Trends in Plastic Surgery: Mimicking the Effects of Instagram Filters

For those of us who use and love the photo-sharing service Instagram, one of the best features is the ability to use filters to enhance a photo. (There are too many to choose from!) We can soften it or change the tone. Many of these filters work wonders in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving the look of an improved complexion. There are nearly endless enhancements. We can make a good photo look even better. When we combine the right filters and great camera angles, we can get a nearly perfect shot! Now if only that could be done in real life! Some people want to make that happen. They’re turning to their plastic surgeons to do some procedures that mimic the effects of a filter. Instead of coming to the surgeon’s office with celebrity photos (as has been the norm for years), they’re coming in with their own photos. These photos show the version of themselves they would like to present to the world. The desire is to get the same result as the photo filter or camera angle, but on a more permanent basis. Here are some examples of the types of procedures that could mimic a softer, slimmer look often accomplished with filters or camera angles:

  • Fillers to make face fuller
  • Botox to reduce fine lines
  • Laser treatments for dark spots or red spots
  • Lip enhancements, including fillers
  • Microdermabrasion to smooth the skin
  • Neck lift
  • Eye lift
  • Face lift
  • Light therapy for better complexion


As you can see, many of these procedures are non-invasive. Many of them require little to no recovery time. This surely helps fuel this trend. A new and improved look can be achieved with minimal time and risk. The ability to present the best version of yourself can improve self esteem and make it more pleasurable to share more of your life online. After getting treatment, many patients even feel that they can stop using the Instagram filters!


This is a Trend, But it’s Not New

For many of us, it’s no surprise that social media affects plastic surgery trends. We’ve even written about it before. For example, the trend of taking pics of engagement rings has led to more hand procedures such as injections and fillers. ( Social media in general has made us more apt to get plastic surgery. Social media has created more self-awareness. We publicly share more images of ourselves. There’s the selfie stick, enabling even more photos. Someone has even coined the phrase “selfie image” instead of self-image. And the term “social media makeover.” These new words reflect how much emphasis we put on our public persona. There is increasing pressure to look good online. But this is the first time we’ve seen Instagram filters as a driving force. It does make sense. We all want to project the best version of ourselves to the world. If a filter can achieve that electronically, why not recreate it live?



Dr. Michael J. Brown is a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers innovative aesthetic procedures for the face, breast, and body.


The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery 

45155 Research Pl
Ste 125
Ashburn, VA 20147

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