Looking cool to beat the heat

The economic slump has spurred an increasing number of men to try non-invasive procedures to lift their work prospects, writes Leah Hardy

The value of looks to a man’s career was highlighted by a study this year at the University of Messina in Italy. It found that when attractive men sent in a photograph with job applications, 47 per cent were called for an interview, compared to just 26 per cent of “unattractive” men.

The business journal Newsweek recently reported that good-looking men earn an average of 5 per cent more than less handsome ones. Over a career, this means they can earn a staggering £155,000 more than their rivals.

Men’s grooming expert Mark Smith says: “Personal grooming and how fresh you look at work are now crucial to future job prospects and promotion. Look anywhere in the City, and clinics and day spas offering brow maintenance and Botox to men are becoming the norm.”

Dr Patrick Bowler, medical director of Courthouse Clinics, says that far from reducing demand, the recession has dramatically increased it. “The downturn has made men anxious to appear youthful, energetic and unstressed by their job, particularly in youth-oriented industries, such as advertising,” he says. “Botox treatments for men have increased more than 40 per cent at my treatment centres over the past year. Men tell me job interviews are easier to face when they appear younger and more energetic.”

Surgeon Geoffrey Mullan, who specialises in non-surgical procedures at London’s Medicetics clinic, agrees. “At the start of the year almost 25 per cent of our clients were men, now it is 37 per cent,” he says. “Many are City traders who tell me ‘it’s a young man’s game’. They don’t want to look old or as if they are not hacking the pace any more, otherwise they fear they will be replaced.

“They work punishingly long hours, don’t go on holiday, but can’t afford to look as exhausted and stressed as they feel. They won’t tolerate any downtime and they must appear natural. Looking as if they’ve had Botox is a complete no-no. So they choose skin tightening treatments like Pelleve and skin peels, as well as injectables.”

Mr Mullan says men with little time for the gym are opting for CoolSculpting body contouring to reduce spreading waistlines and look sleek in suits because “it only takes an hour and is completely undetectable”.

Dr Mica Engel, of London’s Waterhouse Young Clinic, says looking young and handsome is less vital, for today’s businessmen, than appearing cool, confident and in control. “Today’s highly competitive workplaces mean men like the way Botox gives them a ‘poker face’ in negotiations. They also have Botox under the arms and in the hands to prevent sweating, as this is seen as a sign of nervousness and, even worse, weakness.”