The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” was hammered into our heads in high school with anecdotes about products and technologies born and bred from war and pandemic, from tea bags and tissues to newspapers and the internet. Its lesson is simple: Society adapts quickest when put under pressure to survive.
Those words will ultimately define the coming years, as every industry around the world is forced to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact it has on non-essential areas of the health-care sector, like plastic surgery and cosmetic dermatology, will be profound. These businesses hit a fever pitch over the past decade — popularity of cosmetic procedures alone grew by 163% from 2000 to 2018 — but COVID-19 is on course to not only disrupt the industry’s innovation, revenue, and popularity, but how it’s practiced, as the very foundation of what we perceive as beautiful adjusts to fit our new reality.