Asian women are often admired for their pursuit of beauty. Known for appreciating fine, porcelain skin with delicate and small features, and a firm, tight body with full, high breasts, Asian women are embracing new procedures and technologies and have the disposable income to afford the best. Plastic surgery here in Toronto provides many exciting opportunities for the modern Asian woman looking to reveal her most radiant self. The modern Asian man is not far behind—see my corresponding blog post on the Asian male.
According to history, Asian women were using nail polish, make-up and perfume to accentuate their features as far back as 3000 BC. During the Imperial years, the upper-class women and the entertainers were the fashionistas, same as today. All eyes were on what these women wore, the shape of their mouths, how they plucked their eyebrows, and the whiteness of their skin. Today again, being beautiful—or handsome—plays a big part in the life of modern young Asian professionals becoming successful, gaining creditability and status, and finding a suitable partner.
As a plastic surgeon practicing in Toronto since 2001, I have seen a steady growth in my Asian clientele. Many young Asians today want to represent their Asian culture and values, while appearing modern, sexy, and alluring in a global combined Eastern-Western way. The double eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty surgery are the 2 most common surgeries requested.
What is Asian double eyelid surgery?
Asian double eyelid surgery is done to create a natural-looking crease in the upper lid from an eyelid that does not have a natural crease. It also removes the extra fullness commonly seen in the upper lids. This procedure makes the eyes appear larger and rounder, which is very desirable in many Asians.
There is a lot of controversy regarding altering the natural Asian “single eyelid” to become more “Western-looking.” I am a big fan of cultural variations as it keeps every one of us different. My best guideline is to listen to my patients and to what they desire to achieve. That being said, there is already a large variation in the crease position in natural Asian eyes, and many have a natural double lid. In general, most of my patients who want the Asian double eyelid surgery are not trying to “look white” but want to look Asian-born with a natural double eyelid.
What is Asian rhinoplasty?
Asian rhinoplasty (sometimes referred to as a “nose lift”) is the second most commonly requested surgery. The Asian rhinoplasty and the Caucasian rhinoplasty have major differences. Asian noses have a low nasal bridge that needs to be elevated and the tip often needs to be narrowed, projected and lengthened. Caucasian noses are usually too big and need to be made smaller.
A simple non-surgical option for elevating the nasal bridge and projecting the tip is using the dermal filler such as Restylane® and JUVÉDERM®. I place the filler on top of the bone and precisely sculpt the nose. Done on a yearly basis, this creates a more refined nose without surgery. Asian faces often have a flatter mid-face which can give the nose a flatter profile; adding some fillers such as JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® to cheeks when doing non-surgical nose lift will add more dimension to the face and create a sculpted and attractive look.
How does body contouring change for Asian women?
Breast augmentation with implants are the third most popular procedure among Asian women. Asian breast augmentation has to be approached differently than Caucasian women. Asian women are more petite and have smaller frames, therefore a large implant will appear un-natural. Commonly, the Toronto Asian woman wants implants that will make her look attractive and feminine and still look natural. Any large implants may look disproportionate and fake.
Buttock augmentation (implants and/or fat grafting – aka Brazilian butt lift) is new on the cosmetic enhancement list of body improvements, but is slowly gaining popularity. I am one of a group of elite surgeons who are successfully doing buttock augmentation since about 2006. With the new implants from Brazil and the U.S., there are a plethora of softer, natural-looking implants for anyone wanting a fuller and higher booty.
Which nonsurgical treatments are popular with Asian women?
Skin lightening has a very long history in Asia and in many parts of Europe. Dark, tanned skin is often associated with the field workers while a light, translucent complexion is a sign of affluence and glamour. At my Visage Clinics, we offer only medical products and treatments that are exclusively sold to physicians. Each patient receives a thorough consultation and a customized treatment plan. These treatments will remove sun damage, freckles, and brown spots and work below the skin’s surface to make the cells healthy and increase collagen production. All patients at the Toronto Visage Clinic are encouraged to use sunscreen with full UVA and UVB blocks to prevent pre-mature skin aging.
Lips that are nicely shaped and colorful can be seen throughout Asian fashion history. I, myself, strongly disagree with overfilling the lips and giving women a ‘duck mouth’. I truly believe that the most enticing lips are lips that have their natural shape with their volume restored and a “slight pout”. Lips like this look fabulous with red lipstick or just a bit of gloss.
Last but not least are BOTOX® and Dysport®! Approved for cosmetic use, wrinkle injection is still the biggest hit in the anti-aging procedures. I use BOTOX and Dysport to gently soften wrinkles between the eyebrows, in the forehead, and around the eyes. I use BOTOX and Dysport to lift eyebrows for those not ready for a forehead lift and for stopping the wrinkles that happen in the tip of the chin that make the skin look like an orange peel (peau d’orange). I also use BOTOX and Dysport to reduce the size of the masseter muscles at the posterior jawline, something commonly seen in Asian women’s lower face; this will slim the face and contours the jawline, giving the face a lesser squaring and therefore a more feminine look. It is easy and can make a huge difference in how a person appears.
How popular is plastic surgery in Asian culture?
The Asian culture has embraced plastic surgery procedures with China and Japan being 3rd and 4th behind the United States and Brazil according to the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. South Korea, with a population of approximately 49 million has the official ranking of being 7th. One in 5 South Korean women between the ages of 19 and 49 have had some cosmetic procedure according to a survey done in 2009 by a market-research firm Trend Monitor and these numbers are increasing.
However with all the popularity in cosmetic procedures comes the less-than-skilled practioners who offer lower fees and large discounts. This has resulted in over 200,000 botched plastic surgery procedures in Korea alone in the last year. Plastic surgery is a buyer-beware market.
My advice to people seeking plastic surgery procedures: ask for credentials first and foremost. The doctor must be a board-certified plastic surgeon or a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon. Look for the certificate on the walls. Ask to see before-and-after photos. Ask if the surgery will take place in a certified surgical center that is approved by the College of Physician and Surgeons. Ask if the anesthetist is a board-certified anesthetist. There must be a good feeling between you, the surgeon and the staff. My final word of advice: Don’t base your decision on price, you definitely get what you pay for, even in plastic surgery.
If you would like to learn more about plastic surgery here in Toronto, please contact us online or call (416) 929-9800.
Happy New Year of the Horse to all our Toronto patients!
by Dr. Marc DuPéré, Toronto plastic surgeon & Joyce Palmer, patient coordinator