage of extra downtime — and masks — to hide the healing process after plastic surgery.

Then, there are the first-timers to Botox and fillers. They’re slipping into the dermatologist’s office after spotting something they don’t like during daily video conferences.  

“There’s a ‘Zoom face’ or ‘Zoom effect,’ ” Gabby Garritano, the founder and CEO of Ject, which has locations in Manhattan and the Hamptons, told the Post.

For the first time, clients are watching themselves smile, laugh and grimace in meetings, and the new angle isn’t always flattering.

“People are seeing forehead lines come out when they are expressive or muscle movement they didn’t know about,” said Garritano.

The quickest fix for fine-line fatigue? Botox, which Garritano uses to target dimpling chins, laugh lines, crow’s-feet, forehead wrinkles and the furrow between the eyebrows known to experts as “the eleven.”

Docs around the city are amping up their focuses on the face.

Kevin Tehrani, head plastic surgeon at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery on the Upper East Side, said that pre-pandemic, 20 to 30 percent of his practice was dedicated to face-lifts and Botox, with the majority of his patients requesting full-body mommy makeovers, which combine breast augmentations with tummy tucks and liposuction. But now, “50 percent of patients are looking for face treatments,” Tehrani said, calling Botox “the gateway drug” to more in-depth procedures.

And the patients are getting younger. “We’ve seen a huge boom across the industry in millennial clients,” Garritano said, of the generation whose eldest members are turning 40 this year.

Tehrani has also witnessed a demographic shift. “I’m seeing a lot of younger patients coming in,” he told The Post, adding that a 19-year-old recently came in for his first syringe.

The first-timers aren’t all teens, though.

Catherine Ciciola, a 49-year-old real estate agent who lives in Chatham, NJ, saw Tehrani last week for Botox, citing “doing a ton of house tours on Zoom and FaceTime” among her reasons.

“I always said, ‘I’ll never do that,’ but as I aged, I wanted my outside to match how I feel,” said the fit and fiery martial arts black belt.

Some even count getting injected as self-care.

“I haven’t gone on vacations or gotten a massage since this [pandemic] started — I counted this as a little bit of luxury,” said Megan Frost, a 33-year-old startup business developer of her first foray into Botox last month at Center Aesthetic in Union Square.

“I wanted to make sure I was choosing the right place,” the Greenpoint resident said of touching up her forehead. “I found a list of certified Botox centers in the city, and I saw on social media that my hair dresser followed [Center Aesthetic], so I reached out and she gave a great review.”

Tehrani said the web is helping his practice in more ways than one. “We do a ton of virtual consults,” which “remove the first barrier to entry” for nervous first-timers who can now discuss options from the comfort of the couch, he said.

A few eager patients are so desperate to get rid of their Zoom foreheads, they’re sliding into doctors’ DMs to get an appointment, never mind concerns such as patient-doctor confidentiality.

“Some people try to use Instagram’s video feature to do consults immediately,” said Tehrani. “I have to tell them that it’s not HIPAA-compliant.”

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