The best part of tax season, many of us would probably agree, is the end of it — when the refunds start coming in. I'll spare you the Dad Lecture about how if you're getting a huge refund, it means you should re-examine how much your employer is withholding and just jump straight to: Yay, extra cash to pad your bank account! Good for you, you titan of industry! Now go save or invest it wisely. Or, if you're like a growing percentage of Americans, hit up your dermatologist for some Botox.
In a survey conducted by RealSelf, an online cosmetic surgery forum, 36 percent of consumers reported that they plan to spend the money they receive from their tax refund on cosmetic treatments. That number is a significant increase from 2016, when just 13 percent of people said that was where they planned to direct the extra funds.
There's also been a change in the types of treatments that are most popular. Whereas in years past, surgical procedures such as the Brazilian Butt Lift and breast augmentations reigned supreme during tax season, RealSelf reports that Botox (which costs $550, on average), lip augmentations (which cost $575, on average) and CoolSculpting (a non-invasive alternative to liposuction, which costs $2,300, on average) have surpassed the more invasive options.
"It seems to be more common in older individuals — say, over 40 years old — [which I think is] because their refunds may be greater," says Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a board certified facial plastic surgeon and RealSelf contributor based in Miami. He also notes that in his experience, the spike in tax-refund-funded procedures occurs equally among both his male and female patients. "It is a pure luxury, and having the extra money is a good excuse for spending it," he says.