The popularity of elective cosmetic treatments is on the rise, with nearly 16 million minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed last year.

Below, we take a look at the top five most popular elective cosmetic treatments and explain how they work and how much they generally cost.

  • Botox

    Botox is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment that helps smooth facial wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, forehead, and mouth.

    Botox is made from a highly purified botulinum-toxin protein which is injected into the skin’s tissue. This protein works by temporarily paralyzing the facial muscles to smooth frown lines, forehead lines, crow’s feet and other facial wrinkles.

    The level of improvement in the appearance of wrinkles after treatment will vary from patient to patient. 

    Getting Botox takes just a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. Once you receive the injection, it can take anywhere from three to seven days to take full effect, and results will generally last three to four months. 

    Perhaps one of the more appealing things about this type of procedure is that Botox requires no recovery time, so you can return to your normal day-to-day tasks immediately following the procedure.

    The average cost of botox is around $397.

    For more information regarding Botox, check out or Patient’s guide to Botox

  • Soft-Tissue Fillers

    As you age, the natural loss of your skin’s elasticity, collagen and hyaluronic acid can result in wrinkles and loss of fullness, specifically around the eyes, jawline, cheeks, brow and nose. 

    Soft-tissue fillers, also known as dermal fillers or injectable implants, temporarily improve the skin’s appearance by injecting collagen, hyaluronic acid, or other biodegradable products into the tissue.

    Some examples of how soft-tissue fillers can be used include:

    • Improving the look of scars
    • Plumping lips
    • Filling sunken cheeks
    • Softening wrinkles
    • Filling deep folds in skin

    Dermal fillers are non-surgical and can usually be completed during a single office visit. The amount of time your dermal filler will last between treatments depends on the type of filler you get, but you can typically expect most soft-tissue fillers to last anywhere from 6–18 months.

    Below, we take a look at the average cost of several popular dermal fillers, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons:

    • Hyaluronic acid: $682
    • Calcium hydroxylapatite: $691
    • Platelet-rich plasma: $683
    • Fat grafting: $2,126
    • Polylactic acid: $915
    • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres: $889

    For more information on dermal fillers, check out our Patient’s Guide to Dermal Fillers

  • Chemical Peels

    Chemical peels help improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands through chemical exfoliation. 

    After the procedure, dead skin peels off, exposing the smooth, regenerated skin below. There are three main types of chemical peels:

    • Superficial peel: Sometimes referred to as a lunchtime peel, this type of chemical peel uses alpha-hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate the skin. Out of the three peels listed here, this peel is the least intense, as it only penetrates the outermost layer of skin.
    • Medium peel: This type of chemical peel is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, and skin discoloration. Medium peels typically use glycolic or trichloroacetic acid to remove damaged skin cells from the outer and middle layers of the skin.
    • Deep peel: This type of peel removes shallow scars, freckles, age spots, and moderate lines. Deep peels typically use trichloroacetic acid or phenol to remove damaged skin cells from the middle layer of skin. Out of the three peels listed here, this peel is the most intense and can only be performed once. 

    The chemical peel itself shouldn’t last more than an hour or two, but your skin will typically peel for three to 10 days afterwards. If you get a deep peel, you can expect your total healing time to last at least two months, whereas the total healing time for a superficial peel is typically just a few days. 

    The average cost of a chemical peel is around $669.

  • Laser Hair Removal

    This procedure uses a laser to remove unwanted hair and delay future hair growth. Common treatment areas include:

    • Legs
    • Upper lip
    • Arm pits
    • Bikini line
    • Chin
    • Arms

    Typically, laser hair removal requires two to six treatments, and may need to be repeated every four to eight weeks on areas that grow quickly, and every 12 to 16 weeks on areas that grow slowly. 

    How long your laser hair removal procedure will take depends on the size of the treatment area. For instance, the upper lip may take just a few short minutes, and the legs may take more than an hour. 

    The average cost of laser hair removal is around $258.

    For more information on laser hair removal, head on over to our Patient’s Guide to Laser Hair Removal

  • Microdermabrasion

    Microdermabrasion gently sands your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer. Examples of the types of skin concerns microdermabrasion can help treat include:

    • Smoothing fine lines and wrinkles
    • Reducing age spots and sun damage
    • Improving acne scarring and blackheads
    • Lessening the appearance of stretch marks
    • Reducing enlarged pores

    There are two main types of microdermabrasion: crystal microdermabrasion and diamond microdermabrasion. 

    Crystal microdermabrasion uses a handheld device that blasts aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin and then vacuums up the dirt, dead skin cells, and crystals.

    Diamond microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped wand to slough away the outermost layer of skin, while the wand’s vacuum sucks up dead skin cells and dirt. 

    The average cost of microdermabrasion treatment is around $131.