China is home to more than 10,000 private aesthetic clinics. In 2007, these clinics suffered a minor setback when the government banned cosmetic surgery content from the airwaves following a string of reality TV shows that exposed the industry. Nevertheless, it continues to grow at an impressive rate.
The most popular procedure is the double eyelid tuck, which creates a fold or crease above the eyelid-a trait universal among Caucasians, but naturally occurring among only 10% of Chinese. Other favored procedures include breast enhancement and raising the bridge of the nose, both of which happen to be the most frequently performed procedures on Asian Americans.
Nonsurgical procedures are gaining popularity, too, with increasing interest in Botox despite a price tag upwards of $700. In China, Botox is used as an anti-wrinkle treatment, but it’s also injected into the masseter muscle (the main chewing muscle) to create a more heart-shaped face. One unfortunate consequence is an unregulated Botox market, which is accompanied by potential health risks if impure formulas are used. In fact, China is the source of much of the black-market Botox found throughout the West.
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